New South Wales
|Population||2,521 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||475 m (1,558 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Mid-Western Regional Council|
Gulgong is a 19th-century gold rush town in the Central Tablelands and the wider Central West regions of the Australian state of New South Wales. The town is situated within the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area. It is located about 300 km (190 mi) north west of Sydney, and about 30 km north of Mudgee along the Castlereagh Highway. At the 2016 Census, Gulgong had a population of 2,521.
Today, much of the 19th century character of the town remains, contributing to its appeal as a tourist destination. Of special interest is the Prince of Wales Opera House, a survivor with a rich history.
An attraction of note is the Gulgong Pioneer Museum, which has a huge collection of thematically-displayed exhibits, ranging from kitchen utensils to complete buildings that have been relocated to a 'street' on the site. Apart from tourism and hospitality, local industries include wine production, wool, wheat growing and coal mining.
Yarrobil National Park is located 21 kilometres (13 mi) north west of Gulgong.
The name 'Gulgong' is derived from the name used by the traditional inhabitants, the Wiradjuri, for 'deep waterhole'. Like several towns in this area, it began as a gold mining centre. However, being founded in the 1870s, it was one of the last to be dominated by 'poor man's diggings', that is by individuals without substantial capital investment.
Novelist and bush poet Henry Lawson lived briefly in Gulgong as a child in the early 1870s, while his father sought instant wealth as a miner. A montage of goldrush-era Gulgong street scenes was used as a backdrop to the portrait of Lawson on the first Australian ten dollar note (which was in use from 1966 until replaced by a polymer banknote in November 1993). The town and its surrounding district feature in Lawson's fiction, especially in Joe Wilson and His Mates.
Gulgong is believed to be one of the primary locations in Thomas Alexander Browne's Robbery under Arms. Australia's first novelist of note, Browne was police magistrate in the period 1871-81. He once hosted English author Anthony Trollope, who later recorded his impressions of Australia and New Zealand (1875).
Gulgong has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Herbert Street: Hobsons Shops Golden West Trading Post
- 123-125 Mayne Street: The Greatest Wonder of the World and American Tobacco Warehouse and Fancy Goods Emporium
- Wallerawang-Gwabegar railway: Wialdra Creek railway bridge
- Wallerawang-Gwabegar railway: Gulgong railway station
Gulgong is at the junction of the Sandy Hollow line (which runs west from Muswellbrook), and the Gwabegar line, (which runs north-south from Gwabegar to Wallerawang). A section of the Gwabegar railway line south of Gulgong to Kandos has been closed since 30 June 2007.
Gulgong has hosted an international ceramics festival every three years since 1989, most recently over 17 to 23 April 2016.
- Jimmy Governor, on whom Thomas Kenneally based his character for The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, grew up in the Gulgong district and married there in 1898.
- Nancy Hill (born 1934), Australian basketball representative
- Josh Jackson, rugby league player
- Louisa Lawson, poet and mother of Henry Lawson
- Colin McKellar, Australian senator
- "2016 Census QuickStats: Gulgong". www.censusdata.abs.gov.au.
- Prince of Wales Opera House, Gulgong Archived 22 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Museum of Australian Currency Notes: Australia's First Decimal Currency Notes Archived 22 August 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Gulgong - New South Wales - Australia - Travel - smh.com.au". www.smh.com.au.
- "Hobsons Shops Golden West Trading Post, New South Wales State Heritage Register (NSW SHR) Number H00402". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "The Greatest Wonder of the World and American Tobacco Warehouse and Fancy Goods Emporium, New South Wales State Heritage Register (NSW SHR) Number H01983". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Gulgong railway bridge over Wialdra Creek, New South Wales State Heritage Register (NSW SHR) Number H01038". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Gulgong Railway Station and yard group, New South Wales State Heritage Register (NSW SHR) Number H01158". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- Paine, Sam. "Clay festival to be thrown in Gulgong". Mudgee Guardian.
Media related to Gulgong, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons