Hartley Historic Site NPWS

Blue Mountains


Travel back in time through an authentic, 19th century colonial village on the western edge of the Blue Mountains. Hartley Historic Site, managed by the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), consists of 17 buildings of historical significance dating from 1837. Set amongst rolling hills, orchards, native vegetation and 19th and 20th century cottage gardens.


Start your visit at the Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre before you tour the village. As well as providing all the information you will need about Hartley’s buildings and history, it stocks a range of Australian souvenirs, local Aboriginal art, ice cream and drinks. Changing historical museum collections give fascinating insights into the story of Hartley – spend some time admiring the old photographs and imagining the bustle of this little town in its heyday. Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre is itself housed in a colonial building: The Farmers Inn. The central portion of this single-storey building, corresponding with the veranda, was the original part of the house. At either end of the building are added rooms, which are believed to have been built when the building became an inn around 1865. Some original iron roof survives today, as well as the chimneys. The centrepiece of the village is the Courthouse, designed by colonial architect Mortimer Lewis in the Grecian Revival style. Built in 1837 by convict labour, it is still largely intact and constructed solidly of locally quarried sandstone. It is an imposing building, one of the best-preserved in the region. View the holding cells, original convict carvings, constable’s room, the Magistrate and Clerk’s office and the Courtroom. Many notorious bushrangers and cattle thieves were kept here and inside the cells, with the bars and bolts still in position, you can imagine the thoughts of men accustomed to roaming the country, instead locked up tight in this remote prison. Take a self-guided tour for only $8.80, and step back in time via the unique hologram audio-visual display. In recognition of Hartley’s heritage significance, an exciting revitalisation plan is being developed, with improved facilities and new exhibition spaces. There are already a number of fascinating tours and events held at Hartley, and accommodation is available in newly renovated historic cottages, Old Trahlee and St Bernard's Presbytery. Hartley is a popular place for picnics and group events—guided tours and venue hire are also available, ask for details at the visitor centre. Tours for groups larger than 20 must be booked in advance, and NPWS can prepare special tours for schools and interest groups given sufficient notice.

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Visit the Blue Mountains Magazine

Visit the Blue Mountains Magazine