The small town of Cassilis, at the top end of the Hunter Valley, boasts a number of heritage-listed buildings, including the hotel, courthouse and churches. Cassilis is within comfortable driving distance of both the Coolah Tops and Goulburn River national parks.
The famous botanical oddity, the Wollemi Pine, is native to this region. It is certainly one of the rarest plants in the world and its only known relatives are fossils which date back more than 100 million years to the dinosaur age. The pine was discovered in the nearby Wollemi National Park in 1994 and scientists believe it only managed to survive dramatic climatic changes because of the protection provided by rainforest-shrouded gullies in the rugged parkland.
An Aboriginal police tracker named Jimmy Governor once lived behind the Cassilis police station before turning to bush-ranging. Thomas Kenneally's novel, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, is based on the tumultuous life and times of Jimmy Governor who is said to have slain 10 people in a brief reign of terror.