Spanning the junction of the Macquarie and Bell rivers, and with a population around the 5000 mark, Wellington has grown from a convict settlement established on NSW’s western plains by Lieutenant Percy Simpson in 1823. Its development from those days as the centre of a wheat belt district are traced in the Historical Museum which has been set up in an old bank building.
The town’s major tourist attraction centres on the nearby Wellington Caves – limestone caverns that are millions of years old. Their centrepiece is Cathedral Cave with its massive Altar Rock. There is also a phosphate mine here that visitors can inspect.
Thirty kilometres south west of town are the Burredong and Mookerawa State Recreation Areas and where you’ll find the man-made Lake Burredong, which caters for anglers and water sports devotees.
The Nangara Gallery houses an Australia-wide collection of Aboriginal artefacts and there are several other galleries and some fine heritage buildings to inspect. Famous explorer John Oxley first trod through this region in 1817 and named it after a personal hero – the Duke of Wellington.