The country town of West Wyalong, which lies 500 km due west of Sydney, is the commercial centre for a propserous wool, wheat and mixed-farming area and gateway to the Central West of New South Wales. West Wyalong is a major transit centre for people driving between Brisbane and Melbourne along the Newell Highway and between Adelaide and Sydney on the Mid Western Highway.
Gold was discovered here in 1893 and the town underwent the boom times that accompanied such an event. In its heyday, there were more than 12,000 miners on the goldfields, digging deep vertical shafts and offshoot tunnels to get at the gold encased within quartz reefs. The town's a bit quieter now, but you can still search for nuggets around the old diggings. The Historical Museum houses a scale model of a gold mine, together with an interesting display of fossils.
About 50km to the north-east is Lake Cowal, the largest natural lake in New South Wales, which is a major breeding ground for waterfowl and a staging post for a wide variety of other bird and animal life, native and feral alike. While most of the lake foreshores are in private hands, you can gain access from a public reserve on the western side. Fishing is also permitted in the lake.
To the south-east of West Wyalong, Barmedman has a mineral water pool, reputed to soothe aches from arthritis and rheumatism.
Things to do:
Visit the old gold mine workings
Historical Museum - model gold mine and fossil collection
Lake Cowal - important bird sanctuary
Barmedman - mineral water pool
Find out more about the Central West