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A weekend in Bathurst

A relaxed, rural uni town that's fast emerging as a proper food and wine destination. Plus: Australia's very own dinosaur!

Photograph: Supplied

This regional NSW city is 200km from Sydney and it's beautiful all year round. Plan your trip with our guide to where to eat, drink, stay and play in Bathurst. 

Eat

Bathurst Farmer's Market

Start your adventure at the local farmers markets in the historic Bathurst Showgrounds (held on the fourth Saturday of the month from January to November), where you can meet and chat with friendly locals peddling fresh regional produce.

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Legall Patisserie Cafe

Head on to downtown Keppel Street and right into Legall's Patisserie, where the small bakery is earning a reputation as a little slice of France in regional NSW – and there's a local, cult-like fervor around its lemon tarts and vanilla slices.

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Crago Mill Emporium and Heritage Centre

This World Heritage building is home to shops selling all manners of gifts, antiques and collectables, but still retains the character and charm of its former flour-mill days. Renovations are ongoing and there are big plans for this building, though it still retains the charm and character of its long-ago existence as a flour mill. Pop in to the adjoining café, which is lovingly run by local Glenn and his wife, who are all about providing customers homegrown meals in cosy surrounds.

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Church Bar + Woodfired Pizza

Housed in a former 1850s church school, this deceptively cosy and cavernous space has punters coming from afar to enjoy the creative pizze toppings. Think kangaroo fillet marinated in shiraz and peppercorn with chilli and jalapeños, or saltwater crocodile marinated with lime and ginger marinade.

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Cobblestone Lane

If you’re looking for something a little more refined, make tracks to Cobblestone Lane where they’re delighting in modern Australian fare made from local produce like Smoked Mandagery creek venison and rabbit terrine & grilled Moreton Bay Bug tail, accompanied by regional wines.

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Drink

Webb&Co.

Cobblestone Lane's neighbouring Webb&Co, has set up shop in a former department store and is making a name for itself as Bathurst's hippest drinking hole.

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Stay

Bathurst Heritage Apartments

Nestled right in the heart of town of Williams Street inside the historic Royal Hotel Building, the Bathurst Heritage Apartments offers large one- or two-bedroom units with themed rooms spanning art and music. The self-contained apartments offer a comfortable gateway in the heart of downtown Bathurst with sensational balcony views of the morning mist rising over the distant valley.

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Play

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum

As one of New South Wales' oldest towns, there's an abundance of colonial architecture to explore. Begin at the Australian Fossil Museum, a treasure chest of historical artefacts that boasts natural minerals, an extremely rare lizard embedded in amber, and an unmissable standout – a 360 million year old fossil known as T-rex, the only one of its kind in Australia.

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And don't forget...

No visit to Bathurst is really complete without a trip around Mount Panorama. Despite a very pedestrian speed limit of 60 kms, the steep turns and uphill climb should evoke unease in even the most experienced drivers. Hold tight and grit your teeth – it's worth it for the impressive outlook from the top. For a drive that's a little less thrill-seeking, the roads surrounding the city offer panoramic country views of endless rolling hills and mountainsides in the surrounding regions.

Time Out visited Bathurst as a guest of CentralNSW Tourism.