11:56pm Sunday, 20 January BlueMountainsAustralia.com
128kms · 127 mins by car
409 population (2016)
Mount Victoria Accommodation
Hartley and Little Hartley
Hartley and Little Hartley are located on the western side of the Blue Mountains. Step back in time and enjoy the wonders of this quaint village - an essential part of the Grand Circular Tourist Drive.
A drive from Mount Victoria takes you down Victoria Pass between the Kanimbla Valley and Hartley Valley. Along the Great Western Highway you will notice several old buildings including 'Sheepcombe', the old 'Rose Inn' and 'Mead's Farm'.
Continue along the Great Western Highway until you enter the 1830's.
Hartley Historic Site offers one of the finest collections of historic buildings in Australia. Of particular interest is the Sandstone Courthouse. Examine the courthouse for graffiti and step inside to hear a re-enactment of a court case.
Hartley's newest attraction is The River Walk.
The River Walk includes a boardwalk that is 200 meters in length and follows along the bank of the River Lett at the Hartley Historic Site. The raised boardwalk overlooks the river and the remains of an early settlers' hut.
The boardwalk is a small part of a walking track that begins near a building called Corney's Garage (opposite Ivy Cottage and the Shamrock Inn) and follows along beside the pristine river gully past the ruins of Rowson's Hut, then back to the village. The freshwater river is still home to platypus.
Due to the steep gradients on the original Cox's Road, between 1813 and 1824 a by-pass road was constructed by William Lawson. The road took the route of what is today known as "Lawson's Long Alley".
A three foot seam of "coal" (which was actually kerosene shale) was discovered by William Lawson as reported to the Governor.
In the 1860's mining commenced in the area and the ore was carried by horse and cart to the nearby railway and then on to Sydney for refining. The railway was extended to Bowenfels (near Lithgow).
This railway route from the Causeway to near the top of the incline still exists today as a walking track and is also suitable for mountain bike riders.
Operating today in Hartley Vale is the historic Comet Inn built in 1879. Comet was the brand of Kerosene produced in the valley. The Comet Inn is one of the History Highway Inns.
Continue through Hartley Vale to visit Hassans Walls Reserve which offers magnificent views across the valley to Mt Victoria. The area is a Crown Land Reserve and is home to a variety of rare plants and animals. Hassans Walls Lookout is fully wheelchair accessible and features a boardwalk from the carpark to the magnificent view south over Hartley Valley. The Sir Joseph Cook Boardwalk was named after Joseph Cook, Prime Minister of Australia between 1913 and 1914. In 2013, on the centenary of Sir Joseph Cook's appointment as Prime Minister of Australia, Lithgow City Council named the boardwalk in his honour. You can also visit Bracey’s Lookout which overlooks the town of Lithgow. This is also a great location to appreciate the Pagoda Rock formations that the area is known for.
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