Hartley is on Great Western Highway (A32)
When you enter the historic village of Hartley, you travel back to the 1830's. You will see the remains of a once thriving town when it catered to settlers and gold miners travelling west. The town lost it’s population after the railway bypassed it, in 1877. The small village is made up of 17 buildings of historic interest that have been well preserved and are a fine example of the architecture in the 1800’s. The Greek Revival Courthouse, built in 1837 was the scene of many convict trials in its hey- day. Examine it for graffiti and step inside to hear a re-enactment of a court case. Tours of the courthouse are run on the hour from 10.00am to 3.00pm. Other buildings in the village includes several historic inns, a church and post office. Because of its heritage value, it is now preserved as a historic site, administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales with an office on site. The buildings are open to the public with guides on hand to help you understand the history of Hartley.
Most of the buildings can be found in a cluster just off the highway on Old Bathurst Road, Hartley.
These caves are Australia’s most outstanding cave system. There are 11 spectacular caves to visit, with guided tours to suit every age and every fitness level. Some of these caves are the Chifley Cave, which is 690 metres long with over 400 stair steps to contend with, the Lucas Cave which is 860 metres long with over 900 stair steps plus another 250 into the Cathedral Chamber and the Imperial Cave which is 1070 metres long and mostly level.
It is free to wander through the Grand Arch, the Devils Coach House Cave and around the Blue Lake. It is also free to take one of the many walking trails through the forest ranging from an easy 700 metre round trip to a strenuous 4 kilometre round trip. There are picnic areas around the reserve with gas barbecues located in each of the three car parks or you can take your own lunch. There is plenty of free parking, but the valley is not suitable for caravans and because the caves are within a National Park, no dogs are allowed.
To get to the Jenolan Caves, turn south off the highway just west of Hartley onto Jenolan Caves Road. It is a 47 kilometre trip from the highway to the caves. You can also get to the caves from Bathurst passing through the village of Oberon which is a 75 kilometre trip.
A visit to the Talisman Gallery is a must. From the moment you walk in, you are surrounded by amazing metal art created by resident artist Ron Fitzpatrick. Ron began creating handmade knives and Tai Chi Dancing swords while living in Sydney. He then moved to the Hartley Valley and began concentrating on making objects of beauty such as mirrors, oil burners, candlesticks and sculptures and his work regularly features in Vogue, Country Style, Belle and House and Garden magazines.
Turn south off the Great Western Highway onto Old Bathurst Road where it signposted to Hartley Historic Village.