We had a couple of days up our sleeve so we stopped at Lithgow to have a look around and take a day trip to Katoomba.
Lithgow is also quite an old town but has a service/industrial background and is missing the opulence of the wealthy mining towns. With a population of 14,000 it is now a reasonably modern rural town which boasts the first meat freezing works and more importantly the first iron manufacturing in Australia.
Lithgow is located in a valley and there are a couple of lookouts worth visiting. Bracey Lookout has views of the township but is not that interesting.
On the other hand, Hassans Walls Lookout is absolutely spectacular and if you visit one spot in Lithgow this is the one!
There is a caravan park which gets reasonable reviews but we preferred to camp out. We decided to stay at Lake Wallace in Wallerawang about 10km West of Lithgow. You seem to be able to camp pretty much anywhere in the recreational area, we chose to stay near the lake on the quieter side. There are taps, dump point, toilets and shower, but the amenities are locked overnight so it is really only suitable for self contained rigs unless you want to risk getting “caught short”! Not a bad spot for a freeby if you don’t mind the power station at the other end of the lake. There are a few places to walk around the lake and there are shops in the township. I was rather bemused by the signs on the bridge over the fence around the lake…
There is another camp ground at Lake Lyell which is also owned by the power company to provide water to the power stations. Some research on Wikicamps turned out to be spot on as this is quite a nice place but is way overpriced at about $25 per night for the main area and $15 on the other end which is accessible via a horrible track and has no facilities at all. Oh and there is also a day charge so we elected to admire at a distance!