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Hartley Vale, Blue Mountains Map
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Fast Facts

Distance & Driving times from major cities
Sydney to Hartley Vale
2.10 hours 130km
Canberra to Hartley Vale
4.00 hours 295km
Closest Capital City:
Sydney 130kms
Closest Airport:
Sydney 137kms
Activities: Bush Walking, Mountain Biking, Bird Watching
 
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Hartley Vale Tourism Information
 

About Hartley Vale

Hartley Vale is located on western side of the Blue Mountains about half-way between Mt Victoria and Bell. But, in the 1860's Hartley Vale was a bustling mining town when mining commenced on a three foot seam of "coal" (actually kerosene shale or torbanite) which was discovered by William Lawson. The ore was carried by horse and cart to the near by railway and then on to Sydney for refining. 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 bikes.

Hartley Vale Railway Station, now abandoned, is located on the Main Western Line on the Darling Causeway, a narrow ridge separating the Grose and Coxs River Valleys in the upper Blue Mountains.

The village grew quickly and there were twelve pubs within the space of about a quarter of a mile of the road in Hartley. There were also numerous dwellings for the miners and their families, a post office, the Company School, a Temperance Hall, an Oddfellows Hall, 3 bootmakers, a saddler, and Mr. Skelly's butchery and bakery establishment. Balmain's Store was said to be a miniature department store supplying anything required.

By 1913 the mining operations ceased and all the mining families moved away. Today Hartley Vale is a quiet rural area.

Places to visit

Comet Inn
The historic Comet Inn was built in 1879. The hotel was constructed to meet the demands of the newly arrived shale miners. The Comet Inn was named after Comet the brand of Kerosene produced in the valley. The Comet Inn is listed in the History Highway Inns and it offers bed and breakfast accommodation, a restaurant and function facilities, acres of gardens, an orchard and a walking track situated opposite the old shale workings.

Hartley Historic Site
Hartley Historic Site is a nineteenth century village, located on the Great Western Highway between Mt Victoria and Lithgow. The Hartley Historic site has several well preserved convict built sandstone buildings including an impressive sandstone courthouse, churches and inns.

Zig Zag Railway
The famous Zig Zag railway gets its name from the fact it zig zags back and forth across the steep mountains slope and sandstone viaducts. Trains run daily (except Christmas Day) Clarence Station

Climate

The spring air is fresh and crisp with the average temperature around 15 degrees Celsius.

Summer brings warm days with the occasional cool night. The temperature in the mountains ranges from cool and damp on the forest floors to hot and dry on the plateaus. The summer temperature averages 22 degrees.

Autumn is a wonderful time in the Blue Mountains with a magnificent display of autumn leaves.

During winter the region receives the occasional snowfall turning it into a magical winter playground. The temperature at night can drop as low as -8 degrees Celsius and can rise to a maximum of 18 degrees during the day. The average temperature for winter is 10 degrees.

Mountain weather can be unpredictable and anyone hiking through this area should be prepared for all conditions as you can experience quite rapid changes in weather regardless of the season.

Getting there

By Car
From Sydney the Blue Mountains can be approached either

  • Via Great Western Highway (M4). This is the most direct and it is only a 90-minute drive from Sydney to the centre of the Blue Mountains region
  • Via the Bells Line of Road through Windsor and Richmond. This road was named after the explorer Archibald Bell, who navigated the route in 1823

By Train
Trains to the Blue Mountains depart Sydney's Central Station hourly. The trip from Sydney to Mt Victoria takes approximately 2 hours. Trains to Central station can be accessed directly from Sydney airport. Transport such as a taxi is then required from the Mt Victoria train station.

By Coach
Several coach companies offer services to the Blue Mountains. There are also shuttle services available from Sydney Airport and the Sydney Metropolitan Area to and from all Blue Mountains accommodation.

More information

Tourism Blue Mountains http://www.bluemountainstourism.org.au

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