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New South Wales

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Springwood is a small town in the mid-Blue Mountains of New South Wales, 74 km to the west of Sydney. It is located in the middle of the Blue Mountains National Park.

A Little History

For thousands of years, Springwood was part of the Dharug (aboriginal people) traditional lands.

In 1813 the Blue Mountains were first crossed by Europeans -- the explorers Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth (they camped in the area we know as Springwood for the period 13-17 May 1813).

The British surveyor, George Evans, passed through Springwood as he surveyed the route of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth. Then, in 1814, William Cox and a party of 30 men built a road across the Blue Mountains. Cox's road from Emu Ford (on the Nepean River) to the Bathurst Plains and the section of the road through Springwood was made in the period 14-18 August 1814.

Gov. Lachlan Macquarie (image)

Governor Lachlan Macquarie who gave Springwood its name

In 1815 the Governor of New South Wales, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, his wife, and 30 gentlemen of the Colony travelled through the Mountains on an inspection tour. On 26 April they camped in a wood near a water spring of fresh water. Macquarie wrote in his diary:

We then halted at three o'clock in a very pretty wooded plain near a spring of very good fresh water, and pitched our tent near the side of the road. This stage is 12 miles from Emu Ford and our first on the Mountains. This place being very pretty I have named it 'Spring Wood.'

Early Development

In the early days Springwood was a military outpost to protect the road to Bathurst. This outpost remained in operation until the 1840s.

The first grant of land in Springwood was made to William Lawson.

In 1836 the Bathurst Conveyance Company began its services between Sydney and Bathurst, passing via Springwood on the Western Road (in later years, a regular mail service and then Cobb and Co. coach services commenced operations).

Gold was discovered in the Bathurst district and this led to the flow of thousands of people making their way to the Bathurst mining fields, with many of them camping at Springwood on the way.

The Coming of the Railway

In 1867 the railway line from Sydney reached Springwood. The first railway station was constructed from weatherboard. The current Springwood Railway Station building is the oldest station building (built in 1884) in the Blue Mountains.

The coming of the railway led to greater mobility for people living in Sydney. Citysiders began to come (by train) to Springwood for daytrips or for longer holidays. Boarding houses wre built where invalids could come and breathe the healthy mountain air. The wealthy such as the NSW Premier Sir Henry Parkes built either permanent residences or holiday homes in the district.

The advent of the railway led to the much development of industries such as wood cutting and farming such as orcharding,

Springwood Today

Springwood is home to 8,210 people (according the 2006 census). Many of its citizens commute to work in nearby centres such as Penrith, Blacktown, Parramatta or even the Sydney CBD (a rail journey of 1 hour 20 minutes).

It is a pleasant place to live with few traffic jams or other big city hassles; it has affordable real estate prices; yet it has a good shopping centre, lots of cafes, and good transport, schools and health facilties.

Tourist Attractions

Visitors to Springwood will find a number of interesting old buildings such as Braemar (built 1892), the Orient Hotel (opened 1892), the Royal Hotel (opened 1881), the Christ Church (opened 1889), the Frazer Presbyterian Church (foundation stone laid 1895), and the Springwood Railway Station building (already mentioned above).

Sport and Culture

Bushwalkers will find some great walks in locations around Springwood, particularly Sassafras Gully, Birdwood Gully and Martin's Lookout. Good spots for a picnic in the area include Buttenshaw Park, Else Mitchell Park, Lamatia Park and Picnic Glen.

Francesca Park (14 Ellison Road, Springwood) is a private botanical garden that may be visited by the public in September/October (spring showing) and May (autumn showing).

Sporting facilities include an 18 golf course in a magnificent natural setting, the Springwood Swimming Pool (offering a 25 metre indoor pool, a gym and a fun pool), the Springwood World of Tennis and the recently-renovated Springwood Bowling Club.

Cultural facilities include the Springwood Public Library and the Braemar Gallery/Community Centre (which offers exhibitions of the works of local and Sydney artists). The Springwood Community Centre is the venue for the monthly Community Markets (also known as the Ivy Markets) and the productions of the Blue Mountains Musical Society.

Every year in April Springwood puts on its own festival day, the Springwood Foundation Day, which features live bands and a Parade down Macquarie Road.

A fun tour of Springwood's main street, Macquarie Road

More Attractions in Nearby Towns

The Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum, the Prime Ministers' Corridor of Oaks and Sir Henry Parkes' Grave may be visited in nearby Faulconbridge.

Valley Heights is another great local place with its Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum (featuring a locomotive roundhouse) and its historic gatekeepers cottage (where railway guards used to live in the 19th century).

Related Pages:
Springwood, NSW, Real Estate Prices
Springwood Foundation Day

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Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)

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