Lewins 1815 Flag Staff at Bathurst

A multi-media Tourist Experience from Bathurst to the Nepean River

A project by the Greening Bathurst committee which aims to promote a contemporary Australian Dreaming Trail from Emu Ford on the Nepean River at Emu Plains, across the Blue Mountains, through to Bathurst, Australia’s first inland European settlement (1815)

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This image of an original painting by John Lewin, colonial artist, was sketched around the 7th May 1815. The artist completed the water colour when he returned to Sydney. Lewin is positioned on the Kelso side of the Macquarie River looking south west across the opposite floodplain. Pictured are three tents, eight wagons, a flag pole in front of Governor Macquarie’s rather imposing Bengal Tent, part of the treeless Bathurst Plains, redcoat soldiers and other members of Macquarie’s party , and the tops of River She-oak in the river bed. The Flag Staff was the location where Governor Macquarie proclaimed the settlement of Bathurst, Australia’s first inland European settlement on May 7th 1815, in front of an audience of 70 people plus some Wiradjuri onlookers. It is also the location of the Flag Staff Monument the centre-piece of Bathurst’s bicentennial celebrations.


The 95 page Tour Guide Book with 8 maps and a wealth of Coxs Road Information is now available at the following locations in the Blue Mountains and Central Tablelands (RRP $29.95): Outlets for CRD Tour Guide

Inspiration for Cox’s Road Dreaming

The name of our project draws on the Aboriginal Dreaming tradition. Our project not only tells the story of the building of Cox’s Road aided by two Darug men as part of Cox’s construction party, but also what were the outcomes for Europeans and Aboriginal people. The Country crossed by Cox’s Road included the lands of the Darug, Gundugurra and Wiradyuri peoples. This our contemporary Dreaming story.

Summary of Cox’s Road Dreaming

Our major project is the production of a multi-media tourism package with a booklet of 80+ pages and a series of 8 maps outstanding maps. This includes the location of 116 sites that are described and can be visited, between the Nepean River and the Bathurst Flag Staff Commemorative Site. Our project partner is the office of Land and Property Information in Bathurst.

Messages from the Greening Bathurst Chair and Bathurst Mayor

Ashley Bland

Ashley Bland

The Chair, Greening Bathurst

Greening Bathurst is a community-based volunteer conservation group dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the natural environment in the Bathurst region. This project is our attempt to create a contemporary Australian Dreaming Trail from Emu Ford on the Nepean River at Emu Plains, across the Blue Mountains, through to Bathurst, Australia’s first inland European settlement (1815). Our dreaming story centres on one relatively narrow tract of this remarkable country, Australia’s first inland European road, constructed by William Cox, soldiers, convicts, free settlers and two Aboriginal men4 in six months in 1814 and 1815. It was a remarkable achievement. Our project has been inspired by a growing appreciation of Aboriginal Dreaming stories, trails and song-lines. Cox’s Road passed through pre-existing dreaming and communication routes, in use for perhaps 40,000 years or more. That knowledge serves to keep this rather more recent road in an appropriate historical perspective. Our dreaming story focuses attention on the natural history5 of the road, the observations of various astute travellers on their way to and from Bathurst, as well as integrating contemporary knowledge, heritage, European and Aboriginal histories (mainly Darug, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri Nations). We trust that our projects will help address some of the concerns and insights of those one-time French visitors in 1826.

Ashley Bland
Chair Greening Bathurst 2014

Gary Rush

Gary Rush

The Mayor of Bathurst

The opening up of the Cox’s Road was a significant milestone in the story of European settlement in Australia but this is only a small part of the unique history and heritage of this fascinating part of NSW. I congratulate Greening Bathurst on this important Cox’s Road Dreaming project that will add a valuable dimension to the Bathurst 200 Bicentenary program and help shine a light on the unique heritage of this beautiful area west of the Blue Mountains. More importantly the maps and collected materials will ensure the 200 million years of geological and natural history and the 40,000 years of Aboriginal cultural heritage of the area, will be preserved, and told to the current and future generations of Australians. The opportunity this project will provide for expansion of cultural tourism enables us to enhance the reputation and visitor experience to our Region. The broad range of tours and activities encapsulate the sense of wonder and adventurous spirit of Aboriginal communities who walked this land for thousands of years before the European explorers and pioneers who then bravely forged a path to the wide open spaces of the Bathurst Plains and beyond. This project is a perfect example of what can be achieved through collaboration and is more than worthy of endorsement in the Bathurst 200 Bicentenary program. On behalf of Bathurst Regional Council, I commend Greening Bathurst in developing and coordinating this unique collection.

Gary Rush
Mayor of Bathurst 2014