TRT’s ultimate guide to Bathurst City
Dearest patrons of the 2022 Bathurst 1000 – welcome to a great little city!
Team TRT love Bathurst, obviously, there’s Mount Panorama, but the area it is attached to makes the visit west from Sydney incredibly worthwhile.
Our obsession has brought us to the point where we have done the maths, and considering the five major events hosted at Mount Panorama annually, it is probably economically feasible for us to acquire local property, and set up a permanent base in the area.
As such, over the years we have scoured the city up and down, and found the best places to eat, drink and visit around town.
Got any hot tips? Hit us up on the socials @theracetorque with your off-track highlights from Bathurst, and we can continue to grow and expand this list.
Food & Beverages
Interestingly, a few of our dependable favourites have changed hands recently, so previous form isn’t necessarily an indicator of future quality, but here goes…
2a Piper Street
Opened just in time for race week, this one is at the top of our agenda, featuring a tasty-looking assortment of craft beers on tap.
134 William Street
An old-school Bathurst classic that has been reborn, local inside knowledge rates this establishment highly. Also: whisky bar.
1 Ribbon Gang Lane
Re-opened under new ownership in August, the woodfired pizzas were always a race-week agenda item. Fingers crossed, nothing has changed significantly since our last visit.
135 George Street
Reopened under new ownership in July, reports are that the place is being un-Irished, which makes everyone sad. Still, we’re here to give it a go!
201 George Street
Completing the set own of pubs that have undertaken a change of management, The George at the top of town has always been a popular pick.
87 Keppel Street
All-American food, and we are absolutely here for it.
98 William Street
Looking for something more at the takeaway end of the spectrum? This one is a local hot pick.
170 William Street
Forever the Holden branded pub and the home of the Sunday night afterparty, the Ox forever wheels out a special race week menu, and it’s perpetually booked out.
51 Durham Street
Out of the main city square down on the highway, The Panorama has enjoyed a significant birthday in recent years, and it is top-notch.
60 George Street
Because: you need another pub option, we’ve barely given you enough.
263 Durham Street
A quality Thai option if you are over on the west side of town.
Rydges Hotel, Conrod Straight
Often during race events, there are varying levels of access given to non-hotel guests to this on-track facility. If you can get in, nothing beats a freshly poured pot with a view of the track into the final corner.
73 George Street
If you have ever wanted to rub shoulders with the big dogs from the top end of town over a bottle of high-quality shiraz, Cobblestone Lane is your destination of choice. Pack your fancy pants, and pre-emptively loosen off your belt a notch or two, you’re going on a fantastic culinary adventure.
49 Keppel Street
Good Mexican is a must in race week and El Guapo is the king of such things in B-town, with a fantastic menu and a quirky setting on Keppel St, right in the heart of town. Quick, easy, tasty and fun it’s a good option when you get to the point in race week where you just can face another of Bathurst’s excellent Chicken Parmy’s, or the MSG in the Chinese food.
The Great Wall
75 George Street (02) 6332 1688
Chinese is a genre of food most closely associated with our race weekend dining experience. Forever, you will find us finishing our race week on Sunday night at The Great Wall, as depicted above, feasting down on Banquet B.
The Rose Garden
201 Howick Street (02) 6332 2882
…Similarly, our race week kicks off at The Rose Garden. Banquet B is a safe bet.
Breakfast / Coffee
52 Keppel Street
Look, we are sure there are lots of great breakfast places in Bathurst, but when we discovered The Hub, we stopped looking elsewhere. Excellent food and coffee, people watching the fellow diners on the Monday morning post-after party is great.
Crema on George
173 George Street
The hole-in-the-wall coffee spot that the drivers – who are all coffee snobs – visit. Crema is a Bathurst institution and has the added advantage of opening before the sparrows, meaning you can get your caffeine fix and beat the traffic into the circuit at the same time. Chances are you’ll bump into a driver ordering a skinny-mocha-chai-frappa-latte in a tiny cup while you’re there.
161 George Street
Another local hot tip, which we will be sure to put on the agenda.
Top left, clockwise: The National Motor Racing Museum, Ash’s Speedway Museum, the Bathurst Rail Museum, and the Old Vale Circuit.
Things to See & Do
Outside of Murray’s Corner, within the racetrack precinct
Compulsory visiting. At Easter, we compiled our top-ten things inside the museum, but with the showcase constantly rotating and evolving, it’s always worth dropping in for a visit.
2/10 Bradwardine Road
Described as Australia’s best man shed, this place will blow your mind. We visited Ash last year – if you are into speedway bikes, this place should be on your bucket list, if you’ve just got a passing interest in things motorsporting, it should be on your agenda.
The Old Vale Circuit
Between South Bathurst and Orton Park
Can you picture a layout being so wild that they needed to tame it by building Mount Panorama? Bathurst’s original racetrack sits parallel to Conrod Straight, a couple of roads over, and it is amazing. We wrote this feature on it earlier in the year, well worth a cold lap to appreciate the madmen from the era, and if the country air tuckers you out, we can strongly recommend a stop in at the Bridge Hotel at Perthville for a pot overlooking the babbling brook.
126 Havannah Street
If you’ve got kids in tow, or just a train spotter from way back, you will be seriously impressed by the model train setup, true to the real-life route out of town. Subsequent to our visit last year, we were sent this awesome factoid:
“The layout is about 75m in length for the main loop (give or take) and each train apparently does about 3 laps/hour. Over a day, each train does about 7hrs of running, which gives a daily total of around 1575m. Over a week of 6 days (closed Thursdays), that gives a total of 9,415m, or just over 1.5 laps of Mount Panorama. This means that to do a single Bathurst 1000, it would take one model train just under 635 days of the museum being open to complete the full race distance.”
224 Howick Street
Who doesn’t love a life-sized T-Rex skeleton? There are plenty of other interesting museums in town too, including Chifley House, the former home of Bathurst’s own Prime Minister, who had his own incredible tale to tell. Check out the Museum’s Bathurst website for all of the details.
Corner of Durham and Hope Streets
Another one for the kids is the adventure playground, located near the hospital. With a distinct dinosaur flavour, this one will keep the tin lids entertained for some time.
El-cheapo Merchandise Shopping
Since the dawn of time, it’s worth having a gander around downtown Bathurst, with a prime time being around Wednesday for the parade. For bargain hunters looking for a bit of last-season merchandise stock, there is typically a pop-up shop or two fobbing off heavily discounted goods.
The Harris Park precinct on the outside of pit straight has had a major revamp for 2022, with a host of different displays, food and beverage outlets, plus the Repco Trackside Store. While last year’s first attempt by Repco, above left, wasn’t quite what Supercheap turned out, with 12 months under their belt, it will be interesting to see how they have innovated for this year’s event.
The gift shop at the National Motor Racing Museum is a certified goldmine – get along early in race weeks to see what interesting things they have assembled.
Keppel Street Books
79 Keppel Street
For book enthusiasts, Keppel Street Books is a must. Being in Bathurst, they always seem to have on hand some interesting pieces from the motorsport realm.
153A Havannah Street
A certified treasure trove of just about anything. Who knows what you will find, as above right…
We’ve tried the wine from the local area, and frankly, it’s pretty decent. However, because: racecars, we haven’t managed to get to any of the local wineries yet. The fact that there is a winery contained literally inside the race track itself, above, and we haven’t been there, is a mystery to us…
Bathurst’s busiest person
We have previously covered on these pages the exploits of Shane Fowler, Bathurst’s motorsport signwriter, who as of now, is the busiest person in town. We thank Shane and his family for their input and local knowledge in piecing this story together.