Romantic Getaways: Lithgow, NSW

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Just a few hours from Sydney, and west of the Blue Mountains, is the gorgeous countryside of the Lithgow area, an ideal spot for couples seeking a romantic getaway for a variety of reasons. Here's our top five of them in the sixth of our series of Ultimate Romantic Getaways NSW. 

1. Stay In A Luxury Resort With A View 

Tucked away high up on a bluff with an enviable view is Eagle View Resort, but what makes this romantic getaway a bit more special is not just its prime location; it's also a fully self-contained resort for adults, with everything a couple with an eye for luxury and romance could wish for. In recent years the resort has been upgraded and expanded to offer more accommodation types. Choices now include 12 Executive Spa Suites in the main building, a large open-plan Penthouse Suite, also in the main building, which offer the ultimate in contemporary luxury including a circular spa bath. The Wilderness Spa Cabins and Rendezvous Spa Cabins are dotted among the trees, offering the ultimate in quiet and privacy along with generous sunken spa baths. All the accommodations have mod-cons such as iPod docking stations, bathrobes and slippers, flat screen TVs, and bathroom toiletries. This is a place you really don't have to leave and Eagle View Escape has leisure facilities including a tennis court and an alfresco dining and hydrotherapy area with a view, an outdoor hot tub, a guest lounge in the main building with complimentary tea and coffee, a billiard table, and a large, flat screen TV with Austar. As for food, in-room dining is available on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring a two course menu which changes regularly, and on other nights you can buy a range of hampers to enjoy in the privacy of your accommodation. 

Read our full review of Eagle View Resort. 

2. Lake Lyell 

Just beyond the front door of Eagle View Resort, and only 10 minutes from Lithgow, is lovely Lake Lyell. Visitors can access the lake by way of a concrete boat ramp for plenty of watersports fun in the warmer months, from waterskiing and fishing, to kayaking and general boating, and walking tracks. The park has both powered and unpowered sites, hot showers, free barbecues, picnic tables and it enjoys a magnificent bush setting. Lake Lyell provides cooling water for both Wallerawang and Mount Piper Power Stations, and it is connected to Wallerawang Lake by pipeline. Water is pumped from Lake Lyell Dam on the Cox's River, about 20 kilometres from the power station to the Thompson's Creek Dam, close to Mount Piper, which provides an additional 27,000 mega litres of cooling water. Take a picnic, go for a walk, or get in the water if it's not too cold! 

3. Go Walking, And Take In Some Views 

Besides the Eagle View Escape property and Lake Lyell, if you are a more adventurous walker or just fancy going further afield, Hassan's Walls Lookout should be top of your must do list. Just a few kilometres from Lithgow, it is the highest lookout in the Blue Mountains at approximately 1,100 metres above sea level, with views to Mount Wilson, Mount York, Mount Tarana and Mount Blaxland, as well as the whole Hartley Valley below. To the south are the Kanimbla and Megalong Valleys and Mount Bindo, and you can walk or ride a bike around Hassan’s Walls Lookout. Another option is Berghofer's Pass; it is a great walk with plenty of historical significance, with placards along the way telling its story. The walk can be accessed from Mt York Road. Also on your list should be Wollemi National Park, which is home to the Wollemi pine, one of the world's oldest and rarest plants. 

4. Colonial Hartley 

Within the Lithgow area, Hartley, Little Hartley and Hartley Vale have come together into a perfectly preserved township known as Hartley Historic Village. This lovely small village consists of a number of colonial buildings that seem to be frozen in time, somewhere in the middle of the nineteenth-century, and among them are several historic inns, a courthouse, a church and a post office, all of which provide a fascinating view of colonial architecture and design. What's left today of the time when Hartley was a thriving community during the gold rush in 1856 saw the town double in size, and it is a remarkable remnant of the original town, hardly changed since the nineteenth-century. 

5. Have Lunch Somewhere Special 

If all that walking and sightseeing gets your appetite going, head to Secret Creek Cafe and Restaurant on Crane Road in Lithgow for a spot of lunch. Besides being a place to eat, it's also a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the protection of native Australian animals; set on 200 hectares of pristine native bush land, it is home to the spotted-tailed quoll, emu and brush turkey. The menu is focussed on Native Australian cuisine, such as camp-oven braised lamb shanks and bushman's BBQ ribs, with a portion of the price of every meal donated to the protection of the Secret Creek Sanctuary. Another option is Ambermere Rose Inn, located on the Great Western Highway near Little Hartley, and of Australia’s oldest inns. The property has been restored to its historical beauty, winning awards of excellence for tourism, offering a unique menu of food and wine that will offer you a taste of locally sourced ingredients.

Joanna Hall