Wentworth Main Mine

Visit this historic mining site, take a walking tour around the site and see the relics of past mining heritage and continue with tour of Lucknow historic village.

The Lucknow goldfield was discovered in 1851, soon after Australia’s first payable gold was found at nearby Ophir. The Wentworth Main Mine tells the story of goldmining in the Central West, from its early stages in the 1850s, through three stages, until its closure in the 1950s. It has been estimated that the fields yielded around 14,000 kg of gold in all.

One hundred and sixty years on, the landscape around Lucknow is still dominated by its gold mining heritage. Poppet heads, mine buildings, mullock heaps & bluestone dam walls are still plainly visible in & around the village. Lucknow, near Orange, which was worked extensively from 1862 to 1867, yielding 504 474 oz to 1923.

Image above: The entrance to Wentworth Main mine in 1935, with the office and pay office on the left and the equipment store on the right. Photo courtesy Nita Wasson

Visit Wentworth Main Mine

Wentworth Mine will be open the first Saturday and Sunday of each month from 10.00 am – 2.30 pm

Entry is $2.00 per adult children, students and pensioners – free. Entry to the site includes the opportunity the meet a Blacksmith at work in the 1930s workshop.

Download the site map and walking tour here

After your visit to the Mine site why not taking a tour of the historic town of Lucknow. Download the walking tour here.

Getting there
Wentworth Main mine is located cnr of the Mitchell Highway and Emu Swamp Road at the eastern end of Lucknow village.

To ensure the safety of our visitors at Wentworth main mine we ask that you obey all signs and instructions.

  • Visitors must stay within the designated pathways
  • Children must be supervised at all times
  • Visitors must not climb or touch equipment
  • Visitors are to report all incidents
  • The use of illicit drugs is prohibited
  • Beware of reptiles
  • The removal of objects or artifacts from this site is prohibited

It is also recommended to wear closed-in shoes, bring along a hat, sunscreen and water

Please Note: The site requires a medium level of fitness: 300m round trip with approximately 30 steps, you will walk on a gravel surface. Allow 1 hour for a site visit.

Travelling from interstate
Lucknow is a small village located 9 km south-east of Orange on the Mitchell Highway and 250 km north-west of Sydney.

Centre facilities
Public toilets are located near the winding engine (10) and pay office (1).

Parking is available for cars and buses on Emu Swamp Road

Group and bus bookings available on request, contact 026393 8170 or email museum@orange.nsw.gov.au

Wheelchair access
A person with a disability may access the site by either the top gate (you need to contact staff) or the bottom gate.

If you have a disability and require assistance during your visit, please contact 026393 8170 to arrange assistance.


School Visits to Wentworth Main Mine

School visits and learning resources are offered for Wentworth Main Mine.

For bookings, please contact Orange Regional Museum
E: museum@orange.nsw.gov.au
P: 02 6393 8444

A Wentworth Main Mine learning pack can be downloaded here. This pack includes historical information, pre and post visit activities and details of on-site visits.

Wentworth Main Mine schools risk assessment.

Wentworth Main Mine – Site visits

  • Bookings must be made at least 2 weeks prior to ensure staff availability
  • All teachers will be sent copy of the Safety Information and Risk Assessment for the site
  • Site rules and emergency procedures will be discussed with all groups upon arrival to site
  • 2 hour visits offered, including self-guided and staff led activities
  • Maximum numbers 120 (4 class groups), preferred group size 60
  • Minimum 1 to7 ratio of teachers/supervisors to students

Site visit has four components

  1. Site Adventure Trail – self guided activity sheet around site investigating the history of Wentworth Mine
  2. Poppet and Battery in-depth – Staff led discussion on the role of the poppet head and stamper battery in the working of the mine
  3. Down time – Games 1850s-1890s – Self guided activity where students try out a range of games from the past
  4. Group discussion – at the end of the visit group will meet and discuss answers to the trail and some of the key facts about Wentworth Mine

Relevant Curriculum Units

  • Stage 3 – History, Australian Colonies The impact of a significant development or event on a colony; for example, frontier conflict, the gold rushes, the Eureka Stockade, internal exploration, the advent of rail, the expansion of farming, drought (ACHHK095)
  • Stage 3 Geography – Humans shape places Students: investigate how people influence places, for example: (ACHGK029)

Learning outcomes, skills and concepts

  • Analyses sources to develop an understanding of the different perspectives of people from the past.
  • Understand historical events that lead to changes in Australian society.
  • Communicate conclusions through historical inquiry.
  • Through historical inquiry and questioning understand behaviour, attitudes and decisions made by people in the past.