Bathurst: Museums and Gallery bring visitors to the city

The Christmas holidays are providing a boost to the city’s cultural facilities with visitor numbers and retail sales at an all time high.

Border restrictions and a focus on holidaying close to home is paying off for the city with destination marketing reaping rewards, with travellers heading to the city to explore all that it has to offer.

Mayor of Bathurst Cr Bobby Bourke said Council’s investment in its cultural facilities and our tourism brand is reaping rewards.

“Council’s cultural facilities recording exceptional visitation and sales during the Christmas holiday period, with the Bathurst Visitor Information Centre achieving the highest monthly retail sales ever recorded in December 2020 and welcoming almost 4,000 visitors since the start of the school holidays.

“Numbers through the door at BVIC for the Christmas/New Year period are 40 percent higher than for the same period last year, from Christmas Eve through until New Year’s Day.”

“That is reflected across other facilities.  Visitation to the National Motor Racing Museum was up more than 70 percent, while the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum was up a staggering 210%.  This year more than 2,700 visitors walked through the doors of the museum compared to around 900 for the same period last year.”

“Visitors from Sydney are a huge part of our market these school holidays while understandably interstate visitors are less than 10 percent of those holidaying in the city.”

“These numbers reflect the success of Council’s ongoing marketing and promotion of the city. The team at BVIC regularly host media visits and familiarisation tours with journalists which keep the region before those planning holidays and day trips.

“In recent months we have had representatives from QANTAS magazine, Womens Weekly, The Weekend Australian and the crew from Better Homes and Gardens in the city and this will provide valuable ongoing media exposure in coming weeks and months,” Cr Bourke said.


Location Visitation % increase from 2019 Visitor #2019 Visitor #2020 Revenue % increase Where visitors are from
Bathurst  Visitor  Information Centre 40.2% increase 2622 3677 55% Sydney – 40% Bathurst/regional NSW – 51% Interstate – 8%
Bathurst Regional  Art Gallery 3.2%* 1090 1125 32%


Sydney – 20% Bathurst/regional NSW – 77% Interstate – 3%
National  Motor  Racing Museum 74% increase 1422 2469 41% Sydney –  70% Bathurst/regional NSW – 20% Interstate – 10%
Australian Fossil &  Mineral Museum 210% increase 879 2723 172% Sydney – 70% Bathurst/regional NSW – 23% Interstate – 7%
Bathurst Rail Museum N/A N/A 2257 N/A Bathurst – 56% Bathurst/regional NSW – 38% Interstate – 6%

*BRAG closed for one week with exhibition installation

The period covered in the table above is from Christmas Eve through until New Year’s Day

Social media feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with the following included among the reviews received on facility Facebook pages.

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museums –  “Kids love this place. Recommend to buy pass for 3 museums. Staff was nice and friendly. Impressive with all the fossils and minerals they have.” 

Bathurst Rail Museum – “This museum is a must if you have young kids, there is an incredible play room which our 4 year old spent 2 hours in. There is a cafe connected to the playroom as well which is very much appreciated. The rest of the museum was interesting for all ages.” 

National Motor Racing Museum – “You cannot go to Bathurst and not see the National Motor Racing Museum. It is located just before you would enter the track, and is an easy 10 minute drive from the middle of town. It is a dedication to Australian racing and its drivers.”  

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery – “This is a must-see attraction in Bathurst. It is just next to the local library and on the main eat street in the town. Fascinating free exhibitions showcasing local talent with inventive kids activities and programs. Take time out of your day to wander in and change the way you see the world.”