A Weekend in Carcoar


Please join me for a weekend in CARCOAR – the town that time forgot!



This 19th-century village, 258 km west of Sydney, was one of the most important government centres in NSW. With buildings on both banks of the Belubula River, the township is classified by the National Trust and in 2006 the population totalled 218 people.

George Evans was the first European surveyor to travel through the area in 1815 and the public school which opened in 1857 is one of the oldest continuous schools in Australia. The first bank robbery in Australia was in Carcoar in 1863 when Johnny Gilbert and John O’Meally led by Ben Hall held up the Commercial Bank.

This is the site of Australia’s first documented uranium deposit; in the mid-1860s Carcoar declined when gold was discovered further to the west. 

Historic Carcoar 


Friday 16th March

8.18am depart Sydney by train from Central Station and arrive Lithgow 11.05am.
Private coach transfer to Bathurst Regional Gallery and lunch; then to Carcoar.
Dinner and accommodation: Shalom

Saturday 17th March

Depart after a leisurely breakfast to Cowra and the Japanese Gardens. We’ll take time to draw and picnic lunch at destinations of our own choosing.
Visit Canowindra if time permits on return to Carcoar.
Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and accommodation: Shalom

Sunday 18th March

Leisurely breakfast then explore and en plein air artwork around historic Carcoar.
After farewell lunch at Shalom we’ll return to Lithgow by private coach for afternoon
Sydney bound train.
Breakfast, lunch: Shalom

House in Carcoar



  • accommodation and all meals
  • (please notify dietary requirements at time of booking)
  • en plein air art sessions
  • transport by private coach/driver
  • entry to Japanese Gardens, Cowra


  • Day 1: train Syd-Lithgow ($2.50 senior)
  • Day 3: train Lithgow-Syd ($2.50 senior)

Confirmation of train timetable closer to departure date

Carcoar station



  • casual clothing
  • sensible walking shoes
  • hat, sunglasses, sunscreen,
  • toiletries
  • art materials – your choice
  • portable seat for plein air work

Carcoar house & church



Our accommodation and meals are in the welcoming Shalom retreat. Built in 1874 and 1870 respectively, the old convent/boarding school (St. Joseph’s Mount) is now a house of retreat with single bedrooms and shared bathrooms.

Wake to fresh scents of the valley, native bird song and pleasant views of the town and surrounding hills.

Visit the Shalom Retreat website here.

Shalom Retreat



The Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre is a registered cultural organisation, classified by the National Trust as ‘a place of Significant Cultural, Architectural and Historic Significance.’

There are numerous Japanese Gardens throughout the world, however this Garden is more than just a Garden. It is a powerful symbol of good will, encouraging reconciliation and peace.

The Cowra Japanese Garden covers 5 hectares – the largest in the southern hemisphere! It was built here because of Cowra’s special significance to the Japanese. The unique relationship of Cowra and Japan originated on a cold night in August 1944, when more than a thousand Japanese prisoners of war broke out of the prison camp.

The 231 Japanese soldiers who died in the escape were buried nearby and local members of the Returned Serviceman’s League tended their graves. As mutual respect grew over the years between Japan and the citizens of Cowra, the idea of a garden arose which would be a symbolic representation of the landscape of Japan.

Many Japanese believe that the Buddha willed the Cowra citizens to create this garden so that the spirits of the Japanese soldiers could rest in peace.

Japanese Gardens

(BRAG) is one of the oldest regional galleries in NSW. The collection began in 1955

when Jean Bellette was awarded the inaugural Carillon City Festival Prize (100 guineas) for her oil painting entitled Still Life. The gallery has continued to enjoy

widespread community support and to develop a reputation as one of the leading regional galleries in New South Wales. BRAG averages 30,000 visitors a year, well above the national average for a regional gallery.



$490 per person



Tour (click below to select)



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