Approaching Storm Wattle Flat 45.5cm x 30.5cm Original Oil on Board by John Vander
Wattle Flat is 34kms north of Bathurst on the way to Sofala. It began in the 1850’s as a goldfield and for a long time it remained the centre of active mining, but it also acquired an agricultural base. It is said that, at the peak of the gold boom, the area had a population of 20,000 and Wattle Flat had ten hotels, four large stores and several smaller ones. By 1932 the population had fallen to around 400 and the last of the hotels, the Royal Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1931 and was not rebuilt.
The area now known as Wattle Flat is on the traditional land of the Wiradjuri people and there is a walking trail of the Heritage Lands. This 3 hour return trip features spectacular views of Wattle Flat and Sofala from the hill top. Kangaroos, Echidnas, Wombats, Goannas and many native birds join you on your walk. This rustic rumbling village’s main street is full of interesting old buildings, including the Old Court House and Police Station.