(Current conditions & what is happening at Newnes)

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  • Please note that this page only gives current information. Changes since last update are highlighted in blue font.
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A list of external links for more information can also be found on our "Warnings" page.
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THE REPORT for June & July (to Friday 29 July 2016)
General interest:
    Regular readers of this column (if there are any left) would have noticed that it has not been updated for the last few months. I have not been in good health and the cold weather has caused a few problems as well. I am not at Newnes every weekend now and I am enjoying the much milder weather of Sydney. I can also sleep in without having to run the kiosk.
    All of this means that I am unable to give a weekly summary of what has happened at Newnes and I will now try to do something on a monthly basis. I have also changed the look of this page to reflect this.
The Kiosk:
    I handed the kiosk to Thomas effective 1 July 2016 and I have now "retired". This will enable me to tidy up my house at Newnes, as well as my Unit in Sydney. Yes, I am in a "declutter" phase of life. You should hear more on this at a later date.
Camping fees at the pub:
    Thomas has had a few problems with camper bookings for the flat at the pub with some late cancellations and others simply not turning up. This was after having turned away others due to being fully booked. This is paticulaly a problem for people with dogs which are not allowed in NPWS areas. Expect Thomas to request a non-refundable deposit when booking on busy weekends.
Open Campfires:
    Watch that fire and do not leave any open fire unattended. Put any fires out WITH WATER before you leave.
Camping groups and daytrip visitors:
    June 11-13 (Queens Birthday weekend) and June 18-19 (Glow-worm Tunnel Marathon) were both "booked out" affairs at the pub, particularly June 19. Since then, things have been rather quiet, even over the school holiday period. The fact that it may be too cold and sometimes too wet for most people to camping may have something to do wih it.
Newnes Historic Wilderness Retreat:
    Check with Thomas for all update details and bookings.
The weather:
    Has been rather cold, with periods of both sun and rain.
Road Conditions:
    Please read the Getting to Newnes page if you have not been to Newnes before, or if you have not been to Newnes for some time.
    The Wolgan Road is now sealed all the way to the entrance to the Emirates Resort with an overall speed limit of 80km/h with 50km/h limits through Lidsdale and down Wolgan Gap. DO NOT SPEED especially on bends and crests.
Emirates "One and Only" Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa:
    Please do not enter. Access to this resort is restricted to guests and staff. It is NOT open to the general public.
The unsealed last 8km from the Entrance to "One and Only" Resortx to Newnes:
    The signs "End 80km/h" and "Reduce Speed to Conditions" mark the start of the unsealed 8km section to Newnes. We suggest that you stay well under 50km/h.
    The road is currently being regraded and (hopefully) should be in good condition by the end of the week. The road has been in bad condition with corugations and potholes due to rain and traffic. As at last weekend they had 3.5km of road still to be regraded.
    Watch out for fallen trees. There have been a number of incidents ranging from big branches to whole trees fully or partially blocking the road.
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The kiosk, accommodation and camping at Newnes:
The Newnes Historic Wilderness Retreat and Kiosk
    We do not sell lunches or other meals at Newnes. Make sure you bring your own food.
    We do sell ice creams, soft drinks, chips, confectionery and a limited range of emergency camper supplies.
    We do not have eftpos or credit card facilities. Just bring your money (cash) with you.
    The kiosk phone (6355-7355) now switches through to Thomas' phone.
    For all accommodation enquiries and bookings and all mid-week emergency calls, ring 6355-1247. or contact Thomas through his web site at:
    Accommodation is in cabins and you need to bring your own food and linen (including bedding and towels). It is NOT a motel. Cabins need to be booked in advance.
Private camping area:
    You should also book in advance if you wish to use the private camping area near the kiosk.
    Fees apply, but you get to use our nice loos. (Showers are extra.)
The toilet and shower block at the Newnes Hotel:
    The kiosk and the attached facilities are all privately owned and run. We are asking for a gold coin donation if you only just wish to use the kiosk toilet facilities without otherwise supporting the kiosk. The donation box is in the kiosk and donations are used to help with the cost of building and maintaining these facilities.
    There is a charge for using the showers, which are normally kept locked: $5.00 per person per use, plus $10.00 refundable deposit for the key.
National Park areas:
    Currently, there are no fees and no booking system for camping in national park areas, but pets are not allowed there.

Events at Newnes & Lithgow District for the next twelve or so months: Dates in red directly affect Newnes.
The Zig Zag Railway was due to restart at the end of 2013. However, there have been a number of problems, some of which have been caused by their own making. To add to this, the works area was affected by the October 2013 bushfire and reopening date has been pushed back to a date still to be announced. More at: www,
Sat. September 24 to Sun. October 9: School Holidays.
Sat. October 1 to Mon. October 3: 8-hour Day long weekend; one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Sat. December 17 to end of year: School Holidays.
Sun, December 25: Christmas Day (Kiosk closed).
Mon. December 26 to Tue. Dec. 27: Boxing Day / Christmas holiday weekend.
Sat. June to Mon. June : Queen's Birthday long weekend.
Sat. June & Sun. June : Glow-worm Tunnel Trail Marathon. Details & tickets at:
A very busy weekend. Camping sites and parking (including NPWS areas) expected to be at a premium.
Sat. October to Mon. October : 8-hour Day long weekend; one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Sat. December to end of year: School Holidays.
Mon. December 25 to Tue. Dec. 26: Christmas /Boxing Day holiday weekend.
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Other Matters:
Books:     "Shale Railways of NSW" has just been republished with some corrections and a number of new (mostly modern) photos. Price $62.00.
    "Ghost Trains - Forgotten Railways" (DVD). Includes Joadja and several other lines. Wolgan Valley Railway is guided by Michael Keats, a bushwalker rather than a railway historian. We will not keep stocks, but you should check the web site: for further details and mail orders.
Newnes Hotel Merchandise:
    Newnes book "Newnes" [book] is available at the kiosk, Numerous photos, both historic and modern, both colour and B&W. Price is just $25 per book.
    Some of the special 2007 Centenary sales items are still available, including coasters, sweat shirts and centenary poster.
    A number of other items, including T-shirts, stubby holders, coffee mugs and fridge magnets, are now available as regular items.
    The "Memories of Newnes" DVD is also available as a regular item and can be viewed and purchased at the kiosk.
    Locally made "Penrose" jams ($8.00/jar) are now available. Personal callers only. (Stocks are running low.)
    Locally made "Penrose" traditional & natural soaps now available. Personal callers only, $3.00 each.
Lost Property:     Have you been to Newnes and lost something? Please check with us if you do. We have a mounting collection of lost property at the kiosk.
Newnes Research:
    I am always interested in meeting people and/or their families associated with Newnes during the operating period. I am also interested in old photos and other memorabilia. If you have such items and are willing to share them, and I am now able to scan-copy such items at the kiosk "while-you-wait".
Tours of Oil-shale Ruins:
I am now registered as a "volunteer guide" with the NP&WS. This should enable me to conduct tours through the ruins at various times. Such tours will only be run by prior arrangement and will only be run if and when I can get someone to run the kiosk while I am away.
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Links for further information:
Bookings should be made in advance. To book, ring: 6355-1247 (and not the kiosk number).
Road Conditions: A general description of the Wolgan Road and likely road conditions appear on the Access to Newnes page.
Bush Fire Information:
(October to March)
RFS - Fire Danger Map (Newnes is in Area 10, "Central Ranges")
RFS - Current Fires
RFS - Major Fire Updates
Weather: The Bureau of Meteorology has an on-line four-day weather forecast for Lithgow weather.
For other general information and links about the weather at Newnes, see Basic Information page.
For on the spot information (Saturdays and Sundays only) ring the Newnes Kiosk on 6355-7355 during shop hours.
NPWS Newnes info: Click here for direct link to NPWS page on Newnes
Includes any fire or other closure alerts for Wollemi National Park at Newnes.
Wollemi National Park at Newnes is controlled by the Blackheath office. Phone: 4787-8877 during business hours.
Emirates Resort: This development has its own web-site at: .
Click here for direct link to Emirates photo-library.
Please note that access to this resort is restricted to guests and staff and it is NOT open to the general public.
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This page last updated: Thu 1July016