Australia is home to more than just a couple of big things. The big country, it has been said, has a love of similarly-oversized objects. The Big Miner’s Lamp is only one of a loosely related set of about 150 sculptures and large structures sprinkled across the country. Most of these, the Big Miner’s Lamp included, serve as some of the country’s top tourist traps and can be found along major roads and highways or between prominent travel destinations.
The Big Miner’s Lamp in Lithgow, New South Wales, is one of the more practical big things in Australia. It houses the Lithgow Tourist Information Centre, the place that is open for eight hours every single day to provide information about the local area, accommodations, and tour booking services. Souvenirs and gifts are also available for purchase in the Big Miner’s Lamp.
Located in a mountain valley, Lithgow is right off of the Great Western Highway about two hours outside of Sydney. Surrounded by a varied landscape populated with several national parks, canyons, and World Heritage Areas, Lithgow is a popular destination for those who like to experience the great outdoors. Because of this, the Tourist Centre can be quite busy. Nearby attractions include the Glow Worm Tunnel, Secret Creek Sanctuary, Zig Zag Railway, and more. There is also a Small Arms Factory Museum, the Eskbank House Museum, Jenolan Caves system, and the State Mine Heritage Park within driving distance.
The Lithgow Ironfest - this area has a long history of mining and ironworks - is by far the biggest attraction for tourists. Every year, the festival brings in over 10,000 visitors, many of whom come to see the St. George’s Day Jousting Tournament, which draws contestants from all over the world. Ironfest also hosts a colonial battle re-enactment called the Battle of Lithgow; it often involves more than 120 costumed participants.