5.4 out of 10

Lithgow

Ranked 7th best suburb in Central West
-33.4892249663979 150.160034530043
Great for
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  • Parking
  • Internet Access
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Eating Out
  • Shopping Options
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Pest Free
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Tourists

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+
Editors Choice

"Lithgow who could ask for more,"

I moved to Lithgow over two years ago and rented for the first nine months before buying my gorgeous little home. The town is small and friendly it has an Aldi and your regular Coles and Woolworths as well. The beauty of Lithgow in my eyes is its location, I travel to Sydney for the week for work then come home to my family for the weekend (this practice is common place in other parts of the world and actually improves relationships and the work/lifestyle balance in my case). On Fridays when I get home to Lithgow after a hard core week in Sydney it’s a breath of fresh air.
The place is located near to all sorts of attractions and your almost living in the National Parks located nearby. Every weekend is an adventure with heaps to do provided you put in the effort. Curling up in front of the fire in winter, swimming in the dam in summer, backing a picnic breakfast, lunch or dinner heading off into the bush or to a lookout and enjoying a meal with a view, watching the sun go down from one of the many lookouts with a glass of wine and nibbles with family and friends. Pop up to the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba for a drink in the lounge, have a Pub meal in Rydal, Capertee or Jenolan caves like I said it’s all there if you want to make the effort.
As for the negatives, most negatives in this town are easily applicable anywhere else. Don’t move to Lithgow if you want wild night life or beaches or you hate the cold. It’s not a nice thing to say but if I meet someone whinging about the place I feel like saying, “if your not happy, move! Some of the moans I hear from people say more about the moaner than the town and I doubt they would be happy anywhere.
If you’re fed up with being in town the train is right there to take you to Sydney for the day and remind you of how peaceful and beautiful the place is when you get home. (The electrification is supposed to be extended to Bathurst which will increase services). Affordability is a major thing in this town and I don’t think you will find such nice tasteful homes elsewhere for the money. My preference is for old homes they really do it for me, in this town there is an abundance of old homes ripe for the picking to turn into you own lovely dream home I drove through the town in 2000 and looked in the real estate window and saw two semi’s for 100k, if only I had grabbed something then. I’ve met people who cashed out in Sydney top up their super, brought a four wheel drive, purchased a beautiful affordable home and have never looked back. Living within your means without a crippling mortgage does have wonderful advantages and freedom attached to it.
As for the future of this lovely place, I don’t know, the Great Western Highway is always being upgraded, more jobs will be created with extension planned for the power plants near by, it may or may not ever change and some people I know hope it never does.
Pros
  • Gate way to the West and the Bluemountains
Cons
  • Good target for whingers.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
RealLife
RealLife Good review Damien1, I'm originally from Lithgow & agree it has a lot to offer & cheaper to live than other places & yes the whingers love to bag the place, but I will always have very fond memories of the place & love coming back to visit Family & friends.
2yrs+
Scrap Cino
Scrap Cino I doubt he really even lived in Lithgow. Coming to Lithgow for weekends is kind of like having a weekend getaway. Of course he will be accentuating its positives. Try working and living in Lithgow. The 'whingers' have reasons to complain. They don't zip away to the city when they feel like it, duh, they actually live in Lithgow so they know how it can be depressing and hard.
Aug 23, 2016
Add a comment...
1/5
Mar 19, 2017

"Think twice before moving to Lithgow."

I have lived in Lithgow some 17 years and back in 2000 it was a reasonable place but time has not been kind to the place. The problem is Lithgow is situated between the nice towns of Katoomba and Bathurst which has always left Lithgow as a nothing place. For instance it is definitely not friendly, the Housing Department are more and more dumping their problem tenants all around Lithgow including the housing commission complex on the other side of the highway. I have often heard it described as the biggest open prison in NSW. You will never EVER see the police unless they are picking up their dry-cleaning or buying a coffee. Just read the local paper for news on break-ins and drug problems. Anti-social behaviour is everywhere and you can certainly learn a few more swearwords just by hanging around Main Street. Real Estate prices are way up in the stratosphere. One person has been trying to sell a house on the outskirts of Lithgow for an obscene price - even cockroaches and rats would not live in it. There is nothing in the way of entertainment save the pubs and the "Workies" which is nothing more than an overpriced nonentity. People stare at you all the time which is the norm. Admittedly you have a train every two hours which is OK but they are filthy, the toilets are a disgrace and the City Rail staff very rarely come out of their office. A couple of years ago we had about 100 mm of snow fall and for hours Lithgow was cut off from the rest of the world = no gas, electricity, mobile phone, landline, trains, road transport and the local radio stations went off the air. The Council are hopeless. The roads and pavements are a disgrace yet they can afford $90,000 for halloween. There youhave it have the next time you take the train to Sydney don t come back
Pros
  • Anything stunning is natures work
Cons
  • A dump and that is it
  • General attitudes of disdain to progress
  • The backwards Council stuck in reverse
  • The majority of people
2/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 23, 2016

"A town on the edge"

I moved to Lithgow to take a job about 3 years ago. I had lived in the surrounding area for 10 years and loved it but decided to move into town for convenience. I had always loved the community spirit I saw coming out of Lithgow. Unfortunately, in the time I have lived in or around Lithgow, I have seen a decreasing sense of hope and optimism in the town. Businesses are not expanding and new businesses rarely open or last very long.
I had to start looking for a new job at the beginning of this year and it has been impossible. There is little opportunity and, if you do get a job it will be poorly paid with little hope of career growth.
The real estate is affordable but that doesn't happen in truly desirable towns.
Yes, there are a lot of whingers. There's a reason for that too and it is patronising and unfair to be dismissive of it. This is a town of battlers. They are mostly good people who want to help but they are fighting a losing battle as the town dwindles rather than building on its potential. The inevitable is happening. Drugs are creeping in. Violence is becoming an issue. Crime is on the increase. Long straight streets make a great setting for drag racers and hoons.
It's not too late to save Lithgow but so far no-one seems as interested in doing the hard work as they are in bashing the "whingers". Sing optimism about beautiful physical settings and cheap housing isn't going to cut it.
Pros
  • Awesome views and camping
  • Great fishing
  • Stunning geographic location
Cons
  • General attitudes of disdain to progress
  • The backwards Council stuck in reverse
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
1/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Mar 21, 2016

"Once upon a time..."

From 1990 to 2014, I resided in Lithgow, after having been moved there as a child after the untimely death of my father in Newcastle. For reference, I was actually born in Lithgow in 1983, but have no memories of those times.

For what its worth, there are still very good people in Lithgow, and those who have moved on, but not far, to the Blue Mountains. I commanded a certain level of respect in Lithgow, and participated in community organisations, the State Mine Railway, the SES, and a major political party. This is where I had won most respect, for my can do attitude. This is so you can get an idea of what I actually was in terms of the town, I'm not a blow in, or blow through, I spent most of my life in Lithgow.

Its just too bad that the majority of Lithgows residents don't have a similar can do attitude. In 1990, Lithgow puts me in mind of the way Casino is now - you could look an older person in the eye, and they would greet you heartily in a friendly way. Over 24 years, that become less and less, until finally, entropy on the scale of the entire town had taken place. One review here mentions "bad vibes" and "creepiness." I can safely say, I too had felt that throughout the years, as my former open and gregarious nature was ground into the dirt by successive years of years of bullying by students, and example making by teachers in the schools of Lithgow, mostly due to my above average academic performance (one teacher even accusing me of my high grades forcing class averages up and making other students look dumb!).

In the last part of my time in Lithgow, I attended the new university, and while I noted, I was indeed going to pay a HECS debt at some point, the level of quality education simply wasn't there. UWS did absolutely everything they could to go out of their way to force me to conform to outrageous demands on type of computer system used, test requirements, and deliberately giving classes false information (that I had learned was quite the opposite when I had taken my trade ten years beforehand, and I didn't pay for that!). Its almost as if the university has been deliberately given second rate staff in order to eventually fail when their graduates spout crap at real universities that doesn't make any form of sense.

I can also mention that certain elected members of Council have a naked disdain for those forced by circumstances out of their control due to family breakdown to live in public housing (which oddly enough, is a large proportion of the constituents). The choice between being homeless and living as a second tenant in public housing was clear. For that, I earned the unjustified ire, and repulsion by this certain elected member of the Council in a public situation. If she was not a woman, I would've actually called her on it there and then. However, I'm sure she would've played a familiar sexist card on me, and I'd be the ogre. Sure. Some of us weren't actually born with the silver spoon in our mouths, and others of us don't serve on the Council of a town that is, by all reports seen by me on the internet, perusing the Lithgow Mercury online, is dying so slowly, you can hear its rasping breath from here in the North East of NSW, a true tinpot empire, empire in name only, and laughing stock to those of us in the know.

Is there anything that can redeem this place? I was very fond of bushwalking and mountain biking during my time there, simply myself, my dog, and a bottle of water, to brave the elements and explore new and exciting places. It so happens that I know all of the nooks and crannies of Lithgow, there is little that could be hidden from me there. The surrounds are amazing, try the walk up the back of the old Zig Zag. And take a camera, you won't want to forget it.

I have some fond memories of Lithgow, I'll give you that. But the memories of years of my childhood and teenage years lost and wasted suffering under the yoke of a town with residents who have indeed seen the writing on the wall and would rather ignore it to hold onto their little piece of Empire, ostracising those who thought progress and advancement could've actually saved Lithgow - and there WAS a time I was organising an effort to examine the plans for the silicon smelter to ensure computer chip fabs could set up in the town (yes, I had the stars in my eyes a long time ago) with little to no effort - and you have someone who on that last train out was finally glad to be free of a sentence that he would've gotten less for murder on.

Right now, you can bet your bottom dollar, if there was no rail line through Lithgow, it would've gone the way of Newnes - a ghost town. The Small Arms Factory is a bunch of concrete slabs, and three main buildings left - one the museum, one the Nutella factory's, and the last, the Brethrens, Wallerawang power station has the final approval for demolition, Piper Unit #3 and #4 will never go ahead as NSW is officially still broke, concerted actions in the Courts are trying to shut down Springvale Mine and Angus Place is in mothballs, Airly was in the dumper for years due to the washery issue, Baal Bone had the dam burst after ceasing operations... makes you wonder if the NSW Government is going to expand the SDRO or something? But then again, most employees for the SDRO relocated from Sydney, not many local residents got jobs there. I know of two local residents that got jobs, they're low level staffers.

The housing market is hotly contested, and nowhere near as affordable as people like to make out it is - sure, compared to Sydney, its great. And two hours between trains is bearable. Although stupid, every six months, the Government tries to squeeze the taking down of overheads past Mount Victoria back onto the debate, as the lines are barely maintained (deliberately? Perish the thought!) which would force the inevitable change to buses at Mount Vic, which happens every six to eight weeks anyway, due to "essential maintenance" (where they run more coal trains anyway - odd how no one mentions that!). I'd hate to try to get a house there now, even with my connections, I don't think it would be possible, or if I did, it'd be a cockroach infested shack, or better yet, had Farmers Creek run through the kitchen and deposit silt all over the floor.

I hear that people have not given the place a go, and I appreciate that, and you'll either love it or hate it. But I more than hate it, I'm disappointed in my former Home. I did give it more than a fair go, and lots more besides. And it has let me down, so many times. Now I hear suicides are on the rise again, and Winter is never a good time for that, looking up at a Valley sized cabin fever syndrome with the grey clouds that are everywhere for weeks at a time...

Lithgow. Officially going back to the Stone Age, and has been for the last twenty five years. My Dad was right to leave, and take us with him. You have to wonder why none of the Aboriginals never went in the Valley before colonisation, don't you? Theres your fun fact no one else will tell you. There is quite a bit more to that story too, that no one really wants to know about. I paid attention, and noted over many years, including what wasn't said. Bad vibes? Please! Thats a walk in the park. The other thing is, ice is on the rise, and its making me nervous for the people left there that I love, I keep expecting to see one of their names on the national news, along with the words "bloody murder" or "appalling attack."

If you can get past the people, you'll be ok. But if you can't, Lithgow can be a Hell on Earth. And Hell is cold, after all...

I'm sure I'll get flak over this, but I believe, given the amount of time I've spent in Lithgow, I should be the guy warning people "Stay away from that Amtrak..." Don't worry, I do that offline anyway. Lithgow was once my Home. But I don't think I was from there, if you know what I mean. And despite many people moving away, only to return a couple of years later, that is sadly not an option for me. My health would stop me right in my tracks if I spent a Winter in Lithgow now. I do have to return and look up old editions of the Mercury on microfiche at the Library, I'll need probably a week to do all that.

After that, I'll simply wipe out that part of my life. But you got the goss first!

Enjoy!
Pros
  • Stunning geographic location
  • Awesome views and camping
  • Great fishing
Cons
  • The majority of people
  • The backwards Council stuck in reverse
  • General attitudes of disdain to progress
5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Pretty and close to natural attractions"

Pros
  • Affordable and quiet
  • Gate way to the West and the Bluemountains
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
2yrs+

"“A town going nowhere”"

Lithgow is a small town with a population of around 12,000 people. Since the closing-down of the local steelworks and its relocation to Port Kembla, the town has died and has been remained this way ever since. The area is plagued by critical employment and social problems, as well as stagnant economic conditions. The last official figure on the unemployment rate was 7.3 per cent, although some have estimated a real-world figure to be closer to 30-40 per cent when including those who are unemployed but have given up looking for work.

The town suffers from an abundance of negative energy and creepy vibes. The longer someone lives in Lithgow, the more the town drags them down. Nothing ever changes, nor do the people or the attitudes they harbor toward their surroundings. A critical lack of development and a local council that seem to discourage growth contribute to cementing Lithgow’s status as the stagnation capital and laughing stock of the Central West region.

There’s hardly any sense of community spirit and people tend to keep to themselves. Any positive and generally happy person can receive strange looks and sometimes hostilities from the locals. A major lack of nightlife is demonstrated by Main Street being almost entirely deserted by 8 or 9 at night, with the only exception being clusters of cars and drunken people around the street’s 6 pubs and the odd taxi. Anywhere in Lithgow's main valley, the smell of diesel smoke and the long drawn-out noise of a 50+ carriage coal train barrelling along the Western rail line and through town a few times during the night can get to people after a while.

I totally recommend anyone looking to move to the area (or for a “tree-change”) to avoid Lithgow like the plague and instead try somewhere peaceful and positive like the upper Blue Mountains (anywhere from Mount Victoria to Lawson).
LISA88
LISA88 I have never lived in Lithgow but I love the town and I am looking forward to buying a home there one day. If it really is that bad then why are you still there. You can still work in Sydney and live in Lithgow. I used to live in Grenfell and travelled to Sydney for work every week. I would leave home at 5.30am and start my job at 1.30pm in Town Hall and I had a 2 year old child who used to travel with me.

If you enjoy the country life you can easily travel. No excuses for Unemployment if you really want to work.

Bathurst, Blayney, Katoomba look around.

Have a great night

LISA
2yrs+
cwhast
cwhast Hi Lisa,

Just to clarify, I no longer live in Lithgow. It should say "has lived here" somewhere on the review. I moved to the Blue Mountains a while ago and haven't been happier.

Lithgow definitely has an edge over many other places in terms of housing affordability, I'll give it that.

A bonus for the Blue Mountains is the trains to Sydney are more frequent. Whereas in Lithgow, you're looking at around one train every two hours. Most trains out of Sydney tend to terminate at Mount Victoria. From here, Penrith is an hour on the train or about 45 minutes driving time.

I wish I started work at 1.30pm =P

Chris :)
2yrs+
LISA88
LISA88 Thanks Chris yes I agree and Blue Mountains is also fantastic. I know the train line like the back of my hand after travelling up and back for so many years.

I only started work at 1.30pm because it took me 8 hours to get there. Then I would work until 9.00pm at night so it was quiet a long day.

It was well worth it as I got my dream home in the west not at the Mountains but hoping to get there soon.

Lithgow has so much heritage. The Town is amazing. I love the little shops near the railway station and the vibe.

At least there is a train to Sydney from Lithgow from Grenfell it is only once a day and only a bus at that.

Two hours to wait is nothing
Positive energy creates more.

Lithgow here I come.

.
2yrs+
InTransit
InTransit Lithgow is a place you either love or hate - there is no middle ground. You have to make your own entertainment here and there is nothing offering for teenagers who invariably find the town 'boring'. For investors - high rent demand from low income groups. Especially high demand for 1 bed/studio premises. I loved living in Lithgow but the rest of my family didn't - so we moved.
2yrs+
Add a comment...
5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"My opinion of Lithgow"

I have lived in lithgow for 27 years. l have been very happy hear. Through tragedy people stick together and support each other, even strangers. Through the good times people laugh and smile together. The homeless rate is nearly none existant. Compared to other small towns break ins and robberys are low as well. Some idiots say Lithgow has no night life and things like that.... But its a typical aussie country town. most people rather a bbq and drinks at a mates place and go out to the central hotel on a saturday night.
Now for the bad. We have a terrible council who dont do anything for our community. the radio station does a traffic report for streets that dont have traffic. we dont have hungry jacks. employment is a little low. but we are close enough to bathurst or katoomba.

Most people that bag out lithgow didnt give it a go and didnt get into the community lifestyle.

People that live in lithgow really care about people. you can walk down the street and smile at someone and they will smile back. most places dont have half the community spirit that lithgow has.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Lithgow- interesting place to visit."

Situated on the western edge of the Blue Mountains Lithgow is approximately 140 kms west of Sydney. The city has a mild summer climate but can get rather cold in winter. There is a lovely golf course here where you can see native wildlife as you play, there is a swimming centre that is open during the summer months and Lawn bowls is popular with a well equipped club house that also offers pool snooker and live entertainment. Visit the galleries, museums and heritage sites or go bush walking on some of the many tracks which are graded for the novice to the experienced walker and be amazed at the fantastic scenery. There are also organised tours to nearby areas. Accommodation is available in Lithgow to suite most budgets.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
1/5
2yrs+

"A Mining Town"

Lithgow, lying between the Blue Mountains and Bathurst, was in the past principally a mining town. The local coal mines have been major employers here for decades, but downsizing has put many workers in the jobs queue. There is also a correctional facility in Lithgow. The town centre boasts a workers club, hotels and motels, petrol stations and all of the other facilities one would expect of a small town. Most of the homes are very modest, but there is a smattering of older grander homes near the town centre.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids