History & Heritage

The verdant land around Oberon (or Bullock Flat, as it was first named) became accessible to settlers following the building of Cox’s Road, across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst, in 1813. The rich native pastures on the plateau provided green pastures in dry times and settlers like Charles Whalan of Glyndwr on the Fish River and Philip Parker King of Essington on the Campbell’s River, were the first to obtain land grants. Many others came as tenants and workers or to buy blocks as they were surveyed.

Charles Whalan is credited with finding the Jenolan Caves, whilst searching for a bushranger in the area, in 1838. He subsequently played host to many visitors seeking to explore these amazing caves. Gold was found in small amounts in the Fish River as early as 1823. Mines at “The Reef” and many other locations brought gold hungry miners and prospectors to the area in the 1850s. Other minerals played an important role in the development of the district, with a major copper mine at Burraga, south of Oberon in operation in 1878, silver was found at Yerranderie in 1871 and gemstones, including sapphires, zircons and diamonds were found at various locations around the area, including Black Springs, which attracted more prospectors to the district.

Oberon was surveyed and proclaimed a village in 1863, formed its first Shire Council in 1906, obtained a rail service in 1923 and gained (privately operated) electricity in 1936.

More Information

More information on the history of Oberon and its villages is available in the local history section of the Oberon Library or from the Visitor Information Centre.

You can download a copy of the Thematic History of Oberon here