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With the discovery of gold in 1851, Bathurst became the State's earliest settlement inland from the populated coastline. Its historic gold mining town, Hill End, continues to play an important part in New South Wales culture, becoming an important artistic outpost. Prominent Australian artists Russell Drysdale and Donald Friend were captivated by it in the 1940s and today it supports an artist-in-residence program. Tim Storrier currently lives in Bathurst.
Bathurst boasts several Australian firsts - thanks to the Edgell family it was home to Australia's first asparagus crops, the first medical x-ray was taken here in 1896 and the first grapes and hops were grown here. With such a rich colonial history, Bathurst is a favourite stop for tourists thanks to the accessibility of historical landmarks and major attractions such as Mount Panaroma and Jenolan Caves. With a university campus and thriving local business community, Bathurst continues to be one of most successful inland regional centres.