Great Western Highway Upgrade Project

Thematic History
Interpretation Plan

Transport for NSW

Blue Mountains & Lithgow LGAs, NSW
Gundungurra and Wiradjuri Country

The Great Western Highway connects Sydney to Bathurst and beyond. GML Heritage was engaged by Transport for NSW to provide a non-Aboriginal heritage interpretation plan for a significant upgrade project along this historic highway.

As part of a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure upgrade, the 34-kilometre corridor from Katoomba to Lithgow will be widened from two lanes to four. GML’s interpretation plan helped guide heritage interpretation and urban design along this corridor.

GML conducted historical research, a site visit of multiple relevant heritage items, a review of existing documents about the broader area, and consultation with Transport for NSW and stakeholders.

GML’s team of historians and interpretation specialists prepared a thematic framework that traced the course and pattern of the highway’s development in the context of environmental, demographic, sociocultural and economic factors. It also identified key historical themes that have shaped the cultural landscape of the Katoomba–Lithgow corridor. Each theme was supported by an engaging, thoroughly researched historical narrative, drawn together from an array of primary and secondary sources. Key messaging, audiences and interpretive opportunities were also highlighted for each theme.

GML’s in-house designers also liaised with Transport for NSW’s design team on opportunities to realise the storytelling in built and landscape form.