The first Australian payable gold discovery was made in 1851 at Ophir, 30 kilometres from Orange. Other gold fields soon overshadowed Ophir in size and richness, but to Ophir belongs the honour of being the first field where those very Australian words, digger and diggings, were first used.
Today Ophir is a recreational reserve – a picturesque picnic and camping ground at the junction of the Lewis Ponds and Summer Hill Creeks. Evidence of old alluvial, reef and deep lead mines is still visible to those wishing to explore the area. Hire a gold pan and try your luck in Summer Hill Creek just as the early settlers did during the gold rush of the 1850s.
Ophir has so much to offer. Camp for a night or two waking at dawn for an early morning fishing jaunt or tour a working mine that has been operating since the 1880s.