A Food Tour of Hartley

I’m not sure if visiting two establishments really counts as a food tour, but when you travel from Sydney to Hartley it feels like a tour. You get to travel over the Blue Mountains, where you can stop at lookouts to view the sandstone peaks. From the top of the mountains you wind steeply down Victoria Pass. This is the route that was taken by the explorers Blaxland, Lawson and Wentorth, and today it remains the main pass through the mountains. There are some interesting old stone bridges paralleling the modern road which are worth looking at, although these aren’t particularly well sign posted. When you get to the bottom of the pass you will reach Hartley, and this is where my mini food tour takes place.

Since Hartley is just down from Victoria Pass, it’s more of a valley in the mountains than part of the Western Plains. When you drive through Hartley there are two things to notice, apple orchards and galleries. Usually I hurtle through Hartley to some destination further West, but I have made a few stops in Hartley and that’s how I discovered the Talisman Gallery and Adam’s Shed.


The Talisman Gallery has been in Hartley for a while now. The art is metalwork, including mirrors, candelabras and statues. Some are finished shiny silver, and others have a shimmering black metallic sheen. My favourite piece at the gallery is the Goddess Mirror. I had one made for my 21st birthday and when I visit the gallery it still stands out as my favourite mirror. Unfortunately I don’t dare drill a hole in the wall while I’m renting, so it has to hang at my parents’ place.


The cafe is a newer addition to the Talisman Gallery that is very popular. It’s only open from Thursday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. We dropped in on a Friday night, and discovered that there were no tables available because of a big birthday party. We were disappointed not to be able to sit amongst the art, with the heat of the wood-fired oven, but we settled for take away.


We shared a roast pumpkin and goat’s cheese pizza. The pumpkin was beautifully soft and sweet, and went well with the tangy goats cheese. The swirl of olive tapenade was pretty, but didn’t have a noticeable flavour. Most of the pizza bases are made on the premises, but the gluten free ones are brought in to avoid contamination problems in the small space. I’ve been trying to choose which gluten free pizza bases I like best, and this was a thin one with a good texture.


Adam’s Shed is my other Hartley favourite. They sell local wines, cheeses, olives, honeys and preserves. There are wine tastings too. Out the back there’s a farm supply section that sells giant bags of animal feed and irrigation parts and all kinds of other mysterious things. I’m a tourist though, so I’m here for the food. I picked up a bottle of olives from Forbes, some marinated fetta from Mudgee and a dozen Hartley eggs. I couldn’t resist a giant tea towel chequered with cows either.


Whether you’re on your way West, or you’re looking for a nice day trip, Hartley is an excellent destination for foodies. I’ll certainly be stopping there again soon.

Talisman Gallery and Cafe
2360 Great Western Hwy
Little Hartley, NSW

10 thoughts on “A Food Tour of Hartley

  1. Love the whole country feel to the store i.e. the wooden shelving. For me, it kind of give the items on the shelves a local feel to them, even if they’re from miles away.

  2. adam’s shed looks like a foodies paradise – i love looking at all those pretty jars of goodies on the shelves
    just when you want a warm spot to eat indoors, we are going in the other direction – outdoors for the sunny weather!

  3. Damnit, I STILL haven’t had pizza at Talisman Gallery. The entire family but me has eaten there now! Take me next time, or I’m going to cook something heartbreakingly delicious but NOT gluten free and eat it in front of you.

  4. Hi Simon – it is lovely the way they’ve set up the store. Most of the products really were local too.

    Hi Lorraine – I love visiting the mountains. My aunt has a policy of visiting different cafes on Katoomba Street to spread her custom, which makes it interesting to go out with her when I’m up there.

    Hi Anita – glad you like the mirror. It’s my favourite design.

    Hi Leela – pumpkin and goats cheese is great. The sweet and tangy flavours are a good combination.

    Hi Maria – lucky you getting sunny weather! As it gets colder all I want to do is rug up and drink hot drinks.

    Hi Alloronan – that’s a pretty serious threat! I’m definitely keen to go back for more pizza though, so I’m sure we can come to an arrangement.

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