The town of Newnes sprung into being with a shale oil mine and refinery which operated from 1906 to 1932. It quickly disappeared when the operation was shut down with just the pub and ruins of the old works remaining.
The pub was moved to its current position in the 1980s because it was too close to the river and subject to flooding. It also sold its last beer in the 1980s. It now operates as a facility for tourist.
The scenery around here is magnificent and for those who love camping there is a great camp ground near old hotel and shale oil ruins. For those who like luxury and have deep pockets there is the six star Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa a kilometre or two back along the track. For 4WD enthusiasts there is plenty of good driving in the nearby Newnes State Forest.