Normally War Memorials and Cenotaphs are centrally located within towns and cities and especially so in smaller country towns. Consequently, it did strike me as a little odd that Goulburn’s memorial, to those who served in World War I, should be situated a few kilometres away from the centre of the city on top of a prominent rocky outcrop.

Early Photo – Copyright Unknown

On first sight the War Memorial looks more like one of the look-out towers that Goulburn residents are most familiar with outside the town’s high security prison or correctional centre. Some people also find the tower’s design to be reminiscent of the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was under construction at about the same time. In any event, the tower has become an iconic representation of Goulburn and a significant landmark for the local community.

Planning for the War Memorial actually commenced before the end of World War I and a number of designs were considered, including a Celtic cross and a column before a tower on top of Rocky Hill was settled upon. The 19.5 metre Art Deco square tower of stone conglomerate and concrete was officially opened by the New South Wales Governor, Sir Dudley De Chair, on 15 December 1925. The Memorial’s foundation stone was laid just over a year earlier, on ANZAC Day 1924 (April 25), by W J Bartlett who donated the hill to the people of Goulburn for the War Memorial.

The Goulburn Evening Penny Post reported on the opening that:

‘…it was now generally admitted that this was the finest memorial in Australia. The architect, Mr E.C. Manfred, had designed a tower which, rough and rugged in its beauty, conformed to the surrounding hill whereon it stood and which reminded them of the sturdy bravery of our illustrious soldiers’.


Inside the tower, at its base, is a simple wooden board inscribed with the words “Lest We Forget”, situated behind an eternal flame (electric!). To its right is a large white marble Honour Roll of the names of those who enlisted in World War I from the Goulburn area.



Access to the viewing gallery at the top of the Memorial is via an internal staircase which is adorned with photographs from WWI including some from Gallipoli – the site of Australia’s greatest casualties in World War I. A free booklet containing further details of each photo is available at the bottom of the stairs.


External access at the top of the Memorial is not permitted though this does not stop you getting spectacular views down to the city and surrounding countryside from all four sides of the memorial – so yes, it is still worth the climb up. If you can’t face the stairs the views from the top of the hill are almost as good but if you are like me you will climb it just because you can!

View to City Centre from Rocky Hill Memorial

One thing to be aware of is that the car-park is small and only holds about twelve vehicles so it fills up quickly, especially at weekends. There is, however, lots of parking space about 100 metres back down the road so don’t let concerns over parking deter you from visiting.

Adjacent to the Memorial car park is an excellent museum housed in the former caretaker’s cottage together and a substantial new building, which opened in mid 2020. The exhibits here include two field guns captured from the enemy in WWI in addition to other weapons, personal items used by soldiers, memorabilia, medals and an original wooden door from the Changi Gaol, Singapore (WWII, of course). I have written a separate review on the museum which is ‘entry via gold coin donation ($1 or $2)’.

Rocky Hill Memorial Museum

Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day services used to be held at this War Memorial. For some years now they have been held at the Honour Roll in Belmore Park, in the centre of Goulburn, where there is more space for parking and visitors.

Opening Hours

The lookout is open 7 days a week from 7am-5pm though access into the Memorial is restricted to museum opening hours:

10am – 4pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday
10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday
Also open 10am – 4pm all school and public holidays.

My next Goulburn review– HERE

Return to the beginning of my Goulburn reviews –HERE


12 thoughts on “Rocky Hill War Memorial

    1. Very true Malc. While war should only ever be a last resort and for the right reasons ( seldom, if ever, the latter today) we do need to remember the sacrifices and learn from them. We are fairly good at the former not so good at the latter.

      You make an interesting point about the brevity of the post. I have been thinking about this a lot in the past few days and discussed it with another blogger.. I have been writing some rather long ( up to 3000 words) posts of late and while a few people, like yourself, will read them the average person today does not have the attention span to read them and seem to prefer shorter posts which in many cases forces the superficial if one does not split longer posts. People claim to be so time poor these days ( I call it an inability to prioritise things). Where I can, I split posts but the downside of this is you loose some of the flow and even with additional introductory posts and embedded links it’s hard to bind them together.

      Generally my style ( as confirmed by the length of this reply) tends to be verbose so that presents another problem. I have no plans to change the style but will be aiming towards shorter posts ( there are a few long ones in the pipeline first though) with an upper limit( flexible) of around 1000 words…

      I’m told that successful bloggers these days are regular ( I took my prunes this morning!) posters of succinct posts of similar and predictable length with lots of pictures.

      You may have noticed that I now comply with the first item in that I post every second day at exactly 5pm Aust time. Photos I feel I am ok on. The middle part , well…….. it needs some work

      I would love your thoughts and indeed the thoughts of anyone who has managed to read this!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that many of us bloggers have wrestled with how best to approach this dilemma, and here are my thoughts for what they are worth. Firstly, as regards the length of a post I write with the aim of covering the subject in the way it deserves (in my eyes). Some will be long, and some will be short. Secondly, as for the timing of the post, I don’t stick rigidly to a timetable, although sometimes I’ll use the feature to post at a specific time if it makes sense to do so. Finally, and most importantly to me, I write posts for myself with the hope somebody might want to follow them. There are exceptions to the rule (for example if I know somebody who follows my blogs will enjoy a particular topic), but on the whole I don’t think chasing statistics such as number of followers will work for me. If you analyse some of the blogs that have a lot of followers there is usually a reason for it which I won’t go into here. Would I like more people to follow my blogs? of course I would, but to me it’s more about being faithful to my thoughts and beliefs rather than prostitute myself for a set of statistics. I hope that makes sense Albert.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. An interesting side debate here. Like you Albert I am inclined to use plenty of words where some others may say fewer would have sufficed (or even been better). Because I blog mostly in a journal style, i.e. a more personal account of the activities of a specific day on a trip, rather than a review of a single sight as you two tend to do, my blog entries are definitely on the long side – although I will split a day up if it’s very long. Maybe I should do so more often?

            Certainly I don’t aim to post at a specific time – I post when I have something to say and the time to write it up. The only one of your ‘rules’ I conform to is the inclusion of plenty of photos! But like Malcolm I write mainly for myself – because I enjoy it (for the most part) and because I like to have a record of our trips. However I have been toying with the idea of starting a separate blog (i.e. not on TravellersPoint) with an emphasis on photography, and if I ever bite the bullet I think I’ll opt for your more single review approach, heavily illustrated and with much less text than my TP blog. But I doubt I’ll ever be organised enough to post at specific timed intervals 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Should you split your entries a bit more ? I would say yes though I do eventually read them. I say this as what I tend to do is in my (mostly daily now,) read of blogs is skip past ones I know will be long with the intention of coming back to them. While I do ( at some point) get back to yours there are many I don’t get back to. I suspect a lot of readers do this.

            In terms of posting at a specific time I am trying this to assist me in keeping at it. What I did was that for the month before I returned from my long break in writing I wrote about 20 reviews so am ahead as it were. This way while I try to keep ahead ( I am down to 15 ahead now due to a few long NK ones!) if I don’t feel like or can’t write for a few days I don’t have to.. point is I don’t feel forced to write to hit a publishing target. Also, and you may not have noticed, it lets me look at entries again just prior to posting with fresh eyes to remove typos, correct grammer etc. Believe you me I will never run put of things to write about even if I were never to leave the house again.

            Like you and Malc I write because I enjoy it ( incl the research which can take days for a single review.. most don’t) and I write firstly for me.. Sorry if this didn’t come across. That said I like others reading what I write and will take reasonable steps to increase that readership but that does not include compromising on content.

            I like the form of your current blog but would welcome what you suggest ( in addition!).

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Useful feedback – thanks. I’ll try to do more half-day entries in the future (on the basis that I’m unlikely to ever learn to write less 😉 ) and will no doubt turn to you for advice when I get around to that other project!

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Remember I am only one of your readers! I have been thinking about your other project (pics one) and whether WordPress would be the way to go or not. If, and only if, you used another app/software to develop collages, layouts when you have more than one pic then yes go WordPress due to its reach. While WP has some of these features I feel they are limited and fairly inflexible though I only use very basic features. Also if you go very pic intensive you will have to get a paid package for storage capacity (fairly reasonable unless you go business/professional). Anyway it will be worth a look for you and its base offering which I use is free.


    1. I wondered that too and the only thing I can offer is that the obvious location in town already had the Boer War Memorial on it. That said, I think the location is great and the extension of the museum ( next review) has made the site well worth the short drive. I imagine it now gets more genunine attention then if it was in the middle of the city. Also the views are pretty good. Overall I feel a great success.

      If such a site were picked today I would immediately assume that the landowner, who would not be giving the land free, was in cahoots with the relevant politicican who would be getting a nice bribe… How times have changed.


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