Welcome to the Fitz Roy Iron Works




The Fitz Roy Iron Works was the first iron works in Australia, which operated between 1848 to the 1890’s and established the industry in this country, despite the enterprise struggling over the subsequent decades.

In July 2004, Woolworths Limited lodged a development application to build Highlands Marketplace Shopping Centre.

In December 2004, the NSW Minister for Planning placed an Interim Heritage Order (IHO) on portions of the development site because of the site’s potential to contain remains of the former iron works.

Highlands Marketplace opened in March 2007 with The Fitz Roy Iron Works restoration a key feature. The exposed remains of the protected site are located in the underground carpark of the shopping centre and have been conserved, maintained and displayed with permanent public access provided as part of the interpretation, communication and celebration of the history of the significant place.

Key details regarding the restoration of the site, as well as the relevant authorities can be found below.


Process of Restoration

When the development application was lodged with Wingecarribee Shire Council to build Highlands Marketplace, the initial site excavation period presented that part of the site was of significant historical significance to the community.

An archaeological testing program was undertaken at the site in January 2005 to perform the archaeological assessment of the area. This testing was conducted in accordance with an excavation permit issued by the Heritage Council of NSW. A subsequent phase of archaeological investigation was then carried out across the site from October 2005 to January 2006, including monitoring and more detailed excavation. The tests revealed the presence of substantial remains associated with the former iron works in parts of the development area.

Following the main phase of investigation, a program of archaeological monitoring was also undertaken in conjunction with construction work (building demolition and grading works) to ensure that any areas of archaeological potential were identified and recorded.  

Despite the lack of precise documentary evidence, investigation of the site uncovered extensive evidence of the former iron works, including remains of the rolling mills, puddling furnaces, boiler houses, chimney bases, cupola furnaces and other ancillary structures. The complex series of remains demonstrates the various phases of rebuilding that occurred throughout the site’s history.

A substantial portion of the remains exposed during the site investigation have been retained within Highlands Marketplace.

Acknowledgement: This report was extracted from Fitzroy Iron Works, Mittagong, NSW, Australia: Archaeological Investigation and Advice, 2005-2006 prepared by Godden Mackay Logan Heritage Consultants for Woolworths Ltd.


Relevant Authorities

NSW Heritage Office
Phone: (02) 9873 8500
Web: www.heritage.nsw.gov.au

Wingecaribee Shire Council
Phone: (02) 4868 0888
Web: www.wsc.nsw.gov.au

Tourism Southern Highlands
Phone: (02) 4871 2888
Web: www.southern-highlands.com.au


Contact Us


For further information regarding The Fitz Roy Iron Works historical site, please contact Highlands Marketplace Centre Management Office on (02) 4868 4500.

School Excursions

A visit to The Fitz Roy Iron Works historical site is a great history school excursion.

To book your school for a visit or to find out more information please contact Highlands Marketplace Centre Management Office on (02) 4868 4500.