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Thread: NSW Central West Trip

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    Member kevin301's Avatar
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    NSW Central West Trip

    hi folks!
    Sorry if I gatecrash this thread.
    Am headed to Sydney in mid-to-end-July, and was planning a road trip to see:
    Blue Mtns
    Bathurst
    Orange
    Dubbo
    Mudgee

    Below is a rough outline of the route. Nothing's booked yet, so I'm happy to alter my plans based on recommendations.


    My target is for a 5D4n road trip, starting Monday morning and arriving back in Sydney on Friday late evening.
    I see recommendations for Capertee and Gardens of Stone, which I shall read up about.
    Appreciate any advice rendered!

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    That is a fairly good basic itinerary. Some of the more interesting "little gems" are to be found a little way off the beaten track.
    Ie, just off a bit from what you've shown here. However, some little extra time is required to do such a thing justice.

    May I ask if the time allotted is all you can spare? Each of the towns/regional cities you pass through has lots of things to offer.
    Otherwise, basically, and in my opinion, you're just going to do a road trip passing though lots of similar places.

    In part, I am saying that perhaps some of the off-road gems hinted at could become your main focus along the way instead of
    some of the larger towns.

    To your basic itinerary listed above, I might suggest:
    - the Capertee Valley itself, along with an extra detour to Dunns Swamp, the smaller towns of Kandos, Rylstone.
    If you are not in an impecunious state, you could take a helicopter ride from a location just outside Capertee.
    Here is a link with some info: http://www.visitmudgeeregion.com.au/...ey-helicopters.

    - A detour to take in the historic towns of Hill End and Sofala (Gulgong near Mudgee goes without saying.) The road
    from Ilford to Sofala has some pretty spectacular vistas, though it is narrow and you'd need to pull over and stop.

    - Another suggestion is the road back from Dubbo to Mudgee. IMO, passing along the narrow ones through Goolma is
    way more enjoyable than the longer way through Dunedoo.

    - Off the Gt Wstn Hwy even just a trip towards the fabled Jenolan Caves (where bankruptcy awaits) affords spectacular
    Blue Mtns views. Nearby in Lithgow, take a road that leads to Hassans Walls lookout.

    - Of Dubbo itself, do you intend to take about 3-4 hours and visit the zoo (walk around, it's better)?

    - I could go on, but I don't want to presume on your trip too much. Basically, you will see a lot of "similar" stuff, but you will pass though
    quite different geographical areas, and ther are notable differences to discover everywhere you go.

    (Cripes! You make me feel like doing it now)

    Yeah, 5 days will be an "intro" to the (vast) region. However, may you have an enjoyable journey.

    Am.
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    thanks Am for the very detailed reply
    I'm slowly digesting the info you have so kindly provided.

    Regarding the amount of time I have allocated: Well I shall be in Sydney for about 8 days, and have set aside the weekends to spend time with friends, hence leaving the 5 working days as the opportunity for a road trip.
    I realize it will be insufficient to explore the area in great detail, but just as an 'overview' of country NSW. Heck, with airfares between Singapore and Sydney remaining fairly affordable, I can see myself visiting every now and then.

    If time is tight, I may consider bypassing Dubbo, and turning toward Mudgee via Wellington and Goolma. That might give me more time to spend in the Capertee Valley.
    Last edited by kevin301; 03-06-2015 at 12:58pm.

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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    You could loose yourself for 5 days just in the Blue Mountains. When I drive along the Bells Line of Road, I think to myself it would have to be one of the more scenic drives in the world.

    Capertee Valley is spectacular. Visit Dunns swamp down at the Olinda end. Make sure to visit the old Shale workings at Glen Davis in the valley as well.

    A little known place to visit is Ferntree Gully, just down the Rylstone - Bylong Valley way. The walk down into the gully itself is fascinating. You can do it comfortably in an afternoon. Lots and lots to photograph there. If you didn't particularly want to return to Sydney via the Blue Mountains, you can go via the Bylong Valley to Denman and into Sydney from the Hunter Valley. The road through the Bylong and to Denman is pretty special. It used to go through a mountain in a railway tunnel at one time, but now the railway has stolen it back, you have to drive up and over the mountain.

    From Lithgow, the trip out to the Glow Worm Tunnel on the Newnes plateau is well worth it. You go through some great scenery, as well as drive through the first old railway tunnel. The walk down to the second tunnel is fairly easy, and hopefully there is not too much water running though the tunnel to walk through, because other than the glow worms, what awaits you at the other end of the tunnel is enchanting.

    Don't forget how cold it can get at that time of the year, including snow in the Blue Mountains. Bring lots of warm clothes if you are acclimatised to Singapore's climate! It went down to -5°C here last night.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin301 View Post

    If time is tight, I may consider bypassing Dubbo, and turning toward Mudgee via Wellington and Goolma. That might give me more time to spend in the Capertee Valley.
    That's not a bad idea. Unless you wanted to visit the zoo in Dubbo you won't see much different travelling the extra distance.
    Maybe go up to Parkes if this interests you ...... http://www.parkes.atnf.csiro.au/.
    Then cut across to Wellington. Go via Parkes anyway, a much more interesting drive than simply Orange to Wellington.
    Gardens of Stone is fairly inaccessible unless you have a 4WD and takes time.
    Go to Capertee from Mudgee via Glen Davis.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmmax View Post
    ... -5°C here last night...
    A veritable heatwave, Farmmax!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    In town we often get thick frosts at 8 pm. OK, sometimes.

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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    We are down on 0°C already I hate the cold. It is supposed to be a little warmer tonight than last night, but I have my doubts.

    Hope you are reading this Kevin. Be warned

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    So AM and farmmax, can we get a mini AP meet happening with Kevin as he freezes in Mudgee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmmax View Post
    You could loose yourself for 5 days just in the Blue Mountains. When I drive along the Bells Line of Road, I think to myself it would have to be one of the more scenic drives in the world.

    Capertee Valley is spectacular. Visit Dunns swamp down at the Olinda end. Make sure to visit the old Shale workings at Glen Davis in the valley as well.

    A little known place to visit is Ferntree Gully, just down the Rylstone - Bylong Valley way. The walk down into the gully itself is fascinating. You can do it comfortably in an afternoon. Lots and lots to photograph there. If you didn't particularly want to return to Sydney via the Blue Mountains, you can go via the Bylong Valley to Denman and into Sydney from the Hunter Valley. The road through the Bylong and to Denman is pretty special. It used to go through a mountain in a railway tunnel at one time, but now the railway has stolen it back, you have to drive up and over the mountain.

    From Lithgow, the trip out to the Glow Worm Tunnel on the Newnes plateau is well worth it. You go through some great scenery, as well as drive through the first old railway tunnel. The walk down to the second tunnel is fairly easy, and hopefully there is not too much water running though the tunnel to walk through, because other than the glow worms, what awaits you at the other end of the tunnel is enchanting.

    Don't forget how cold it can get at that time of the year, including snow in the Blue Mountains. Bring lots of warm clothes if you are acclimatised to Singapore's climate! It went down to -5°C here last night.
    Thanks so much for all the tips!
    Jotting them all down and seeing how much I can slot into my short road trip
    Do I need any particular equipment (e.g. a bright torch light) to navigate the tunnel?

    The temperature sounds great! Will be a huge change from typical Singapore weather, naturally!

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Specifically for the cave I don't know, but I reckon always carry a torch in the car.
    Am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmmax View Post
    We are down on 0°C already I hate the cold. It is supposed to be a little warmer tonight than last night, but I have my doubts.

    Hope you are reading this Kevin. Be warned
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    So AM and farmmax, can we get a mini AP meet happening with Kevin as he freezes in Mudgee.

    That sounds like a GREAT idea if it can happen
    Last edited by kevin301; 04-06-2015 at 3:10pm.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    farmmax is having heart seizers.
    Once you figured your final plans I'll try and catch up with you Kevin.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    So as not to be left out like a vegetable, lettuce know when you'll be there, cos I might be able to asparagus some thyme and come up.

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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    Definitely need a torch for the glow worm tunnel. It is around 400m in length and is curved. A creek now flows through the bottom of it, and if it is too wet, you may not be able to go through. Normally the creek takes up about 1/3 of the floor, so is no problem. http://www.lithgow-tourism.com/glowworm.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    So as not to be left out like a vegetable, lettuce know when you'll be there, cos I might be able to asparagus some thyme and come up.
    awwww you're cracking me up!

    OK here is my rough itinerary thus far:
    17 Jul - Arrive Sydney
    18 - Sydney
    19 - Sydney
    20 - Start road trip; stay Lithgow
    21 - Orange
    22 - Orange
    23 - Mudgee
    24 - Lithgow
    25 - Sydney
    26 - au revoir !!

    Forgot to say that night of 22nd is a toss-up between Orange and Mudgee.
    At the moment perhaps am more inclined toward Mudgee, but we'll see.
    Last edited by kevin301; 05-06-2015 at 5:37pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I was going to say something... I remembered today... -- ???---

    Oh! That's it. Kevin. On (let me generalise) Aus country roads, like where you're going, be very careful at dusk and at night
    that you don't hit kangaroos/wallabies. It pays to have 1) pretty good lights (most std car likes lights are OK), and 2) to slow a good 10 kph.

    I'm talking from experience - 3 times over the years. You don't see 'em. Once was already enough.

    If your fellow travellers are not aware, fill 'em in.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 05-06-2015 at 5:43pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    I was going to say something... I remembered today... -- ???---

    Oh! That's it. Kevin. On (let me generalise) Aus country roads, like where you're going, be very careful at dusk and at night
    that you don't hit kangaroos/wallabies. It pays to have 1) pretty good lights (most std car likes lights are OK), and 2) to slow a good 10 kph.

    I'm talking from experience - 3 times over the years. You don't see 'em. Once was already enough.

    If your fellow travellers are not aware, fill 'em in.
    Thanks very much for this advice!
    Have not been 'fortunate' enough to encounter roos, and I guess complacency does set in after a while.
    Shall make a mental note, and maybe also a sticker to place on the dashboard!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    2) to slow a good 10 kph.
    But, do people actually drive at 10 kph?
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Only if they started at 20KPH

    I actually said "slow a...", not "slow to...". Generally, it is understood that's from the posted limit, which on those roads is 100KPH.

    Of course, if its a "View with a Roo" you want...

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    You may like to check out the Farmers Creek Twin Viaducts at Bowenfels (Lithgow). One of the most photographed railway bridges in Australia.

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