Visited cities and towns during the trip: Lithgow, Bathurst, Mount Panorama, Orange, Wellington, Mudgee, Gulgong, Rylstone, kandos.
This was a weekend adventure to the Central Tablelands of New South Wales. The trip was into the city and towns that includes Bathurst, Lithgow, Orange, Wellington, Gulgong, Mudgee and Rylstone, and exit to Bilpin.
On the first day, we passed by the Blue Mountains, to Bathurst then down to Orange and Wellington. We camped out at Mudgee and on the following day we visited Gulgong, Goree, Rylstone via Lue Road. On our way back home, we passed by Kandos then Castlereagh Highway that connects to Lithgow, turned right up to the Bells Line of Road and out to Richmond Road. It was a two-day trip, very hectic indeed but pretty sure exciting!
These places have been attracting my interest for quite some time and have been just waiting for a good time including the weather to calendar a visit. And so, summer of 2012, one fine day, at around half passed five in the morning, we drove up the mountains.
At the Mudgee Tourist and Van Resort in Mudgee, New South Wales, we rented out cabins for a night stay. Nice cabins, fully furnished!
Our time to visit these places was so tight. It was in Wellington that we spent more than a couple of hours because of the tour schedule into the caves. We were given the last tour for that day which was half passed four in the afternoon, a no choice decision indeed!
At Bathurst, we took some remembrance photos at the Court House and also at the adjacent parks, then drove up to Mount Panorama, a motor racing track and is the home of the Bathurst 12 Hour motor race, held every February, and the Bathurst 1000 motor race, held each October.
I like the city of Bathurst. The ambiance of the city surroundings – old and new houses, parks, flora and fauna, people, dining, etc., are just awesome and interesting.
Bathurst is a regional city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales. It is approximately 200 kilometres west of Sydney, is the oldest inland settlement in Australia. It is often referred to as Gold country as it was the site of the first gold discovery and where the first gold rush occurred in Australia. Today The Legend of Peter Brock, education, tourism and manufacturing drive the economy.
Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW
The name Mount Panorama was formed and grouped from white stones. At the top of it is an excellent lookout over the Bathurst Central Business District as well as the racing circuit.
This was my second time to visit Mount Panorama, the first was in year 2000 together with another group of friends. There were heaps of developments here compared to ten years ago, and one of them is the building of the National Racing Museum right at the entrance to the racing grounds.
We reached Orange at noontime of our first day journey. Orange is 254 kilometres west of Sydney. We had our lunch at the central park located at the city centre.
Orange is a well known fruit growing district, and produces apples, pears, and many stone fruits such as cherries, peaches, apricots and plums; oranges are not grown in the area, as the climate is too cool. In recent years, a large number of vineyards have been planted in the area for a rapidly expanding wine production industry. The growth of this wine industry, coupled with the further development of Orange as a gourmet food capital, has ensured Orange’s status as a prominent tourism destination.
Cadia Gold Mine is a large open cut gold and copper mine located about 20 kilometres south of Orange. The mine has been developed throughout the 1990s and is a major employer in the region with an expected lifespan of several decades. Cadia is the second largest open cut mine in Australia after the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Large mineral deposits are also being uncovered from the more recently developed Ridgeway underground mine which is adjacent to the Cadia Mine.
This is one of the many beautiful and huge parks in Orange and it is called “Cook Park” named after Captain Cook, the explorer. When we were here, heaps of people were enjoying the park, had picnics, and the playground full of fun seeking children. Sunken Rose garden, water features, children playground, are just some of the park’s features, and huge old trees dominate and are prominent in the park. It’s a park that could inspire people to get closer to nature.
After Orange, we drove up through the region of Wellington, a town which is 362 kilometres from Sydney on the Great Western Highway and Mitchell Highway. The first Europeans who discovered the area in 1817 named it “Wellington Valley.” As a regional centre Wellington benefited by the development of the gold mining industry in the district from the 1850s.
Now, Wellington is the centre of rich agricultural land. While lucerne and vegetables are grown on lands on the river, wheat, wool, fat lambs and beef cattle are grown on surrounding pastures.
At Wellington, we had the chance to visit the Wellington Caves, and the nearby Osawano Japanese Gardens, a beautiful garden setting right close to the Wellington Caves Sales Office.
We reached Mudgee passed six in the evening and was getting dark when we arrived at the compound of Mudgee Toursit and Van Resort where we stayed for an overnight. The resort is a four star and their cabins were just that right for our needs.
Mudgee is a town in the central west of New South Wales, 261 kilometres north-west of Sydney. The Mudgee district is well known for its fine wine. Mudgee has developed as a wine producing region and is a popular destination for tourists, who visit the forty wineries operating in the Mudgee district. Other rural produce includes cattle, sheep, wheat, lucerne, olives, fruit, tomatoes, corn, honey and dairy products.
The towering big clock above is the great landmark for Mudgee. Photographers never miss to include it in their souvenir shots for Mudgee.
The following day, we visited the town of Gulgong which is a 19th century gold rush town in the Central Tablelands and the wider Central West regions of New South Wales. The town is located about 300 km north west of Sydney.
Some of our companions entered the Gulgong’s Pioneers Museum while some wandered at the town. Another attraction of Gulgong is the “Prince of Wales Opera House” but we’re not able to step inside as it was closed at that time of our visit.
Along the way we had a brief stop at the Gore Park Wines and Vineyard as well as the Yabby Farm. We did buy some wines and yabbies, too.
From Mudgee, we traversed the Lue Road that connects to Rylstone. Rylsonte is another awesome small town (with 615 people during the 2006 census) located in the central tablelands of New South Wales. I felt the pleasure of driving in the middle of huge farms, rolling hills blanketed with grasses and under canopies of trees along the way. These are just some of the stunning sceneries of rural and wilderness landscape of the place. We reached Rysltone at around three in the afternoon, a bit warm but airy.
We had an hour of fine relaxation, rest, and enjoyed the place close to a Pony Club under the shades of three big trees. Here, we had the chance to watch children fully dressed up in elegant style while being trained by the elderlies on how to ride horses properly, like a true Equestrian players. I had seen young girls bathing their ponies under the shade of trees with soap and water.
At Old Northern Road, Bilpin, New South Wales
It was almost five in the afternoon when we decided to drive home. We passed by Kandos then up to Lithgow, and turned left up to the Bells Line of Road.
We stopped in one of the Coffee Shops along the Old Northern Road where we had a rest and bought something to eat, time clocked almost six in the evening. At the terrace of the shop, we had a good view of Bilpin’s mountainous landscape dotted with ever green trees and grasses. The Coffee Shop has a good location indeed to entertain its customers who love nature.
Our weekend getaway though only two days was awesome and fantastic! Why? Because we came to know and reached the central tablelands of New South Wales, their endowed beauty and great treasures of history and landscapes.
… Oh Dubbo! We dropped visiting Dubbo off from our schedule because of time constraint. Dubbo is another place worth visiting which is about less than an hour drive from Wellington, but anyway we’ll make another travel schedule to it some other time.