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Written by Guest Author on November 18, 2021 Share on

The Dubbo Road Trip

Katoomba

Heading West out of Sydney the first stop on our road trip is Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Katoomba is 113kms or 1hr 30 mins west of Sydney. Katoomba is the main township for the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains offers many sights to see and explore, including:

  • Echo Point boasts great views of the three sisters, Mount Solitary, the Ruined Castle and the Jamison Valley.
  • Carrington Hotel built in the 1890s has been fully restored to its Victorian Grandeur.
  • Scenic World which comprises the Scenic Skyway, Scenic Railway and the Walkway. The Scenic Skyway is a cable car that runs across the valley 270 metres up offering views of Katoomba Falls and a glass floor for viewing the forest below. The Scenic Railway descends 450 metres to the Jamison Valley floor along one of the steepest incline railways in the world. At the bottom is the Walkaway that is an elevated boardwalk some 2.4km along the valley floor.
Image Source: Pixabay

There are multiple popular bushwalks in the Blue Mountains that start and or return to Katoomba. There are walks for every level of hiker. The National Parks and Wildlife services provide a Bushwalking in Katoomba Leura Area which has details of walks and maps. Some of the more common walks enjoyed by visitors include:

  • The Prince Henry Cliff walk 7kms
  • Federal Pass Walking Track 13kms one way
  • Dardanelles Pass Track 5.3km loop
  • Scenic Railway to Ruined Castle 12km round trip
  • Katoomba Falls Walking Track 2km round trip

Wentworth Falls is a small township laying 8kms east of Katoomba. Wentworth Falls provides some great scenic views and bushwalking options to explore. You can follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin with the Charles Darwin bushwalk or enjoy and short stroll for great views of the top of Wentworth Falls.

Image Source: Pixabay

There is plenty of accommodation in Katoomba for all budgets, from luxury hotels, guest houses through to caravan parks and campgrounds.

Jenolan Caves

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By road Jenolan Caves is 74kms or 1hr 15 mins from Katoomba, but of note it is only 45kms if you take six foot track. Six foot track is a well known walking track that you can run in a day or do as a challenging 3 day hike. Either way you get there, Jenolan Caves are a must stop if you are in the area.

Jenolan Caves are the largest; best know and are considered by many people the most spectacular cave system in Australia. The Jenolan Caves are a limestone cave system that was carved out from underground water. There are caverns full of calcite crystal and subterranean rivers. The caves can be experienced on guided cave tours, but due to popularity, cave tours need to be booked in advance.

While at Jenolan you can also do the Jenolan River walk which rewards the hiker with views of the river, lake, waterfalls and suspension bridge. You can bring your swimmers and enjoy a dip in one of the watering holes along the way.

Bathurst 

Heading North West 75kms or 1hr 6 mins from Jenolan Caves is the town of Bathurst. Bathurst is famous for its annual Bathurst 1000km car race each year.  But Bathurst has more to offer the passing tourist than just a visit to Mount Panorama.  You can visit the mountain and drive the course when it is not being used for a race. Bathurst is also home to the National Motor Racing Museum and the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum (which has a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton).

Bathurst was originally a gold mining town with gold originally found in the 1850s. While the gold is long gone, you can still experience the search for gold with some Fossicking in Bathurst.  There are also many fine examples of heritage listed architecture on display around the town. This includes the Grand Abercrombie House which you can take a tour of. The town offers many fine places to Eat & Drink.

While there are many accommodation options in Bathurst with motels, B&Bs, farm stays, you can also find many campgrounds while passing through.

The Abercrombie Caves are 71kms south of Bathurst. This detour will take you to visit the Abercrombie Kart Conservation Reserve.  The Reserve is home to the caves and to some great bush walking, waterfalls and picturesque scenery.  The limestone cave network with “the Archway”, the largest natural limestone bridge in the southern hemisphere is a true highlight. You can experience the caves on a self guided tour or on a guided tour.

Orange 

Travelling further west you arrive at the historic town of Orange. The region of Orange is known for its apples, stone fruits, fine wineries and boutique breweries. There are more than 60 wineries in the Orange region taking advantage of the high altitude and rich volcanic soil. The town itself is host to many bars found throughout the town in historic buildings.

A good way to experience Orange is with a self guided heritage trail walk.  The walk starts from the visitor centre and visits 40 places of historical interest and beauty. The full trail takes approximately 90 mins to walk.

Orange is popular for mountain bike trails, such as those around Lake Canobolas and Kinross.

Canowindra 45 mins south west of Orange is the Hot Air balloon capital of Australia.  This historic little village sits among vineyards and rolling landscapes. If you want try hot air ballooning then visit Canowindra and see the landscape from the tranquillity of the air.

Parkes

You can either head North West to Dubbo or continue westerly for another 100kms to visit Parkes. Here you can see the Parkes Radio Telescope, the Henry Parkes centre with its four museums and you can also visit the Peak Hill Open cut mine.  There is a self guided tour for the open cut mines along walking trails. Between Parkes and Peak Hill is the Goobang National Park where you can enjoy picnics, bush walks and free camping.

Dubbo 

Travelling North from Parks for 120kms we arrive at Dubbo.  Dubbo is famous for its Western Plains Zoo which is home to hundreds of rare and endangered animals including giraffes, rhinos, elephants and big cats.  You can drive your own car, walk or ride around the zoos 5km circuit and enjoy daily keeper activities.  There is plenty to experience at the zoo and tickets are usually valid for two days.

Dubbo has more to offer than just its unique zoo, you can also visit the Old Dubbo Goal, the Shoyoen Japanese Gardens, Dubbo Observatory, Western Plains Cultural Centre and the Royal Flying Doctors Service Visitor Experience. Dubbo also has heritage walk which is great way to explore the architecture of the town.

Dubbo has plenty of options for staying, motels, hotels, retreats and lodges as well as campgrounds and caravans parks. The entire journey from Sydney to Dubbo show cases many different region types and takes you on a wonderful adventure into the New South Wales Outback.

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