Welcome to our next instalment of A Time to Reminisce. Following on from our epic Victorian expedition at the end of the year and spending some time with family over Christmas and New Year it was time to saddle up and head for pastures unknown once again. With a few days up our sleeve, this time we would be heading west from our home base in the Blue Mountains towards the beautiful and much quieter Central West Region of NSW, an area we are now lucky enough to call home. We has already previously explored a little of what this fascinating region has to offer, however this time we were heading a bit further afield into what we call the Golden Triangle. Four fascinating, scenic rich and most importantly relatively unknown national parks were on offer and just waiting to be explored. We have since returned to these over the years, however this first exploratory trip into this area was probably where our admiration for the very much underrated Central West of NSW began.
Picking up final supplies in Bathurst it was out through the quaint country town of Cowra, better known for the famous Japanese gardens in town, before arriving at the historic village of Grenfell. This region is rich in history being synonymous with the gold rush era and becoming a favoured haunt of bushrangers of the time, most notably Ben Hall. Our first insight into this intriguing history and our first camp for the trip was just west of Grenfell and into Weddin Mountains National Park. Located in the north west of the park is an excellent example of a depression era farm at Seatons Farm. We stop here and take a stroll around the remnants and relics of this incredible venture during the height of the Great Depression and try to imagine what it must have been like to live and etch out a livelihood here during those times.
Not far from Seatons Farm we pull into Ben Halls Campground for the night, our first camp for this trip. Located in a peaceful valley with Weddin Mountain providing the perfect backdrop it was the ideal spot to open up the Shippshape for the night, kicks back and relax with only the sights and sounds of nature to keep us occupied, just the way we like it.
After a restful night we decided to tackle the short but steep climb to Ben Halls Cave, one of the infamous spots that was said to be a favoured hideout for the notorious bushranger due to its elevated location, ideal for spotting the constabulary coming for miles around.
With only limited time though we were back on the road to explore more of this beautiful region. Heading north we soon found our next national park to explore, Conimbla. This small but peaceful park is the perfect spot to stretch the legs as we take a stroll through its ancient forests of Ironbark, black cypress pine, scribbly gum and red stringybark to take in views over the surrounding countryside.
After some morning tea at the picnic area it was time to push on to our next natural beauty amidst the farmland, Nangar National Park. The Murgon Nangar Range is the dominant feature here and makes for an impressive backdrop. There is wildlife in abundance here with kangaroos and wallabies around every corner. On the way into the park we pass by the historic Dripping Rock Homestead with its beautiful gardens (sadly the homestead burnt down a number of years ago). Further into the park we visit “Dripping Rock” before taking a lunch break back at the Terrara Creek Campground, a serene spot nestled beside the creek.
Then it was back out of the park and heading north once again, this time towards our next and final camp for this trip in Goobang National Park. Our plan here was to enter the park from the south and after a cuppa at Greenbah Campground in the centre of the park, take the 4wd track through its heart concluding at the large Wanda Wandong Campground. Best laid plans almost never work out, so as we pulled into Greenbah we noticed that the 4wd track that continued through was closed, looks like plan b has to be put into action. So after a quick cuppa it was back out the same way and around the long cut to reenter the park and Wanda Wandong Campground for the night.
Our final morning and after a hearty camp breakfast we had one more spot to explore before hitting the road and heading home. A short drive via a rather rough track at the time led us to Caloma Trig, an impressive vantage point although initially fogged in on our arrival, over the vast farmlands of the region and a befitting way to end our trip to this delightful region.
Of course a lunch stop on the way back to the Blue Mountains was in order so between Orange and Bathurst we decided to take a short diversion into Macquarie Woods, and wasn’t that a great idea. A beautiful forest drive and ideal picnic spot for lunch before we reluctantly had to return to civilisation, who knew that we would be calling this region home in the years to come, not us that was for sure. Join us next time as we explore near and far far to home on a couple short expeditions before taking on another epic adventure through Western and Northern NSW which you won’t want to miss.
Happy and safe travel planning
Chris and Sandra
Mountain Shack Travels