Just over the Blue Mountains and within striking distance of Sydney you’ll find some excellent rides
Recently we offered up an awesome ride alternative to the boring Hume Freeway, through the pleasant country towns of Laggan and Crookwell to Boorowa. For riders starting from Sydney and heading south west we figured it worth suggesting this great riding route across the western edge of the Blue Mountains Range that links up with our previous ride at the charming village of Taralga.
The run from Sydney to Oberon has always been a good ride along the Jenolan Caves Road. Your choices are to either continue all the way through to the Jenolan Caves where you drop down into the caves complex on the narrow winding strip of tarmac (great for dead engine racing, but we would never do that) and a similar climb out the other side, or turn right after Hampton onto the Duckmaloi Road which leads directly into the town of Oberon. Head through the main street of Oberon and turn left onto the Abercrombie Road, which takes you straight into Black Springs a little over 20km down the road. Don’t bother stopping as there is nothing there, just turn left towards Taralga and enjoy the ride through the plantation forest areas that define the district. It is worth remembering that there are active logging operations along this stretch, with trucks possibly dragging dirt and rubbish across the tarmac from the loading stations. The area around Black Springs is also prone to black ice and even snow during the winter months, so take care. Well-surfaced mid-speed corners appear once you pass Porters Retreat, and the tarmac surface offers good grip. The sweeping bends through here are an awesome ride with good visibility and only occasional traffic and wildlife to be wary of. As you emerge from the forested areas the road suddenly narrows to a tight almost single lane rough surface down to the Abercrombie River. This older road surface has several tight and blind corners as it descends the hill. There is a reasonable camping area on the left near the river, before you cross the bridge over the Abercrombie River and the road climbs through the national park via a great series of corners before you reach the top and enjoy the fast and open blast into Taralga across open farm lands of Richlands.
From Taralga you can continue west on the Laggan Road following the route outlined last time, or head south to Goulburn where you can loop back towards the city via the Southern Highlands, a good option if you are just out for a day ride. Either way the roads throughout this area are absolutely made for motorcyclists with many sections of good corners on generally well finished bitumen, and plenty of scenic countryside thrown in for good measure.
Plenty of fuel options are available at Oberon and we suggest you fill up there as it is the most reliable fuel stop for a while. RON 91 and 95 is available five days a week at Taralga during business hours, and on weekends up to at least midday.
We have listed a couple of very good cafés that we use regularly but there are also good pubs at either end of this route for meals etc.
Things to do
There is little in the way of serviced stops or attractions along this route. Jenolan Caves at the Oberon end is well worth a visit if you haven’t been there – there are some awesome short cave walks that you can do within an hour or two. Guided and self-guided tour options are available and there is food and accommodation at the historic Jenolan Caves House Ph: (02) 6359 3911 for more details.
If you follow the Jenolan Caves Road all the way past the caves and up the hill on the other side you will find yourself on a glorious stretch of riding road heading towards Oberon, one of our local favourites, in fact. Another bonus is that you do not have to go all the way through to Oberon for this riding route. Instead take the left turn on the Shooters Hill Road just after you pass through the small settlement of Edith, signposted Butter Factory Lane. This road runs through the pine forests on an excellent sealed surface and intersects the Tablelands Way south of Black Springs, so a short cut if you like. This stretch of bitumen has been very well made to cater for transfers to the correctional centre close by and is very lightly trafficked and loads of fun on a motorcycle.
There is little in the way of assistance across the tablelands so carry basic tools and spares. Across the road from the Taralga Hotel there is a mechanical workshop run by Col who might be inclined to help out, if you can find him. If you get completely stuck you can always call Dave at Servinitup Motorcycle Transport and he will come pick you up and take you home in his recovery van Ph: 0404 298 880
The rider-friendly Taralga Hotel has reasonably priced clean rooms and undercover motorcycle parking out back. Meals are served seven days a week.
The camping area at Bummaroo Ford on the Abercrombie River has some good tent sites and a basic drop toilet. Take all your food and drinking water with you as there is nothing else in the area before Taralga.
Shell – 187 Oberon St (the main street), Oberon
Independent Fuel Supplies – cnr Orchard & Bannaby St, Taralga Ph: (02) 4840 2200
Monkey Bean Café – 130 Oberon St, Oberon Ph: (02) 6336 0110. This is a motorcycle-friendly café on the main street that even has motorcycle ride suggestions for the area on display. They have a great local coffee blend (Fish River Roasters) and a great range of food available.
The Tangled Vine Cafe at the northern end of Taralga has a slow combustion fire to warm you up in winter. The food and coffee are excellent.