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BLACK SPRINGS DETOUR | Rides

Fancy a decent day dash somewhere over the ranges?

This awesome riding route across the western edge of the Blue Mountains Range is an excellent day ride out of Sydney that also links up with several other country roads that lead you through pleasant country towns like Laggan, Crookwell and Boorowa. They can all be joined together as an excellent long day ride out of the city, or enjoyed at a more leisurely pace to take in the spectacular views across the Great Dividing Range and make a weekend of it. This section will get you started.

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 past Inspiration Point followed by a similarly tight climb out the other side.

Alternatively you can 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 visually 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.

The Taralga Hotel has been a feature of the Upper Lachlan Shire since 1876

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 are plenty of routes to choose from to turn a one-day trip into two or three

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.

There’s much Bushranger history in Black Springs; John Foley and Edward Lanigan were active in the area in the 19th century

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.

Detour

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. You do not have to go all the way through to Oberon; 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. This stretch of bitumen has been very well made and is very lightly trafficked.

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 as they have 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 (02) 6359 3911 for more details.

Words and photography Tim Munro