Some of Oberon’s rugged and picturesque landscape can be best experienced on an exciting driving tour.
There are many driving tours around the district for all kinds of vehicles, including self-drive and 2WD trails, 4WD trails and even caravan trails.
One of the favourite activities for some visitors is to experience 4W driving in the area. Here you can have an exciting adventure and see some magnificent local views.
The Classic Caves to Caves is a very popular 4WD trail. This trail begins at Jenolan Caves and travels along fire trails through the national park to Mount Werong and then to Wombeyan Caves. Another trail that is definitely worth a try is the trail to the ghost town of Yerranderie or even through the hilly and scenic Abercrombie River National Park.
In wet weather, there are great locations for 4WDriving, such as the Kowmung River, Kowmung Fire Trail and Molong Creek Fire Trail in Kanangra Boyd National Park, as well as great trails in the Blue Mountains National Park, and Abercrombie National Park. The Evans Crown National Park is passable in 2WD in the wet. Before heading out in the wet to drive these trails, check with the national parks office first.
Of course the beautiful Tablelands Way Experience, which passes through the Oberon area, is a great way to see the area by vehicle.
Here are some ideas on 2WD and 4WD trails in the region to get you started...
Kanangra Walls, via Edith and Boyd River
This 107 kilometre return tour will take one and half hours, plus time you may want to spend taking in the views at the Walls.
The trail is suitable for 2WD cars, with sealed sections as well as gravel section which are in fair to good condition.
You will need to get fuel and food in Oberon for your tour, and there are toilets at Boyd River, and Kanangra Walls. There is also parking, and picnic tables at Kanangra Walls. There are a number of great bushwalking tracks from the Walls. The Lookout Walk takes twenty minutes return, is a very good track with wheel chair access, and is worth it for the spectacular views and the seas of wildflowers. The Plateau Walk takes 35 minutes return and is worth the effort, with a very good track and wonderful scenery. The Waterfall Walk is a rough track walk through rugged but very interesting landscape. This track is only for the fit!
Directions: Take the Edith Road from Oberon. There is contrasting scenery through lovely farming country, pine forests, National Park and snow gums. 25.6 kilometres from Oberon take the right fork to Kanangra Walls. There is an excellent camping area at Boyd River (46 kilometres from Oberon) with drinking water, toilets and fireplaces.
Park entry fee: $8 per vehicle per day.
You should allow a full day for your trip to the historic mining town of Yerranderie, which is a 2 hour drive and 100 kilometres each way. The trip is preferable for 4WDs in wet weather. The road to Yerranderie is initially sealed but there is 73 kilometres of dirt road from Shooters Hill. Make sure you get fuel at Oberon on your way, as there is no fuel en route or at Yerranderie. Also make sure your spare tyre and that your vehicle is in good repair. You can also get food at Oberon, as it is a good idea to carry water, food and warm clothing with you. There are toilets at Yerranderie. There is a small entrance fee to visit the town. There are also guided tours available. The town is run by the National Parks and Wildlife. There are also a variety of bushwalks, climbs and cultural and historic features, as well as lots of wildlife.
Black Springs-Rockley-Charlton-Chifley Dam-Wisemans Creek
This 2WD trail is a 131 kilometre round trip and will take around 2.5 hours plus stops. The road is suitable for cars. You can get fuel at Oberon, and also food at Oberon, Rockley and O’Connell. There are also toilets at Oberon, Black Springs, Rockley, Chifley Dam and O’Connell.
During the trip you can experience many unique places, such as Black Springs with its historic churches and fossicking and mushrooming opportunities. Rockley is a National Trust Historic township and has a hotel, park and picnic area, toilets and swimming hole, as well as tea rooms and a museum. At Chifley Dam there is a picnic area, BBQs, toilets, as well as activities such as sailing and water skiing. At O’Connell there is the historic hotel built in 1865, as well as historic churches and buildings as well as a pretty picnic area on the Fish River.
Directions: Take the Abercrombie Road to Black Springs, then at Black Springs turn to Rockley. From Rockley head to Chifley Dam, which is a 30 kilometre trip. You will need to return along the Dog Rocks Road for half a kilometre and turn left to Charlton, at Charlton turn left onto The Lagoon Road, drive about 20 minutes, and then turn right to Chifley Dam. From the dam, head through The Lagoon, the home of many pacers and trotters. Turn right at The Lagoon to O’Connell. At O’Connell return to Oberon via Wisemans Creek through Beaconsfield Road, turn left onto Sewells Creek Road, then past historic Essington Park, a National Trust home. At Abercrombie Road, turn left to Oberon.
Black Springs-Burraga-Abercrombie Caves-Trunkey Creek-Rockley
This all day trip is perfect for 2WD cars with both sealed and gravel roads. It is a 168 kilometre round trip, and fuel can be purchased at Oberon, Burraga and Trunkey Creek. Food can also be bought at Oberon, Abercrombie Caves, Trunkey Creek and Rockley. There are toilets at Oberon, Black Springs, Burraga Dam, Abercrombie Caves and Rockley.
On your trip you can visit Black Springs village, with its lovely forest side rest area, and then visit the old copper mine chimney, St Dympna’s Church, Burraga Dam and the old trout hatchery at Burraga.
See scenic farmland and state forests on your way to Abercrombie Caves.
Abercrombie Caves is historically a gold mining area and gold fossicking equipment can be hired. It has the largest natural arch in the southern hemisphere, and there are guided and self-guided cave tours available, as well as a kiosk. At Rockley you can visit the famous local pub, the park and picnic area on the weir, as well as tea rooms and the museum.
Directions: Take the Abercrombie Road out of Oberon, and if you fancy, one kilometre from Oberon turn right to Rotary Lookout for a scenic view over the district. Back to the Abercrombie Road, turn right and travel 23 kilometres to Black Springs. At Black Springs head towards Burraga for 26 kilometres. At Burraga, travel 46 kilometres to Abercrombie Caves, and if you wish visit Grove Creek Falls prior to the Caves. Travel north 12 kilometres to Trunkey Creek, and then 29 kilometres to Rockley. Travel 32 kilometres back to Oberon past historic Charlton and Essington Park.
The driving tour to Jenolan Caves is a 60 minute round trip, plus of course time at the caves themselves. The 60 kilometre round trip is part sealed, part gravel, and is suitable for cars but the 3 kilometre steep grade is not suitable for caravans or buses. Fuel can be bought in Oberon and food is available in Oberon and at Caves House. There are also toilets at Jenolan Caves. Jenolan Caves is a great drive, not only for the rugged bushland views and the winding road, but also its impressive destination. Jenolan Caves are the most spectacular underground limestone caves in Australia. Enjoy cave tours, historic Caves House, concerts in the Grand Arch, bushwalking and a great variety of flora and fauna.
Directions: Take the Edith Road and pass through the village of Edith, and then down to the Jenolan River. On you return, as an alternative, travel along the Jenolan Caves Road, through national park and state forest, initially for 14 kilometres. Another option is to turn left into Boggy Creek Road for 5 kilometres through Jenolan State Forest then left again onto the Duckmaloi Road. Continue towards Hampton for a further 13 kilometres. At the T intersection turn left and return through farmland to Oberon for 26 kilometres.
More information see: Jenolan Caves
Tarana-Evans Crown Reserve
This trail is suitable for cars, with both sealed and gravel roads, and is a 1 hour return trip, plus time at Evans Crown. It is a 66 kilometre return trip, and fuel can be purchased at Oberon, with food being available at Oberon and Tarana, but take drinking water with you. There are toilets at Tarana.
Breath-taking views out over Bathurst and the surrounding countryside can be seen from the top of Evans Crown Reserve after an easy 20 minute walk. The reserve, with its gigantic boulders, is a major rock-climbing venue. The round trip is around 3 kilometres of medium grade walking, and takes about 2 hours.
Directions: Leave Oberon along the Lowes Mount Road past the timber processing mills and proceed to Tarana. Drive past the Railway Station taking the Sodwalls Road. After two kilometres, turn right onto Honeysuckle Creek Road. After a further 1 kilometre, you will come to the Evans Crown Reserve. For your return trip, drive towards Tarana and just after St. Stephens Anglican Church take a left turn to Oberon, which is 26 kilometres in length. This is an unsealed road through some picturesque grazing country.