Caves to Caves tour….a brand new tour!
Well we’re finally allowed out again! I can’t begin to tell you how great it is to be allowed out to roam! So to celebrate the freedom we were given I jumped in the car last week and did a recce on an area I have always wanted to take people to and an easy 2 day tour out of Sydney.
This tour is along a track that some of you may have heard of before, but in my usual way there is a twist to the norm. I won’t run through the whole tour in detail as yet, as this will go up on the tour page proper when I finish the write up, with a start in December if all goes well.
For my offsider Pav and me, this was a celebration to feel dirt under the wheels again! The week before, the two of us were out at a little town called Rowena in north western NSW. As some of you will know, my back ground is as an electrician, solar installer and refrigeration mechanic, so we found ourselves out at this beautiful outback pub that the owners Jenny and Sid are in the middle of doing up. This is where I come in…it was time to air-condition the pub, so Pav and I are busily installing the air con and dreaming of the following week when we are allowed to travel all over NSW…..lets not bring in Qld and WA into this discussion though!
What I have wanted to offer is a 2 day tour out of Sydney, usually held over a weekend with a few mid week ones thrown in too. The people on the tour can drive out the night before and we all meet up for a couple of days of fun, finishing early enough for people to make it home in time to be back at work the next day.
So where to? Yerranderie was one of my first adventures when I first got into 4 wheel driving, so as such I have a bit of a soft spot for the place. There is some great history here with some pretty substantial mines in their day, the relics of which are still here to discover. The town itself sadly died in the late 1950’s due to the construction and flooding of Warragamba Dam and in the early days there was a road straight from Camden to here. Sadly the road now is long gone and Sydney water has now banned access via the old 4×4 tracks that are still there.
To begin this tour then, we need to cross the mountains and head to Jenolan, but keep in mind the road from the east to Jenolan was totally destroyed first by bushfires and then by flooding so the way in is from Oberon. The caves themselves, as of November 2021, are still only open over the weekend.
Within 30 minutes of leaving the black top, we find ourselves on a beautiful dirt track crossing a creek in full flow, not roaring, just a lovely flow. This is to be the first of many that we cross over the next couple of days. We travel up and down some great tracks equally as steep as the Victorian Highcountry before we start to feel hungry and head for the river. What a lunch spot this is, crystal clear, and on a hot day, a couple of swimming holes….just glorious.
We lazily pack up our lunch and start heading for the town of Yerranderie. Here, to our disbelief after an easy, but sensational track, we find we have the place to ourselves, not a soul to be seen, a true ghost town! Hot showers and flushing toilets meet us and they are impeccably clean. Congratulations to the caretaker, an award should be heading your way. We settle in for the night, with the very friendly roo family joining us around the fire.
The next morning we roam around the private and the government town, we stop in at the cemetery, always heartache to be found in these historic cemeteries, before we head over and look at a couple of the old mines, all within an easy walk of the private town centre.
After a couple of hours of sightseeing it is time to head off once again. Yerranderie is one way in, one way out nowadays, so we are back on the same track before turning onto a great fire trail. We stop at a lovely spot for a cuppa and a yack before we make the decent into Wambeyan Caves. Here, if you are keen you can undertake a caves tour or roll out your swag in the large camping area, or like us, after a look around you start to make tracks back home filled with fantastic memories of just how tough these pioneering people must have been.
Keep an eye out for this one, once all of our ducks are in line, you will see the tour page proper appear on the website and you may also see it pop up on your social media.
I would love to show you this very special part of NSW.