My travels are usually quite intensive. Waking up at 5AM and going back to bed at 10PM, hardly any breaks in-between. I somehow developed the ability to move non-stop and making photographs. This can last many weeks or it can be just one day. Recently I thought of doing one such ‘day activity’, visiting Orange in New South Wales, Australia. One thing that put me off from visiting Orange was its considerable distance from Sydney. In normal conditions it will take approx. 3 to 3.5 hours to travel non stop. Im inclined more towards journey than the destination. So my plan was to cover more places en-route.
Before we hit the road, this Travelogue is more suited for general audience than the hardcore photography audience. This is more of a kind of location scouting for me to later go on more photographically oriented tours to this region. However in any case it is essential to have a reliable photography Gear, and I think I have them here.
Choosing a Highway would make me to skip more rural places and stop in few towns en-route, choosing more rural roads/shortcuts would help me to experience more than just traveling in tar road. How is it possible in just one day?. Usually traveling with this intensity is not suitable for people with kids, or who wants more relaxing trip unless you are just fine reaching Orange with minimum stops, spend your day and then return in the evening. But for those who like to just drive and stop wherever they want and sometimes return without even reaching the destination I would like to assure that you can do a fantastic trip to Orange in one day. The experiences are different, you enjoy both on-road and off-road rides, wander in majestic countryside, and have quick walk in the towns, but you won’t visit a museum, sit and relax under shades that the beautiful parks provide or have a bath in the streams.
There are mainly Two routes you can select from Sydney. One runs through the M4 highway towards Penrith and then continue on the A32 great western highway till orange. Other route goes through Richmond on B59 till Lithgow bypassing Katoomba and Blackheath. From Lithgow you can continue straight on A32 or you can make a diversion through rural villages like Tarana, O’Connell till Bathrust then to Orange. You can add Oberon Town centre to your rural roads which will add another hour to your schedule. Selecting the rural route will add more travel time not due to the distance ( Almost equal to the other route), but due to the beauty that surrounds it. Without any doubt I selected the latter.
So what did I cover during the day trip to Orange
Journey started at 0530hours
0645hrs – Morning Winter fog of Richmond lowlands.
0900hrs- Stopover at the viewpoints in blue mountain cliffs.
1100hrs- Stopover at Lithgow for a while.
1300hrs- Bathrust for Lunch.(It took such long as I was stopping at few villages en-route)
1430hrs- Orange (Quick walk around the Town, the staffs at the Tourist information centre were amazing, they suggested few places which completely changed the latter part of my trip. We wanted an off-road experience, they quickly plotted a route on the map. It just turned into something incredible)
1530hrs- ‘Off-road’ Journey to Ophir
2115hrs- On M4 towards home
The journey to Ophir and then to Bathurst gives you that off-road experience you badly wanted. There are few scattered houses and farmlands there and here. Streams, winding roads, the site where the first payable Gold was found in Australia, small waterfalls, flocks of sheep, Kangaroos, beautiful sunset, ride on uneven gravel roads during night under starry sky and the vehicle that covered in dust and sand are all parts of this loop to Bathurst. The roads are not too bad, you can try your luck with a normal sedan (I saw a hatchback en-route) but I strongly advice a SUV or 4×4 to negotiate this terrain better, specially during rainy days.
Note that these photographs and travelog are for most of the average travellers. If you are super fancy about photography or Travel you will need at-least 2 days. The aim of this trip for is to get an overall idea of the most of Central Western NSW.