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Tour de Tarana

Home > Sydney > Outdoor | Historic Houses | Escape the City | Art and Craft Centres
by glenop (subscribe)
So much to see...so little time to see it all.
Published October 14th 2015
The village where time stood still
The view from Tarana Railway Station

You're driving along a highway. There's a road sign left or right directing you to place you've never heard of. The explorer part of your brain kicks in. You start to wonder what could be there? Will I be disappointed? Will I be pleasantly surprised? What am I missing out on?

Heading along the Great Western Highway is very typical with temptations left and right. Rydal? Napoleon Reef? Yetholme? Tarana?

Discover Tarana

Tarana is some 12 Killometres off the highway between Lithgow and Bathurst and is officially part of the O'Connell/Tarana Discovery Trail, but what, you may well ask, if anything, is at Tarana?

Driving in and around the scenic undulating hills and valleys that surround Tarana, you soon discover that this sparsely populated part of the world is mostly grazing sheep and cattle farms. At the centre of Tarana is its railway station (the only stop between Lithgow and Bathurst), an old school house, two churches and its pub, the historic Tarana Hotel.

The historic Tarana Hotel

The hotel dates back to either 1871 or 1880 depending on what sign you believe. It's obviously the most important business in town attracting both locals and passers-by looking for an out of the way drinking hole and a good pub meal. Its accommodation now consists of a few self catering cabins rather than a room in the old hotel. The restaurant does a roaring trade at its extensive beer garden with nifty views over the valley. Its extremely popular on weekends and is an obvious pit stop for motorcyclists on their country runs along winding roads.

Accommodation at the Tarana Hotel

The historic 1872 railway station

At the nearby ghostly railway station are a group of exquisite 1872 station buildings and residence as well as the now unused and forlorn looking 1915 waiting shed on the other side of the tracks. The station is mostly deserted and stops and pickup are by request only.

The Universal Bakery

Across from the pub is the only other business in town, the Universal Bakery. It picks up the alternate crowd looking for a point of difference in a little period cottage with a non pub menu.

The 1871 former school house is now home to the exquisite Longwood Art Studio and Gallery

Lovingly restored School House is now an art studio

Around the corner is the old Anglican church and old school houses. The original 1871 school house is now an art studio while its 1930's replacement a private residence. The old school house has been lovingly restored and is as much a museum as a working art studio and gallery. Going back along the road towards Oberon, there is Tarana's other church, a typically ornate Methodist church which is also now a private residence.

There are surprising number of hidden colonial age cottages and churches dotted around the back-roads surrounding Tarana. The hills are alive with grazing sheep and cattle. Towns like Tarana are like time capsules where little has changed, where time has almost, stood still.

Historic St Stephen's Church

Tarana, the centre of the universe
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Why? That tiny country town experience
Where: Tarana
Your Comment
Nice to read an article dealing with a town off the proverbial beaten path:)
by Maria M (score: 2|661) 1158 days ago
You may like to add that the private home opposite the old Methodist church at Tarana was once the Police Station and the odd quaint building down the road from the pub was once the Tarana Post Office.
From a past resident with ancestor relations.
by jmere (score: 0|2) 633 days ago
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