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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.