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Published April 30th 2015
A four wheel drive adventure from Hill End
Have you heard of the Turon River? Don't be ashamed if you haven't. I have spent over 40 years living in New South Wales, ignorant of this beautiful waterway just beyond the ranges. Too good not to share, I made my "discovery" on a recent trip to Hill End.
The Turon River in the Central West of NSW runs for approximately 117km through well known country towns such as Sofala. Historically known for being one of the first places that gold was found in NSW in 1851, however the Turon in more recent times is known as a freshwater trout stream, perfect for fly fisherman, and a scenic camping spot.
Our adventure began at the start of the Bridle Track at Hill End on a dry April afternoon. As the name suggests, the Bridle Track was originally a horse route from Bathurst, used by stockmen in the early 1800s. But with the discovery of gold in the Turon Valley it became used by many heading to the goldfields hoping to strike it rich.
Since a major road collapse in 2010, the Bridle Track has been cut at Monaghans Bluff, 19km from Hill End, or if you are coming the other way, around 47km from Bathurst. It is still possible to access the Turon River from Hill End, but you can no longer get all the way through to Bathurst this way.
The Bridle Track is classified as 4WD only. It is a dirt track, there are steep edges and no guard rails. In many parts the track is so narrow there is only room for one way traffic. At the start of the track drivers are advised that there may be falling rocks, flash flooding and that the road is slippery when wet.
If you encounter a vehicle coming the other way, you need to stop or reverse to a point where the track is wide enough to pass. This only happened once for us and was not a major problem. Further on I was surprised to see that there are goats grazing up here in the steep valleys.
On this particular day the water was not deep, however, caution is advised as the crossing can be treacherous after heavy rains. There are a number of little tracks to explore near the Turon Crossing Reserve which show the beauty of the Turon River. There are also a number of camping areas available.
After spending some time exploring this beautiful waterway we reluctantly started the slow journey back to Hill End, spotting a few kangaroos amongst the trees and crossing our fingers they didn't jump out in front of us. It was a nice little 4WD adventure and a place we definitely wish to return to.