This is a great day trip with the lot! Some freeway riding, mountain views, a little ‘dirt’ riding and the best café in the Blue Mountains! All up about 200 kms with plenty of fuel along the way. The usual applies – mind the speed limit, advisory signs and don’t forget your rain gear.
We start from Parramatta and head West on the M4 up over the mountains. The mountains does have a few speed zones and apart from the area around Bullaburra (and further west) is now mostly four lanes.
Keep heading west till you get to Medlow Bath (where the Hydro Majestic is – being rebuilt now) and as you go over the railway line, at the set of lights, turn right and go past Browns Siding (the best café in the Blue Mountains) or not – why not drop in for a cup of coffee and cake!.
Whatever! – take a left turn (fifth after the café) into Rutland (it morphs into Grand Canyon Rd) and continue on that till you come to the airstrip (about 4 kms) – that’s right the airstrip! there are several in the Blue Mountains. Don’t go into the airstrip – there is an unfriendly sign which you will notice – veer left onto the dirt track.
You should be used to dirt now with the last two kms before the airstrip a very good unsealed road. This track however is a little rough – max speed is 20 kph or so but it’s OK. A couple of sections are steepish but easily navigable – watch for drainage humps along the way. After about 3 kms on the track (it’s mostly one-and-a-half cars wide) you’ll reach the lookout. Don’t go right to the fence on your ride- there is too much sand – you’ll get bogged! I definitely would not recommend this ride in the rain!
The lookout has water (boil first just to be sure), toilets and covered tables and seats (built I believe in the 1930’s?) The view is STUNNING!!, all the way into the Grose Valley – you can see a few rivers/streams too. Well, – crack open your thermos and munch on your sandwiches ’cause after we have rested there’s more!
Track back to the highway and turn right at the lights. We will pass through Blackheath (note the “best fish & chips shop in the Blue Mountains” on your right) and head towards Mount Victoria and at the set of lights turn right past the pub on to the Darling Causeway. Follow this till you get to the Bells Line of Road and turn right again to head back down the Mountains. We want to head to Richmond, Windsor, Sydney and Parramatta – follow the signs. The “Bells” road is a good one – you will get a lot of riders on it enjoying the great surface, beautiful curves and the wonderful views – though in some parts the only view you should be considering is the one straight ahead as the road would be a challenge for the novice – but take it easy and you’ll be OK (even if this is your first “real” ride). You will see some “hoons” testing their skill but there are some passing lanes so just let’em go! Take care of the odd truck as they have trouble on some of the very steep sections. Not so long ago Bells was closed due the the seriously bad bushfires they were having, the evidence for which you can still see.
A final stop for you should be the Bellbird Hill Lookout (about 46 kms after you get onto the Bells Line of Road – you’ll see a blue sign on the left telling you “Tourist Info 300M on Left” – that’s what you want) where you find some toilets, plenty of parking and more great views. Hope you still got some water in your thermos!
Happy and Safe riding
*Please do your own research before embarking on any trips.