Motor racing enthusiast or not, there’s something pretty irresistible about making the pilgrimage to Mount Panorama (called Wahluu by the Wiradjuri people) for a first-hand look at the spectacular site of the world-famous and legendary Bathurst 1000! Plus, with all the excitement of this year’s mountain race just around the corner and travel to NSW’s regions back on the cards, what better time to get in on the action and plan a little road trip? Even if you’re not an all-out Supercars ‘rev-head’ – the Bathurst area is a one-of-a-kind destination that makes for an exciting or equally easy weekend away, with heaps to explore and experience!
A few directions…
First things first, make sure you’re on the right road! Travelling 200km though the Blue Mountains on the Great Western Highway/A32 will get you from the Sydney city centre to Bathurst in just under three hours (as always, we suggest checking Google maps before you leave for any traffic hold-ups, roadworks or detours).
While you’re there…
Situated on the Macquarie River in NSW’s Central Tablelands, Bathurst’s history is steeped in Australia’s gold rush era, along with abundant wildlife and conservation areas, wineries and art galleries, restaurants and extensive choice of accommodation options… and did we mention motor racing? Here are our top picks to get your planning started.
Mount Panorama Circuit…If you’re visiting when THE race isn’t on, a trip up the famous mountain is still well worth your while! With amazing views from multiple pit stops and vantage points, you can experience being ‘King of the Mountain’ as you put your own vehicle (and Maxxis tyres of course!) to the test on the famous circuit (which by the way, is also a public road so please remember the speed limit is 60km/hr). Make sure you stop off at the National Motor Racing Museum on Panorama Avenue and get up to speed with all the motor racing history and hundreds of awesome exhibits.
Go 4’WD’ing…On ultra-reliable and robust Maxxis 4x4s, this is a great place to put them through their paces! With adventures for beginners and more experienced 4×4 drivers, there’s The Bridle Track, Hill End to Ophir, Sunny Corner Circuit and many others that will get you enjoying Bathurst’s all-terrain and off-road landscapes from pole position!
Abercrombie Caves…With the largest natural arch in the southern hemisphere, these limestone caves (70km south of Bathurst) are an impressive natural wonder to put on your weekend map.
Ohkuma Japanese Garden… For some peace and quiet, take a stroll through the beautiful and tranquil Ohkuma Japanese Garden (corner of Hereford and Stanley Streets) — established in 1998 as part of Bathurst’s relationship with its Japanese sister city Ohkuma.
Camping, fishing, bushwalking, mountain-biking and birdwatching… Wherever you are in Bathurst, you’re never far from the Great Outdoors. The Grove Creek Falls walking track (a 6km return track which leads to the perfectly stunning Grove Creek Falls) is an awesome place for just such an adventure.
Pick your own cherries… The Bathurst area grows cherries in abundance, which also means there are plenty of opportunities to get one step ahead of buying them instore by picking yours fresh from the farm.
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery…Bringing together a wide range of exhibitions and art by local, in-house and touring artists – BRAG (as it is affectionately known) is an important feature of the local community – and if art is your thing, make sure you take a peek!
For foodies…Bathurst is renowned for its fresh regional produce as well as its homegrown wines and craft beers. Along with many other simply amazing local eateries and watering holes, the iconic Beekeepers Inn (home of 1859 Brewing Co) located in Vittoria (between Bathurst and Orange) offers the best of craft beer, honey-tasting, coffee and great food all on one historic site.
Before you head off…Book your accommodation or camp site, pack your fishing rod, mountain bike and esky and check those Maxxis tyre pressures! If your vehicle is loaded more than usual (or you’re towing a boat or trailer) you’ll need to adjust the pressures accordingly – check your vehicle owner’s manual or tyre placard on the inside of the driver’s door for more details. And, most importantly, if you’re looking for new tyres check out the great Maxxis great range for almost every type of vehicle and locate your nearest Maxxis dealer here.