ot far from Sydney is an ideal camping location with everything you could possibly want for an easy weekend adventure. There’s a beautiful river, views, four-wheel-driving, fishing and a whole lot more.
Turon National Park is located just west of Capertee, NSW. The main feature of this National Park is the Turon River which flows through the heart of this rugged and yet beautiful landscape.
Camping within the National Park is free and there are plenty of places to set up camp. There is also plenty of space, so selecting a location that is not right next to other campers is fairly easy. There are two designated camp areas, “The Diggings” and “Woolshed Flat”, but camping is permitted in most locations within the park and if you decide to drive the river road right up the border of the National Park, you will see secluded little campsites all along the 12 kilometres of windy track. At the two designated camping areas, there are breezy loo toilets, but otherwise no other facilities. There is always running water in the river, which can get quite deep after rain. If using water from the river to drink, make sure you boil it first.
THINGS TO DO:
The park has plenty to do and if you are into 4wding then you’re in for a treat as there are lots of tracks and roads that meander throughout. The park also borders onto Sunny Corner State Forest which also boasts a large number of 4wd tracks. You could spend a whole weekend just exploring the forests and bush.
Fishing is also very popular within the park and hooking a rainbow trout in the river can be a challenge. Like most places in the Australian bush, hiking is available and with many tracks and trails scattered through the park, there are endless opportunities. When the river is low, it is ideal for a lazy swim or float down the gentle rapids on an inflatable mattress. Or if the river was up, you could easily canoe around in the many waterholes or rapids. The topographical map 88311S covers the main area of the park and is a great asset to have if you are bush-walking or even camping for that matter.
If you are camping at Turon for longer than a few days, then there are a few longer trips that you could do outside the park and the one I recommend is the trip over to the township of Sofala via Turon Gates and the old Upper Turon Road. The road takes you through the mountainous pass and into Sofala via some great 4wd roads. It takes a few hours to do the trip, but well worth it.
The historic town of Sofala has many tourist attractions and is well established as a visitor town. With a number of restored old buildings the town dates back to the gold rush of the 1850’s and has quite a character about it. The population is only a couple of hundred people, but on a weekend the town swells with the influx of tourists eager to snap up a bargain at one of the many antique, art, craft and other shops that line the streets. But parking is at a premium within the town itself and the main street is only a few metres wide so be prepared to walk from wherever you manage to park your car.
From Lithgow follow the Great Western Highway west util you come to the Castlereagh Highway (Mudgee Road) exit. Follow this for about 37 kilometres until you arrive in Capertee. Travel through Capertee (towards Mudgee) and then take the left hand turn into Turon Gates Road approximately one kilometer out of town. After 200m turn left into Lochaber Road and follow this for approximately two kilometers. There is a road on the left that takes you into the National Park, but a word of warning, it is easily missed if travelling at speed, which is very easy to do on the main dirt Lochaber Road. Once inside the park there are two entries down to the river and the camping grounds, a dry weather road and a wet weather entry. Needless to say it is 4wd only and the dry weather road is fairly steep and would be treacherous in the wet. Both roads require that you cross the river at the bottom and this can be tricky if the river is up or you are towing a camper or heavy trailer. So let your tyres down and take care if need be.
Overall this is a great place to camp and can be a terrific location to gather around the camp fire and tell stories on a cold winters night. It does get very cold in Winter and in summer it can be very hot. There are often fire bans in place.