Driving from Canberra to Blue Mountains

Nov 29th, 2004, 10:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 13
Driving from Canberra to Blue Mountains

Hello all.

I'm wondering which driving route to take to get from Canberra into the Blue Mountains. We will be driving to Canberra from Sydney and wondering if we would be able to take a different route into the Blue Mountains from the West (through Cowra and Bathurst) without adding much additional travel time. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Also, if anyone can recommend a convenient place to stay in Canberra (for less than 100AUD) it would be appreciated.
Thanks for your help!
alyssa_n is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Alyssa, you can certainly drive via Cowra and Bathurst, and the route will allow you to experience something og the Australian countryside.

Unfortunately it's been so long that I can't put a very close time on that route, but I think you should allow 1-1/2 to 2 hours longer than the most direct route (which is about 3-1/2 hours to Katoomba). The fast route is straight up the Hume Highway until you reach a turnoff to Campbelltown and Penrith - after exiting the freeway head left and follow the signs to Penrith until, just short of Penrith, you take a left onto the Great Western Hwy, then follow your nose to the Mountains. (Sorry, I can never remember the F- (freeway) M- (motorway) road numbers, which unlike the US don't seem to follow any directional logic.)

To drive via Bathurst, leave Canberra via the Barton Hwy, then near Yass take the Hume Hwy toward Gundagai; at Bowning turn right to Boorowa and Cowra. Once you're off the Hume Hwy the roads are 2-lane "blacktop", 100 km/hr State limit, not terribly fast but OK. If you can spare the time it would be worthwhile to drop by the Cowra Visitors Centre and maybe the Japanese Gardens. You can find out more at www.tourism.nsw.gov.au/Corporate/travelplanner (search on "Explorer Country")
and also www.canberratourism.com.au

As for accommodation, a brief check of www.wotif.com discount rates shows plenty of options under $100.
* Olims Hotel is conveniently close to the city centre and Australian War Memorial (a must-see IMO)
* University House Hotel on the Australian National University campus is a nice and somewhat different location
* But if you have a car there are several within a few km of the centre, and I mention the following solely on location (i.e. I haven't stayed at them, but they look like fairly safe bets):
Quality Hotel Diplomat (Manuka), Best Western Embassy (Deakin), Best Western Parklands (Dickson), Best Western Motel Monaro (Kingston), Canberra Rex (City/Braddon), Comfort Inn Downtown (City), Forrest Inn & Apartments (Forrest), Pavilion on Northbourne (Dickson), Telopea Inn on the Park (Forrest).

When do you plan to be in Canberra?
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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By the route Neil outlined (and I recommend it)..
canberra-cowra 2.5 hrs
cowra - katoomba 3 hrs
johhj_au is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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Thanks, John. There you have it - an extra 2 hours' driving, give or take. I meant to mention that the Cowra visitors centre has a really interesting sound-and-vision show about a bloody breakout of Japanese prisoners from the Cowra POW camp in WW2 - I think Bill Bryson mentions it. He also mentioned a combined pet food and porn shop (the original "mixed business"?) but I can't speak for that.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 03:29 PM
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Do they sell revealing lingerie for singing and piano playing dingos?

AndrewDavid is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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Just wondering what the more direct route via Goulburn, Taralga and Porters Retreat is like. I had considered going that way to Canberra via the Blue Mts a few years ago but never did because of a change in plans. On my map it looks like there are several patches of unsealed road after Taralga. [Beauty of the route is that Jenolan Caves is on the way, and Wombeyan Caves are just a short diversion. Been to both on separate trips - Jenolan is the more impressive but I liked the relative obscurity of Wombeyan and the fact that when I showed up on a winter weekday afternoon, there was not a soul there except for the ranger who gave me an excellent personlized guided tour. Maybe not the best use of Aussie taxpayer money but I couldn't complain.]
RalphR is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 05:16 PM
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You can travel from Goulburn /Crookwell to Bathurst on a not-too-bad dirt road (unless there's been a lot of rain.) The road goes past Abercrombie Caves, which are interesting. It's an interesting drive, but I couldn't estimate how much longer it'd take.

It's a good idea to try and see some of the countryside.
margo_oz is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 05:32 PM
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A/D, I believe that the dingo is a protected species. Whether that extends to protection from moral danger (or humiliation) I don't know. Cowra is probably short on dingoes anyway, clothed or unclothed, entertaining or not.

Maybe at this point I should warn readers that the Australian Capital Territory is the only jurisdiction in Australia in which the production and sale of X-rated material is legal. As a result it's one of Canberra's more successful industries, with a thriving mail-order business.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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Actually the combined Porn/Pet Shop is in Young - not Cowra - but we let them take the credit!!! It has been established in town for many years and I believe does a roaring trade in both sections!
prue is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 06:48 PM
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Sirry prue, I stand corrected. I can picture citizens of Young emerging from the shop with a suspicious bulge under the coat and clutching a can of Pal for cover. Here in Canberra the porn shops are confined to light industrial localities like Fyshwick and Mitchell, along with other not-unrelated establishments - we're big on city planning. Presumably this allows members of the diplomatic community, and others, to claim to be going to the hardware emporium or getting a quote from the panelbeater.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 04:48 PM
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Is Alyssa still trying to gert to the Blue Mountains from Canberra, or has she been seduced by the pet and porn industries of those areas to the south?
margo_oz is offline  

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