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Sydney to Kiama to Bowral to Orange #2

Old Apr 20th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Sydney to Kiama to Bowral to Orange #2

This has been re posted due to my stupidity
Thanks to Bushranger.
We are currently planning the Australian Leg of our September trip.

Planning a couple of days in Sydney, then drive south. We have in mind the first leg -Kiama then Bowral and Orange.

How many days would be comfortable?

My first thought is to get through these places and be in Orange for night fall, is this too ambitious? I don't want to rush but it's difficult to judge.

I like the look of Kiama and want to do some cricket history in Bowral and at least 1 night in Orange area.

This is not set in stone, its just an idea at the moment.

any thoughts?


Bushranger on Apr 19, 09 at 08:08 PM
You may mean Kiama where there's a blowhole that attracts some interest but how hard it blows depends on how hard a sea is running and so it could be a fizzer.

Overall, attempting to get through all those places is going to have you missing some great touring scenery, leave bugger all time for cricket in Bowral and be something of a rush.

Make use of or similar planners you can find on auto club sites like
If you're driving a hire vehicle that usually have a stay on sealed road stipulation, you'll probably need to head from Bowral down to at least Goulburn and head to Orange from there, probably the most direct route and could even still be a little stretch of unsealed section, more spectacular drive closer into Blue Mountains but much more unsealed.

By touring scenery I mean in heading south consider taking the road through the Royal National Park and along the coastal escarpment Lawrence Hargreaves drive and then in going as far as Kiama you might as well go on to Berry for a lunch there, a lovely village atmosphere town despite Princess Highway being the main street.
From there you could head across to the Hampden Swing Bridge in Kangaroo Valley, another option for lunch and then up via Fitzroy Falls road to Bowral.

If you took a 5-6 am start you could miss Sydney traffic build up, the sun on escarpments should provide some spectacular colour and have breakfast at Kiama, maybe a MT at Berry or HB and Lunch at Bowral.

Allow yourself in the order of 4 hours between Bowral and Orange, probably best to get there prior to 6pm so there'll be less chance of engaging with any wildlife on dusk.

So you could do it, but a long day with a swag of driving.

Bushranger on Apr 19, 09 at 11:09 PM
You'll note too no doubt that Berry/Kangaroo Valley will add a bit to the trip but all that significant in the total scenario and even heading to Bowral from Kiama and on to Orange will be a good eight hours or so approximate driving required.

So in not rushing you ought to look at somewhere about Bowral to stay overnight, Bowral having a lovely village atmosphere and a lot of B&Bs or farmstays all about the tablelands area there or alternately for a bit more history, the Surveyor General Hotel in Berrima may be worth a look -

That way you'll have time both days of two not to be too rushed and take time to see more of what is availabe as mentioned in first post.
Mucky is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2009, 02:16 PM
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You will definitely need more than a day if you are driving to Orange! There are lots of lovely towns around Bowral to visit. There's a rain forest walk on the way from Kiama to Bowral at minamurra rain forest. Berrima is great for souvenirs, there's also a terrific restaurant there open from Thursday-Sunday called "Josh's Cafe" - dinner books out quickly, but you can walk in for a late lunch no probs. Great food and reasonable prices. If you are there in September there might be some Tulip time festivities going on around Bowral (this also brings busloads of tourists to town!)
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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On another thread there's discussion of Kiama, the fish and chips is excellent at the take-away attached to Cargos--you can pick your fish type also, I always have snapper. There's quite a lot of places to stay in Kiama if you were thinking of an overnight there.

Another vote for Minammurra Falls, it's a really beautiful, easy 1 hour walk through the rainforest. Just as an aside, I think it's one of the very few wheelchair accessible walks as there's a sturdy boardwalk.

The Sourdough Bakery at Berry would be my vote for lunch. It's the first turn on the left as you enter the town.

If you like second-hand book fossiking there's a barn between Berrima and Mittagong--Berkelows--that's worth visiting.
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 11:44 PM
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Let me add my voice to the chorus - Orange is a little too far for the first day - you are driving south (Kiama, Bowral) to start with, and then several hundred kilometres north (Orange). Unless you don't plan to see anything between Sydney and Orange, I'd recommend taking in Kiama (+ Illawarra / Shoalhaven) and Bowral (+ Southern Highlands) the first day and taking on the drive to Orange the next. And as Bushranger pointed out, it would be good to finish your driving by dusk unless you don't mind swerving for the wildlife - they all come out to graze around sunset. A good principle anytime you are driving inland.
I have driven on the roads from Canberra to Dubbo a few times (you may well be travelling on some of the same roads, as it is a very similar direction), and while you will probably not encounter much traffic, the roads are average and you probably wouldn't want to burn rubber on them. That journey takes 4 - 5 hours if I remember correctly.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Ok thanks so far.
We want head from Orange to hunter valley area.
What's in between?
How long do you recommend?

Where is good to stay in the hunter valley?

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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 03:01 AM
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There's a few ways you could go, probably not all that much difference in distance and with different features.
1. Stay out west and head up the Mitchell Highway to Wellington and then across NE through a town called Gulgong to Golden Highway that goes all the way to Singleton though you can turn off for Muswellbrook and upper Hunter - nothing of huge note though pleasant country touring with little traffic to be expoected until you get into Hunter Valley.

2. Head east along the Mitchell Highway as far as Bathurst and then north taking a slightly longer final leg through Rylstone and Kandos will have you travelling through a region that has a gold mining history on way to Mudgee which is a rich agricultural area, vineyards having been developed there in recent decades, heading further north you'll connect with Golden Highway.
Been years since I have been in that actual area and never on that road, an older map showing a short unsealed section that may have been since sealed, alternately keep heading east to nearly Lithgow and then north and you'll be on a better road.

3. Head all way to Lithgow and then Bells Line Road, road to Richmond and there's the historic Zig Zag railway and Mt Tombah botanical gardens along the way and you can turn off before Richmond for the Putty Rd. through between Wollemi and Yengo NPs that will bring you through to Singleton in the Hunter, a reasonable drive but nothing too spectacular.

If you do 2. or 3. you ought to take an hour to drive up the Mt.Panorama road just on south of Bathurst, a public road with great vistas from top of the mountain at what is called skyline and then a bit of a thrill to drive down through the dippers as it is also referred to when the road is closed off to become Australias most spectacular if not most famous auto racing circuit - do not attempt to go any faster than 30kmh as you leave skyline - it's pretty hairy.

If you use one of the planners and put in towns as described you'll get what the actual different distances/times are, off top of my head, a minimum four hours on western or Putty Rd routes, about five via Kandos/Mudgee and plus any detour allowances.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 09:32 AM
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That's great thank you !!
I have my map and the links and with all your info I will soon come up with some kind of itinary.
Watch this space


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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 03:44 AM
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Hi again,
I have a very tentative idea .
We have decided to adda couple of nights in Canberra too.
So- The towns mentioned are general route/direction and we intend to investigate further what to see in these areas.

I would be interested in your thoughts on this:
Day 1.
Sydney - Bowral -Kiama area staying somewhere in the area of Nowra.
Day 2
Nowra to Canberra stay in Canberra 2 nights

Day 3 Canberra
Day 4 Yass -Cowra (pow camp)- Orange
Day 5 Wellington - Gulgong -Merriwa - Muswell brook-Singleton/Maitland area.
Day 6 & 7 Singleton/Maitland area
Day 8 Sydney
Day 9 - Airport -Thailand

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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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You ought to still consider doing Kiama first, then to Bowral and to Canberra for efficiency re distances to be travelled otherwise you'll be doing the torturous Kangaroo Valley route twice unless you're figuring on driving further down the coast to Batemans Bay region to head to Canberra that way, nice drive too and if so consider overnighting at for somrthing better than Nowra.

If you're planning on the Hunter Valley for wineries, you ought to get away from the main M - S - M NEHighway route, for more Coalfields than Wineries.
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Old Apr 26th, 2009, 02:39 AM
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Hi Bush,
Yes we thought Batemans bay looked a nice route, that's the reason for the order, although it's not set in stone.

i will check out the resort Thanks

Will probably make a new post for both Canberra and Hunter area.

Thanks so far

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Old Apr 26th, 2009, 05:49 PM
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If you do end up visiting Cowra you will find some interesting history concerning the POW's and also an absolutely beautiful Japanese Garden which is well worth a visit. Cowra is also home to some good Wineries.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 01:32 AM
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Hi Mucky,

If you are thinking about staying in Nowra, you could stay in Berry instead, or keep driving on to the Mollymook - Milton - Ulladulla area, which is more of a (humble) resort area. It's not that you can't stay in Nowra, it's just that Nowra is a bit underwhelming. The Ulladulla area is about a 4 hr drive from Sydney. Berry is really charming but you haven't travelled very far from Sydney and I don't know how much time pressure you want to put yourselves through. Batemans Bay is pretty nice too - you will probably see plenty of pelicans there.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 02:25 AM
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He's going to go in to bat up at Bradman field in Bowral firswt Lavandula so the day could be well spent - you are kind of hinting at why I suggested finding somewhere further afield - "underwhelming being somewhat of an understatement for some"

Coming down from Bowral to Nowra they'll already be past Berry but Milton or Mollymook is good too.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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