Tarana & Oberon Ride
57km w/ 886m ascent
NOTE: We highly recommend that you look over the profile to understand the climbs and descents of this long and remote gravel ride.
If you are looking for a longer ride, you can combine Route Four and Route Five in the Tarana area.
Another superb loop in the Lithgow LGA over to Oberon. This is predominately a tarmac-ed loop however it is not possible to complete with a road bike.
In town is the Tarana Hotel and lots of parking in the general area. Off in the distance you will see the beautiful Evans Crown Nature Reserve with its large granite boulders sitting on top of the ridge. You can ride or drive up there pre or post this ride.
To begin the ride from Tarana you will climb for the first ~2km on Hazelgrove Road. Then there is a lovely descent to ~6km followed by a ~1K climb averaging ~6%.
After another short descent there is another climb of ~3.5 km, averaging ~6%. Then at ~8.3km you turn left onto Mount Olive Road and on your first gravel section.
Settle in as it is not an easy climb with sections of +13% and then as you get closer to the finish there are prolonged periods of +15%.
Enjoy this next section as you meander through fantastic Australian countryside. You are surrounded by canopy of gumtrees.
At ~15.9km turn right on Meadows Road and you are now back on tarmac. Then at ~16.7km you have finished this climb.
At ~19.3km turn left back onto Hazelgrove Road, direction Oberon. Then at ~25.6km turn right onto Albion St followed by an immediate left onto Tarana Road. This takes you to Oberon St where you will turn right, look out for the Big Trout Motel on the corner.
In Oberon are a lot of facilities including a supermarket, toilets, RSL Club, cafes and a bakery.
At ~28.1km turn right on North St which changes to Lowes Mount Road and go past the paper plant. You can join the rail-trail which continues parallel to Lowes Mount Road (LMR). At ~31.2km the bike path moves away from LMR and goes into a pine forest.
At ~33.6km the rail-trail ends and you turn right onto Black Bullock Road and along more fantastic gravel on a beautiful open road, passing through some glorious farmland.
At ~36.4km turn left on Hazelgrove Road (HR) and you are back on tarmac. HR is the same road that you were on earlier in the loop, continue for just a few kilometres. This section is predominantly descending and on good tarmac.
As you are descending down Hazelgrove Road please keep an eye out for Snake Valley Road. You will veer to the left at ~45.2km on to Snake Gully Road. You are now back on gravel and very soon after at ~46.4km there is a four way intersection, please use caution here.
Enjoy the absolutely stunning views along this almost double track section. You will descend down and cross a weir which would be running if there were recent rains. You are then riding parallel to Snake Gully Creek, again on double track gravel.
After Snake Gully Road, turn right at ~48.8km on Lowes Mountain Road and enjoy the ride besides the poplar trees, which are magnificent in the autumn. Then at ~52km turn right on Mutton Falls Road which takes you over Fish River and then there is one more right turn on to Tarana Road which takes you back to the beginning.
Start and finish: Tarana (this is a ~30km drive from Lithgow).
Accommodation Information : To see a range of accommodation available in the Seven Valleys, click here.
There is also accommodation at the Tarana Hotel.
Bathrooms/Facilities: Start & Finish/Oberon @ ~27km
Food & Water: Start & Finish if hotel is open/Oberon @ ~27km
Renshaw’s Bikes Lithgow: 199 Main Street, Lithgow NSW Ph: +61 2 6355 5500
Phone Reception: Coverage in Tarana and Oberon is good, however there is very limited coverage in the remote areas on this loop. (See ‘Cycling Check List’ which lists the major mobile phone carriers coverage maps.)
Bikes: Gravel/MTB/Hybrid Flat Bar/e-versions of these bikes with suitable gravel tyres
Paved vs un-paved: 75% vs 25%
Highest & Lowest Elevation: 1183m above sea-level at 17km/774m above sea-level at 53km
Level: Intermediate and up
Timing: 2:20 @ 20 kph/3:10 @ 18 kph/3:35 @ 16 kph/4:05 @ 14 kph
Cue-sheet: turn by turn instructions can be found on the Ride with GPS
Notes : There is quite a lot of accumulative climbing throughout this loop. You need a decent level of fitness to complete this loop.
Please make sure you go through the ‘Cycling Check List’ below.
- Your own cycling safety is your responsibility so stay aware and take stock of your surroundings
- Follow the road rules at all times
- Check your bike and equipment before you depart, i.e. tyre condition, well lubed chain, helmet condition etc. Make sure it is all in good working order and if in doubt take it to your local bike shop before you venture out
- Always tell someone where you are going and your estimated time of return
- If you open any gates, please close them immediately once you pass through them
- Check the weather forecast for the area where you will be riding
- Carry maps &/or a well charged GPS device for the area you are riding in
- Carry spare tubes, tyre levers, pump and multi-tool at a minimum
- Always carry enough water, food and suncream as you will be in remote areas
- It is highly recommended that you do not ride alone in remote areas
- Always be aware that roads and conditions regularly change, especially in NSW Forestry, National Parks and on country gravel roads
- Check the Live Traffic website for information about Road Closures: https://www.livetraffic.com/
- Phone coverage is not always available, but a well charged phone should be carried in case of emergency
- Mobile phone coverage providers:
Telstra : https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-networks/our-coverage
Optus : https://www.optus.com.au/living-network/coverage
Vodaphone : https://www.vodafone.com.au/network/coverage-checker
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