FJCC NSW Meeting Hill End

summary: FJCC NSW Meeting north of Bathurst. Also took the time to meet up with Sean for a couple of nights camping.
date: 9th August to 11th August 2013
region: Blue Mountains
distance: 600kms kms
duration: 2 days 2 nights
people: Graham, Sean, Noreen, James and family, George, others.
views: 1657


I managed to get away from work nice and early, and headed straight for the mountains. I reached Zig Zag and stopped to air down, the temperature had started to head south so it was pretty cool sitting around the wheels letting out a few lbs. Once that was done, I headed out along the trail towards our campsite at Black Fellows Hand Rock.

Only thing to mention from this drive was the fact that some of the trails here had been recently graded as they were installing a gas pipeline through the area.

Camp was reached and there was still a little light left in the afternoon for me to set things up. I'd collected firewood along the way which was good since there is never much around this popular campsite - however I was the only camper here tonight.

Later in the evening I finally got that friendly voice of Sean over the radio, he wasnt too far away. Apparently driving this track at high speed in the dark is not such a good idea! Especially when there was a tree across the track in one section! Anyway, Sean arrived safely and set up his swag and we settled in to the typical camp fire banter for a few hours before heading off to bed.


Today our plans were to just check out the tracks around the local area. We were looking for a trail that started on the Western side of Wolgan road. It turned out to be harder to find than expected, but eventually we found an entry point a little further south than expected. (Update: The trail actually starts about 50m north of the Black Fellows trail). The track wasnt very busy, but there were a few trail bikers setting up for the day. We drove around in a rather random fashion for some time, with only a hint of direction! We did see some amazing views though out over the Wolgan Valley. We were looking for a particular spot that let you drive pretty close to the edge of the cliff face, what we found though was a far better spot where I practically placed the front of the FJ over the edge of the cliff! Views here were obviously amazing!

We continued on along the main trail, and started to hit a few more obstacles. There were plenty of chicken tracks to use which avoided many bog holes, but eventually Sean became tired of this and asked me if I could pull him out if he got stuck in the next one...Ok, so he didnt get stuck, but I've never seen so much air under a front wheel as the Bulldog got exiting that ruts! It was all pretty funny from behind the camera, but I can only imagine what Sean was feeling like in the drivers seat! Check out the vide bellow to see what I'm talking about!

So eventually, we started getting hungry and Sean then came up with his best idea of the day, "lets head to the pub at Capertee". So off we went. The pub food was great, and the beer was cold so you couldn't ask for much more!

After lunch we headed back along Castlereagh Highway so that we could make the run up Wolgan Valley road to Newnes.

We arrived at Newnes quite early in the afternoon, but this place is pretty relaxing so we found ourselves a great campsite and settled in for the night - read that as cracked the first beer early!

Later in the evening, George and his mate in a Jeep turned up. It was pretty chilly at that point, and George was really feeling the cold! They set up camp pretty quickly and we all settled down around the fire for an evening of stories.


So today was the day for our FJCC meeting. We had to get up early and head back to Lithgow. The temps were a few below zero so it was not an easy morning! But the drive into Lithgow made up for that with beautiful clear skies, misty valleys and the usual 'wildlife' along the side of the road!

We made it to McDonalds and met up with the rest of the group for the day of driving. Quite a good collection of FJ's were present, with almost one of every colour there!

Our first leg was heading for Lithgow to Bathurst, and then finding the start of The Bridle Track. We followed the trail pretty much as far as we could go before stopping for morning tea. Unfortunately the trail is blocked off at the Northern end at the moment, so it was time to turn around and head back the way we came.

We then found the appropriate trail that took us up towards Hill End. This place was quite amazing. In the middle of nowhere an old country town has been restored to its former glory. We drove through the town at first, and headed to one of the amazing lookouts. Then back to town, and you guessed it, the pub for lunch :)

After lunch we headed back to the trail, with a couple of pit stops to check out some more of the old relics around the area. We found a couple of small water crossings along the way which made for some good video before finally making it back to the black top, and eventually Bathurst.

So an amazing weekend had with amazing people once again.

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