Photo © Destination NSW
Visit Oberon to experience all that nature has on offer including horse riding, bushwalking, four-wheel driving and cycling through National Parks and forests. You can fossick for gold, sapphires, and gemstones and discover exotic wood mushrooms and splendid gardens. Plus you fish for trout in mountain streams and canoe and kayak on the lake.
Oberon is part of the Greater Blue Mountains region just a couple of hours west Sydney. It is located on a magnificent plateau surrounded by charming landscapes of rolling green hills and moody pine forests. I think Oberon the first real rural town west of the Blue Mountains and it has great charm and unique alpine climate.
Oberon enjoys truly beautiful seasons with lush springs, balmy summers, and cool colourful autumns.
In winter it experiences snow and maybe that’s why it has more natural gas connections than any other town in Australia. Anyway, we find cold howling winds of winter, a relatively unique experience in Australia and it is a great time to enjoy warm muffins, coffee, and hot chocolate, after a walk in the forest or along the shore of the lake.
Oberon is a popular visitor destination for its own attractions and because it is close to the Jenolan Caves, Kananga Boyd National Park, State Forests, plus it has one of the world’s largest cool climate gardens, Mayfield Garden.
Explore the mysterious underground at Jenolan Caves, Wombeyan Caves and Abercrombie Caves. Experience the cool and magical wonderland far beneath the ground during exciting shown tours of these magnificent limestone wonders, as well as getting your blood pumping with adventure caving.
Wombeyan Caves is located between Oberon and Taralga and is open seven days, 9am to 4pm. Abercrombie Caves are l3 km from Trunkey Creek, open seven days during school holidays but closed Tuesday and Wednesdays other weeks.
> NATIONAL PARKS
Oberon is within easy reach of some of NSW’s most iconic and pristine National Parks and Wilderness Areas. National Parks Kanangra Area, based in Oberon, manages upwards of 200,000 hectares of reserved lands.
The Blue Mountains and Kanangra-Boyd National Parks, and the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve are three of the seven reserves that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and Oberon is a great place to base yourself if you plan to explore these beautiful parks.
Other nearby reserves worth a visit include: Abercrombie River National Park; Wombeyan and Abercrombie Karst* Conservation Reserves; Evans Crown Nature Reserve; and Yerranderie Regional Park. Entry to and camping in all of the National Parks around Oberon is free. (*Don’t be confused they are still “caves” in or book. Sorry National Parks, you are correct but…)
If you are planning on visiting any of the parks in the Oberon area call NPWS Kanangra Area on 02 6336 1972 for further information.
> STATE FORESTS
Forestry Corporation of NSW provides many established camping areas. Some contain space for a number of tents or caravans, fireplaces, and toilet facilities – you can even bring your dog but must be under control at all times.
An extensive network of roads and fire trails throughout forests provide a host of exploration opportunities for horse riding and the many creeks, rivers, and lakes provide opportunities for canoeing, fishing, and swimming. Swimmers should beware of snags and shallow water.
> MAYFIELD GARDEN
Magnificent Mayfield Garden near Oberon is one of the world’s largest privately-owned cool climate gardens and is home to an expansive private family garden and a year-round specially built tourism destination, the Water Garden. Open dates, times, ticket prices and more information on Mayfield Garden go to www.mayfieldgarden.com.au
OBERON AND DISTRICT MUSEUM
The museum has over 8000 items and photographs on display covering all aspects of early life in Oberon – pottery display of Oberon township, an 1887 weatherboard cottage, the last bullock wagon used to cart wool to the Oberon Railway, Oberon Council’s first horse-drawn drain plough and grader along with a huge collection of historical farm equipment. MORE INFO
OBERON MILITARY MUSEUM
Oberon Military Museum houses an array of weapons from the First World War to the present day, displays of medals, and various other items used by our Australian armed forces. It is located at Oberon RSL Sub Branch, corner Oberon, and Dudley streets. MORE INFO
Photo © Destination NSW
OBERON TARANA HERITAGE RAILWAY
A volunteer association aiming to bring one of the region’s most picturesque and heritage rail lines back into operation. The aim is to restore the Oberon Tarana branch line which is some 24.3kms long and was originally built between 1921-23 as well as establishing operating of a Diesel Locomotive hauled heritage tourist trains and opening Oberon Station as a vibrant Heritage Railway Display.
> VILLAGES OF OBERON
24km south of Oberon on the Abercrombie Road and rests among many thousands of hectares of pine forest. Relics of a colourful past are at every turn, with the magnificent historic stone Catholic Church and the historic cemetery are south of the village.
Fossicking is popular at Sapphire Bend, off Riverview Road in Vulcan State Forest. Mushrooms can be found in season in the forest and trout fishing is nearby.
Spectacular rural and forest landscapes on your way to the village 47km southwest of Oberon. A true, rural village, and is the heart of surrounding properties. Burraga hosts a wonderful sheep show annually, showcasing everything the plentiful district has to offer. You can view the remains of the old Burraga copper mine, on the outskirts of the village. In its day it was one of the largest copper mines in NSW and memorabilia is on display at the Mill Museum in Rockley.
O’Connell is 23km from Oberon, on the O’Connell Road. It is classified by the National Trust as a historic village. The village has a long history having been situated on the original road between Bathurst and Sydney. The present hotel was built in 1865 and today is a popular meeting place in pleasant surroundings.
Visit Hartley and experience a lovely blend of beautiful rugged scenery and gorgeous stone buildings. Hartley captures history as few places can, offering preserved remains of one of the first rural towns in Australia. It sits at the foot of the magnificent Victoria Pass, which was completed in 1832. The town is classified by the National Trust and guided tours of the town are conducted by National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The Court House is an iconic structure and historic relic was the place of many convict trials in the early settlement of Australia.
Situated 25km from Oberon, Tarana sits between a magnificent mountain and the unmistakable profile of Evans Crown. Evans Crown Reserve is accessed by turning right into Honeysuckle Falls Rd off the Sodwalls Rd. The beauty of the Crown and views in all directions 30-45 minute moderate uphill climb well worthwhile.
Rockley is 53km from Oberon via Black Springs on a sealed road or via Sewells Creek on a partially unsealed road. Rockley brings history to life, preserved among the splendid rugged landscape. Rockley has a number of historic buildings still in use, including the Anglican and Catholic churches, a hotel, and the Rockley Mill Museum. The museum was originally a flour mill and still houses the original milling equipment. The Museum has a collection of an early village, shop and police record books, and an extensive collection of early photographs and clothing.
Rockley Mill Museum © NSWVisitorGuide.com.au
Hampton is 30km east of Oberon on the main Jenolan Caves-Sydney Road. |ust before entering this road from Oberon, turn left into Tea Tree Road on the edge of the Millionth Acre picnic area and follow this road to the top of Mount Bindo to enjoy extensive views in all directions. Rugged tumbling valleys the wilderness and craggy gold mining escarpments form the landscape in which Hampton nestles.
Rainbow and brown trout can be found in the area. Lake Oberon (or Oberon Dam) is regularly stocked and fish are easily caught there. Both species can also be caught in the streams. There are local rules about where you can fish and how. For more information contact the Oberon Visitor Information Centre Ph 02 6329 8210
Oberon has many pretty rivers and creeks are the perfect places to try fossicking for precious stones.
Fossicking is a fun family activity searching for gold, sapphires, zircons, and occasionally diamonds and smokey quartz.
There are some perfect designated fossicking spots in the area and the Visitor Centre will help you to find them.
Oberon has over 40,000 hectares of state-owned radiata pine forests which provide an ideal environment for exotic wood mushrooms – prized in Europe and coveted by top Sydney restaurants.
There are many colourful mushrooms and other fungi in the forest which are wonderful photographic subjects but should not be eaten When picking table mushrooms, remember, ‘When in doubt, throw it out’. A leaflet and directions are available from the Oberon Visitor Information Centre.
> TRUFFLE HUNTING
Black Perigord Truffles are a very peculiar culinary delight that grows in the soil under trees at the Lowes Mount Truffiere, and you can accompany a specially trained truffle hunting dog each winter on your search for these fickle little black bundles. You can also try some truffle-infused products while you are at it and see what all the fuss is about.
Tablelands Way – Oberon Farmers’ Market is held on the first Saturday of each month, are a flurry of activity. Meet some locals, stock up on some local wines, freshly baked breads and pastries, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Tablelands Way – Oberon Farmers Markets. 8am – 1pm. 1st Saturday of the month. Barnabas Park, Oberon St, Oberon
Photo © Destination NSW
> DAY TRIPS
Here are some suggestions for day trips around the Oberon area. Call into the Visitor Information Centre for maps, details, and suggestions.
Jenolan Caves Drive
A 30-minute drive from Oberon. There you can take one of the many cave tours (two hours).
Visit the Blue Lake and maybe see the resident platypus and have lunch at Caves House or a picnic by the lake. Take the Carlotta Arch walk (one hour).
If you have time, continue on to Kanangra-Boyd National Park for the fantastic views. Just follow the Kanangra Walls sign after leaving Jenolan Caves. It’s a 29km drive on a reasonable unsealed road. When you get there walk out to the Kanangra Walls lookout and around to the plateau (minimum one hour).
Parks, Gardens and Lake Drive
Visit the Common, where you will find the magnificent mosaic bullocks and the Apex Park gardens. Go on to Cairloch Garden for an amazing show of flowers and garden design. Then you can wander Oberon’s main street where you will find all kinds of interesting shops, followed by a coffee or a meal at any of the town’s cafes and pubs. Then head on out to Mayfield Garden (15 min) where the Water Garden and Kitchen Cafe are open all year round. Self-guided tours of the greater garden are seasonal. After driving onto Rockley and have afternoon tea at Budden’s Guesthouse (by appointment), and then explore the historic buildings in town and visit the museum and the mill. You could have a picnic in the well maintained Stephens Park with barbecues, picnic area, and facilities. Also, take a nice walk to the small weir where you can throw in a line. Return to Oberon via Burraga and Black Springs to see some beautiful views across the picturesque farming country. And If it’s mushroom season, stop off in one of the pine forests to go mushrooming. To end the day on the way back into town call into Lake Oberon and enjoy the afternoon light and sunset.
Nature Walks, Vineyards and River Drive
Take the Lowes Mount Road to Evans Crown Nature Reserve. There walk to the top and be rewarded with a magnificent 360-degree view (two to three hours).
Then head to Flat Rock where you can have a swim, fish or just enjoy the scenery.
Visit Renzaglia Vineyard for a wine tasting (by appointment, minimum of six) before driving back to O’Connell and its cafe which serves delicious food and great coffee, or picnic at the park on the Fish River near the bridge. After O’Connell, drive through The Lagoon to Vale Creek Wines at Georges Plains, which specialises in Italian varietals. Open most weekends for tastings and light lunches.
Museums and Heritage Drive
Visit Oberon’s museums and the heritage-listed Oberon Railway Station (check opening times) before walking or cycling the rail trail. Call into Casey’s Vineyard on the Hazelgrove Road (open second and fourth Saturday each month or by appointment weekdays).
Have lunch at any of the excellent cafes in Oberon before playing a round of golf, or fish for trout in Lake Oberon. Oberon Golf Club is a beautiful 18 hole course on the foreshores of Lake Oberon with all grass greens and pristine and well-groomed fairways.
Or if you would like to go for a horse ride go to High Country Trail Rides or Yarrabin (booking recommended) or Barcoo’s Barn at Perthville which has a farmyard animal display too.
With world heritage national parks, ]enolan Caves, and plenty of scenic countryside in between, all you need is a bicycle to discover all Oberon has to offer. You’ll enjoy the fresh mountain air and gorgeous scenery while pedaling your way around Oberon and its surroundings. Brochures and maps on local cycling trails are available from the Oberon Visitor Information Centre.
> WHAT TO DO IN THE SEASONS
In summer there is an abundance of activities, including fishing, fossicking, horse riding, cycling, and camping. Temperate summer evenings are ideal for dining out at the many good local establishments in Oberon.
Autumn’s perfect sunny days and lovely coloured leaves are the time to venture into the local pine forests and hunt for mushrooms.
Oberon is most famous for its lovely layers of snow each winter. Snowmen pop up on every street and snowball fights are a very popular pastime and not just for the children!
Spring is a wonderful time to experience Oberon and the region. Go for a bushwalk, visit local cellar doors, cafes and restaurants to sample local food and wine, or simply visit the open gardens and the see countryside come to life, with newborn lambs and calves in the fields.
Lake Oberon Photo © Destination NSW
Oberon Cafe Photo © Destination NSW
Wine and delicious foods are always a testament to the abundance of an area and Oberon is no exception.
Oberon and the surrounding villages have a number of unique and charming pubs, which offer hearty and delectable meals in front of a roaring fire where you can enjoy a glass of local wine or a cold beer with your meal and meet some of the colourful locals.
For a quick and delicious meal or even a sweet treat there a number of bakeries and takeaways in town.
Oberon’s cafes have excellent brewed coffee, yummy scones, and tasty sandwiches with all the trimmings. Oberon restaurants specialise in using local produce and you’ll have an unforgettable and delightful dining experience. OBERON RESTAURANTS AND CAFES
Jenolan Caves Photo © Destination NSW
The Oberon area has a wide range of accommodations to choose from a luxurious guesthouse to the perfect place to pitch your tent under the night sky. OBERON ACCOMMODATION
OBERON VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
48 Ross Street Oberon NSW 2787
Ph 02 6329 8210
Open from 9.30am – 5.00pm 7 days per week.
Main photo Mayfield Gardens ©Destination NSW
More about Oberon
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