A highlight of travelling is the small joys a long the way like a drive that turns out to be more scenic than expected. The Bylong Valley Way which stretches and winds for 140 kilometres between Sandy Hollow and Ilford in NSW is one such drive we did on our travels from Bathurst to Newcastle
Making its way past the Wollembi and Goulburn River National Parks as well as through farm lands, vineyards and forestry it is a scenic drive of rich natural scenery. It really is a lovely drive and there is much to see and do along the way.
Bylong Valley Way | Townships
Kandos and Rylstone are the main towns along the Bylong Valley Way and Bylong is one of the smaller towns. On the traditional lands of Wiradjuri Aboriginal people, the towns were settled in the 1810s and 1820s. Kandos at the base of Cumber Melon Mountain known as Combamolang in the indigenous dialect. Rylstone near the banks of the Cudgegong River, 6 kilometres from Kandos and Bylong a further 50 kilometres along the Bylong Valley Way surrounded by rural lands.
We visited Rylstone a place Daryl spent a lot of time during his childhood as his father managed one of the local farms. We also stopped in Bylong for a picnic lunch at the rest stop.
Kandos and Rylstone with supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, parks and historical buildings are great places to stop and stretch your legs and have a meal on your way along the Bylong Valley Way. Bylong with its general store, park, old church and cemetery is a nice stop for a drink or an ice cream.
Bylong Valley Way | Things To Do
- Kandos Museum
- Self-guided Rylstone Heritage Walk including the Historic Louee Street
- Wollembi National Park
- Ganguddy Dunns Swamp
- Nullo Mountain
- Ferntree Gully
- Old Church and Cemetery in Bylong
- Goulburn River National Park
Bylong Valley Way | Events
The three towns also have a number of events each year that attract tourists to the area. Here’s a list of the events, some may take your fancy:
- Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show
- The Rylstone and District Agricultural Show / The Rylstone Kandos Show
- Mouse Racing
- CWA Kandos Gardens Fair
- Rylstone Classic
- Cementa Contemporary Arts Festival
- The Rylstone Street Feasts
The Bylong Valley Way | Free Camping
Our route along the Bylong Valley Way started after we camped for couple of days camped at Wallaby Rocks Crossing campground in Sofala. Our route took us from Sofala along the Castlereagh Highway to Ilford where we got onto the Bylong Valley Way following it to its end and then taking the Golden Highway to Gungal. That night we stayed at the Battery Rock campground in Gungal NSW.
Wallaby Rocks Crossing 🐾
This campground is on the Turon River in Crudine near Sofala and although water levels are low due to poor rainfall and the ground is dry it is a nice quiet place to camp for a couple of days. The campground is dog friendly, has no amenities and bins for general rubbish. The track down to the area by the river to camp is almost 4WD only but with some care other vehicles may manage it. There are 4WD tracks some of which we explored by foot. The wooden bridge is worth a look.
Where: Hill End Road, Crudine NSW
Battery Rock 🐾
Dog friendly campground and picnic area with tables and chairs, very clean drop toilets and a flat gravel area big enough for a few vans although we were here alone. There is a creek that would add to the scenery of the site but is currently bone dry.
Where: 3488 Golden Highway, Gungal NSW
As a point of interest Battery Rock is named after the rock formations found here. The rock formations are an example of horizontal columnar jointing also known as polygonal basalt columns. These are created by basalt lava some 35 million years old. The jointing is caused by shrinkage as the lava slowly cools. For more information see (source) Geological Sites of NSW.
Next we head through the Upper Hunter and make our way to Newcastle where we will make like tourists for a couple of days before we start our journey north to find the warmer weather.
Other Scenic Drives
- Coming Soon!