Blue Mountains to Goulburn Drive – 17 February 2013

February 18, 2013 10:15 pm

4:30am.

The perfect time to rise for a morning of enthusiastic, mountain driving. A warm mid-February morning greeted me as I rolled out of bed, got changed in the dark, fumbled for the keys and made my way outside to my RS Clio 197.

A brief rendezvous at the usual Balmain meet spot saw a small convoy head out to the McDonalds at Eastern Creek on the Great Western Highway, and arrive just as the breakfast menus were changing over.

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After a McGreet and McCaffeine injection, we assembled the group of five hot hatches and two Bimmer M cars, and headed west, first stop Jenolan Caves. Our illustrious group consisted of 4 Renaultsport – a Clio 197, Megane R26, Megane 250 and Megane 265; a brand spankers Astra OPC, and; 2 BMW M cars – an E39 M5 and an E85 Z4M Coupe.

The cruise along the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains was as boring as usual, but the turn-off onto Jenolan Caves Road saw an empty expanse of tarmac, with the usual Sunday revellers warded off by predictions of torrential rain.

We experienced some showers early on but the majority of the run to the bottom of the caves was clear and dry. Although, having completed this road in reverse (and thus, uphill) a few times recently, the downhill direction was much more challenging, allowing for some serious modulation of the Clio’s ‘B’ pedal.
A respite and photo opportunity was sort on the west side of the “Cave Centre”, where the route to our breakfast destination of a farm near Taralga was sort of discussed and decided.

The west ascent from the caves is short but extremely steep and narrow, even somewhat treacherous, but was dispatched without incident by the group, as we made our way west along some glorious open, curving, ridge line and farm roads. The hot hatches admirably bettering the pace of the Z4M Coupe and E39 M5, as the rear-wheel drivers struggled to apply their ample horsepowers.

We reconvened on a side road called Butter Factory Lane, after our fearless point car indicated left and said, “I reckon it’s this way,” and we discovered he was in fact correct. Here we began a solid 60 kilometres of sweeping country roads with endless views and opportunities to stretch the legs of our city-bound cars, culminating in some tight, downhill hairpins and another quick stopover at the base of Abercrombie Road.

I elected to travel back up the bends with Huw in his E39 M5 to grab a few cheeky photos, while the others pushed on the final kilometre or two to our breakfast destination.

Tek’s awesome friends hosted for us a mean breakfast of bacon and egg rolls, OJ and coffee, while showing us around their newly acquired (and under construction) property. Plenty of automotive chat was had and plenty of photos were taken.

We packed up and headed south on Taralga Road, towards Goulburn where the road straightened out and relaxed. A quick refill at the Marulan BP and we were on our way home, parked back up in Balmain by 2pm after having covered over 500 kilometres.

After revelling in the well known roads of both the north and south of Sydney for many years and neglecting the west, it continues to surprise me with a plethora of sparingly used, fun roads amongst spectacular country scenery.

More photos: Flickr

Route map: Google Map

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