Thinking about doing a Sydney to Bathurst road trip and looking for advice on where to stop along the way? In this guide, Sydney local Lexie O’Kelly is sharing her favourite places to stop when passing through the Blue Mountains and onto Bathurst, the perfect place to stay to explore the nearby towns of Orange and Mudgee.
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Why visit Bathurst?
Driving from Sydney to Bathurst via Bells Line of Road (the upper road in Blue Mountains) is an adventure on its’ own. The view of Sydney and the Blue Mountains are breathtaking. You can stop along the way at lookouts and take photos and identify places you know. It is also very humbling to see the trees affected by the 2019/2020 bushfires and how much growth has been recovered. This trip is not only Insta-worthy it makes you appreciate New South Wales and our bush lands. It takes approximately 2.5 hours from Sydney depending on where you live.
Bathurst is a classic country meets city feel. If you have never been, I would recommend staying the weekend and embracing the surrounding areas like Orange, Oberon, Millthorpe and Mudgee. Bathurst has this fresh vibe. The air is clean and the sky is such a beautiful blue.
Best time to go is from Autumn to Spring (depending if you like or don’t mind the cold). In Autumn, the trees turn to this bright and vibrant orange/red. The parks are filled with leaves and people having picnics. Do yourself a favour and walk through a park, any park will do – they are all equally as beautiful as the other. Excellent shopping in Bathurst and you can’t leave without driving (or walking if that’s your thing) around Mount Panorama.
Best time of year to do a Sydney to Bathurst road trip
Bathurst is excellent all year round. It gets extremely cold in winter but driving from Sydney you may experience snow on your way. Autumn and spring are the best seasons as you see the change of the trees and flowers. During the colder months, it is slightly colder in Bathurst than Sydney – so pack warm.
Best places to stop on your Sydney to Bathurst road trip
If you are planning on stopping at all or you are going at specific time and you want some options – here are my best choices for your road trip to Bathurst:
1. Kurmond Social, Kurmond
The Kurmond Social restaurant sits off Bells Line Road and overlooks the exquisite valley. When you are looking out, you really feel like your somewhere else. Life is at peace. The food accompanies the view – both excellent and warming.
The best spot to book is on the balcony next to the glass fence, but book a table during the day time or early dinner as you can look at the view while eating. This venue also hosts weddings and functions, has excellent food, great quality and service is always friendly and welcoming.
2. Village Kitchen, Kurrajong
Just off Bells Line of Road and located in a small village in Kurrajong is the Village Kitchen. This café is connected to a yarn store (which is also fantastic, great selection) and has views on the balcony looking over trees and parts of Sydney.
The balcony is quite small so request for a table to get the best experience. This place is excellent for breakfast and lunch, they have excellent options for everyone and it’s great value.
Check out their events at night time as they do knitting evenings where all different people get together and work on projects.
Once you finish lunch, head over to Carey & Co. which is across the road. This store is excellent place to find gorgeous homewares and clothing so I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do.
3. Pie in the Sky, Kurrajong Heights
What else can you say? Its Pie in the Sky! Very well known for their savoury pies and apple pies, they also sell jams and relishes which are so delicious and well worth it. Pie in the Sky gets extremely busy during the day so make sure you get your pie asap so you don’t miss out.
You can eat inside as they have a few tables but all pies are best eaten out of a bag overlooking the hills. Great place to Stop, Revive, Survive. Pie in the Sky opens at approx. 9am and thankfully if you drive up to Bathurst too early, you can catch them on your way back.
4. Hillbilly Cider, Bilpin
Not only do they sell fantastic cider that is difficult to purchase anywhere else, they sell wood fire pizza at Hillbilly Cider in Bilpin. It’s a place you would go to with your friends in the afternoon in the colder months or on your way back from Bathurst and don’t want the trip to end.
This place has a real Hunter Valley vibe and we aren’t angry about it! They sometimes host live music and it’s a dog friendly venue! They have seating under cover but it is the best sitting near the vineyards. They also have tasting paddles if you are ever unsure of what drinks you would like to try. Sweet Julie Hillbilly Cider is a must try!
5. The Grumpy Baker, Bilpin
You can not drive past The Grumpy Baker in Bilpin without stopping – it is impossible as you are completely drawn to the aesthetics of the bakery. Most insta-worthy place. This area is not like any other, it provides you with rustic shops and beautiful backdrop of fully grown gumnut trees and a long stretch of road. The Grumpy Baker provides sweet and savoury options, coffee, fresh bread and take home options if you want to cook something later. Cheese stick is worth the stop!
6. Breenhold Gardens
You can’t come to Bilpin and not swing by Breenhold Gardens in the nearby Mount Wilson. Expect absolutely jaw dropping picturesque treelined streets that it will make you realise why so many Hollywood Movies have been filmed here like The Great Gatsby with Leonardo Di Caprio. It’s stunning, so come in Autumn or Spring when Breenhold Gardens is open. Check out our Breenhold Gardens Guide before visiting.
Lithgow has a rich community and have excellent projects in place. Check out the trees near the train station and you will notice the crotched installations. Main St Lithgow is easy to walk and includes shops and pubs. Another attraction at Lithgow is the Zig-Zag Railway and the four wheel driving tracks.
8. The Hub, Bathurst
Bathurst provides many good cafes, but The Hub in Bathurst is the best and has been for quite some time. Make sure you try to book a table outside under the vines, you wont regret it. Be quick as this area goes very quickly. However, the rest of the cafe is just as beautiful! Inside is air conditioned and looks over the outdoor area. The food is trendy, delicious and innovative and there are plenty of options for everyone and the service is quick.
9. Beekeepers Inn Café
If you are going passed Bathurst, go to Beekeepers Inn Café. Only 20 minutes outside of Bathurst. The grounds are beautiful and the ultimate country feel. Their store is filled with all types of products. Food is delicious, homey and has very country feel.
All the places provided are wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly.
Places to visit near Bathurst
Looking for more places to visit on your Sydney to Bathurst road trip?
Here’s our Sydney to Bathurst map so you can logistically see where each place is located before you plan your trip!
Sydney to Bathurst Road Trip
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A big thank you to Lexie for sharing her Sydney to Bathurst guide! If you would like to write for Londoner In Sydney and share your favourite places anywhere in Australia, simply share your ideas in our Write For Us form.