Sunday, April 28, 2024

Gardens of Stone National Park

I struggled to get my lazy ass out of bed today, but the thought of getting out on another ride overcame the comfort of a warm bed. I was thinking of doing some more exploring around the Gardens of Stone conservation area and National Park. I had a quick look at goggle maps before heading out. Note to self if going off road then at least put the route into Gaia maps. Signage out in the boon docks is non existent.

Crossing Bell's Line of road I turn off at Clarence and headed back into the Gardens of Stone conservation area. The dirt was damp as it had rained during the week and hadn't dried out. There was a few slick patches and sandy bits. I had some rain spots on my visor and was thinking maybe I shouldn't be out here today.

I was looking for the Lost City, thought I'd see a sign somewhere. No sign except a road junction sign that said the trail name. Well I didn't pay that much attention to the map. My bad so went straight past and went on for another 20 minutes or more. I decided to pull over and take a look where I was and have a banana for morning tea.

As it turned out I was only a few km's shy of the glow worm tunnel, a long way past the Lost City. I turn around and head back and when I get to that intersection with the sign take a look. Yeah that's where I should have turned. I follow that until the road comes to a fork. If only they had a sign........

Initially I go right but it starts to get very sandy, so I come back and go left until I find a big bog hole. I decide I'm not going to attempt that by myself. I might be stupid but I'm not crazy. Lifting a 250kg bike in a mud hole by myself doesn't fill me with excitement. I'll come back another day when conditions are better now I know where to go. I'm not very adventurous for an adventure rider.

So instead I decide I'd head out into the Gardens of Stone National Park. It's' not far from here and I've never been there before and there's a pub at the end of the road at Kandos. A quick stop in Capertee for fuel & a pie.

The road from Capertee descended down for a long time until reaching the valley floor. The road surface was pot holed and rough in patches but winding and very scenic. 

It's evident to see how this place got the name the Gardens of Stone. The sandstone cliff faces are quite the sight to behold. I also can't believe I've never been out here in the 20+ years living in Sydney and this is right on my doorstep.

I saw this Blue tree as I was riding passed and had to double back to take a photo. A strange sight in this landscape.

I take the right hand fork and ride into Glen Davis. This little town has a population of 115, I find that hard to believe. It used to be an Oil Shale mining town back in the 1940's, but that closed in the early 50's and it's gone backwards ever since.

I stopped on the road for several minutes looking at this landscape. Besides the spectacular scenery the silence out here was deafening.

I ride into Glen Davis and there are a few eerily quiet streets, definitely banjo country. I thought I'd see where the old shale plant was. It's on a private property called the Poplars. They do the occasional tour.

Glen Davis gas station back in the Day? Who knows there's not much left now just a tired old bowser in the middle of nowhere.

From Glen Davis I take the road to Kandos. I'm getting thirsty for a beer now as it's mid afternoon. A quick stop in Kandos, there's not much there and the Railway hotel looks like it closed years ago, there's only 1 pub left now. I ride back down to Capertee.

I stop again at Pearsons lookout over the Capertee Valley as its later in the afternoon. Depending on what time of day your here the sandstone rock faces always look different, more spectacular during golden hour.

Only a quick stop here today as I was here last week, a guy pulls up and starts flying his drone. That would have been some awesome footage.

My last stop for the day was at the Capertee Royal Hotel for a well earned beer. Another fun day out on the bike and it nearly didn't happen due to being lazy. I'm glad I dragged myself out of bed for this, what another sensational ride and all within a day ride from home.



  1. I miss riding a dual purpose motorcycle. As soon as I relocate to Puerto Rico later this year I am going to try to buy one.

  2. Awesome photos! I added your blog to the list of blogs on my site.