Turon River: River Crossings, Mud Pits & 4×4 Heaven

Just over 3hrs from Sydney, there’s a four-wheel-diver’s paradise where environmental-pests haven’t yet ruined the current state of peace, secrecy, and serenity.

Next time you’re searching for bush, river crossings, mud pits and some sticks to scratch your fourbie, don’t make the beeline to Lithgow, head to Turon National Park instead.

Getting There

After you pass Capertee, turn left into Turon Gates. Follow along the road for about 50m, turn left at the first intersection, go along that dirt road until you reach a green sign, where you’ll veer to the left again, and take a right to reach your first big, rocky descent.

Welcome to Turon National Park.

At the bottom of that big hill, you’ll weave in and out of a few little trees before you get to the first river crossing. When we were there, it was pretty low, as there hadn’t been much rainfall.

I guess now would be a good time for me to mention that you should probably take this into consideration:

If there’s been a shit-tonne of rain recently, perhaps wait a few weeks for the river to calm down. That’ll also save you trouble on the bigger hills – you can only tackle some of these tracks in dry weather.

Most people choose to camp at Diggings Campground, the first main campground after the river crossing.

But, if you’d like to scratch your car up, get those rims dirty, and roll around like a pig-in-mud, follow these directions for a bloody good time.

For Mud Pits, River Crossings & Good Times

As you come up from the river crossing, and your bonnet is facing the toilet block, take a turn to the right. Follow that track down to another river crossing, where the track will go straight and then wind to the left through another river crossing.

Cross that, keep going, then you’ll come to a little turn off that goes down a hill, straight into a deep-ish mud pit.

If there’s been heavy rainfall, might be worth grabbing a long stick and checking the squelch factor at the bottom, as well as the depth – again, hadn’t been raining much when we were there.

mud-crossing-number1

Once you (hopefully) get through the mud pit, you’ll come to a river crossing – how convenient, now you can wash the mud off the tyres.

After passing through there, drive up that dirt road, and follow it around to the right for about 500m. You’ll see a track that goes down a steep hill, follow that into the river again.

Now you should come to another mud-pit, this time a tad longer, but less squishy on the bottom. There’s a slight hill with some mediocre rock flexing for you to do after you exit the long river of mud – nothing too hard, she’ll be right.

straddling-mud-pit
Stood in a poison ivy bush to get this darn shot.

hill-after-mud-pit

Now you’ll pass through some tall gum-trees, until you veer to the right around the grassy knoll, and pass through another mud pit that turns to the left, down a little hill, and then into another river crossing.

mud-pit-toyota-hilux-turon

second-last-crossing-turon

Once you pass through there, turn off to the right and drive along until you see a steep hill that goes off to the right, through another river crossing, and up to a big clearing in a field.

spotting-required-hill-portrait
You might not see this, but you’ll need to spot your fellow driver down this one.

downhill-near-nice-clearing-turon-river

That’s one nice campsite to stay at – but there were a heap of others when we reached there, so we doubled back through that river crossing, and continued up to the right.

Go up the steep hill, and the descent back down the other side of the hill to find another smaller clearing.

descent-to-campsite

“Yeah, this is the spot.”

setting-up-camp-turon-river

morning-at-camp

That night, we made a delicious lamb & cheese puff-pastry pie.

For Steep Ascents, Descents & More Mud

The next morning, we packed up camp and went for a drive with two of our mates.

Taking that first mud crossing out, I yet again decided it would be a great idea to jump straight into a poison ivy bush to take these shots:

fourbies-second-crossing

way-out-mud-pit

We went through river crossings.

Climbed steep hills.

steep-hill-turon

Drove through clearings.

turon-clearing

Went through more river crossings.

Flicked up some dust.

flickin-dust-hilux-turon

flex-hilux-turon

And then followed the Pinnacle Firetrail out of Turon, and onto Dark Corner road – heading straight for home.

clearing-turon-hill

If you’ve been to Turon, and feel like you found a better campsite, let me know! Otherwise, feel free to get in touch if you want to know more.

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