Turon River: Water crossings, mud pits and 4×4 heaven

Just over three hours from Sydney, Turon River is 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 to Turon National Park

After you pass Capertee, turn left into Turon Gates to reach Turon River. Follow along the road for about 50m, turn left at the first intersection, go along the 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, weave in and out of a few trees before you reach the first river crossing. When we were there, the water level was 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 lot of rain recently, you might want to wait for another dry spell 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 set up camp at Diggings Campground, the first main campground after the river crossing.

But, if you’re okay with a few scratches on your vehicle and getting the rims dirty, follow these directions for a good time.

Head to Turon River for mud pits, river crossings and 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 river, keep going until you come to a turn off that goes down a hill, straight into a 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 in a blue hilux

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

After passing through there, drive up the 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.

Straddling a mud pit in a blue hilux

Stood in a poison ivy bush to get this darn shot.

Ascending a hill in a blue hilux

Next you will pass through tall gumtrees 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.

A muddy blue hilux

Turon river

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.

A steep hill in Turon River

You might not see this, but you’ll need to spot your fellow driver down this one.

Puddle in Turon River

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

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

Steep descent in Turon National Park

This is the spot.

Swag beside blue hilux

Campsite in Turon National Park

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

Turon National Park for steep ascents, descents and more mud

The next morning we packed up camp and went for a drive with two other vehicles.

We take the first mud crossing out, and I decide it’s a great idea to jump straight into a poison ivy bush to take these shots:

A muddy crossing in Turon national Park

Black 4x4 drives through mud in a national park

We drive through river crossings.

Climb steep hills.

Steep hill in Turon River

Drive through clearings.

Turon clearing

Through more river crossings.

Flicked up some dust.

Dusty hill Turon River

Blue Hilux flexing wheels

And follow the Pinnacle Firetrail out of Turon and onto Dark Corner road to head back home (which at the time was towards Sydney).

A clearing above Turon River

If you’ve been to Turon, and feel like you found a better campsite, let me know! Otherwise, drop a comment below if you want to know more.

May 27, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *