Bridle Track is an iconic track for the 4X4 enthusiasts in NSW
Bridle Track is the name of an exciting 4WD track located in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia, in Bathurst Regional Council. The track is narrow and hairy all the way.
Where does the Bridle Track start and finish?
Tucked away in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, the track is pretty challenging. It’s 52km (32 miles) long, running from Duramana to Hill End. The track begins as a narrow ribbon of bitumen running through picturesque grazing land in rolling country. It later becomes dirt, but it's easy driving, though some caution is needed on sweepers, particularly after a long dry spell, when the road surface can be very loose. In these conditions, dust can also be a problem, so leave plenty of distance between vehicles if travelling in a group. If it rains, the road surface becomes slippery rather than boggy, requiring careful driving, even in a 4WD. In 4WD terms the track can be graded 'easy'. So easy in fact that driven carefully, a conventional vehicle could manage the entire distance, though extreme care would be required on some of the steeper, shaly sections of the road.
Is the Bridle Track closed?
The road was closed in 2010 due to a landslide at Monaghans Bluff and the track was cut in two, being impassable for its full length. It’s only accessible up to Monaghans Bluff from either Bathurst or Hill End. It is not suitable for caravans, or camper trailers.
How hard is the Bridle Track?
The track is 4WD only. There are not guard rails, includes steep edges and inclines, and there are falling rocks. There are long thin cliff side sections where you may have to back up as much as 300m to safely pass another driver. This narrow winding road is very slippery when wet and includes creek crossings, floodways and flash flooding. When travelling on the Bridle track be sure to take a spare tyre and do not speed or travel the last 20kms at night. If a car is coming from the other direction you may have to reverse quite a few kms around blind corner mountainsides with 1000 ft drops... it is a very dangerous journey at night in any vehicle. On the Monaghan’s Bluff, use extreme caution, with lights on. The track is one lane only, it’s forbidden to stop for any reason, and it’s necessary to sound horn on bends. A snorkel can be necessary for water crossing. Caution is advised as the crossings can be treacherous after heavy rains.
How long does it take to do the Bridle Track?
To drive the historic road from Bathurst to Hill End without stopping will take most people between 1.45 and 2 hours. The track has 8 campsites along its full length and it’s filled with opportunities for camping, fishing and exploration. There are many historic relics along the track.
When was the Bridle Track in NSW built?
It was built back in the 1820's by convicts in Governor Macquaire's time during the gold rush. It earned its name from the narrowest sections where hopeful gold miners and settlers had to lead their horses by the bridle.
Pic: Sydney Snorklling Meetup