Bridle Track in NSW is an iconic track for the 4X4 enthusiasts

Bridle Track is an exciting 4WD track located in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. The track is narrow and challenging all the way and features creek crossings.

Bridle Track

Where is Bridle Track?

The track is located in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, within the Bathurst Regional Council, in the southeastern part of the country.

Where does the Bridle Track start and finish?

The track is quite challenging, spanning 52 km (32 miles) from Duramana to Hill End. It begins as a narrow ribbon of bitumen cutting through picturesque grazing land in rolling country. Later, it turns into a dirt road, which is easy to drive, although caution is needed on sweepers, especially after a prolonged dry spell when the road surface can be very loose. In such conditions, dust can also pose a problem, so maintaining ample distance between vehicles in a group is advisable. If it rains, the road surface becomes slippery, requiring careful driving, even in a 4WD. In 4WD terms, the track can be graded as 'easy.' It's easy enough that, driven carefully, a conventional vehicle could manage the entire distance, although 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, rendering the track impassable for its full length. Currently, it's accessible only up to Monaghans Bluff from either Bathurst or Hill End. The track is not suitable for caravans or camper trailers.

How challenging is the Bridle Track?

The track is 4WD only and lacks guardrails, featuring steep edges, inclines, and falling rocks. Long, narrow cliffside sections may require backing up as much as 300m to safely pass another driver. This narrow winding road becomes very slippery when wet and includes creek crossings, floodways, and flash flooding. Caution is advised during water crossings, and it's recommended to carry a spare tire. Speeding or traveling the last 20kms at night is strongly discouraged, as it can be a perilous journey in any vehicle. On Monaghan’s Bluff, extreme caution is needed, with lights on. The track is one lane only, stopping is forbidden, and sounding the horn on bends is necessary. A snorkel may be necessary for water crossings.

How long does it take to drive 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 features eight campsites along its full length, providing opportunities for camping, fishing, and exploration. Numerous historic relics can be found along the track.

When was the Bridle Track in NSW built?

The Bridle Track was constructed in the 1820s by convicts during Governor Macquarie's time, coinciding with 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