Tarana O'Connell Lagoon Loop
Loop the Villages
At a Glance
A really challenging ride out to Tarana and then back to Bathurst via O'Connell and the Lagoon.
Why I choose this course and the bike(s) I prefer to ride
Essentially a 4-hour lap for me through the Fish River valley to the southeast of Bathurst, this is a challenging road bike ride with a fair bit of climbing on sealed rural roads. There are some great views as you crisscross the main western rail line along the way, and opportunities for refreshments at Tarana and O’Connell (a café and a pub at each village) if you time your ride with their opening hours.
I generally ride my road bike on this route. I have ridden my gravel bike, adding comfort for a more relaxed frame geometry as well as disc brakes and a third bidon holder (I tend to drink a fair bit of water on this ride). As well as one-off training rides, I like to ride this route when I am preparing for multi-day tours too.
Check opening times of the venues (good opportunity to refuel / hydrate) and watch out for animals. There are plenty of kangaroos, wallabies and wombats, as well as foxes and the occasional farm stock escapee of all types out here on these roads.
- Enjoyable ride through mixed farming county
- Coasting or fast open descents
Traps For Young Players
- Wildlife – kangaroos and wombats
Camping & Accommodation
- Bathurst and villages have so many options.
Food & Water
- No supplies on this route
A quick pre-ride coffee and I’m then on my way out of Bathurst on the hot mix surface of the Great Western Highway towards Sydney. I turn right at the big roundabout and take the Oberon road out of town. There are some commanding views after the climb past Scots All Saints College and Blue Ridge Estate. Be sure to look behind you if you ride the same road.
The turn to Brewongle and Tarana is about 11km out of town, and the road becomes a lot quieter from this point onwards. This is a really pretty 30km road to ride to Tarana with a heap of climbing thrown in for good measure. I cross the main western railway at a number of points (over timber bridges, under brick bridges, over marked crossings) and marvel at the engineering works through Wambool, Locksley and Gemalla.
There’s an engineered railway embankment (35km) right next to the Fish River near the Tarana Quarry. Expansive rural views abound as you ride this section of road.
Tarana at 40km is a refuelling point as I time my arrival with the opening hours of the café and the pub – a coffee, milkshake and a cake for me. There are some more climbs and some fun descents along Mutton Falls Road toward O’Connell. This is actually a fairly fast 20 kilometre section of road. At O’Connell, the café and pub are also open, so I choose a light lunch this time because I know I have to climb almost immediately after getting back in the bike.
After lunch, I only have 30km to go back to Bathurst. I turn onto Beaconsfield Road and then O’Connell Plains Road where the long slog up the hill starts for me. I get into a tempo rhythm and climb to the trig station just after 69km. On the descent, there are views over to Ben Chifley Dam which is Bathurst’s water supply on the Campbell’s River, which I cross as I enter the village of the Lagoon.
I ascend the last main climb of the day out of the Lagoon and then roll back into Bathurst through Gorman’s Hill and past St Vincent’s Hospital, MacKillop College and the local soccer fields.
After this ride, it’s a toss up as to whether I go to a café, the pub or straight home. A beverage with friends is often the best choice.