Tackling The Turon

Exploring the historic goldfields of the Turon River region in NSW with our beast – the Isuzu MU-X!

Words: Offroad Adventure Show

Photos: Brett Hemmings

Here at the Offroad Adventure Show we are lucky enough to be able to get to some very special places and one of our most recent trips was also one of our favourites. The Turon River is located about two hours west of Sydney and back in 1851, it was the centre of one of the world's most spectacular gold rushes. Stories of instant, unbelievable wealth had spread across the world three years earlier during the famous Californian goldrush and when Edward Hargraves found gold in Ophir, just west of Bathurst in 1851 – the rush was on! The Turon River was next and it exploded in June 1851, with thousands coming from all over the globe to try their luck in the rich diggings of the Turon.

Today, peace and tranquillity has returned to the Turon and it is a place well worth a visit. It not only offers some interesting history and exploring, but also gorgeous campsites right on the banks of the river and some terrific driving just to get there.

The track into Turon starts not far from the sleepy hamlet of Capertee, just a little north-west of Lithgow and it doesn't take long before the track becomes "interesting", with plenty of steep descents and some fairly rocky terrain to contend with. On our trip we had Ricko, Jamie and our great mate Steve "Starlo" Starling who was in the Isuzu MU-X. Steve is a fisherman first and a 4WDer second – he'll be the first to tell you so, but even still, the mighty MU-X has no trouble keeping up with the bigger 4WDs. Our Muxxy (as we affectionately call it) really is a surprisingly capable little beast off-road.

"The mighty MU-X has no trouble keeping up with the bigger 4x4s"

Once the tricky descent down into the valley has been conquered, you're presented with a variety of water crossings that provide plenty of fun and a great photo opportunity. After fording the river several times, you are simply spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a campsite, with plenty of lush, flat areas, many of which are right on the banks of this beautiful river. Take the time to have a look around at the remnants of the mining, but keep the kids in sight, there are plenty of deep holes and not all of them are fenced.

One of the great things about the region is that there is plenty of exploring to do in the 4WDs as well, including a spectacular lookout that has sweeping views of the plains west toward Bathurst. It's a bit of a hike to get out to the goldfields, but thanks to the MU-X's fantastic fuel economy we had no problems with diesel, even when we've loaded the Muxxy up to the hilt!

"Even loaded to the hilt, the MU-X returns staggering economy figures"

If you're a Sydney-sider and you're looking for what might just be the perfect weekend escape that has something for everyone, take a look at the Turon River. Great campsites, a bit of fishing and some exhilarating 4WDing just to get there – we reckon it ticks all the boxes! We'll leave Starlo with the last word, "I reckon our little MU-X was the perfect vehicle for this trip, plenty of room on-board for all the gear, economy that was unmatched by any of the other trucks and it made me look pretty good when the tracks got tough - I love it"!

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