PLACES TO GO
The Jenolan Caves are the district’s chief tourist attraction, of course, although the amazing new Mayfield Garden 10 minutes' drive away, reckoned to be the biggest privately owned cool-climate garden in the world, seems sure to rival it eventually. The gardens are now open 363 days a year and include a nursery, produce store, music festivals, and The Mayfield Kitchen Café which serves delicious local produce and fantastic coffee. Last orders are taken at 3 pm.
Kanangra Walls, famed for its majestic cliff scenery, is near Oberon, too. Parts of the 1955 movie Jedda were filmed there.
There are also a number of delightfully preserved rural villages within easy reach — Rockley, Millthorpe, Sofala and Carcoar, to name a few — where you can feel you have returned to the 1800s. Even Hill End, the famous goldrush-turned-artists’ village, is just over an hour away.
Bathurst, with its wonderful store of 19th-century architecture, is an attraction in its own right, too. Feel free to take a spin around the Mount Panorama race circuit. Don’t exceed the speed limit, though — it’s a public road.
THINGS TO DO
All these attractions are easily visited by car, and some are close enough to cycle to. Another drawcard for cyclists is the cycling trail along the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway line that is currently being restored. The line winds through delightful countryside, and a large section of the cycle trail is already open to cyclists.
The spectacular Jenolan Caves with several different fascinating tours to choose from are within 40 minutes drive of Kilbeggan Cottage.
If you are keen on walking, you are sure to find the 90-minute climb up Evans Crown rewarding, for the views from the top are stunning. Evans Crown is an ancient Aboriginal site, and it is where the explorer George Evans sighted Bathurst Plains in 1813. Or stroll out the door and make your way up to the top paddock to look out at views all the way out to Orange.
Other popular activities include trout fishing in Lake Oberon and local streams, fossicking for precious stones in the designated fossicking areas and mushrooming in any of the many State Forests in the region.