Ophir Camping Reserve, Lewis Ponds Creek. Photos taken by myself and Hai using Canon 70D DSLR
Some of the amazing things Hai does for me makes me feel really lucky. For my 29th birthday, he took the same annual leave as me so we can escape to regional NSW. We planned a two day trip through Orange to Capertee in his Jeep Wrangler, stopping at Ophir, Turons Gate, Hills End, Sofala and the Glow Worm Tunnel. We packed our clothes, snacks, instant ramen noodles, sleeping bags, torches, iPod and portable phone chargers and left Sydney at 5am.
Although it only took two hours to reach Orange, it felt like a world away. Phone reception was nowhere to be found and soon tar roads turned into dirt roads and houses were replaced with cows, sheep and rolling hills.
And that was amazing. Me and Hai rolled down our windows and listened to Taylor Swift and held hands while we drove. No other cars in sight and no operating shops and contact with the outside world. We stopped to pet miniature horses and admire grazing cows and sleeping sheep. I was already loving the trip before I set my eyes upon our first pit stop - Ophir Reserve.
Ophir Reserve is a peaceful camping site with basic facilities such as toilets and BBQ sites. Camping fees are paid through an Honesty box (you can pay what you believe the fee is for using the facilities). Although we didn't camp here overnight I still admired the majestic tree that stood on the edge of Lewis Ponds Creek and Summers Creek. Ducks and Geese grazed behind us and the river flowed quietly.
Ophir Reserve marks where gold was first discovered in NSW back in 1851. Around the camp grounds are old relics of gold mines and walking trails however it is warned to be careful not to fall into the open mine shafts!
From here, me and Hai went onwards to Capertee and I will share those adventures through a series of future blog posts.
Below is a map of where I estimated the site to be based on my research - site is situated right next to big pool of water along Lower Lewis Ponds Road. It isn't hard to navigate to as there is only one road that leads to Ophir Reserve however do email me if you have any questions.
It is well worth the trip.