Central West Cycle Trail – Day 3 – Dunedoo to Mendooran

I lay in bed with my eyes closed and did a quick review of my body.

Was anything hurting? Anything broken?

Nope! So, it was time leap out of bed and pull on my cycling clothes ready for another day of adventure.

Let’s go…

Map of Day 3 - CWCT - Dunedoo to Mendooran
Our route today – marked in pink. Source: CWCT


Day: 3

Date: Tuesday, 21 March 2023

From: Dunedoo, Central West NSW

To: Mendooran.

Official Distance: 51km                 Actual/Garmin Distance: 51.4km

Total: 139/400km

Time: 4h51m

Ascent: 293m                                  Descent: 332m

Average Speed: 13.3kph                Maximum Speed: 41.3kph

Weather: Cool and cloudy today – much nicer for riding.

Stayed At: The Royal Hotel, Mendooran.

General Comments:

  • We had all had a very ordinary night’s sleep with semi-trailers roaring past our door for a good part of the night and we were keen to put some distance between us and the endless stream of trucks.
  • Thankfully it was cooler this morning and a blanket of cloud muted the worst of the sun and heat. Surprisingly, despite yesterday’s exertions, I was pleased to be back on the bike and out in the countryside again. While my legs weren’t sore, they were stiff and they did a fair amount of protesting until my muscles warmed up a little.
  • Today, we had decided to take the shorter Digilah route and turning left off the Golden Highway was like turning off the traffic tap – from one speeding semi-trailer after another to the occasional farm ute and early morning worker. It was just us, a wide, open road and a cool breeze. Heaven!
  • Today was to become my favourite stage of the whole trail. I think it had something to do with the open nature of the countryside. You would puff up one hill and a whole new vista would open up on the other side. And, of course, the early morning light really enhanced the colours of both land and sky.
  • Soon the tar road ran out again and we were now on broad, dirt roads. A feature of this trail are all the grids and ramps you must cross as you cycle through private property. They are easy to cross – just get a bit of speed up and hit them square on. There’s little risk of your wheels getting caught in the gaps between the grid bars if you have some momentum.
  • The road continued to dip and climb. Down into heavily wooded creek flats and past fat and happy cattle, and then up again to the next ridgeline. Don’t worry about the cattle. They are more curious than aggressive. Just stick to the road and give them time to get out of the way.
  • It is important you respect the farming properties you are riding through. While you are on a ‘public’ road, these are working farms and the animals are to be treated with respect.
  • At one stage, through the property called Digilah, the young cows and calves thought it would be fun to bounce around and run along with the bikes. At least something had excess energy to burn today.
  • I started out on this adventure with a head cold and, despite my best efforts and intentions, it was really slowing me down today. Add to that the fact I was riding a heavier mountain bike, it meant that I spent a lot of time at the back of the peloton ( 😊 ) and hence I have a lot of photos of my fellow cyclists speeding off into the distance ahead of me.
  • Birds were also a feature of today, especially when the road was bordered by thick trees. I didn’t spot anything unusual (I would like to say that I was simply riding too fast to be able to see the smaller and rarer birds, but that definitely wasn’t the case), but I always enjoy their sounds. A highlight of both yesterday and today was a murder of crows – the largest number of crows I had ever seen together in one group. Oh, I did see a family of emus too and they disappeared over the hill before I could get my camera out.

Top Tips for this Section:

  • Terrain: Don’t be fooled (like me) with visions of pleasant, flat country roads and gentle, rolling hills. It is all of that, but this not an easy ride. There are frequent stiff climbs and miles of rough dirt roads to provide challenge. On this section, there are some steep and rough creek crossings and patches of sand to navigate too.
  • Bike: Do not attempt this trail on a road bike. Yes, you would whip along the tar sections leaving everyone far behind, but then come to a screaming and scrambling halt on the dirt. I recommend a hybrid or gravel bike, or a mountain bike if you are not in a hurry.
  • Supplies: Again, no food or water sources on this section of the trail unless you can find a creek running somewhere and even then, the quality could be a bit suspect. I would check to see if there are any cattle nearby before taking a drink. There is a small café cum bakery in Mendooran which could provide some snacks for the next day if they are open.
  • What to Pack: Staying in pubs are a great, and sometimes the only, accommodation option on this trail. You might like to pack a lightweight dressing gown (if you have a support vehicle) for the stroll to/from the shared bathrooms and toilets.
  • Stayed At: The Royal Hotel in Mendooran ($60 – Double including breakfast) was simple, clean and comfortable and excellent value. We received a warm welcome and their food is hearty pub food, and most importantly, the beer is cold.

Previous Stages:

  • Day 1 – Mudgee to Gulgong – HERE
  • Day 2 – Gulgong to Dunedoo – HERE


  • Central West Cycle Trail – find out more – HERE
  • Mendooran Tourism – find out more – HERE
  • Overview of the Central West Cycle Trail – find out more – HERE
Day 3 of the Central West Cycle Trail
Now you’re talkin’! Happy hour at the Royal Hotel, Mendooran

#travelinspo #CentralWestCycleTrail #dunedoo #adventurebeforedementia #mendooran #australianbush #cyclingadventures #bikesintheBush #destinationnsw #greatoutdoors #crosscountry #exploreonbike #visitnewsouthwales #cycletouring #bikepacking

22 thoughts on “Central West Cycle Trail – Day 3 – Dunedoo to Mendooran

  1. Sounds like a fairly hard but beautiful ride. Good on you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I made it harder than it needed to be! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mel, I am seriously impressed and motivation for me to do more than one day of cycling. Your trip to do another camino must be coming up shortly?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, getting excited and starting to throw gear into a packing pile. Only about 32 sleeps to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Exhausted just reading this! Needing cake 🤣💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 – I’m with you although there wasn’t much cake to be had in these parts until near the end. Plenty of lollies and chocolate though! 🙂


  4. I’m in awe! Makes my upcoming trip of mostly train travel look very tame haha. Looking forward just as much to your next Camino adventure x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your trip will be just as amazing and probably challenging on a whole different level. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Safe travels to you. xx


  5. I was going to ask if you were on a gravel bike, but you answered. I love the big trees along the trail. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, the old eucalypts were a real feature on these roads, especially on the creek flats where they could get their roots down into water. They have withstood so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great ride!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure is! A little bit longer than the trail in your part of the World, but just as fun. Mel

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks fun, especially riding through a herd of cows. I’m with you – nothing is as unnerving as cycling on a road and having cars and trucks whiz past you at 60 mph (except maybe cycling in central London and having double-decker busses come within inches of you and the bike you’re clipped into…).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG! Cycling in London traffic!? You are one brave (or slightly crazy??) gal!


  8. It looks like a beautiful route to ride. I like the nature scenes and that there are no vehicles to look out for (except the cows of course).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The reward a nice beer I get that part of your trip. I would have to go much slower ,Nice pictures. especially the pub shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I get that. We normally take our time too. The pressure was on during this ride to get the majority of kilometres done before the heat really kicked it. Normally it is not this hot late in March.


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