Central West Cycle Trail – Day 5 – Ballimore to Wellington

We are really getting into the swing of things now and, while we would all much prefer to be tucked up in our beds, we all know that getting out of bed in the pitch-black dark and shovelling in some breakfast even when we are not fully awake, will pay dividends at the end of the cycling day.

So, with full water bottles and not quite as full tummies, we threw our legs over our respective bike bars and pedalled off into the Day 5 dawn.

Day 5 - Map - Central West Cycle Trail
Day 5 with a pink twist and a 10km short cut! Source: CWCT


Day: 5

Date: Thursday, 23 March 2023

From: Ballimore, Central West NSW

To: Wellington

Official Distance: 71km                 Actual/Garmin Distance: 59.8km with a short cut

Total: 263/400km

Time: 5h6m

Ascent: 461m                                  Descent: 474m

Average Speed: 11.7kph                Maximum Speed: 50.1kph

Weather: Hot, hot, hot.

Stayed At: Motel Mandalay, Wellington.

General Comments:

  • If you like rural landscapes and rolling countryside, this trail is perfect for you. The views have been absolutely beautiful – pleasing to both the eye and the soul. Today we were riding through wheat country and the vistas were patchwork-like with various paddocks of golden wheat stubble contrasting with the ploughed land right next door.
  • Grazing animals gave us a disinterested glance as we quietly pedaled by. I suspect they were thinking that such crazy antics were not worth any further consideration.
A cyclist shadow on a dirt road east of Dubbo
  • Early in today’s stage, the trail does a little bit of dog-legging about to take you to and through the small village of Wongarbon. This makes sense if you decide to turn West at Wongarbon and head to the metropolis of Dubbo, but it made no sense to us as our ultimate destination today was eastwards to Wellington. A quick glance at the map revealed the perfect by-pass road that took us almost direct to Geurie (another village enroute) AND cut off about 10km! Yay for us! As you can imagine there was little debate or argument that this was a good option. Unlike many other riders, we are not purists and adapting the trail to suit our own needs was perfectly acceptable and definitely appropriate in the current heat.
  • Off we pedalled on our ‘off piste’ section, enjoying the morning cool and the lovely views when a “pffffft” sound was heard in front of me. Yes, I was still at the back of the pack. Unfortunately, the Pocket Rocket had received her fourth flat tyre. Luckily the Support Car was not far away and he returned and worked his magic, in what seemed like only minutes. Thanks were given, goodbyes said and the Support Car drove off in a cloud of dust.
  • Underway again with chatting and laughter, we got about 500m down the road and “pffffft” sounded again! The Pocket Rocket was understandably not happy with flat tyre #5! The decision was made that they would drive into Dubbo (about 30km away) to buy a whole new tyre and tube and hopefully this would fix the problem properly. It did!
  • In the meantime, the Husband and I continued on to Geurie with visions of coffee and cake spurring us on. I am the first to admit that we are driven by our stomachs on even a normal day, but when we are cycling, sustenance becomes even more important and pressing.
  • Fuelled by coffee and a substantial vanilla slice for me and a large chocolate brownie for the Husband (there was not time for photos!), we were primed for the last push into Wellington. It was hard riding in the heat, but I was loving the familiar landmarks, remembering some roads, twists and turns from my childhood. This ride has ticked so many boxes for me.

Top Tips for this Section:

  • Supplies: While the trail does take you through more villages today, there is nothing in between. Make sure you pack snacks and water if you are going to adopt a leisurely pace. There are two cafés in Geurie and hopefully one of them will be open when you arrive.
  • Short Cut: If you want to shorten today, continue straight on Westella Road (the road you leave Ballimore on). Once the tar ends, its name changes to Ballimore Road and it is lovely and quiet with good dirt and very little traffic. About 5km North of Geurie, the Ballimore Road comes to a T-intersection. Turn left to head back towards Dunedoo or right to Geurie, coffee and cake. Be careful of the increased traffic on this tar section.
rural views east of Dubbo
Blue sky, brown dirt. Welcome to Australia!
  • Road Conditions: The last 29km from Geurie into Wellington are drop dead gorgeous, but hard going. Much of this section has little shade which makes for hot riding if you happen to strike hot weather like us. Once the tar finishes, the dirt is tough with large sections of extra rough gravel and/or corrugations. Just take your time and try to keep some sort of momentum going to get through the really bumpy patches. Also, leave some energy in the tank for the long, slow climb up the western side of Mt Arthur. It really sorts you out after having already ridden the best part of +/- 50km, but the zip down the other side is exhilarating and great for drying sweaty body parts and sundry cycling clothing.
  • Stayed At: We booked at the Motel Mandalay ($100 – double) and I can highly recommend it. The ladies there were warm and welcoming, and allowed us to store our bikes in our ensuite rooms. Just remember to ask for a ground floor room. It is a couple of blocks back to the centre of town, but there are cafés etc within a few minutes’ walk to grab some lunch. The Cow and Calf pub is a good option for dinner.

Final Day tomorrow. Where did the week go?

Previous Stages:

  • Day 1 – Mudgee to Gulgong – HERE
  • Day 2 – Gulgong to Dunedoo – HERE
  • Day 3 – Dunedoo to Mendooran – HERE
  • Day 4 – Mendooran to Ballimore – HERE


  • Central West Cycle Trail – find out more – HERE
  • Wellington Tourism – find out more – HERE
  • Overview of the Central West Cycle Trail – find out more – HERE
The Macquarie River works its way to Dubbo
The Macquarie River (or Wambuul in the local Wiradjuri language) works its way to Dubbo

#travelinspo #CentralWestCycleTrail #ballimore #adventurebeforedementia #wellington #australianbush #cyclingadventures #bikesintheBush #destinationnsw #greatoutdoors #crosscountry #exploreonbike #visitnewsouthwales #cycletouring #bikepacking

17 thoughts on “Central West Cycle Trail – Day 5 – Ballimore to Wellington

  1. I admire your endurance. Weather that was hot, hot, hot would have been too much for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, it’s either endurance or madness! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great that you and husband can enjoy this together, Mel, but poor Pocket Rocket!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we are both going in so many different directions this year, we need to travel together to see each other! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a lovely day…except for the flat tyres.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank goodness for the support vehicle. That would have been a long day otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hot, hot, hot would have finished me off – but wow those views to the sunrise (or sunset?) are just incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, sunrise – the prettiest time of the day to be riding and the coolest!


  6. Ugh. I know the sinking feeling of having your tire go pfffffft. And then again, shortly thereafter! Oh no! you deserved those desserts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily it wasn’t me with the pfffft! The benefits of riding a chunky, clunky mountain bike! Not fun for my co-rider though…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great job on this enduring ride! Because of your posts, I am inclined to do this adventure later in the year with a few friends of mine.

    Question: Did you book your accommodations ahead?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marc. Thanks for following my adventure. It really is a cracker of a ride and I highly recommend it. Yes, definitely book your accommodation ahead of time. The trail takes you through small villages and towns, and while the number of accommodation options are growing, they are still quite limited – especially if you are a larger group. Check out their excellent website and there is also a very active Facebook group if you want up-to-date information on trail conditions etc. Happy to answer more questions if you like. All the best, Mel


  8. Love the shadow. Very artistic 👌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very kind although I doubt I have an artistic bone in my body!

      Liked by 1 person

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