- Chloe Grabham
Road trip: Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah-Bilpin
Take a drive up the striking Bells Line of Road for a day trip adventure where you can trek through a jungle, taste ciders straight from the farm and devour one of the best pies your taste buds will ever have the pleasure of tasting.
A scenic start
Start off early and head up the scenic Bells Line of Road to the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens in Mount Tomah. Nestled among the lush surrounds of the Blue Mountains National Park, the Botanic Gardens feature a diverse range of species from Redwood giants, vines that Tarzan would appreciate to the simplistic and delicate succulents growing in the rock garden.
In between the themed gardens, there are manicured green lawns which are ideal for a spot of picnicking. Back a throw rug and basket filled with grazing delights for a peaceful lunch on the green. If you're after a decent feed in the sun stop by The Potager restaurant and for a light snack and coffee visit Ugly Mug.
For a real adventure, take The Lady Nancy Fairfax Walk, a partly paved 500m journey through vines, moss and skyscraping trees. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of different wildlife like gliders owls and possums.
You can find more information about the opening times and the gardens here
Next stop: Bilpin Cider Co
Bilpin Cider Co
This is one of those places that looks likes a simple shed just off the road, but for those who have visited know that this is much more than just a shed.
Cider fans will not want to miss this experience to sample some of the most pristine ciders from the region. Bilpin Cider Co proudly use no added sugar, artificial flavours or concentrates, while also using regionally grown fruit, supporting the local fruit farmers.
A cellar door sampling features the current selection of ciders which feature something to suit everyone, even a non-alcoholic apple cider (perfect for designated drivers). Bottles are available for purchase in packs of 4, or even individually.
Take a walk out the back and explore open green fields of farmland, a deck under the shade of an old tree, picnic tables and a little caravan stocked with locally made goodies, even premade picnic packs. Borrow a picnic basket, a blanket and set off on a tranquil gourmet adventure.
For more details on opening hours and the cellar door, check out their site here
Next stop: Hillbilly Cider
Blink and you miss it, so make sure you keep an eye out for this iconic shed ( and the bright green truck) nestled on the side of the Bells Line of Road. The once bustling apple shed has found its second lease of life as Hillbilly Cider.
The deck out the back looks out over the orchards, as road trippers stop over and take a moment to taste some of the local liquid gold. A bespoke range, Hillbilly Cider has numerous awards for their creative style of cider.
Featuring the classic Apple, Sweet Julie, Scrumpy, Vintage Apple, Crushed Pear and Non-Alcoholic, the selection showcases the regions apple varieties. All of the range is available to sample, take home or enjoy out on the deck from the friendly cellar door.
Read more about the opening times, cider range and history of Hillbilly here
Find that Pie in the sky
After all those ciders its time to feast! For those who frequent the Bells Line of Road, you will be familiar with the long queues out the door at the Pie in the Sky Roadhouse, and for a good reason. Handmade, generously sized and packed with fresh gourmet ingredients, these aren't your tuck shop pies.
The little roadhouse does creep up on you, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the sign on the lefthand side of the road as your head down the mountain.
Some of the varieties of pies include the classic steak, steak and chilli, steak and mushroom, chicken, pasties and sausage rolls. But no trip to Bilpin would be complete without sinking your teeth into the iconic apple pie. Served piping hot from the oven this is a culinary experience not to be missed.
Grab one of the tables out the back, sit back and feast on one of the best pastry creations around!
That completes the Botanical Garden and Bilpin road trip. Is there somewhere that you would like to see featured in the area or another road trip you would like to see explored? Drop me a line at