25 April 2018
In our effort to absorb Aussie sport my son and I were immediately interested in Supercars, Australia’s premier auto racing series. Having come from North Carolina, the birthplace of NASCAR, stock car racing is one of our favorite sports. It did not take long for us to hear about Mount Panorama at Bathurst and Peter Brock, the “King of the Mountain”. Peter Brock is Australia’s Richard Petty and Bathurst is their Daytona.
Bathurst is about an hour and a half west of Katoomba. Unlike the Blue Mountains, Bathurst sits in the lowlands area on the other side of the Great Dividing Range. We did not have high expectations and somewhat to our surprise, found a charming small town. It is the home of the National Motor Racing Museum and the most prestigious race, Mount Panorama.
Bathhurst’s big surprise however was Mount Panorama itself – you can drive the course! The four mile racing circuit, complete with starting grid and concrete barriers, is a permanent “scenic road” with residential properties inside and out. There is something sureal about seeing someone’s driveway entrance with crash barriers on either side. The speed limit is posted at 60 km/hr and the local police patrol it regularly so we couldn’t put our rental car through its paces but it was still a blast to drive it a few times. A visit to Bathurst is great fun for any race fan.