Bike Life: Cataract Dam

Rain: The cause of the less favourable facet of life on two wheels. Puddles of oily remnants from leaky diesel trucks collected into the submerged wheel tracks of the decrepit remains known as Parramatta Road. Cagers that magically lose their ability to maintain their already sub-par on-road motorcycle awareness and pull off the most random moves in the worst moment, a concoction of SMIDSY ready for brewing. Your so-called waterproof gear will repel rain out of areas that matter, until it actually starts to rain, and you will be adorned with a pleasant wet dog fragrance. As the heavens relieve itself, your bike will become unsaleable, and be deemed a write-off by the end of your ride.

It amuses me, to this very day, that a few riders out there avoid the rain, as though it were a plague, waiting for that chance to ruin your bike and gear. For me, the rain doesn’t serve as a deterrent from riding. Mostly by default, as it is my only way of getting around. But when it does rain, and I’ve got time to kill, I see it as an opportunity to be able to extend my riding scope and, as some of you may be aware from my past work, I have a slight obsession of capturing the more hard-yakka experiences through the lens. No glossy brochure photography here, just real bikes out in the real world. I’m all for an adventure, whether it be easy or difficult, and what better way to make it different than with bleak weather.

So, that brings me to this place that I reckon would be an ideal place to visit during or after a rain: Cataract Dam. This dam, located near Appin in Sydney’s outer south-west region, was the largest engineering project ever completed in Australia when it was opened in 1907, according to Water NSW, and it is indeed a place that is worth visiting for its sandstone construction; a material that is synonymous with the beauty of the historical buildings of Sydney.

The Cataract Dam venue is also equipped with barbeque and park facilities with well-maintained amenities, so it will make for a great place for a picnic with family and friends. Opening hours are 10am to 5pm (7pm on weekends), and entry and parking is free. For more information, check out this page by Weekend Notes.

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An empty road… perfect!
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A car that was left overnight. She’ll be ‘right, just needs a new battery..

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A dramatic view, standing from the top of the dam wall which stands almost 60 metres tall.
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Looking to the other side of the dam wall, where still waters evoke a sense of peace and a place where time has stopped. Polar opposites in one venue.
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A sandstone building that stands in the middle of the length of the dam walls. Aesthetically speaking, it makes for an eye-catching castle-like façade to the appearance of the whole construction.
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Still sprinkling with very slight rain…
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Various stairways are lined up on the face of the hill leading to the bottom of the waterway. Unfortunately, as it is a drinking water reservoir, the public are not permitted at all to access what looks to be a scenic walk.

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With a view like this, it’s not hard to forget about complaining that it’s raining.

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It’s easy to lose track of time out here. If you have a deadline to meet, it’s best that you do not visit. Make sure you have plenty of time to simply take it all in.
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…okay, better head off now before it really starts pouring!

Map - Cataract Dam - 07-11-2015

One comment

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