I learned of a very interesting art installation called “Ute’s in the Paddock” while doing some late-night reading of my travel book. The website explains the project was inspired by Cadillac Ranch off iconic Route 66 somewhere in Texas. The result is a one-of-a-kind marriage to the Outback Culture and the Ute.
The Holden Ute is part of the fabric of Australian Culture and the representations of each artist tells an amazing story. Find elements of Australian Culture and heritage blended into each Ute and don’t think for an instant it is limited. You’ll find representations of the coat of arms, cultural icons such as Ned Kelly & Dame Edna (on a dunny). Valued food and beverage such as Vegemite & Bundaberg Rum, animals native to the bush such as emus (Represented by the Emute) and kangaroo represented by UteZilla, and more!
Before you decide to take off to interior NSW much further than even the regional train reaches you need to understand exactly what it is you’re going to see. This paddock is not a tourist trap. There is no guide to greet you upon arrival, no one will be there to take cash to help with the upkeep of the Ute’s. There is no bathroom to use or shop to buy souvenirs. Even though there is a sign saying where you can list locations selling souvenirs we went to one of the listings and found they were sold out). This is a place off the radar of most the Visitor’s Centers and there are no hostels anywhere near here, only a slim pick of hotels in the next town over.
It also means if you want to go here you’ll have to rent a car. We took public transportation to Bathurst and rented a car from there. It was a three-hour one-way scenic drive, but we really enjoyed it. We took two days stopping at the local towns of Orange and Parkes on our way. We also stopped at a couple of wineries on our way back.
What we wished we had known: We knew the utes were on display in a paddock which means we guessed the road was unsealed. We hired a large SUV so we didn’t encounter any troubles. You will have to drive a couple of km down an unsealed road, but at out time of visit it was really well cared for and flat. Renting a little econobox would have been fine.