Forest getaways on the Mid North Coast

Hidden away deep within the mountain ranges along the Mid North Coast of New South Wales are a wealth of secluded, shady camping spots that make for a great camping getaway. We begin our tour of this delightful region a short distance south of the timbertown, Wauchope. Swans Crossing Reserve within Kerewong State Forest is a pleasant site beside the fresh waters of Upsalls Creek.Delightful camping deep within the forest at Swans Crossing Reserve It is hard to believe this reserve was once the site of a dairy farm run by the Swan Family. The regenerated forest here today is a result of the forestry commission taking over the area during the 1960s. On a hot day a dip in Upsalls Creek is a refreshing way to unwind.The tranquil Upsalls Creek at Swans Crossing Reserve Camping Area A couple of walks also depart from near the camping area and are a perfect excuse to stretch the legs. The Cascade Walk starts just over the causeway crossing of Upsalls Creek and leads past a series of delightful cascades.The pleasant Cascade Walking Track near Swans Crossing Camping Area Alternatively the Tramline Walk starts just south of the camping area and follows the original tramline that was once used to haul timber to the Camden Haven River.The historical Tramline Walk near Swans Crossing Kerewong State Forest Another feature of Swans Crossing is the light show put on after dark by the hundreds of Fireflies that live in the forest surrounding the camping area, a truly magical experience. Whilst at Swans Crossing make sure you check out the ‘Bird Tree’ in nearby Middle Brother State Forest. It is one of the largest Blackbutts in the state and well worth the short drive.Discovering one of the largest Blackbutts in the state the Bird Tree in Middle Brother National ParkAfter leaving Swans Crossing we head west to the tiny hamlet of Elands and Ellenborough Falls. This impressive waterfall is said to be the highest single drop waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. They are an awesome sight particularly after heavy local rainfall when the falls are at their best.The impressive highest single drop waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere Ellenborough Falls If you are looking for a camping spot near the falls there are a couple of options suitable for overnight stays. Little Plains Sports and Recreation Area is located just north of the township of Elands beside a small creek. A donation is required to stay here and is normally collected on site. A little further north beside the Ellenborough River you will find The Rapids Camping Area. This is a small site beside Rapids Road along the river near, you guessed it a set of rapids.
Further west of Ellenborough Falls and high up in the mountain ranges is Tapin Tops National Park. Formerly state forest the heavily wooded slopes of Tapin Tops make the ideal escape from the heat and humidity of the coast. Situated on the plateau is Dingo Tops Camping Area. This well shaded, grassy site set amidst old growth forest and beautiful deciduous shade trees it is the perfect spot to set up whilst exploring the ranges.Camping high up on the escarpment at Dingo Tops in Tapin Tops National Park Just north of the camping area the arduous climb up to Rowleys Rock Lookout is well worth the effort. At 1018 metres above sea level there are impressive views to Nowendoc in the west, the Caparra Creek Catchment in the south and to the coast on a clear day.Following a strenuous uphill walk the views from Rowleys Rock Lookout are well worth the effort A little further north within Doyles River State Forest is Blue Knob Lookout. A former state forestry fire tower site the scenery from here is also superb and you can even drive right up to this lookout although an Awd or 4wd vehicle is recommended.Remains of the forestry commission fire tower at Blue Knob Lookout Remains of the fire tower at Blue Knob Lookout are still here and on our last visit it was still possible to climb up to the platform with care. A small-secluded picnic area is located near the tower and is a great spot for a cuppa or lunch break.The outstanding view from the fire tower lookout at Blue Knob Rowleys and Blue Knob Lookouts are both easily located being signposted along Knodingbul Road north of Dingo Tops Camping Area. South of the camping area make sure you visit Potoroo Falls. The clear pool at the base of the falls is the perfect place for a cool refreshing dip on a hot day. Be warned that you will get wet feet along this walk as you cross Little Run Creek and rock hopping is required. The largest recorded Watergum in the state is located near the start of the walk and the well-shaded picnic area is a great spot for a cuppa. Potoroo Picnic Area and Potoroo Falls are signposted along Dingo Tops Road. There is also plenty to keep you occupied back at the camping area with a couple of rainforest walks to choose from. These are a great way to spot some of the resident wildlife. After dark Greater Gliders as well as several species of owls and bats may all be spotted whilst foraging for their dinner.
If Dingo Tops Camping Area is a little busy or you are after a more secluded campsite then head north into Doyles River State Forest and Maxwells Flat Camping Area. This is a large grassed site beside a small picturesque creek hidden deep within the forest.
Another place well worth visiting, although no camping is permitted here is Boorganna Nature Reserve.Rainforest clad walking track to Rawson Falls Boorganna Nature Reserve A tranquil spot that protects a patch of remnant rainforest with a delightful walking track leading from the picnic area through various rainforest types to a lookout overlooking the impressive Rawson Falls, where Mumfords Creek drops over 40 metres to the deep ravine below. For the energetic a walking track also leads down to the base of the falls where a dip on a hot day would be a must. The beautiful Rawson Falls as they plunge 400 metres to a rocky pool below

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