Only about a month after our mid north coast getaway we were itching to escape again and with a couple nights up our sleeve we decided our weekend getaway would be a bit closer to home this time. (Once again please excuse the quality of the photos in this post as we are going back some time and these were taken with an old camera so the quality is not the best). Heading west over the Blue Mountains and armed with another 4wd guide book it wasn’t long before we entered Newnes State Forest just out of Bell and begun our journey, firstly to the Glow Worm Tunnel, an old disused railway tunnel hidden deep within the forest that was once a very important link to the now abandoned Newnes Oil Shale Mining Site, our destined camp for the night. After traversing the forest road and negotiating our own tunnel along the way we parked and made the short walk to the Glow Worm Tunnel and the impressive glow worms that now call the place home. This is a definite must see destination and one which we have returned to on a couple occasions although we are long overdue for another visit. (just add it to the list).
We backtrack some way before picking up the Blackfellows Hand Trail, an easy grade 4wd journey that is featured in our 4wd guide and a short cut across to Wolgan Road, the access to our campground for the night at Newnes. The trail is easy going for the most part and we make good time being able to setup camp at Newnes and take the walking track through the Industrial Ruins Site all before dinner. Located here deep within the Wolgan Valley, Newnes was once a bustling industrial centre and there are many ruins and relics of its past scattered throughout the bush in this isolated valley. We have since been to Newnes on many occasions and always find something different, new and interesting.
Our stroll back to camp we even manage to spot a lyrebird rustling around beside the road. Newnes is one of the few places where you are likely to spot one of these elusive creatures easily.
It certainly is a special place. After fighting off the swarm of flies that wanted our dinner we settled down to a very peaceful night.
Next morning we were up early and with breakfast out of the way we decided to explore a little further afield as we always tend to push the boundaries of our time off. Packed up we forded the river once again and made our way out of the Wolgan Valley setting the rodeo on a course for Oberon. After a quick lunch stop at Oberon Dam we headed for Abercrombie River National Park some sixty odd kilometres south west.
We had planned to hone some our 4wd skills here with it being known as a 4wd mecca and initially headed to an entrance in the south of the park, the plan being to foll our trusty 4wd guide once again and traverse the park aiming to camp in the north of the park. But with time our constant enemy and our limited 4wd experience we turned around not long after hitting the 4wd track and headed for camp at the Sink Camping Area in the north of the park for the night. Oh well maybe next time. We finished up having an enjoyable and relaxing night at “The Sink” (complete with a sink, see photos) beside the relatively dry Silent Creek.
Once again next morning it was all too soon time to pack up camp and head for home base. The last couple short weekend getaways kept us sane enough to make it to our next annual leave holiday. Stay tuned for our next installment of Time to Reminisce where at the end of 2006 we head to the Apple Isle for a couple weeks with another passenger on board to explore this piece of paradise.