Welcome back to one of our favourite blog post series, Time to Reminisce. For this fourth instalment we are going way back to 2007, February to be precise (once again we ask to excuse the photo quality as we are going back a long way). Hot on the heels of our Tasmanian adventure with Sandra’s mum it was time to head north. This was as usual to be incorporated with visiting family up that way. So once again the good old Rodeo was packed as we trundled from our home base in the Blue Mountains towards the coast with our first night on the road being in Limeburners Creek Nature Reserve (now Limeburners Creek National Park) just north of the holiday town of Port Macquarie. This was an oasis as we camped beside the tranquil Limeburners Creek for the night with easy access to the stunning coastline. A beautiful spot to start our trip.
Continuing up the coast we called into Hat Head National Park taking a stroll through the coastal vegetation and sand hills. With its delightful scenery it definitely makes a great spot to stretch the legs and spend some time in.
However we were on the move north making it to Yuraygir National Park north of Coffs Harbour for our next camp at Red Cliffs in the north of the park right on the coast. Another night was spent being lulled to sleep by the sounds of the crashing waves.
Up early the next morning we were once again on the road heading north towards our first foray into the stunning rainforests of the far NSW north coast. Also along for this trip we had our trusty “Australia’s Top 4WD Getaways” book to guide us on or journey. This was the same guide that led us through some of our adventures on our first Outback trip the previous year. Heading inland to Casino we turned west for the tiny hamlet of Mallanganee and the starting point of our adventurous journey into the ranges.
Heading north just out of Mallanganee we trundled along the Cambridge Plateau Forest Drive cutting through the heart of the Richmond Range National Park.
This drive takes in some stunning scenery through dry and sub tropical rainforest. It also sits on an ancient volcano and it is for good reason these are World Heritage Listed Rainforests. Heading deeper into the rainforest we are astounded by the sheer beauty here as we pass by a hidden dam and actually spend the night deep within the jungle like ranges at Iron Pot Creek.
Next day we wound our way out of the rainforest ending at the delightful village of Woodenbong before turning east and taking the scenic loop through Border Ranges National Park with its amazing scenery from many lookouts. We spent a night in the park at Sheepstation Creek taking a stroll to Brushbox Falls via the Palm Forest Walking Track, an excellent and easy walk here. We were really starting to enjoy the rainforests of the north coast.
Leaving the Border Ranges we crossed into Queensland heading for another tiny hamlet, Boonah on the scenic rim and towards the next adventure out of our trusty guide book. Heading south west from Boonah and skirting Main Range National Park we soon entered Cambanoora Gorge and were greeted with a warning that we were about to cross the Condamine River 14 times. We did not know quite what to expect as we entered the gorge but soon discovered that we would only have to contend with a couple puddles. Oh well, so much for our water crossing experience.
Once out of the gorge we had several water falls to explore and a chance to stretch our legs ending at the biggest of these, Queen Mary Falls.
From here we border hopped again back into NSW and to Koreelah National Park for the night beside the dry Koreelah Creek. It was here that we were visited by a Long Nosed Potoroo that night although he was too quick to get the camera out.
Finishing our trek through these beautiful ranges the following day we ended with a night at Flanagan’s Reserve with stunning views across to Mount Lindsay, a beautiful spot. It was also here that possums visited our neighbours who did not heed the warnings of making sure all your food items are secured whilst in camp, something we had learned very early in our camping days.
Ending our trek in Rathdowney it was time to head to family for a few days before starting our journey home. This would take us inland via the New England Region of NSW. We always take a roundabout way on our travels and this was no exception. Just out of Glen Innes we detoured down the Old Grafton Glen Innes Road pulling up for the night at Mann River Nature Reserve beside the Mann River. The weather had turned nasty on us by this time and after setting up camp the heavens opened with torrential rain saturating our camp. We were however not alone and our trusty Sippshape Tent and awning kept us snug and dry. It was also here that evening that we watched a fellow camper with caravan attempt to set up on a precarious slope close to the toilets before retreating to the flat river bank near us. The next more morning our fellow camper came over to ask where to pay for their nights camp. After explaining it was a free camp with which they were amazed they stated it was their first time out of the caravan park, a fact that was not surprising but hopefully it was an introduction into the world of bush camping, at least this sites with facilities to start with.
Next morning with the weather not improving much we ventured back up to the highway making our way further south spending the next night camped just out of Uralla at Rocky River Fossicking Area. This was a top spot to relax and unwind for the night before our journey back to the Blue Mountains.
For us much of this trip was an introduction to the amazing north coast and New England region of NSW and the scenic rim of Queensland. We have since returned to many areas we visited on this trip over 12 years ago so keep an eye out as we move through the years on our Time to Reminisce series and make return trips to these stunning regions.
Until next time,
Happy and Safe Travels
Chris & Sandra