Time to Reminisce 5

If you have a bit of Mondayitis setting in we maybe able to help. Welcome back to our Time to Reminisce series, the first for 2020 where we take a look back at some of our previous adventures. For this first one for the year and following on from our previous where we explored northern NSW and south east Queensland we head to southern NSW and explore a little of the magnificent coast and the enchanting hinterland. Many of these places we have since returned to, some on many occasions and these early trips is where we gleaned our admiration for this delightful region, a place that keeps drawing us back time and time again even to this day. We always seem to leave the south coast of NSW inspired and wanting for more. So grab a cuppa, kick back and enjoy our forays into this amazing region and hopefully we will leave you inspired to pack the tent head bush.

Over the course of several months and on several occasions we hit the road heading south from our base in the Blue Mountains, each time venturing that little bit further and deeper into the unknown, for us at least. These short escapes ranged from mid summer with the temperature pushing 40 degrees to the dead of winter, our favourite time for travelling and camping. As usual we were armed with our indispensable 4wd guide and the Southern NSW Forestry Map.

Grassy Gully Bush Camp in Morton State Conservation Area just west of Nowra.

With the temperature pushing 40 and after a rather hot night camped just out of Nowra we decided to head for altitude and aimed the Rodeo for Braidwood and the cooler climate of Monga National Park. Here we enjoyed the cool climate and learnt about the devastation caused at Penance Grove, a beautiful spot that must be on your radar.

Penance Grove in Monga National Park. Here many years ago this Tree Fern Gully was decimated by an act of vandalism.
The beautiful Mongarlowe River in Monga National Park

Our next trip to the amazing south coast was in late summer where we started off exploring the coast in Murramarang National Park at North Head just north of Batemans Bay.

Stunning North Head in Murramarang National Park

From the coast and after stocking up in Batemans Bay we headed further south and eventually into South East Forest National Park. This is a place we have returned to on numerous occasions over the years and it still draws us back, it continues to be one of our most loved destinations from this very first visit all those years ago. We pulled into Six Mile Creek Rest Area for the night nestles beside the bubbling creek and surrounded by lush rainforest, it certainly was a beautiful spot. We have since camped here on numerous occasions and each time we are left humbled and enchanted by its beauty. An easy stroll opposite the Rest Area leads to a series of delightful cascades and is a great way to end the day.

Six Mile Creek right beside the camping area, South East Forest National Park
Camping at Six Mile Creek Rest Area, South East Forest National Park
An easy stroll opposite Six Mile Creek Rest Area leads to a series of cascades, a beautiful spot.

After a restful night at Six Mile Creek we headed further south and deeper into the massive South East Forest National Park where once again following our trusty 4wd guide we are greeted with outstanding views over Myanba Gorge following a short walk.

Outstanding views over Myanba Gorge, South East Forest National Park

Leaving the gorge, another stop on our 4wd journey through this majestic landscape was at Nalbough Falls in the adjoining State Forest. This is a spot you will almost certainly have to yourself, as have we on a couple occasions. It is a beautiful and serene place to sit and reflect on what is on offer I this outstanding region.

Nalbaugh Falls

All too soon it was time to head home but we would soon return.

This time in late Autumn saw us head back to the south coast. Heading inland from the small town of Bodalla we ventured into the hills via the tiny hamlet of Nerrigundah, the site of bloodshed during the bushranger days stopping at the remnants of an old Gold Mine hidden in the forest on the hillside.

An old Battery Stamper, remnants of Comans Mine hidden on the forest.

After stretching our legs we continued along our trek emerging into another stunning landscape in the Belowra Valley following the course of the Tuross River.

The delightful Tuross River in the Belowra Valley
Crossing a Concrete Causeway prior to ascending the hangout of the Belowra Valley

After traversing the Belowra Valley the track winds its way up the range and onto the Monaro Tablelands. Here on the very edge of Wadbilliga National Park is Tuross Falls, another spot that has to be on your agenda, it is simply stunning.

Reflections on the Tuross near the Falls Camping Area
Views over the Cascades on the way to Tuross Falls
The walking track on the way to Tuross Falls
Finally the impressive Tuross Falls
Our camp hidden among the bush at Tuross Falls

After our hike to Tuross Falls, a hearty camp dinner and peaceful night we ventured deeper into Wadbilliga National Park. Once again following our trusty guide we followed the Wadbilliga Trail that descends from the tablelands back down the range and through the heart of the national park. It was an easy grade trail and one that we thoroughly enjoyed and have repeated since.

On the Wadbilliga Trail at top of the range.
The trail passes through some amazing scenery before its descent.
Lunch stop at the bottom of the range deep within the national park.

On the way back out to the coast a short if not steep diversion leads to the disused Peak Alone Fire Tower with incredible views over the surrounding wilderness.

Views from Peak Alone

Continuing back out to the coast we were once again left wanting for more from this region, hopefully we would not have to wait for long.

Montague Island from the seaside village of Narooma

Luckily for us we didn’t and in Spring we once again for the final time that year headed south. It had been rather wet so we decided to call into Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve in the Southern Highlands on the way. Here the weir was in definite flow and an incredible sight.

After a morning tea stop at Cecil Hoskins we headed further south aiming for the quaint village of Milton before turning inland to Yadboro State Forest for the night. Our task this trip was to climb Pigeon House Mountain and explore some of the stunning forests down here taking in what we could. Next morning we were up early for the arduous climb up the mountain and we were not disappointed. The climb maybe steep but it well worth the sweat.

Pigeon House Mountain is an iconic landmark on the south coast
The climb to the summit is arduous but well worth the effort
Views from the summit are stunning

After our arduous climb it was time to let the Rodeo do the work as we explored the beautiful forests this part of the south coast. We eventually wound our way past lookouts with views that go on forever ending up camping in the beautiful Currowan State Forest.

Our serene camp in Currowan State Forest
A hearty camp breakfast to start off our last day
Currowan Creek beside our bush camp

After taking in some of the best scenery the South Coast forests have to offer it was time to head back to the highway and make our way home but not before a couple more stops along the way.

Views over Batemans Bay from Clyde River National Park
“Old Spotty” located not far off the highway near the Bawley Point turnoff.

We thank you for joining us on our introductory trips to the wonderful South Coast region. Since these early times we have continued to head south exploring not only the beautiful coastal regions but also the just as enchanting ranges with their exhilarating hikes, enjoyable drives and breathtaking lookouts, these attributes are what keeps us returning time and time again. We are sure that if you have never been,  you like us will be hooked from the very first time.

Please not that due to the devastating bushfires that have been experienced in this region, if you are planning on heading to the wonderful south coast region and to some of the sites we have mentioned in this post please contact either National Parks or the Local Tourist Information Centres in the region to find out what areas are open. We are sure no matter what is open you will be sure to find some wonderful scenery and peace and solitude on the South Coast. 

Make sure you join us next time on our Time to Reminisce series where we head to Victoria. What can we fit into a few weeks in the southern state, quite a bit as it turns out as we explore from the magnificent High Country to coastal stretches and everything in-between. We even end up camped at a search base for the night, an experience to remember.

Until next time, happy and safe travels.

Chris & Sandra

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