Welcome tom part 2 of our NSW Odyssey from way back in 2008. Leaving the fascinating Warrumbungles behind we ventured north east towards the New England Tablelands. Heading north from the country music capital of Tamworth we take a detour just out of the tiny hamlet of Manilla to the beautiful Warrabah National Park. Sitting on the pristine Namoi River this picturesque park is dominated by granite boulders. There is an easy grade 4wd track that traverses a small section of the park and gives access to a couple delightful riverside camping areas. On this occasion we had the place to ourselves and we have since returned to Warrabah on a couple occasions and have always had it to ourselves. It appears to be a hidden gem of the north west.
The next leg of our journey saw us head east and onto the New England Tablelands. About 30km from the city of Armidale we take a break at the culturally significant Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve. We stretch the legs along the graded walking track and take in the Rock Art Site.
Back on the road and we head along the New England Highway taking in two of the tablelands high country wetlands, the first at Guyra, Mother of Ducks Lagoon being located in the crater of an extinct volcano. The second is north of Guyra and a little off the highway at Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve.
Onwards and upwards we find two beautiful sites not far out of the country hamlet of Inverell. We first of all take a stroll around Stonewoman Aboriginal Area, a sacred Aboriginal Site that the local Indigenous People hold very special. Also just out of Inverell is the Goonoowigall State Conservation Area where we once again stretch the legs taking in its stunning granite country scenery and immerse ourselves in the sordid history of this once “fringe dwellers camp” during the 1970s.
After a bit of a restock in Inverell we head north east finally opening our Shippshape Rooftop Tent in Kings Plains National Park. This little known park includes the permanent Kings Plains Creek at its heart and we bunk down to the relaxing sounds of nature, once again having the camp to ourselves.
From high up on the Great Dividing Range we then ventured further east and into the World Heritage Listed Gibraltar Range and Washpool National Parks. Here stunning scenery makes this area a joy to visit and one that we highly recommend be on your bucket list.
Heading yet further east we stumble into an area that Wass once known as the “Big Scrub”, a large area of lowland rainforest where tall sub-tropical vegetation dominated and we take a break and stroll through Victoria Park Nature Reserve near the city of Lismore where a remnant of this vegetation still exists today.
Further east we end up in yet more World Heritage Rainforest in the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range in the stunning Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area. Here we are immersed in lush rain forest complete with awe inspiring waterfalls, this is truly an inspiring and beautiful area.
Join us next time as we complete our journey of the wild and always fascinating North Coast of NSW from stunning coastal vistas to wanderings through the untamed hinterland, there is something for everyone around our home state of NSW.