This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

1999 Travels February 18

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THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY     WOOLGOOLGA

We did not get a particularly early start, as John slept in somewhat. But after breakfast, we headed off to go to Dorrigo.

Took the Pacific Highway south, through Coffs Harbour, and then the road that goes through Bellingen and up the Range. We have been up the Bellinger River valley before, but it still impresses as being so pretty. We have said on previous occasions how, if we could have afforded it, we would have liked to move there. It remains one of the most attractive areas, for living in, that we have seen. Real estate values reflect the fact that we are not the only ones who think this!

The road, which is quite narrow for much of the way, initially follows the Bellinger River valley, and there are glimpses of the river through the trees that line the road. It is fertile farming country, along the valley. After Bellingen town, the road climbs up the range; in places there are steep drops to one side and rock walls to the other.

We followed a petrol tanker up the very bendy climb beyond Bellingen. He had to swing really wide on some of the corners. It is not a great road for driving a big vehicle on.

We turned off just before Dorrigo township to go to the National Park centre – Information Centre and the location of the Skywalk – an elevated boardwalk across to a viewing point over the forests towards the coast. The outlook was somewhat hazy, but vast.

02-18-1999 dorrigo skywalk.jpg

The outlook from Skywalk, over the escarpment to the coastal plains

At the Information Centre, bought a CD set of bird calls, thinking we could listen to these on the Truck sound system, while travelling in places with poor radio, and thus learn to identify some species by their calls. Quite often, in the bush, one can hear but not see.

After that, went to the Glade picnic area and ate our lunch there. We were entertained by bush turkeys chasing about.

We decided to undertake the 5.6km Wonga circuit walk, through the forests. It was excellent. Part of the walk is just above the drop off of the escarpment – we could see it falling away beyond the trees. The route took us past two interesting waterfalls – both flowing well. Tristania Falls were a “normal” kind of waterfall.

02-18-1999-dorrigo-np-tristania-falls

Tristania Falls in Dorrigo National Park

The Crystal Cascades were different – in a kind of grotto with little plants growing on the wet rocks, nourished by the spray from the falls. One could walk in behind the Cascades and look out through the curtain of water.

02-18-1999 Dorrigo NP Crystal Shower Falls.jpg

John lurking behind the curtain of water at Crystal Shower Falls

We identified three new birds on the walk – made it an even more great day. White headed Pigeon, Australian Thrush, Eastern Whipbrid.

02-18-1999 wonga walk.jpg

The Wonga Walk in Dorrigo National Park – an excellent walk

By the time we ended the walk, the outlook to the coast was obscured – it looked like it was raining pretty heavily, down there.

On the drive back, called in at a good roadside produce stall, that we’d noted on the way, this morning, and stocked up somewhat.

We got back to camp just after 6pm, having driven 190kms. It had rained very heavily, here, apparently.

While tea was cooking, John walked to the shops and got a video, and I defrosted the fridge.

Tea was tomato and herb soup, stroganoff and noodles. Fruit for dessert.

John’s video – Amiset – was very average!

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