Friday, 28 December 2012

Nymboida River Lilo

If I’d seen the exit route Caz had planned for us that afternoon maybe I wouldn’t have been enjoying myself so much – paddling about all carefree and innocent down in the Nymboida Gorge on my lilo.

The day started easily enough with a bush bash off Moses Rock Road, through some familiar forest of blackbutt, white mahogany, low heath plants and forest oaks. It took about 45 minutes to reach the end of the ridge where a large formation of rock protrudes from the scrub, giving us clear views up and down the Nymboida River valley. 

This stretch of the river is renowned worldwide as a white water rafting destination with grade 3 to 5 rapids, depending on the water level, grinding their way around massive boulders and dropping into long peaceful pools of deep green water.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Five Day Creek - New England National Park

I am trying to put my finger on the cause of this left-over yearning following last weekend’s walk – an off-track meandering along Five Day Creek in New England National Park. Back at the day job now, the feeling is being fed by sounds of a power-saw in the industrial estate across the highway, ambulances screaming in and out of the nearby hospital, the thousand trucks a day roaring past on the highway: everyday things in this town, but not for a body desperate to return to the wilderness it walked out of on Sunday.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Cathedral Rock – night of the warrigal

Jutting out of the New England tableland is Cathedral Rock National Park – a place of peppermint gums, stringybark and swamp land broken by peaks of granite boulders teetering skyward against fierce winter winds that spear ice across the high country. This is a mysterious and introspective landscape. Off-track walking is a battle against tough banskia, heath scrub and sedges all vying for space in a bewildering and yet enticing maze of granite rock outcrops, sudden drop-offs and blockages, inaccessible wet gullies, dead-end granite alleys that force slow detours and rethinks.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Devine Hut – Mann River Nature Reserve

Word of mouth is a great tool for those seeking new places, beautiful landscapes, big or small adventures. In a way, it's what this blog is about. Here is a place that came to us via word of mouth from a group of intrepid bushwalkers and members of the Inverell Bushwalking Club. 

We met the club members one October long weekend while hail, fog and snow trapped us on top of Mt Kaputar. Huddled under a small shelter in the campground we sipped hot cups of tea, wearing every stitch of merino, gortex and polypro available, listening to details of their club’s favourite walks and destinations – all of them, funnily enough, in sunny warm locations unlike our surrounds.

The conversation turned to the Mann River Nature Reserve, west of Grafton. For a long time we had thought about exploring up the Mann River, from the campground on the Old Glen Innes-Grafton road. The Inverell walkers rekindled our interest with talk of an old walkers' hut beside the river, built by a man named Devine. Obviously, it is called Devine Hut. And Devine by name, but divine by nature.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Secrets of the Bobo River - Wild Cattle Creek State Forest

It feels like there are many secrets in the natural world.

One of those secrets is the Bobo River. Not its location - it is easily found up the mountain road to Ulong, straight ahead at the bend, onto the dirt road toward Cascade, then stop at the third bridge. But, the Bobo has secrets. Or rather, people who know the Bobo keep secrets for it.