After leaving Pomona, just before Christmas, we headed for NSW, our destination, Woodenbong.
Now there isn’t any real good reason why we were going there other than I had been looking at the map knowing we were going to spend time this year (2015) in NSW. Anyway Woodenbong came up in the Camps Australia 7 book as a low cost park. Being up and away from the coast I had figured it would most likely be quiet, and therefore we would not have any trouble getting a spot. As it turns out this is an assumption that became a good decision. The park is well kept, costs $10 per night with power, has a dump point for grey and black water, and has toilets and showers. The showers are $1 extra.
Woodenbong is a great little country town. It has a nice corner shop, a great little cafe, a newsagent come service station, a takeaway shop, chemist, and bless their little souls it even has an NAB Branch.
If you’re interested more info can be found at http://woodenbong.org/
Stuff about the scary hairy things can be found at http://www.yowiehunters.com.au/
We didn’t come across any Yowies, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
We always try and visit any National Parks in the areas where we are staying, so on that note we toddled off to Kyogle about 60km from Woodenbong to visit the NPWS Office and purchase a 12 month parks pass. Now as a soapbox type issue I can’t understand why it is that the National Parks aren’t the same in each state. In SA for example we could purchase a 12 month pass which included camping. In NSW we have to pay extra to camp and it seems that most parks that will be $10pp per night.
I also purchased a 12 month fishing license from the information centre as well.
So now that we are legal it’s time to explore, and our first sortie was to go to the
Border Ranges NP
What an introduction to the area. The views from the lookouts over the erosion caldera of the Mt Warning shield volcano are amazing. There are information boards that describe what occurred in the area. The Border Ranges NP is within the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. The park is just under 32000ha and is easily accessible via a 2wd vehicle.
It really is a beautiful area to spend a day. We took a picnic and really had a great day walking through country where we are certain there be Fairies and Hobbits.
Other trips we did include;
The Lions Road
All of the information on The Lions Rd comes from a brochure prepared by the Kyogle Lions Club.
Local organisations had been trying since 1930, when the interstate railway had been opened, to have a road built along the same route to Brisbane via The Richmond Gap in the McPherson Range. A government announcement in 1966 stated that a decision on the route would be made the following year with work to begin 2 years later.
The government walked away from the commitment in 1969. This is when the Kyogle Lions Club decided to get involved as a community project. After the best route was selected they decided in 1971 to build a low standard 4wd track as a means of lobbying for support. After many offers of support from the community and business a gravel road suitable for cars was opened in December 1971 and officially opened in September 1973.
The impressive construction of the road by a service club included construction of 11km of road over the McPherson Range, installation of 56 sets of pipes, 3 bridges, and 12 cattle grids. When the NSW/Qld border was reached the Qld Beaudesert Lions Club stepped in to give a hand. The army later helped by reconstructing 2km in Qld.
Now over 100,000 vehicles per year use the road. A donation box at the NSW/Qld border has been well supported and the money from this has enabled the Lions to lobby government departments with an offer to contribute to the sealing of the road. The sealing was completed in 2002.
I think this is a great story and goes to show that sometimes all it needs is vision and determination to get things done.
Woodenbong to Boonah and back
We decided to do a drive to Boonah so that we could see some more of the spectacular scenery in the area. Boonah is in Qld on The Scenic Rim. The drive took us either side of Koreelah NP which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. This area has incredibly beautiful scenery and amazing ancient rainforests. The area is also the headwaters of The Condamine River which is also the head of The Murray Darling Basin. When we were in South Australia we visited friends in Goolwa, which is really at the mouth of The Murray River. It’s difficult for us to imagine just how big the river systems are in Australia. However there we were way up on the NSW Queensland border looking at the place where rainfall is collected and sent all the way through NSW, into Victoria, and on into South Australia. The communities and individuals that this water has an effect on is simply incredible. We are so lucky to be able to visit and enjoy these various locations in Australia.
The drive back from Boonah on the western side of Koreelah NP gave us an opportunity to visit some of the waterfalls along the route. Queen Mary Falls while not huge in water volume is very beautiful. We stopped for lunch at Dagg Falls. We also visited Killarney which is another of the many small but lovely country towns we come across in our travels.
We did several other driving tours from Woodenbong. Kyogle and Casino are not too far away so we went there a couple of times. In fact we did our food shopping in Kyogle. We also went for a longer drive through to Nim bin and then on to the coast to have a look at Byron Bay and a couple of other places. As it was still during the festive season the coast was packed out so we just kept going until we got to Evans Head where it was a bit quieter. It seems to be that the longer we continue with this grey nomad lifestyle we have chosen, the less we like crowded areas and the more we like the small country towns.
The whole area around Woodenbong reminded us of Tasmania as there are lots of mountains, and it was very green. We did several other short drives around the local area visiting places like Urbenville, Paddy’s Flat, Bonalbo, Legume, and Killarney. We also did a big drive to Tenterfield which was really nice as we found a great pie shop.
Now it’s not unusual for us to scope out our next camping spot from wherever we are currently camped up. So it was with this in mind that on one of our forays we checked out a bush camp on the Clarence River just out from a little place called Tabulam on the Bruxner Highway. We found out about this spot by asking the bloke at the service station when we were getting some diesel for the Ute. As soon as we saw it we knew we wanted to camp there. However a sign saying no camping was a bit of a disappointment. Not wanting to be deterred after a short conversation with the local police officer we found out that in fact it was ok to camp there.
So it was about this time we received a phone call from our daughter Tennille saying that she and our grandson Kyan were doing a little road trip to come and camp with us. Now this is good news for us. So arrangements were made to meet up in Casino where we could stock the cupboards and fridge and then head off to the camp site. Kyan came with me in the truck while Annie travelled with Tennille.
We had a week with the two of them, they left and then we had visitors in the form of Annie’s cousin Jenne and her husband Bob who camped next to us in their caravan for a few days.
So for anyone who reads this and wants to camp in the area have a look on WikiCamps for Yates Crossing, or find Tabulam in NSW and then follow Plains Station Rd until it crosses over the Clarence River. It’s a beautiful spot to bush camp and the swimming is great. Unfortunately there are no fish stories from here as I was not that lucky.
After camping at Yates Crossing we headed for Grafton, but that’s for next time.