On arrival in Grafton I immediately found an auto electrical shop that specialised in solar. I had a small problem with the house batteries in the motorhome and wanted to get everything checked out. The perceived problem must have been an anomaly as the auto electrician could not find a problem, which was a big relief to Annie and me. If you are ever near Grafton and need similar help call in and see Bryan at BF Industries. He did a great job checking out my solar system, batteries, and truck charging system. BF Industries is at 60 Pound St Grafton Ph. 02 6643 5566 or 0418 437 688
We only spent 3 days in Grafton as it was hot and humid, both of which I don’t like. We stayed at the showground for $20.00 per night and for that we had a powered site and a clean toilet/shower block. Not wanting to stay around while it was uncomfortable I made the decision to head up into the northern tablelands towards the New England area.
This little town, consisting of a small area school, pub, café, small roadhouse, and a few houses was a lovely place to park up for a little while. Basing ourselves on the outskirts of the town adjacent the recreation grounds we were able to thoroughly explore the local area. Ebor is on a road known as waterfall way. In very close proximity are New England NP, Oxley Wild Rivers NP, Cathedral Rock NP, and Dorrigo NP. Now this area is still a part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. As you might imagine it is jam packed filled with jaw dropping, oh wow, scenes of waterfalls, mountains, valleys, amazing trees, birdlife, animals, need I go on.
We managed to get in a good few walks and did some great drive tours from Ebor. On one of the drive tours we came across a camp site known as Blackbird Flat reserve. Check it out on Google Earth. To get to it travel along Slim Dusty Rd out from Kempsey. There’s about 14Km of dirt road, that was in very good condition at the time. The big attraction for me is that it is on the banks of the Macleay River, and the first thing I saw was big trout jumping.
So as I said, from Ebor we did some walks. Strongly recommended is a visit to the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre from which you can access the beautiful Wonga walk. An easy 2½ walk takes in the Walk with the Birds boardwalk, Crystal Shower Falls, and Tristania Falls. At the end of it you can then either relax in the café at the rainforest centre, or head off to one of the picnic areas. I didn’t get a chance to take any good photos on this walk as it rained and I didn’t want to get my camera wet.
Armidale claims to be the highest city in Australia. Hence it’s a lot cooler than Grafton. We chose to stay at the Armidale showground. And for $55 per week for an unpowered site why wouldn’t we. The cost incidentally for a powered site is double. The day rate is $11 and $22, so the weekly rate is very reasonable. In the price we got use of a free washing machine, great showers, and a dump point and very close to the city centre.
Our timing at arriving in Armidale was almost perfect. A trip on the train got me to the Tamworth Country Music festival, there was a 3 day Campdraft at the showground, and now the circus has turned up. The almost part of the perfect is that we have had lots of rain as well since we arrived. The way I see it we can’t have rainforests without rain, and the farmers seem to love it. Up to now we haven’t done much of what we came here for, but at the price for our camp we will be happy to stay on for a lot longer. We have managed to do the free 2 hour tour of the city from the Information Centre. This tour I think is a must as it gives a good introduction to the city and what is on offer here.
There will be more to come on Armidale in the next post.