I’d promised our Grandson that we’d be down to visit for his 5th birthday and no matter what else was happening both work wise and other business commitments I wasn’t going to break that promise.
We’d had a leisurely weekend in Brisbane enjoying our eldest daughter’s birthday before heading south on Monday. Decided to take a couple of days to do the stretch Brisbane to Coffs Harbour and looking at the map chose our first night to be near the Lions Road south of Rathdowney this is north of the NSW Qld border. Found a lovely spot just south of the Andrew Drynan Park plenty of room beside the fast flowing creek (deep waterhole here would be perfect for summer swimming) and grassy. After parking we went for a walk in both directions enjoying that perfect time in winter just before sunset. Some commuters passing by as well as farmers finishing their days work. A cool evening but warm enough to sit outside listening to the river as we had a wine then dinner, surprised just how many commuters passed by, they didn’t disturb us as we followed their lights on the twisty roads.
Woke to a lovely winters morning and picked a route south following Running Creek Road then on to the Lions Road (this road was built by members of the Lions Club to open up the access between the 2 states, after the council rejected the proposal in 1969 the road, originally this was a gravel one lane road when it opened in 1971 but now is a good, if somewhat twisty, 2 lane sealed road). We had come this way a few times previously and always enjoyed the beautiful scenery, with glimpses of the railway track and passing under the elevated bridges. I decided not to follow the Summerland Way but to divert through small rural communities such as Lynches Creek (passing the old school house where others were camping) and Collins Creek before we skirted Kyogle driving instead along Fawcetts Plains Road and stopped for morning tea at Ray Smiths Memorial Lookout.
South east to Cawongla and then south following the Leycester Creek through to Lismore was a great drive plenty of different properties and farmers out doing what farmers do. Virtually no traffic one of the pleasures of driving when it isn’t the weekend. Strolled around Lismore which is much bigger and busier than we imagined resisting the inviting eateries knowing we had our own food in W3 ah but we’ll be back as there was definitely plenty of places to choose from.
South from Lismore we took the back road to Coraki then on to Double Duke and Gibberagee State Forests. Many nature reserves in this area and hidden private properties the roads were good and mainly bitumen. Eventually we came out on the Summerland Way and continued through Grafton on to the Orara Way, this again was a road we’d travelled but quite some time ago. The day was drawing to a close so we started looking for a site to stop for the night, I noticed one at Ulong so headed off at Nana Glen through the Orara West State Forest where they are currently doing selective logging, we know this as we met a logging truck heading out, and on to Ulong.
Another great free campsite at Timms Reserve complete with toilet and shelter with an open fire and barbecue, it started to rain during the night always great for sleeping. We took the sealed road back down through the mist to Coramba and came on to the Pacific Highway at the southern end of Coffs Harbour. From here it is good highway the rest of the way to Crescent Head where our daughter is. Great fun to find such interesting back roads and explore new areas.
We had a very family oriented week with our daughter and family along with another set of grand parents. The birthday party was a huge success with the children all enjoying digging for dinosaurs and riding their bikes in the park. Next time we will no doubt find some just as interesting but different back roads.