Often we finish our travels with a short holiday but this time we are doing it in reverse and taking a short trip before flying out to LA on Wednesday.
I finished work on Tuesday afternoon and that in itself was a bit weird as I had to pack up my desk as we were moving buildings, for 14 years I worked in the same building now this is the third move in 18 months. We’re actually going back to an office we left about 10 months ago so will have to remember to go here after our USA trip.
We headed out of Brisbane via Boonah & Rathdowney to a lovely little spot south of Urbenville, free camping at Tooloom Falls. As it was a week night we expected that we’d have the place to ourselves but no there were about 10 others here all just passing through like us. Lovely spot with waterfall and a pleasant place to bring the kayak.
Saw lots of frogs on the edge of the waterfall we think they were Broad Palmed Rocket Frogs.
We then turned west and took the gravel road south meandering through forest, tree plantations and cattle farms. A scenic road with no traffic except the friendly farmer who stopped for a chat and told us all about the failed venture of the tree plantation owners – timber is now only worth $60 a ton to ship to Japan so much of it is being bulldozed making way to return the land to cattle farms. We crossed the Bruxner Highway and down on to Clarence Way before taking a right hand turn toward the Clarence River. I’d read that there was free camping down this road but had no idea how far but when we found the river with its long concrete bridge we decided this seemed a perfect spot to stop for the night. Lovely views of the river and surrounding hills and even enough wood to have a pleasant campfire.
Next morning we continued south and discovered the camping areas that I’d read about right on the Mann River. Large grassy areas beside the large river but plenty of people here with the Easter weekend commencing the next day. We will remember these sites as being just off the Gwydir H’way it could be a handy place to stop especially if we have the kayak.
From here it was a straight drive through to Grafton and down the Pacific H’Way to collect our Grandchildren. We were on babysitting duties while their parents were attending a funeral in Brisbane, fun to have the kids to ourselves even for this short time. Always such a complement to their parents that they just accept that Nana & Papa are there even though we might not see them for months on end.
We stayed the weekend enjoying the birthdays of first Darcy then Tracey and also Darcy’s 5th birthday party wow yes a full on weekend but one we wouldn’t have missed. Leaving on Easter Sunday the roads were fairly busy. We drove the main highway to Waterfall Way then headed inland turning north at Dorrigo our first surprise was to discover a huge area with many very old railway engines and carriages. This urge yard wasn’t open to the public but hopefully these old monstrosities will be lovingly restored and displayed in the yards at North Dorrigo before too long.
We continued to climb through beautiful old forest and into the clouds before coming onto the Armidale Grafton road where we found with the help of our Pocket Earth app a camping area right on the bank of the Hortens Creek where it intersected the slightly larger river. Another peaceful campsite with only the babbling stream and bellbirds as company.
After that short trip we have now come back to Brisbane packing completed and ready to head to LA tomorrow and say hello again to Walkabout 2. If you want to follow our travels just follow this link – Ann’s USA Blog