Members Trips

Newcastle to Brisbane via the back roads

touring the back roads
from newcastle to brisbane
by Rob

Next morning we headed for Wollomombi Falls along The Waterfall Way, however with showers & a top of only seven degrees at lunchtime we decided to drop off the range for warmer conditions. So it was down along the Grafton road to the Chaelundi Campground in Guy Fawkes River National Park.

This national park encompasses 100,590 hectares on the eastern edge of the New England Tablelands with spectacular examples of rugged river gorges including the deeply incised Guy Fawkes River Valley along the line of an ancient fault through the park. There are over 40 different vegetation communities, 28 threatened plant species, 24 threatened fauna species & significant areas of old growth forest protected within the park.

Just before the campground we came across a large gum tree that had been blown over by the wind. After an inspection we found a safe path around it.

After breakfast the next day we did a short walk to the Chaelundi Falls from the campground. We then drove the forest trail to the remains of the old gold town of Dalmorton which is on the Old Coach Road between Glen Innes & Grafton. We stopped at two lookouts with magnificent views of the surrounding area. The trail gradually deteriorated taking about three hours to cover the fifty kilometres.

We enjoyed a peaceful camp right on the waters edge of the Boyd River.

tree across the road walking trail to Chaelundi Falls Chaelundi Falls
grey fantail Russet-tailed Thrush forest trail
looking west over Guy Fawkes River National Park
Grasstree lunch at Dalmorton Boyd River
Camp on the Boyd River

After a stop in Grafton to top up fuel, we once again hit the backroads stopping at Copmanhurst by the Clarence River for lunch. Not too far up the road we set up camp at Lilydale & enjoyed the warmth of the afternoon winter sunshine. On our last visit here in November the bottlebrush were in flower attracting many honey-eating birds. Only the resident birds are here now in midwinter. 

There was a heavy fog next morning which proved to be the start of a magic day sitting by the river. The cloudless sky reviled all the stars in their glory with a warm orange glow at sunrise.

fog along the Clarence River
sun pushing through foggy start Cattle Egrets
Grey Strike-thrush Rufous Whistler Blackfaced Cuckoo-shrike
Restless Fly Catcher Pied Butcherbird immature Pied Butcherbird
evening river glow late afternoon starry night
sunrise on the upper Clarence