Members Trips

Newcastle to Brisbane via the back roads

touring the back roads
from newcastle to brisbane
by Rob

Time to head south again towards home. We decided to cover a bit of ground so we put in a days driving from Atkinsons Dam down to Glenreagh near Coffs Harbour via the Summerland Highway to Grafton & then the Orara Way. Shannon Park at Glenreagh is one of our favourite cuppa stops right next to the Orara River. The nearby recreation reserve also offers open grassy camping.

Glenreagh Rec Reserve morning fog morning fog
the kookaburra gang eastern rosella Cattle Egrets
Orara River Flooded gums at Shannon Park Flooded gums

From Glenreagh we head south down the Orara Way to Nana Glen & then onto the back roads once again through some breathtaking rainforest to  the Forest Sky Pier at Sealy Lookout. At 310 metres high the lookout offers great views over the Coffs Coast.

the view of Coffs Harbour from Sealy Lookout
Coffs Harbour Forest Sky Pier

Not far from the lookout we drove down a gravel road through the rainforest to a picnic table for morning tea in the Bruxner Park Flora Reserve. This is the forest we enjoy the most with huge Flooded gums, Strangler Figs, Bangalow Palms with Birdsnest Ferns, Elkhorn Ferns & Basket Ferns adorning most large trees.

rainforest rainforest rainforest
Birdsnest Ferns Birdsnest Ferns Bangalow Palm
creek Strangler Fig Strangler Fig
Birdsnest Fern huge Flooded gum Bracket Fungi

We drive down the Pacific Highway to Macksville & camp at Gumma Reserve on Warrell Creek, one of our favourite places along the coast. You can hear the waves breaking on the beach on the other side of the river not too far away.

sunrise sunrise Moreton Bay Fig
sunrise campsite Warrell Creek
Warrell Creek Intermediate Egret Little Red Flying Fox

It is always a treat to stop at Mount Yarrahapinni with a great view of the coast over Southwest Rocks & down to Hat Head & Crescent Head further south at 498 metres high.

At the base of Mount Yarrahapinni is Yarriabini National Park featuring an old growth forest filled with Flooded Gums, Hoop Pines, Strangler Figs, Giant Stinging Trees, Bangalow Palms & the cool clear Way Way Creek running through it.

looking out over Southwest Rocks from Mount Yarrahapinni
Way Way Creek Bangalow Palms Flooded Gum
Strangler Figs

Once again it is on the highway & down to Swans Crossing for the night. Not too many photos here as I twisted my knee.

  Swans Crossing  

Sticking to the back roads we wander to the west of Middle & South Brother Mountains to Landsdowne for morning tea at the reserve on the Landsdowne River & drive through the lanes & back roads to Wingham, making Gloucester for a pie at the bakery. There there we head down the Bucketts Way & turn off at Stroud Road for Dungog, finally making camp at Lostock Dam. The sunset & sunrise didn't disappoint.

From Lostock unfortunately it was only a short drive home.

  Lostock Dam sunrise