Irregularly, say twice a year at best, we venture up the valley, way, way up the valley beyond the watershed that bounds our Pappinbarra River, and spend some time in the cool temperate rainforests of the Werrikimbe National Park. Today was one such day, and here are some images.
Usually we take the opportunity to share this adventure with our Wwoofers and interns who invariably are from overseas, and anytime in the bush so close to our home is always a special event.
And a day off the farm, away from market activities, in a close to pristine environment, is both relaxing and invigorating.
Back in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s and beyond, I was an active environmentalist (yep, a ‘greenie’). Born from my connection with the bush, growing up near the Lane Cove National Park, and then through Scouts, spending many weekends and holidays at a variety of locations throughout the State, though mostly within the Greater Blue Mountains National Park, I’m at home in the natural environment.
The area has a number of attractions for us. It is easily accessible, thanks to the wonderful (?) work of the State Forests that bound the eastern side of the Park. Yes logging activities are still practiced here, and they are usually preceded by that wonderful term ‘sustainable’ – we’ll leave that discussion for another day – so the roads though unsealed, are in good shape.
The eastern side of Werrikimbe has a couple of good camping and day trip areas, both with good trails. Brushy Mountain Camping Area is one, with the other being Plateau Beech Camping Area, and therein lies the other attraction to this area.
Back when I was studying horticulture at Ryde TAFE, I gained an enormous appreciation for many trees, and took a real shine to our endemic rainforest trees – Stenocarpus (Firewheel tree), Ceratopetalum (Coachwood), Grevillea (Silky oak) to name a few. Then we discovered what was then classified as Nothofagus – (Antarctic beech) a majestic tree with red and golden new growth in spring, and semi deciduous in autumn. It grows in cool temperate rainforests from the Barrington Tops plateau in New South Wales, north to the Lamington Plateau and Springbrook Plateau, in southern Queensland, with its finest development at Werrikimbe National Park ! (Since 2013, Nothofagus moorei has been reclassified as Lophozonia moorei )
Both of the areas listed have good walking trails that emanate from their car parks. The longer trail at Brushy Mountain is a half day walk and leads to Spokes lookout with views over the Upper Macleay valley.
These images are from the Waterfall trail at Plateau Beech, which is an easy 2.8 kms walk, a perfect way to spend an afternoon in a World Heritage listed park.
Interestingly, there’s a plaque in the picnic shelter commemorating the declaration of the areas World Heritage listing in 1986. It proclaimed that they would be protected for generations to come.
May it be so.
This is the tenth post in the recent series about our ongoing journey at Near River, although this one has little to do with how our ethical pasture raised traditional field grown small holding enterprise has come to look like it does, and what we’re learning along the way.
Here are some of the previous posts, and yes, I’m a popular music tragic.