Same Old Weather

Trip Start Nov 20, 2006
1
36
85
Trip End Aug 08, 2007


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Flag of Australia  ,
Saturday, March 10, 2007

We started our running again this morning, and were rewarded with lovely views over Port Stephens; not exhilarating, but nice. After intermittent showers refused to let the tent dry (one of the downsides of camping) we packed our soggy stuff and headed into Nelson Bay. BIG mistake, it's a retirement village and a large one at that - abort. We got back in the car and headed up the Pacific Highway, stopping at a giant replica of Uluru, which was our second disappointing visit of the day; it looked like a 5 year old had made it. Feeling a bit jaded by the sights on offer on the East Coast, we decided to head inland to New England and go up the ominously titled Thunderbolts Way. No thunderbolts, but lots of big craggy green hills and rain. It was a refreshing change, especially as there was no traffic. With the rain we were considering our first paid stay in accommodation with walls in Australia. However that was before we saw Dangars Falls. After a beautiful drive along a single-track road that dissected acres of farmland, we arrived at Dangars where we found a majestic 70m waterfall plunging straight down into a river surrounded by sheer rocky cliffs. Clouds (we are 1000m above sea level) loitered halfway up the valley and, as we made dinner in the basic kitchen that overlooked the falls, wandered over to join us in watching the sunset through the trees. It was beautiful, mysterious and just a little bit spooky, especially as we almost tripped over the kangeroos we'd seen earlier on as we made our way back to our tent. Pitched in the middle of a forest next to the waterfall, alone apart from the kangeroos and the stars, it's been a great end to the day (apart from the camp toilet which is basically a hole high above a septic tank; makes quite a noise).
 
Next day was action-packed with walking and driving - we saw Wollomombi Falls which was similar to Dangars Falls, but a bit higher, and there were two of them! We've now seen one of highest waterfalls - 200m - and the highest mountain in Australia; not bad going for a week. Next activity was best though, rock climbing to the top of Cathedral Rocks, a jumbled formation of massive rocks reaching up to 1500m above sea level. We scrambled up alone, after walking through some beautiful wetland forestry that smelt deliciously fresh - they get lots of water and sun here (given the amount of rain that's fallen on us, we're surprised Australia has a water shortage, however apparently this is due to the rain not falling on the catchment areas - DOH!). We were quite surprised the rocks were so accessible without any warnings; it would have been easy to come a cropper on the rocks. Anyway, the view from the top was amazing, like gazing back to prehistoric times. On our way back we saw a couple of fat blokes in flip-flops on their way to the rocks, seemed a bit strenuous for them...
We then just boosted along to our wilderness campsite for the night on the top of an escarpment that overlooks the Gold Coast (which we're avoiding as it is heavily commercialised), a place called Springbrook just over the Queensland border. However this time it was $9 (instead of nothing the previous night) but it's got better loos, but still no shower - we're getting a bit smelly... But it's theme park magic tomorrow, and we'll get a shower at Wet 'N' Wild!
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Comments

stuartb
stuartb on

Rain in Oz!
Hi Team,

So good to hear from you again. I love the idea of looking back to prehistoric times. Waterfalls are wonderful and so powerful when you see whst they have done to the rock base over centuries. You will get plenty of rain in Cairns and lots of cloud if you go up into the rain forest.

The Gold coast south of Brisbane is commercialised but there are some wonderful beaches. Of course you are now heading into Oz's autumn so it will be a bit cooler but still possible to swim in the Pacific.

Take care and enjoy - it all sounds great.

stuart

prued
prued on

Lucky You
Hi guys, sounds like you have been having alot of fun exploring Aus!! Have a fab time at Wet n Wild I love that place and was there in January - make sure you go on the super steep slide (you'll know what I mean when you're there)!!!! Enjoy Brisvegas and say hi to it for me when you get there!
Take Care,
Prue xxx

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