The romantic way we were
Think of when Australia was young, of the romance of gold fever, pioneers, bushrangers, cedar cutters, roads carved through mountainous terrain – and the World Heritage Way comes alive.
They’re stunning, contrasting World Heritage neighbours: Wilderness, wildlife, wetlands.
Washpool and Gibraltar Range national parks are neighbours and what they have in common is they’re individualistic, stunning and, like the Pyramids of Egypt, share World Heritage listing. But consider the contrasts:
- Washpool, 78km east of Glen Innes on the Gwydir Highway’s World Heritage Way, is best known for its lush, beautiful rainforest, the largest remaining wilderness rainforest in NSW, the world’s tallest stand of coachwood rainforest – and crystal streams.
- Washpool wilderness challenges self-reliant bushwalkers with wild mountain terrain; walking tracks give all the chance to experience rainforest.
- Excellent facilities; day use and camping fees.
- Gibraltar Range, 79km east of Glen Innes on the World Heritage Way, is best known for its spectacular granite areas weathered into fantastic outcrops, huge granite tors with names like The Needles, Anvil Rock, Old Man’s Hat – and dazzling spring wildflower displays.
- Walking tracks leading to Tree Fern Forest and Dandahra Crags skirt swamps with spring displays of Christmas bells.
- Mulligans picnic/camping area is the base for more than 80km of marked walking tracks; day use and camping fees.
- Gibraltar House available for holiday accommodation. For details contact the the Glen Innes National Parks and Wildlife office on (02) 6739 0700
Other national parks and nature reserves include:
Guy Fawkes River National Park accessed from Chaelundi Road running from Old Glen Innes-Grafton Road at Dalmorton, south to Ebor-Grafton Road at Hernani or Dundurrabin.
- Secluded wilderness, rugged river country; suits hard hiking; picnic/camping facilities at Chaelundi.
Capoompeta National Park, 68km northeast of Glen Innes.
- Mountainous, dry forest, rainforest patches, tree fern gullies, important wildlife areas; no facilities.
Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve, 50km south of Glen Innes, Tubbamurra and Bagot Roads.
- Wetlands habitats for waterfowl, rare species; walking track circles lagoon; no camping or canoeing.
Warra National Park, 22km east of Glencoe.
- Undeveloped mountain forest, river valleys, rock outcrops, plants and wildlife; no facilities.
Torrington State Conservation Area, Mole Tableland, near Torrington, 70km northwest Glen Innes.
- More than 30,000ha, outstanding example of granite country plant life
- More than 700 different plants
- Mystery Face rock formation, Thunderbolt’s Lookout
- Camping and bushwalking
Kings Plains National Park, 50km northwest Glen Innes on Wellingrove-Inverell Road.
- Kings Plains Creek runs through rugged terrain, still pools, waterfalls
- Heath and woodland
- Dry forest and spring wildflowers
- Picnic and camping facilities along creek
Mann River Nature Reserve, 48km east of Glen Innes.
- Noted for mountain scenery, scenic road beside the Boyd River passes through hand-cut tunnel; picnic/camping facilities.
Nymboida National Park. Canoe access from Buccarumbi, 40km southwest of Grafton on Glen Innes-Old Grafton Road, or on foot from Jackadgery, 45km west of Grafton.
- Wilderness area, threatened plants and animals; canoeing on Mann, Nymboida Rivers; facilities at Nymboida camping area.
Take the 159km journey from Glen Innes to Grafton along the Gwydir Highway and visit the World Heritage listed Washpool National Park and Gibraltar Range National Park on the way.
Old Glen Innes/Grafton Road The road to adventure! This 180km road, opened in 1867, is steeped in history. Pass through the hand cut tunnel and in the stillness of the deserted valley you may hear the snap of the reins on the Cobb & Co coach team, the thud of the timergetter’s axe or the cry of the bullocky hauling down the track to the Clarence River.
For more information on National Parks visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 6739 0700.