13th December. Walcha has recorded over 116mm of rain so far this month.
Lentils for lunch at Tia Falls before tackling the Tiara walk.
Always fun adventuring with this girl.
The Tiara walk is a nice easy trail which runs along the western ridge line of the Tia Falls and provides a stunning view of the falls from a North East Perspective. Tiara Walk Details here
We stumbled upon this little fellow about 50m off the trail.
The Tia Falls from the North West.
Then it was off to the Oxley Rivers National Park for the night.
Access to Oxley Wild Rivers National Park was via Kangaroo Flat Road off the Oxley Highway heading East out of Walcha.
We never camp at designated camp grounds preferring the solitude of setting up a tent in a remote location but we decided to roll the dice and head for historic Youdales Hut. It was mid afternoon when we arrived at Youdales Trail so the adjacent campground was really going to be our only option.
It was worth the trip. The drive there is great fun. Steep and winding with sheer drops and stunning views.
Your first obstacle.
The very start of the trail.
The view from Youdales Trail.
Nestled in a valley deep in the National Park the hut is great reminder of the grazing and cattle driving history of this area. A really special place.
Turns out we were lucky. We had the campsite to ourselves.
Hard earned refreshments.
Combined with the altitude (980m) and mild conditions the temperature dropped to 8C overnight.
The beautiful creek that runs along the hut and campground.
Next morning we headed off to check out Ellenborough Falls near the township of Elands to see what effect the rain had.
We have made this journey a few times, usually following Kangaroo Flat Road onto Racecourse Trail which drops onto the Hastings Forest Highway. Turning off onto Cockerawombeeba Trail we came across this unscheduled stop. A bit of hatchet work and some sweat required!
Onto Forbes-Cockerawombeeba Road and finally Forbes River Road to the Oxley Highway.
At this point we generally stick to main Roads and take Comboyne Road to Comboyne and then the tourist road to Elands and Ellenborough Falls.
This time however Shell had discovered a more 'direct' route which would see us cut through Bulga State Forest and then Biriwal State Forest.
The trip started ominously when we took Costigans Road off the Oxley Highway and we were greeted with a large NO THROUGH ROAD sign.
Shell would not be discouraged. To be fair, she is outstanding with a map and her navigational skills are excellent. We headed off with no hesitation.
After many farm gates and plenty of cattle we finally hit Bulga State Forest. There were no spots to take a decent photo but the views were quite impressive. It was a good few hours of decent driving when we dropped out only 10km from the falls.
A great little detour.
The sign that greeted us on completion was just as negative. Shell and her mapping skills take these signs as a challenge rather than a warning.
Ellenborough Falls were running hard. The spray at the bottom soaking you in seconds no matter how far back you stood.
One of the best trips we have done.
With the holiday season here we will dust off the hiking gear and tackle some multi day hikes and leave the 4WD behind.
Next trip is back to the New England this coming weekend to tackle one of the many 2-3 day hikes.