Nymboida – Mon 14th DecRiver
Let us talk about man flu, that common term applied to us men to imply our illness is just a trivial thing. Perhaps there is a kernel of truth in there, but not this time. Hils picked up the same throat infection on our last night at Red Rock (it’s good to share…..), and was floored by it, all in all it was a nasty little bug.
Nymboida National Park is a couple of hours drive west of Red Rock. Heading along the old Glen Innes road there is a side turning onto Duboy Road, and following this takes you to the Nymboida River Campground. Duboy tracks mainly along a ridgeline, giving some fine views of the surrounding country. It is not a hard drive although very steep in places, and being dirt could be tricky in heavy rain.
To our amazement, shortly after we arrived a little Daewoo Matiz rolled in, canoe on roof, so much for the 4WD only signs along the track! We didn’t see whether he managed to get back out.
The campsite itself is spectacular. A large grassy clearing set above the river and dotted with trees providing some shade. You can camp down by the river itself although it is not recommended during rain as there is a risk of flash flooding. Facilities are pretty basic, just a long drop toilet and some firepits but it is worth it for the location.
Unfortunately, soon after we had set up the storms rolled in and the rain set in for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Not ideal in the middle of nowhere.
Glen Innes – Tue 15th Dec
Charlotte’s birthday! We had tried to avoid travelling today, but between the storms, ongoing illness and one of the worst long drops we had encountered (a tip – never look down at night when using a headtorch……) there was consensus to move on.
Rejoining the old Glen Innes Road heading west gives a picturesque drive along the Boyd River. This used to be the main road, before the Gwydir Highway was opened in 1928, it would have been a hard trip in the early days. Part way along the road runs through a spur of rock, passing through a rough-hewn tunnel with graffiti on the roof dating back to its construction in the 1800’s
Finally at the end of the road it climbs up and onto the range. How they got up it in the days of horses and carts I have no idea, it was steep and went on for several kilometres before flattening out and joining the main road to Glen Innes.
The most striking part of the last stretch into town was all the flowers. The fields were full of what looked like large daisies, just beautiful.
So instead of a birthday in the National Park, Charlotte got to celebrate over lunch at the Glen Innes Services Club. Certainly it was a different experience from a typical Sydney children’s party!
Armidale – Wed 16th to Fri 18th Dec
Armidale is around an hour south of Glen Innes. Along the way there is Australia’s highest campsite at just over 1300m – best bring a decent sleeping bag along, could get cold at night.
Named after Armadale, on the Isle of Skye, Armidale (the early settlers were perhaps not the best spellers) was first settled in the early 1830’s before being proclaimed a cathedral city in 1885. Midway between Brisbane and Sydney it is now a thriving New England town.
Unfortunately the bad weather continued to dog us, the weather was so bad on Thursday that all thoughts of cooking went out the window and google was scoured for a decent restaurant for the first Steel family Chinese meal out. Very nice it was too, a shame we couldn’t say the same about the weather.
By Friday Armidale showed its pretty side, basking in early summer sunshine.