With a gremlin still playing havoc with the 12 volt system and causing Bob great frustration, it was time to move on to a powered site this morning. Despite wishing to remain longer for further exploration, back to highway 13 we motored. (Although it was possible to continue into NSW via Running Creek Road, the bridge limit of 5 tonnes and dirt road detour mean it isn’t suitable for vans at this stage.)
beyond which loomed vast rocky outcrops cloaked in dark green carpets of eucalypt leaves,
upon which the pot hole filled road – this was the roughest road to date – led us up and down dale through tight winding bends, created a delightful backdrop for the traveller.
Small termite mounds sat here and there, whilst the brilliant red of the rosella darted hither and thither. Up over a crest, and the New South Wales Border suddenly appeared in front of us. No longer manned, a series of cameras are used to monitor the coming and going of vehicles from afar.
Immediately, we found ourselves in a lush green rainforest in which filtered light wended its way from the upper story to the undergrowth below.
Winding down the window, it was possible to hear the chiming of the elusive Bellbirds, as Yabbra State Forest was entered.
Marked white posts at the river crossings denoted flood depths of two metres: that is serious flooding!
A kangaroo or two gifted us with their presence upon the road.
Lunch time upon us, the township of Bonalbo: originally the home of the Gidabal people, the area surrounding the town of today was originally known as ‘bunawalbu’ – the bloodwood tree.
A tiny rural township situated in natural scrub on the Northern Tablelands, the Clarence river wends its way through the valley. This is a landscape where beef is fattened, timber logged and crops of soybean and olives farmed.
The caravan park, Bonalbo Tourist Park, is situated upon a creek in a shaded park on the outskirts of town. Power, water, amenities and a pool are all there. A small amount of traffic passes by, but with the bird calls, it is nonetheless quite idyllic.
Besides peace and quiet, this township is also a good point from which to undertake exploration of the surrounding area – we picked up 10 pamphlets that detailed ten different driving tours! Over the coming weeks, our main aim is to visit friends in New England and explore that particular region, so these drives will have to wait for another time.