8-9 January 2016
Another cool Armidale morning met us as we had a relatively slow and lazy pack up. It was probably close to 10 by the time we were on the road, and headed into town to pick up a few last minute essentials (beer, fuel etc) to see us through the next few days. After meeting another Ultimate owner, and a local who may have been a sandwich short of a picnic, we were back on the road.
Only to realise that we didn’t really have any food for lunch, so back tracked to the other shopping centre on the edge of town to make sure we had those other, slightly less essential supplies.
Heading east our first stop was to check out Wollomombi Falls. About 40km out of Armidale, they are in the top 3 waterfalls in Australia in terms of ‘fall’ with over 100m drop in a single fall. There was a constant stream from the falls when we were there, but imagine that during a significant rain event, they would be amazingly powerful and spectacular.
Moving on to our lunch stop at the Dutton Trout Hatchery, we enjoyed some sandwiches (thanks to that last minute stop!) before doing a self guided tour around the hatchery where we were able to feed some hungry fish at a few places around the hatchery. It is great to be able to share some of our family history with the kids – if you enjoy fishing for or eating trout and salmon, you have a Youl to thank for that!
The next stop was to be Point Lookout. Perched 1562 metres above sea level and looking east towards the coast, the view was absolutely magnificent. You could make out Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Macksville, Nambucca Heads and a few other smaller towns from the lookout. Simply amazing to think that there’s this stunning mountain range not so far from where thousands trundle up and down the Pacific Highway on a daily basis. Turning away from the lookout and back down the hill, suddenly we were in the middle of the bush again. Following the map, it didn’t take too long for us to find our camp site.
Wattle Flat is a great free site, on the banks of the Styx River. We set up and got dinner happening pretty quickly. The next day we spent relaxing by the river, doing a few walks, and collecting some wood for a fire that night. And teaching the kids how to avoid stinging nettle, after finding some with my leg while going for a walk the previous night!
This was a beautiful, quiet little spot, and probably one of my favourites of the trip. We made the decision to move on again after 2 nights here, and see where we would end up next.
Nights here: 2
Total nights: 58
Trip distance: 140km
Total distance: 5812km