After Crowdy Head we hit the freeway and headed North stopping into the Bellingen regional farmers markets which is home to a fantastic range of handmade arts, crafts, local food and fresh produce. We bought fantastic produce for our travels and had a succulently fresh lamb kofta wrap, not quite gathering but very tasty!

Bellingen Markets

After the markets it was off towards Dorrigo where we drove past the Dorrigo folk festival.  The farming countryside was beautiful & there were lots of timber bridge river and creek crossings.

bellingen countrysidebeside river near dorrigo

We reached a timber bridge crossing a river pond. Dan through a line in and all of a sudden we were swarmed by buzzing bees – we had just walked past their hive.


A local garlic farmer and his family arrived and were fishing for Eels. He described how he skins, guts and smokes the Eels so hopefully we can try it out soon..look out eels. He was also kind enough to share the location of his favourite camping spot which proved to be spectacular.


After getting lost trying to follow his directions we finally found the spot after a river crossing near the Nymboida. We set camp on the banks, built a fire while the sun was setting and slept on the pebbles 🙂

riverside camping

It was a stunning spot in the Nymboi-Binderay National Park on the Dorrigo plateau. There were beautiful rock boulders covered with lichen and the pristine freshwater was cascading over river boulders into a chain of reflective ponds. Occasionally we would see a tortoise heads popping up.

river pond

lichen rock

Blue ferry wrens were zipping around into the surrounding water gums (Tristaniopsis Laurina) and as the sun set there was a deafening sound of frogs along the pebbly waters edge.

river frogriver vegetation

In the morning Dan had a fish in the largest pond trying to catch a freshwater Bass and caught an Eastern Freshwater Cod (protected species) which was immediately & gently returned to its habitat.

fishing lagoon

eastern cod

We then swam in the freshwater lagoon and rapids coming out feeling refreshed for our 4WD journey.  We drove through dense bushland and rainforest for 20km which took us a slow 1.5hrs along the rough track where we spotted a few lyrebirds.

4wd rainforest

As we were driving I suddenly saw a random lemon tree in the bushland dripping with lemons which we gathered and added to our supplies from the Bellingen markets.

collecting lemons


We finally reached a little town Nymbodia (near Grafton) where we had Sunday lunch at the local church which had been converted into a café and gallery.  Everything was homemade with organic ingredients from local gardens and farms and we devoured the asparagus quiche and homemade sausage rolls. FANTASTIC!  We then continued to Yamba and settled down for the evening.


  1. Great post! I think Ben and I will have to check out the camping spot at Nymboi-Binderay National Park, it looks beautiful.
    xo Amy

  2. Hi Em,
    Enjoyed your email and photo’s. That wilderness and rain forest country I’ve experienced on a number of occasion and thoroughly enjoyed observing the unique animal and bird life.within.

  3. As hunter gatherers, just wondering if you were game enough to collect any honey and also whether the garlic farmer gave you any garlic?? Love, Mumma x

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