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!
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.