We left Tamworth and headed to Bendemeer to take the Oxley Highway to the coast. We probably could’ve pushed it and done it in a day, but there would’ve been tears for sure so we stopped at a free National Parks NSW campground at Tia Falls which is about halfway. So as such Tia saved some tears (not all). It’s just past Walcha (did you just read that as WAL-CHAR, because we were told there is no char, it is pronounced WAL-KAR no need to thank me for setting you right) which seemed a lovely little place. You turn off the highway and drive down 6kms of dirt road and find a fairly dry scrubby sort of spot with 5 gravelly pads on a circuit.
First thing we did was pick the spot we wanted (there was only one other campsite in use). Then I spent 20m minutes trying to get the van in there. It wasn’t until I delicately hugged a short post with front guard that I thought—nahh this thing is not going to fit so we did another circuit and used a slightly less scenic and further away from the toilet spot.
We got the fire going straight away as I was keen to cook a damper scone type thing in the camp oven. So we decided to do the a walk to the other side of the river that the board says takes 60 to 80 minutes while the wood burned down to coals. It was hot and there was a little unevenness in the track but it turns out that the people who timed it didn’t factor in a whinge stop every 5 minutes. And the river was not easily accessible and full of red algae.
We made it back two hours later with all members accounted for and physically unharmed , yet psychologically a little bruised. The fire was ashes so I had to build the coals up again.
We all love a fire so it is always fun to have these overnight stops. And my favourite part of this stop was staying up late chatting with Tim under the stars about constellations and Greek mythology (which he learned about from Percy Jackson).
The flies are a bit irritating but I enjoy the roughness of a bush camp. I encourage my comrades to see it as an opportunity to fully realise their abilities to live simply and off the grid in harmony with nature. Though sometimes old nature is an octave above us and it’s just too hard to harmonise.
Anyway it was not too bad for an overnighter and gave us some spectacular views of the falls even if it wasn’t the most picturesque of campsites. It did have it’s charms and a functioning and not too smelly or moth infested, long drop toilet. And wood to burn.