Friday, November 26, 2010

HIKE/SWIM: Clarence Rv Gorge

We had been thinking about heading out to the Clarence Rc Gorge for some time now, so having some time off on Thursday, that's exactly what we did.  There are a couple ways to get there, we cam from Copmanhurst, across the Clarence Rv at the Lillydale bridge
Only just low enough to cross !
because of all the rain, the water was just under the crossing, allowing us to get through

and then followed the winding road further up into some beautiful country.  This was to be an exploratory trip, to decide if it was worthwhile coming back and spending some time there, kayaking or rafting.  We approached from the western side oft he river, through the private property called "The Gorge" , rather then on the western side via "Wavehill Station".

The country was incredibly green, the colour almost luridly vibrant
Verdant famland

The drive slowly snakes further and further up the river, with glimpses of the river around nearly every corner, along with some wonderful River Red Gums
Massive river red gums
Old power pole on it's last legs

After speaking to the properties owner, we parked the Ute and started the hike up the river, it's only about 3 - 4 km up .  The "track" follows the river up at the bottom of the high bank, river left and is a partly obscured cow track, a little difficult to follow in places but it get's you there.

You pass numerous massive fig trees,

Fig trees lining the cow track you follow up the Rv
all the while being able to hear the river but not see most of the time, it as it crashes through the baslat rock, having carved it's own path over millions of years.

Eventually you come around the corner, spying Rainbow Falls, the last of the falls (numbered coming down the river)

Rainbow Falls
from there we continued up the river.  Unfortunately, the rest of the falls are near the bank opposite and because of the rain we have been having, the usually low channel on our side was too high, proving impassable, oh well, I guess it means we will have to come back !

We knew we would be doing a few water crossings, so Toni was keen to try her Vibram Fivefingers out on a true hike

Toni stepping out in her" Fivefingers" !
We found a great spot beside the river to stop, swim have lunch and relax before heading back

There was plenty of fauna, the highlight being two wedgetail eagles and a huge goanna, as well as interesting flora
Fungi on a log

After the walk back, we jumped in the river to cool down with another swim, then headed back out home, coming back out onto the Gwydir Hwy, before Jackadgery.

There are plenty of paid camping spots right beside the river, as well as a cottage to hire f you're looking for something a little more salubrious and they will even arrange to take you up the river in a small boat if you're so inclined.

Well worth the trip, next time we need to take the rafts !

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