12.04.2016 - 14.04.2016 29 °C
We left from Arlie Beach nice and early as we had a big drive. We had decided not to stop at Townsville as we might be coming back down that way when we head over to Darwin so went straight up to the Gorringun National Park area. We were looking for Broadwater campground, a bush camping site in the Abergrowie State Forest however we struggled to find it as there wasn't much signage on the way. We ended up at the end of a dirt road at a fence, the road just ended and it went to bush land. Through the fence was a sign for the national park alongside it one about crocodiles that warned about serious injury or death...... We got back in the car and turned around..... and eventually came to a sign for Broadwater. 17km down a different dirt road and we had arrived. Not before accidentally running over an absolutely massive snake that was the width of the road while it tried to cross.
The camp ground is lovely, it has individual sights with campfires, flushing toilets, a cold shower and a cool creek to swim in. We were boiling hot so we set up our tent and went for a quick swim before the sun went down. We had a lovely evening around our campfire, drinking wine and eating roasted nuts, listening to all the creatures around us.
We decided on two nights here which gave us a full day to sightsee. The main reason we came to this area was to see Wallaman Falls, the longest single drop waterfall in Australia. It was a fair drive from our campsite and took around an hour and a half to get there. The area is full of sugar cane farms and the views of the mountains over the cane fields make it a very nice drive.
The road is extremely windy and steep as you approach the falls but as you climb the views are breathtaking. You can see for miles and miles and the higher you get the air changes and becomes heavy and dense, we could immediately tell we had entered the rain forest.
Near the top signs appear about Casowarys. This area is the best place to spot them as they are endangered but can be found in higher numbers here and up the coast. We didn't expect to see one in the wild as we didn't think there would be that many but as we were driving up the mountain one was walking on the side of the road. We stopped and it was only a couple of metres from us, it was unfazed and looked at us but went on out its business. They are like the dinosaurs of the bird world, huge with a bright red wattle and blue head, absolutely amazing.
At the top of the road is a campground and a day use area with walks and lookouts. We were not sure what to expect with the waterfall as often we have found them disappointing but it definitely didn't disappoint. It was stunning, a huge cascade of water falling down a gigantic cliff and hitting a pool at the bottom, the spray forming a rainbow. The falls are 268m high and the pool at the bottom is 20m deep. It was the best waterfall we have ever seen. There are several lookouts so you can take in the views of the falls and we did a short walk to the gorge lookout. This looks over the gorge, mountains and valley and is just a sea of bright green. It was beautiful and well worth the drive.
Back at our camp late afternoon we explored the area, there is a short rainforest walk and a fig tree signposted so we went to investigate. A boardwalk takes you into the thick forest and leads you to the Broadwater fig tree. This is a giant of a tree, with huge roots it looks like something out of Jurassic park. Hot and sweaty by this point we went for a swim in the creek and relaxed by our tent all afternoon.
This part of Australia we have really enjoyed. We have loved the inland National Parks so much more than we thought we would and love camping in the bush. At night the sky fills with stars and you can sit by the fire and just listen to the forest. It is beautiful. Wallaman falls is a must see for us, it pleasantly surprised us.