Port Macquarie Off The Beaten Path Tips by iandsmith Top 5 Page for this destination
Port Macquarie Off The Beaten Path: 11 reviews and 31 photos
Picturesque reflections in a side stream
After these falls you next come upon the Ferny Creek Cascades which lie about 100 metres below the trail and are extremely difficult to get close to and impossible to photograph properly from the track.
After this the trail winds down to a bridge then it's all uphill back to the carpark.
From there I commenced the drive out through Yarras but the road had been heavily eroded in parts and it certainly wasn't a drive for the faint hearted.
All that faded from memory when I reached the Forbes River Road intersection. This gorgeous river offers many photo opportunities for the exploring mind, as shown in the pics.
The first one is of a side stream that flows into the main river then the next three are of the river itself followed by the sign. I should add to pic 5, "If you don't know the way, then ask a local!".
There are flowers around, but you won't be falling over them unless you're on the side of the road. Australia has the world's tallest flowering plants and you can see evidence of that up here on the forest floor where the blooms have come to rest.
Others, like those shown here, you will come across on the side of the road, which is the best place to keep an eye out for them.
Ferny by name, ferny by nature
Just 800 metres from the carpark you come to King Fern Falls. This delightful creek makes its way through moss laden giants, many of which have fallen, and drops in various sized steps down the fall line of the stream.
All these shots are of the falls, the ones taken at the base are from an area that is a bit tricky to get to and involves scrambling down a rocky scree slope covered with all sorts of dead and alive vegetation. Not for the faint hearted or frail of foot!
On the trail
Since the walks at Brushy were too long for the amount of time I had, I headed down the road to Plateau Beech. This is a bush camp area with toilets and a covered area with bench seating where you can eat. It also has a wonderful rainforest walk.
It was just before midday when I embarked and head off along the track to the first waterfall.
As you can see, ferns figure prominently once you get on the trail though the most common trees are Antarctic Beech (sometimes called Negrohead Beech), Coachwood, Prickly Ash, Sassafras and Corkwood.
The backlighting that occurs through shafts of light penetrating the forest canopy makes the place look surreal but can be extremely difficult to recapture in photographs, as you may note in pictures two and three.
Road to adventure
Werrikimbe National Park lies about an hour inland from Port Macquarie. If you don't like dirt roads, don't go. There's a lot of them.
Initially you can either go in through Beechwood or turn off near Yarras on the Oxley Highway, the latter offers more tar but the dirt in from there is often worse, as was the case on my last trip in though I did a loop, coming in through Beechwood and out through Yarras.
It was a near perfect spring day and I had the whole place to myself. Since I'd thoughtfully (not) left my map at home, I was winging it somewhat though I had been there before some years ago.
I knew Plateau Beech offered an excellent walk but I thought I'd try somewhere else first. I followed a sign to Banda Banda. Mistake. After about 2kms the road intersected without any indication as to what track led where. I chose the left option. Mistake number 2. You really couldn't call it a road.
After all, when there's moss where you'd normally expect tyre tracks, leaf laden branches start flicking you in the face through your driver's side window and the vegetation between the tracks is higher than your sump, you can fairly assume that this is a road less travelled.
I chickened out and returned to the Brushy Mountain area.
The first picture shows me back on a more-main road, the second at the picnic area and the third is of an echidna that was on the road before I came along.
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