Brisbane to Nymboida River December 6 - 11 2018
  Headed south, from Ipswich, towards Boonah. The border beckons.

We aren't traveling far for a first day.

  Past Boonah, then to Rathdowney.

And some obvious relics of volcanoes.

  A night at Andrew Drynan Park. Outside Rathdowney, at the north end of the Lions Road.
  A pair of brown cuckoo-doves being romantic while balanced on a tree branch.
  There should be platypus in the creek. We disturbed something that made the right noises when it dived, but didn't see it, and weren't patient enough to wait.
  The border.

Heavily guarded by multiple cameras on the NSW side. We are unsure what it is guarded from.

Welcome to NSW.

  Much more interesting (at least to me if not to Ali) is the border loop.

The main Brisbane - Sydney rail line does a loop, passing under itself (and over) to create a much steadier gradient than a direct route.

Many moons ago, while testing railway lines, the challenge was to hop off the self propelled test car and run up the hill to catch it again as it came around the loop. A bit of a challenge.

  Down in the valley on the south side. Looking for a left turn to take us into the Border Ranges National Park.
  Found it.

Sub-tropical rain forest.

  Pinnacle Hill Lookout is on the edge of the caldera that contains Mt Warning.

Alas, the weather is cloudy, Mt Warning is obscured.

Looking north along the rim is about all we can see.

  And of course a chance to walk through some rain forest, instead of seeing the edge along the road.

The road lets light in. Very different to the darkness of the rainforest interior.

  Our aim is to reach Braidwood without traveling on main roads. Preferably all the way on gravel roads and tracks.

So we head towards Richmond Range National Park. Becoming tired we stop to camp in the Richmond State Forest.

A surprise encounter with a clearing, where people obviously camp regularly, and a few birds.

  Attracted to some exotic plants in the clearing.
  We've traveled south along the ridge of Richmond Range several times.

More rain forest.

  That gives way to eucalypt forest then farmland to the south.

Our first trip along this road was in our old Coaster bus. The grass in the middle of the road made that trip exciting.

We are more used to such tracks than we were then.

  At the Bruxner Highway we turned right, then almost immediately left, along Bulmers Road.

We traveled too far south in Mount Pikapene National Park and couldn't proceed further south. We decided our vehicle was authorised (by us) so proceeded west to escape the clutches of the park.

  Met the junction with Ogilvies Road which proved to be a very little used track through a state forest plantation.

We eventually found our way to Clarence Way.

  A long story short, we tried to reach a campsite in the northern part of Washpool National Park from Baryulgil but were thwarted by "road closed" signs and solid looking gates.

We decided to cross the Clarence River at Carnham. And camped.

  Through farmland. We were again thwarted in our attempts to find Washpool North.

The most promising track had a deep looking creek crossing with a big step out the other side.

We beat a tactical retreat and headed south.

  Followed the Gwydir Highway south east for a while then headed south into Ramornie National Park (it was signposted).


  The deeper into the mountains to Nymboida National Park.
  Where we found the Nymboida River Campsite.

Which wasn't at all lost. Though a bit steep driving in.

  Apparently an olive backed oriole.

Making the most of the callistemons along the river bank.

  The Nymboida River flows north beside our camp and turns west when it hits the hills in front.

Then meanders north west to meet the Mann River, which then joins the Clarence River, just below the river crossing at Carnham (where we camped) and before the Clarence Gorge.

  The resident goanna visited us. Many times. The fire remains are from previous campers.
  Between the truck and the river is wren territory. Oddly we see more of the male than females or young. The males are usually shy (in our experience).
  But wait. On a morning walk we find four wrens, waiting for us to take a pic.
  There's some signs of logging, but this hut is for someone who looked after their cattle. There's a bit of cleared land along the river.

We'd hoped to walk further north and around the river bend but alas the bush by the river is impenetrable to us.

  It seems kayaking is the approach to following the river.
  We left the bird book behind. Again.

But we know this is a blue faced honeyeater as we see them at home.

  But we don't know what this finch sized bird enjoying the callistemons is.
  And here it is again.
  The last time we saw a drongo was in Nepal.

This pair had a youngster in tow. Hung around for a while. Had a bit of a feed from the callistemon. Then flew away up river.

We've also seen a couple of kingfishers. And heard a myriad bellbirds.

There was a hint of a platypus, just as the kayakers arrived - of course.

  Getting closer to seeing what the very little bird looks like.

About finch sized or smaller. We can hardly see it without binoculars or camera. And always on the move.

Identifying it will have to wait until we have a bird book.

  Ah. A female wren. Near the nice blue male wren.
  And then ......... we moved camp a couple of hundred metres down river, a nice grassy patch above but closer to the water, avoiding a gaggle of kayakers ....... and were welcomed by another male wren.

Hopping ever higher in a lantana that had been sprayed.

Its a superb fairy wren.

Now I can see them I'm wondering how those wings can propel anything through the air. Though I guess it works for this little bundle of feathers as I've seen it fly.

  Couldn't resist a mug shot from the other side. Not quite perfect symmetry.

It was fast. If I blinked I missed it turning. Though eventually I noticed it releasing a foot in preparation. But even then ....

I recall the first time I saw one of the many varieties of wrens with bright blue colours. Wilsons Promontory. A big surprise anything could be that beautiful. Perhaps I wasn't used to seeing many blue colours in nature. Way back then (1978) film was expensive for me, the camera was never ready, and the lens never long enough.

These days its digital point and shoot.

And a sense of getting better at finding the birds in the first place. Though perhaps I should add we've been next to this river for two and a half days.

  Couldn't resist a pic of the heron on the other side of the river.

It caught something, but I wasn't quite quick enough to catch it.

There's a few fish jumping. But no fishing for us here.

  The heron and the kingfisher are allowed.

We are hopeful of seeing platypus in the river. In some respect the heron and kingfisher are just passers by.


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