On the way west there is a significant body of water. Actually, it's not so much a significant body of water as a significant gorge that it has carved over eons of time.
Located on the Gwydir Highway there's a big bridge across the river but the water is often serene and allows you to get shots like the one shown here.
Yuraygir, getting there is half the fun
Yuraygir, a national park situated on the coast where the Pacific Highway diverts inland just north of Red Rock and heads towards Grafton. When the highway returns to near the coast it's at Maclean. In between these two points is where you'll find Yuraygir.
I've been three times in from the south. This is the story of those trips.
The road in is 14 kilometres of one way. In times of rain there may be places where water breaches the road (see pic 5). This leads to an intersection where you can turn right if you have a four wheel drive which, strange to say, will eventually take you left. What happens is you reach the beach down this route and then hang a left along the sand until you reach the end and have to ford the creek that feeds the lagoon.
Should you go straight ahead, if you have an ordinary car or such, you reach a carpark soon after where there are barbecues, tables and toilets. This is a vast improvement on when I first went there.
To attain your next objective you walk along an easy trail (pic 4) for over a kilometre across vegetated sand dunes and arrive at Station Creek Beach.
On your left is the creek that you must ford for your next objective which is Pebbly Beach (pic 1). If you walk out to the headland on the right day you might see Sometime Falls in action (pic 2). This cascade is dependent upon tides and swell for it to work. A little further around there's an outcrop of rock with distinctly marble tones that makes for a colourful interlude (pic 3).
Freshwater dreaming and the close encounter
Yuraygir is touted thus, "..provides excellent fishing and surfing opportunities and is said to contain some of the best beaches in the country." Personally, I think that's a bit over the top. There are definitely some areas on the north coast that are certainly its equal or better.
Having said that, the northern end probably has the better of it. Wooli and Minnie Waters offer some great fishing, especially if you have a boat, and Sandon Point is a noted surf spot while at the very north, Angourie is world renowned for its epic waves.
On my last visit I pushed the boundaries a little further and took the walk to Freshwater Beach, the next one up from Pebbly. (pic 4)
Since I didn't have my shoes there were some sharp moments and I managed to get a couple of small cuts in my feet, notably on the headland at Pebbly where the geology means that the striations are near vertical which has made for some nasty edges where the soft rock has left sharp ridges exposed. (pic 3)
At one stage I came across a lovely small branch that had yellow on it and some silver grey. Might get a close up of that I thought. Then it moved. Snakes do that. Lucky it was in an away direction!
On the return journey I saw 17, though none of them turned out to be snakes. It's amazing how much more aware you become after a close encounter.
Bicycle Touring Australia - Grafton
Grafton, sitting on the north bank of the Clarence River is one of the main regional centres for NE New South Wales, it is also the so called Jacaranda "capital" of Australia. These beautiful mauve floral trees from Brazil were popular in late Victorian times. The town has many important functions when concerning the sugar cane industry and beef cattle raising.
Grafton is well serviced with all banking supermarkets, stores as well has a number of fine public buildings and several great old pubs.
Catamaran & Car on the Clarence River @ Grafton
View of the Big River Caravan Park & Ski Lodge on the edge of the Clarence River at Seelands, just outside of Grafton
One of the lovely older style homes in Grafton
What is it???
Found outside a workshop in Grafton.
The bridge over the Clarence River, which connects north & south Grafton.
In 1932, this bridge was the only one of its kind in the World. It carried road traffic and pedestrians on the top deck, and the railroad on the lower deck. When it was completed in 1932, this completed the rail link between NSW and QLD.
Another interesting feature was, that until 1969, a bascule span (part of the bridge )opened to let ships pass through. In the days of Horse & Sulky, a gong would sound, and the bridge would open, not much warning, lucky traffic wasn't going fast like todays. The Bridge replaced the Ferry that had been there since 1924.