North north east of Glen Innes, approximately 50 kilometres away and near a one store town called Torrington there are some interesting bushwalks.
The most famous drawcard is "Old Mystery Face", an odd-shaped block of sandstone whose outlines were only noticed after a bushfire went through the place late in the 20th century.
Though there's a carpark, there's little else here so you should bring some drink (especially in summer) and some food if you tend to get hungry like I do.
The walk to see this oddity isn't long or arduous but you could certainly work up a sweat in summer.
The countryside around Glen Innes (this shot on the Emmaville Road) has the undeniable imprint of man, deciduous trees in an evergreen land are testimony to that. I sometimes envy those in the Northern Hemisphere and their forests of elm, oak and birch..................then I think of all the leaves they have to rake up.
This is something only a handful of people have seen. It's a bit tricky to explain how to get to it but it's located south east of Glen Innes. I had a friend give me instructions yet it took two trips to find it. Your best bet is to get details from the Glen Innes or Armidale Tourist Office.
It's indicative of the amount of granite there is around the place. From Balancing Rock to Bald Rock to Thunderbolt's (a bushranger) Rock to Hay Bale Rock there are a myriad of odd and enduring shapes to be found around the New England area, all exposed after the earth was uplifted and the sandstone eroded away.
This type of formation is called an insulberg.
You have to love the road it's on.......wait for it, it's called, rather appropriately, Backwater Road.
The balancing rocks are a great sight, that you will pass by on the main-road from Glen Innes to Armidale. You will find signposts along the road and a good parking-space as well next to the road. It is a pity that it was heayily raining that day, otherwise I would have tried to walk closer to these rocks.
What an interesting idea to turn a former church into a theatre. You will find this chapel-theatre on the mainroad from Glen Innes to Armidale and next to St. Joseph's School.
Click on the link below and you will find the running program, they will show movies as well there !
I saw this interesting house opposite of the Chapel-theatre and somehow it reminded me a lot of the old, wooden houses of the early settlers.
In my last picture: another great house in that same street, but much more modern.
St. Joseph's School and the church that obviously belongs to it as well is the most impressive ensemble of buildings that I saw in Glen Innes. Parts of it even look like an old scottish castle, even though it is certainly just a boarding-school. You will find these buildings next to the Chapel Theatre, when leaving town in direction of Armidale.
This wonderful building right in the centre of Glen Innes is dating back to the year 1911 and it was built in Art Nouveau style with some great decorations on the facade. Just a pity I was not able to take a look inside the building, as most Art Nouveau-buildings have also a staircase in that same style as well.
In my last picture: the building of the School of Arts dating back to 1887.
"You have to turn off on Narlala Road. It's not marked, just a dirt road going off into the bush."
Should be easy to find I thought. Just go down the highway and hang a right onto a dirt road.
Actually, they of the National Parks office did give me more specific instructions to a place I'd never heard of yet, in my travels, had been past a hundred times.
Narlala Road takes you into the heart of Barool National Park which borders on the Nymboida and Gibraltar Range National Parks.
It's a piece of wilderness seldom visited, mainly because there are better parks nearby. Still, everywhere has something to offer and this spot turned out to be no different.
I was there in search of a sacred aboriginal site (which I never did get to) among other things and made the start of my search a place called Peregrine Point, so named, not surprisingly, because a falcon nests there.
From here there's an expansive view over the wilderness, parts of which have never been trodden by man. Pics 2 & 3 give you some idea just why that is. The rugged nature of the unforgiving terrain is clear to see.
After about an hour of slogging it through the bush I came to a waterfall (pic 4) which captured my attention for a while, along with some stately old gum trees (pic 5).
After the first set of falls I opted to continue upstream, eventually reaching a delightful little fall where it cascaded into a nice swimming hole.
I spied a large tree jammed against the rear sheer rock wall by another tree and decided that would be a good place for a photo. After taking several (pic 2) I thought that a little further out on the limb would be the spot for an even better picture. Three steps further along and I was depressing the shot button, heard the beep to say I was focused then walked out of waist deep water. Oh, sorry, did I miss a split second there? That would be the bit where the tree collapsed and I did a rapid descent into the pond!
Other highlights of the walk included the insects, none more memorable than the dragonfly, though the butterfly and spider shown in pics 4 & 5 were a bit special as well.
The Washpool National Park is one of seven on or below the escarpment of the Great Dividing Range east of Glen Innes.
It is significant on a number of fronts, one of which is its World Heritage listed rainforest.
These shots give you some idea of what you can see if you are willing to explore.
They were all taken on Boundary Creek.
There's something about them. I used to admire them before I went overseas. Now I really love them. They have so much character compared to many of the bland pines and such that you come across in northern lands.
There's holes and rotting branches and big whorls and sap pouring from where the tree was damaged.
Ants crawling all over them, birds nesting in the holes, goannas climbing to get the birds' eggs. I've seen it all.
This one is about 4 kms on the road to Inverell inside a farmer's yard.
Duffer is a term for a livestock thief and, since this place would have been fairly hidden in bygone times, you don't need to be a genius to figure out how it got its name.
To get to Duffer Creek Falls you need first to take the Boundary Creek turnoff and park in the picnic or camping area provided there.
Then it's around a 3km walk to Duffer Creek Falls. These falls are manifold, they are a series of cascades dropping off the escarpment zig-zagging their way down the granite.
En route to Duffer Creek Falls, you might want to keep your eye open for the little things that you would normally pass by.
For instance, the opening shot was a bit of fungi that I almost stood on, so small was it. Then there's the wonderful flower (pic 2) that sits in the middle of a watercourse beneath a tiny ledge, so easy to overlook.
The third one is very easy to spot, there's plenty of banksia plants around, but it depends on what angle you shoot them from as to what kind of result you might get.
The fourth is a detail from a fallen black boy tree. I'd noted elsewhere (at Mount Kaputar) that there was often a myriad of detail on the inside of the bark.
The last is just a basic piece of fungi that was growing beside the trail.
All in all, they just add so much to my trip and, I hope, to yours.
Thank you VT. As advised, that's exactly why I pulled up and started shooting. There was a crop duster working paddocks both sides of the road and I tried to get a good shot of it but this was the best I could do on the day.
The New England area has a lot of crop dusters and it's not rare to see them working if you travel the area enough.
This was shot about half a kilometre down the road from the gum tree shot above.