WOOLGOOLGAOFFROAD.....about me

I started Woolgoolga offroad back in the early nineties, after moving north of Coffs Harbour. Not only do love medium to hard days, l also love getting out and exploring our wonderful north coast with it's array of rainforest, long stretching beachs and our awesome views. Several times a year we venture afar for camping trips, and depending on our work schedules it determines on how far we go.

The best feature we have, here at Coffs Harbour, is that it is the closest spot on the east coast where the great dividing range meets the pacific ocean. So this means, we lock our hubs in when we turn off the highway, cant get better than that !

Over the last few years i have been lucky enough to have competed in various competitons, with various degrees of success. Travelled extensively in and around the north coast, west to the Olgas, The Flinders, Ayres Rock, Kings Canyon around the simpson desert and to the centre of Austraila.We have traversed through and around several deserts that include- The Simpson, Strezlecki, The Stony just to name a few. And of course I can't forget the people I have met, crossed paths with and the ones that have stayed lifelong friends - because without them it would not be the same. 

The idea of my blog is to highlight the travels where I go and what is happening in my 4wd and camping world.

I always hear people from our generation saying "Ahh, living the dream" when they are doing something out of the ordinary - for example: sipping cocktails in a spa at a fancy resort or perhaps they post "living the dream" as the caption beneath a photo of them moving into their new $500,000+ mansion-esque home they have just mortgaged their life away for. At first I was confused by how simple my ambitions were. All I wanted was to live in a caravan and be able to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors.

So for me, this became my simple dream. I find myself having those "Ahh living the dream" moments when I am sitting in a natural hot spring, kicking back in the bush exploring tracks, looking at the desert sky all drinking a beer, or maybe ten feet away from a crocodile inhabited river. Now all I need to do is to work out which way I shall turn at the roundabout at the end of the street.

Another passion of mine is photography, l have a host of albums on my Facebook page so jump across to my page and browse my photo albums of places where I have been, explored and discovered. We are lucky enough to live here on the Coffs Coast, so there is always plenty of places to get out to take advantage of any weather conditions that may arise. I will also be writing about personal experiences and more.

Or another alternative is to take time and check out this online publication, great for those soft roaders 
http://issuu.com/coffscoast/docs/coffscoasttouringtrailsfinalissuu

Or keep an eye out for my articles in the following
https://coastbeat.com.au
https://www.whichcar.com.au/4x4australia

And yes I know I post a lot of pics, but dont they say a picture tells a story ??
Anyone keen for a trip ?

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram too !!!
https://www.facebook.com/woolgoolgaoffroad

https://www.instagram.com/woolgoolgaoffroad/

Kev
woopi4x4@bigpond.net.au









The Yooroonah Tank Traps, Ebor NSW

Located in the New England Tablelands 12km southwest of Ebor, the Yooroonah Tank Trap Barrier is well hidden from modern day traffic. It’s of significant importance due to its location being away from mainstream traffic 

Strategically placed here back in 1942 in case the Japanese were to invade Australia, the barrier would of slowed progress to the tablelands. There was a reported 75 posts barrier ( we saw about 50 odd - others had been burnt, attacked by white ants or been knocked over. There are 8 triangle tetrahedra ( triangle blocks ) placed on the higher ground to force the tanks into the marsh areas ), we found several rock lookout platforms, funk holes  ( where our troops would of laid if there was an attack ), unfortunately we couldn’t find the foundations of several buildings or the stone chimney.

But an amazing find was the tunnel under the old road that would of been loaded up with explosives and ignited if the enemy was on the road. 

An interesting fact is that there would of been 1.5 ton of explosive set into the tunnel for charge in the steel boxes ( that are still inside the tunnel. ) The digging of the tunnel initially involved two shifts of two men each (working 15 hours work per day, 6 days per week). It’s about 60 feet long with two arms branching off the end, reports say it was 10 feet high ( now about 5 )  and it seems to be about 4 feet wide. 

Why here ?

This enemy deterrent was one of many along the east coast and in fact the steepness of terrain from tableland to coast, combined with the prevalence of deep gorges, the absence of navigable rivers and the heavily-forested nature of the surrounding countryside, meant that the few easterly roads extant in 1942 were of critical strategic importance. Now it's listed by the National Trust. Lots of history and very cool. There are several walking tracks around these points of interest - easy for the kids to walk too. Just watch out for snakes 🐍 

Let me know if any one goes out and what you think of this hidden history. 

Want a hint where it is ?…..  

Lat: -30.4829787918 Long: 152.2817610210

Do your self and your kids a favour - go hunting for this piece of history, respect what is there and maybe just stop and think, 


“ What if it did happen …. “










YULGILBAR CASTLE

Here's a location that you wont find on the tourist trail !!!...... Yulgilbar Castle


                                                        🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳

Before my dad passed away he always talked about the Yulgilbar castle, NW of Grafton, where the property spans some 30,000 acres on the Clarence River. He worked as a young horticulturist - doing his apprenticeship with Sorenson's nursery on the Blue mountains, and also working in heritage gardens in Leura, Katoomba, Bowral and the famous Everglade Gardens. 

Several times a year a team ( including dad  ) would fly to Yulgilbar and do maintenance work in the gardens. 

After months of trying to gain access I was finally granted entry into this amazing property. 

Yulgilbar Castle is one of the most historic pioneer properties in Australia. Built in the 1860's by the Olgilve Family. It has been owned by the well known Myer family for more than 60 years. 

On the day that we were there the owner flew in for lunch on their way to Tamworth in their private jet, and graciously met the owners. We found out that just weeks before the caretaker of this amazing property found some old drawings for the landscape redevelopment back in the 70’s, and guess what !!! My dad designed the gardens when the castle was getting a refurb !!!....... very proud day taking mum there to see dads amazing foresight into this property along with @sals_gone_walk_about who has history there too. Even got a copy of the plans !!!! Photos don’t do this place justice. I feel proud that dad told me of Yugilbar and I saw his work - miss dad ☹️.... 


... now all I need is a piece of land to do the same !!!!!  











FRIDAY CREEK EXPLORE

Sometimes it's not about the crashing and bashing - It's just about getting the tyres dusty and a little mud on the tyres. Yesterday we kicked around the Friday Creek area, just minutes west of Coffs. Easy trails, great views, the kids had fun while the adults mingled. For more info jump onto my FB page and have a look around.













GLENREAGH MOUNTAIN RAILWAY TUNNELS

I often get asked just how to get to the tunnels behind Glenreagh-well I just want to put it out there for every one to find and see. It is an adventure just getting there, all on designated state forest trails. There are big ruts, rocks and just recently some nonghead has dangerously dropped a tree across the track. BUT- there is now a side track around it.

                                 Should be pretty easy to follow.


An arial shot of the tunnels cleaned up - all approved by GMR.


A snapshot of the sidings and other poi.


Engine 1919 between the two tunnels. Even today you can still find the stockpile of steel plates. pins, old fire place and other steel components. We have cleared a track between the two tunnels for access and to see the stockpile.





LIFESTYLE BREAKAWAY ULTRA

Ever seen a Lifestyle Ultra camper travel behind a 4wd ?
Here's a clip we recently shot down at point Plommer, on the NSW mid north coast. 






WUNGLEBUNG - Possum Hollow campsite.

Welcome to Possum Hollow - Wunglebung, on the banks of the Timbara River. With 5 campsites to chose from we were lucky enough to of got Possum Hollow last week. Its pretty amazing when you have wild Platypus playing in the river right in front of you everyday, Possums come out at night ( we named one Skanky Tail and the Junior ), many many birds, speculator views of the mountains in front and behind us. Its just another perfect spot on Wunglebungs property. And dont worry if it's dry- the scenery is still just as amazing as well as the ambience of the property. Want more info ?... contact the beautiful Katrina at Wunglebung on FB and enjoy your time out.

You can thank me later !!

https://youcamp.com/view/wunglebung

#tenterfield #wunglebung #timbarariver Wunglebung Sally Turner​ #lifestylecampertrailers Lifestyle Camper Trailers​ #possum #dark #platypus #roothy Roothy​  4X4 Australia​  BCF - Boating, Camping, Fishing​













THE ROCKY RIVER ROAD - TENTERFIELD

The Rocky River trip starts just south of the heart of town as you wander down the aptly named Scrub Road then onto Billirimba Road. Keep an eye out for abandon farms and transport machinery as they sit quietly in the paddocks from days gone by. With long straight tree lined sections of dirt you can gaze across the paddocks with views towards the mountains in the distance, views to die for in every direction. 


With Quilgeran Pinnacle to your right and Black Mountain to your left you feel pretty small as you follow the road as it snakes through the terrain. Soon you pass through the locality of Steinbrook, not much anymore, just a big kink in the road with several 90 degree corners and the old hall. From here on you pass through private stations, breeding primality cattle in the valleys. Old sheds, massive trees, and cattle yards - just everything seems to look old and plenty of opportunities for photo stops. 35km along, Billirimba Road winds its way down to the Timbarra River and the intersection of Upper Rocky River Road to your right. The Rocky River road narrows down as it passes between huge boulders that line the road. This was once the main thoroughfare between Tenterfield and Drake then onto Grafton 100 years ago. The road workers simply could not move these granite boulders that in some case are as large as a bus so they simply built the road around them.


As the road follows the Timbarra river the drop-offs are steep where you can see massive pools of water and where the rocks get moved after every big flood, there’s pockets of dry rainforest, old sheds in the hills and then around the next corner acres of tree felled paddocks where the cattle roam freely across and along the road. After a while farm houses are road side so lookout for dogs that may shoot out and slow up as it keeps the dust down. An added bonus when travelling here is the amount of birdlife you may see beside the river- from Shags, Kingfishers and the common old crow it’s good for the kids for a bit of spot the bird game. The roads out here are typical of the old Cobb & Co run roads, as they rise, fall then twist its way over the terrain- this was to keep the stage coach fairly level and flat for those on board. 


There are areas along here beside the river where camping is NOT allowed and are sign posted for all to see, but at the 25 km mark a huge grassed area with tracks leading down to the Timbarra are welcoming sites wether for camping or a cuppa. Stopping under the old Casuarina Trees is pretty special here as the water flows past. Don't forget to throw a rod in and either team it up with some old meat for a chance to snag a freshwater Yabby or a Fork Tail Catfish for a feed. 
There’s no toilets here and no bins. Night time brings out Owls, little squeaking Bats, frogs start crocking and if you sit still long enough and scan the grounds with a torch you may see possums. If you are a keen punter and the weather is right, swimming in the Timbarra River is pure bliss where clean fresh water that has filtered through granite particles definatly leaves you feeling relaxed and clean. Wether staying for an hour or a night have a scout around for any rubbish that may have been left behind, this keeps the area pristine and makes for a happy land owner. 

There is nothing too difficult about this road that a proper 4wd can undertake, for added safety why not choose 4wd high- this will give you some added traction on these granite based roads that can be slippery and the road surface can catch you out if find yourself trying to avoid another 4wd that suddenly appears. Soon the cleared country farmlands turn to a thicker growth as you veer away from the river and into the hills. 

Tall timber sections covered with vines and small farms led the way as the elevation will soon rise, this is where the road changes into Long Gully Road and from dirt to tar. It gets steep as it enters Girard State Forest and the terrain gets a bit more serious as you climb to near 1000 metres above sea level in a few kilometres. 

Being on the southern side of this range, the rainforest is stunning and is generally a bit cooler than the flats below. With tall cool climate ferns, long trunked Bangalow palms and coachwood tree’s it’s a totally different eco system to what you have just left behind. Even the wildlife has changed to the sounds of Whip-birds, frisky Paddy Melon wallabies and even shy Lyre Birds that may dart across the road.

You know when your getting to the top as there are large stands of scrubby timber - Iron Bark, Black Butt and Scribbly Gum plus dozens of Grass-trees that seem to dance in the wind as you zoom past. Girard State Forest soon gives way to farms and dodgy looking houses and eventually you'll come to the Bruxner Highway which runs between the coast and back up to the tablelands past Tenterfield. 








GLENREAGH TUNNELS

Get asked a lot about the Glenreagh Mountain rail tunnels. While the tunnels are a fantastic explore- I think its all about the adventure getting there 

Turn it up and check it out !!!!





GUNDABOOKA

For many trips I’ve always bypassed places like Bourke, just to get off the tar and to keep heading west. But the phrase “the back of Bourke” got me thinking about this area. Bourke, located 800 km north west of Sydney has a long tradition with white man history dating back to the early 1800s, although the traditional owners of this land ( the Ngemba and Paakandji people ) have called this place home for hundreds of years. Charles Sturt was the first white man to pass through the area in 1828, but it wasn't until explorer and surveyor Thomas Mitchell who began the first settlement on the banks of the Darling River. The river was used as a transport system for various types of freight and soon began to boom. A picturesque town where you can visit galleries, exhibition centres or even cruise the Darling River on a traditional steamboat is a great eyeopener but we were interested in more. 


50 km south of Bourke, Gundabooka National Park covers 64,000 hectares and is a hidden gem that is worth spending a few days exploring or even a simple day trip from Bourke. There are two ways of getting to Gundabooka, either off Kidman Way ( Bourke to Cobar Road ) or along the Bourke to Louth Road which runs beside the Darling River. 

We decided to head down the Kidman Way to the parks well sign posted entry. As soon as you cross into the park, it felt like the real outback with the typical red outback roads, stunning white gums towering over the mulga bush. Just inside the park, a turn off information bay provides all relevant information on what to see and do, where to camp, dangers and map information. It is suggested here that you do drop your tyre pressures as the road in has long stretches of sand and a few rocky sections. 

Our designated camp for several nights was Dry Tank camp ground, located 20 km deep within Gundabooka. It’s not the only camp within the park as Yanda campground is located across the other side beside the Darling River, but we wanted to be in the heart of Gundabooka. Wasn't long before we found the turn into Dry Tank and were pleasantly surprised with the layout. Parking for day-trippers and those wanting to start here for the walking trails, private areas for camper trailers and tents hidden in the mulga, a large open area for group camping with several picnic tables with a nearby toilet. 




Apart from Dry Tank campground being a great place to settle, it’s also the start of several walking trails. The most popular one is Little Mountain Walking Track. This 5 km trail meanders through thick Mulga and outback Grevillea plants that if your lucky they may have a little colour on them. We were lucky enough to see large mounds that are home to the Mulga Ant. These large black ants are Omnivores which eat any dead matter. Life is tough out here. 



Wandering along the trail we noticed a rise in the surrounding landscape which gave us glimpses of Mount Gundabooka in the distance. At the end of the designated walk there is a great viewing platform allowing for uninterrupted views across the plain towards the mountain, and surprisingly we could get phone reception. Mount Gundabooka rises 500 metres above sea level and has been formed from millions of years of constant weathering from the winds and rain. For those keen, an informal trail leads you to the base of the mountain, but you need to be well prepared and experienced for this hike. 

We were hoping to explore the Mulgowan or Yappa Aboriginal rock art and walking trail which starts near the turn into Dry Tank. Unfortunately on the days that we were there NPWS were conducting pest control so the walk was closed. Fires are permitted within the park so you need to bring your own timber. It’s a great place sitting beside the fire in Gundabooka as the Mulga scrub seems to go quiet and has a relaxed feel to it. The stars are as bright as some city lights and it makes for a great ambience. 



Our next mission was to head up the road to the Bennett’s Gorge area. A 10 km drive heading west from camp soon saw us turning left into Corella Tank Road. With a 2 km drive in towards the looming base of Mount Gundabooka the views towards the plateau is nothing short of spectacular. While NPWS class Bennett’s as just a picnic area there is plenty of room to setup here for several days to explore this area of the park. Plenty of shade, toilets, amazing views and a little phone reception it’s a near perfect spot. From the car park starts the Valley of the Eagles walk. This is an easy 1 km stroll to the base of the mountain where you can sit and take in the amazing views of Mount Gundabooka. Detailed information boards explain the history of the area, point out gorges and highlights on the mountain and explain how the resident Eagles use the warm air currents to glide around looking for prey. The walk takes around 30 minutes but we spent 2 hours here just admiring the views of the surrounding landscape. I like Gundabooka. Heading out the other side its the same sandy then rocky stretches of road and its not long before you hit the Bourke Louth Road.