FRIDAY CREEK DEVASTATION

Seeing though l have a few days off, I decided to head to an old favourite spot-FRIDAY CREEK. A casual 15 min drive west from Coffs, it is a local hot spot. Heading up the hinterland I wasn’t real sure what I was going to find after several major floods this year. Passing through rich farmland, the cows were defiantly well fed with plenty of feed. Dropping onto South Island loop road, it was getting warmer as the coast got further away. Approaching Dingo Creek road- it wasn’t a real good start,the bridge had been washed away- ROAD CLOSED!!!!!!. 

Got this problem sorted out then it was a quick jump onto the dirt and from the start I could see where the creek peaked at-by the debris in the trees around windscreen height. A popular swimming spot just 2km up the road was the first surprise where you could hold a swimming carnival. The old hole was HUGE, gone from a small hole to something the size of Sydney stadium, and the water looked like it was 20 feet deep. Continuing on from here I headed down to Frontage Creek. WOW- what a mess. 

This is where I took the crew from 4wdaction for the Coffs DVD. There were thousands of tons of gravel, trees and debris that had been washed down and got caught up in a bottle neck. After several pics here I headed up stream for a further look. The first major obstacle was a massive gum lying across the creek- but by saying creek, it used to be around 10>40 feet across- now I estimate it around 100>200 feet across. 

The banks are now 10>12 high. I was just gobbed smacked as I ventured further up stream. The road that crisscrossed the creek was gone, massive trees blocked the way, thousands and thousands of tons of gravel were piled up. Areas as big as football fields were exposed with rocks as big as tyres were everywhere. Finally worked out were we used to stop to swim and cook, all gone, the creek is now 8 feet below the bank-just gone. Water holes are now very deep. Further upstream the news was the same, massive amounts of timber has fallen and gathered. 

A couple of the roads that used to cross the creek now are vertical 6 feet drops. Decided to head to the next ridge south to find where it all started, but it was the same, trees down, rocks exposed but more water holes to swim. Had a dip at the spot we call “The Rock Slide”. Water was refreshing as it crashed over the newly formed rock banks. It will never recover from this devastation; it is amazing to see what the storms have done to this pristine area and how it has exposed the gravelly bases that were under the scrub. On the plus side-local photographers will get some great shot as time goes on, more swimming holes for the locals wanting to escape the mass of tourist that invade Coffs coast every year and it has cleared the creek out. This will never be the same, but to all those that have spent time in this area it will always be remembered as a great area to explore and drive.






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