For many trips I've always seen the turn off to the Ramornie area, so on my way back from another and with a spare night up my sleeve I decided to check it out. Located west of Grafton, deep in the valleys and situated on the Nymboida River, the thought of a camp here sounds idyllic. There are two ways of getting into Ramornie, either off the Gwydir highway-24km west of Grafton or 32 km off the Old Glen Innes Road. Both ways require another 28 km of dirt driving to the campground along well sign posted designated trails. I had to take the Old Glen Innes Road exit as there was logging activity along the Gwydir end. The roads are fairly well maintained due to numerous properties along the way. Passing through scrubby state forest areas the road twists and winds its way over and down several ridge lines.
It’s not long before you come across Doboy Station. This active station still runs cattle and you need to take a little caution as you pop across the grid if the cattle are around. Following the main road along you'll soon see the locked gate down to the homestead, but by veering right here at the Ramornie sign you will be heading in the right direction. Its from here that the roads start to get a little rough, narrow and you may need 4wd, especially if towing an off-road trailer.
There are several gates that you pass through and you need to leave as you found them. As you travel along Ramornie and T ridge road, they start to get a little steeper as they follow the ridges along. In dry weather traction isn't a problem but in the wet it could be a different story. From the Doboy station turn, allow about an hour to travel the 24 km. The road has a few sections of steep whoops and if towing just be aware of your trailer. The last down hill section to the camp isn't too bad, but a good idea to use low range to save your brakes.
I was amazed when I finally arrived at the top campsite, lots of grass, tall shady gums around, fire pits, scattered tables and chairs, pit toilets and some campsites had river views. Another track leads down to the river where there is around 2 km of river frontage campsites. No facilities down here so you need to be well setup. There are a few areas that are private and have their own beach type frontage to the Nymboida River.
After setting up camp, the birds seem to appear from cockatoos to colourful wrens. Resident Goanna’s roam the campgrounds, especially if you've just cooked a bbq. For those who want a little exercise, take a 2 km walk down stream and look for the signs that point you towards the historic slab huts. These huts were built back in the late 1830s by early cedar cutters, who followed the rivers upstream in pursuit of cedar.
There is no phone reception down here so you do need to be well prepared or understand that it’s a 2 hour drive back to Grafton.
With easy river access it’s a great place for swimming, snorkelling, canoeing or wetting a line. Just be warned though-there a big fines for targeting the eastern cod.
There is a little 4wding within the area back at the first gate. Pass through the gate and turn left and just down the track you'll find Main Creek Road on the left. The track leads you to some old stockyards and another hut, but along the way there are several hillclimbs that you will need 4wd as they are steep and rough. Around here there are also several unnamed tracks which just lead back to the main tracks-nothing too hard, just a fun explore area.
Most 4wds will have no difficulty accessing this area, or even towing an off-road trailer. Probably wouldn't recommend a caravan due to some steep sections, the woop-to-do’s and narrow sections through the forest.
If your after somewhere different away from the crowds,beside the river with minimal facilities this maybe the place for you.