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Friday, February 26, 2016

Boundary Falls Campground, Gibraltar Range National Park, NSW: Part 1.

Boundary Falls
The turnoff to Boundary Falls Campground in the northern section of Gibraltar Range National Park is about 63 km from Glen Innes along the Gwydir Highway or, if coming from the other direction, about 97 km west of Grafton. The forest entry is an unsealed, all weather, 2WD road. 

The campground officially has 6 large campsites but we found that there were 8 sites all with their own table and fire ring equipped with some camp cooking equipment.There is only one pit toilet and one tap at the campground. The tank water is to be boiled before use. A small amount of wood was available when we arrived. We didn't have phone or internet reception. There is plenty of room for big rigs. 


Boundary Falls Campground.
Boundary Falls is a self-register campground and no bookings are taken. Fees are $6 per adult per night and there is an $8 vehicle fee per day. We are now the proud owners of a two year NSW Parks Pass which is displayed on our vehicle so we don’t have to pay the daily vehicle fee. We ordered the pass online and it took 15 days to arrive in the post. 

Boundary Falls Campground Facilities: Fireplace and table in every site, pit toilet, woodshed, tank water and tap.
There is also a horse campground as Boundary Falls is on the Bicentennial National Trail. However, we saw no evidence of horses during our stay.

The campground is on the site of an old sawmill and there are various pieces of old milling equipment scattered around behind the campsites.

Equipment remaining from Wades Sawmill.
We were delighted to see that Russet-tailed/Bassian Thrush seemed quite common around the campground. (Note: We have seen Bassian Thrush before but not Russet-tailed Thrush and as they are so similar I don't feel confident to identify which bird we were seeing.) The information board in the picnic area indicated that Spotted-quail Thrush are also in the area but we did not see any. A Pied Currawong kept an eye on our every move at our campsite. Unfortunately, there were a few March flies ready to bite at every opportunity. 

Pied Currawong
Russet-tailed/ Bassian Thrush
We came to Boundary Falls from Girraween National Park and took a shortcut through Iron Knob Road which bypasses Glen Innes. Iron knob Road is sealed but the middle section was fairly bumpy. The down side of not going through Glen Innes was that we didn't get to stop at the Information Centre for any brochures on Gibraltar Range and Washpool National Parks. One other couple were already set up so we asked them if they knew where the trail-heads for the walks were and they kindly let us take phone photos of their maps. While we were doing this another couple arrived to set up their caravan and they asked me if I was trying to find phone reception. When I explained that we had turned up without any brochures or maps they kindly gave me a NSW Parks brochure for the area. Time after time, we have found that meeting fellow travelers is one of the highlights of being on the road.

Close to the campground there is a Day Use Area with parking, electric BBQ’s and a pit toilet. The walks leave from the Day Use Area.

On the first afternoon we did a couple of short walks:
Lyrebird Falls Walking Track is a medium grade, 2.2 km return walk. The track is along a wide fire trail through strands of Sydney Blue Gums to a lookout with views over Boundary Creek to Lyrebird Falls. As we were returning from the lookout we heard a car alarm followed by a Whipbird crack, then a chainsaw noise followed by a whole repertoire of bird songs. We stood entranced listening to this amazing performance by a Superb Lyrebird quite close to us. Before we came to our wits and thought to record the sounds the performance stopped.


Lyrebird Falls
View from Lyrebird Falls lookout area.
We saw a Land Mullet beside the track.

Land Mullet Egernia major
Boundary Falls: On our way back we did the short walk to Boundary Falls. This walk may be short but it descends steeply down flights of steps. There is a rest area halfway down but there is no view of the falls from there and no seat. At the bottom there is a crystal clear creek and the waterfall flows into a beautiful natural pool (first photo in this blog).
Rest area half way down and steep steps to Boundary Falls.
Boundary Creek
We celebrated our first night of camping in NSW in our new van, with a nice wine beside the fire.

Camping Life

Bird List:
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Australian King Parrot, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Brown Gerygone, Brown Thornbill, Eastern Yellow Robin, Rufous Whistler, Grey Fantail, Rufous Fantail, Black-faced Monarch, Pied Currawong, Red-browed Finch, Russet-tailed/Bassian Thrush (see note in the text above). We heard a Lyrebird doing excellent mimicry.

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