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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Duffer Falls Walk and the World Heritage Walk. Gibraltar Range National Park, NSW: Part 2.

Duffer Falls
The World Heritage Walk is a 45 km circuit through Gibraltar and Washpool National Parks. As we would be staying at three campgrounds close to the route we planned on walking sections of the World Heritage Walk from each campground. The first section we walked was from Boundary Falls Campground to Duffer Falls. We had difficulty finding the trail-head for Duffer Falls because the signs in the Day Use Area only indicated the Boundary Falls and Lyrebird Falls Walks but we eventually found the World Heritage Walk behind the campground and a short way along this walk we found a sign for Duffer Falls.

Duffer Falls Walk is a medium grade, 7 km return walk from Boundary Falls Campground, along a section of the World Heritage Walk. Most of the walk is an easy stroll along a fire trail but the last 700 meters is on an unformed track that drops away to Duffer Falls.

World Heritage Walk section of the Duffer Falls Walk.
The last 700 m is on a small descending track.
First we had to ford a creek but we were able to do this without getting our boots wet. 

Creek crossing at the start of the walk.
The walk took us through a uniquely Australian environment of gum trees, grass trees and termite mounds.

There were distinctive small she-oaks and holy on the clamber down to the falls.

We didn’t see a lot of birds on the walk but we saw several of the ever present Thrushes. Rainbow Lorikeets were busy riotously feeding high up in flowering gum trees. We heard a Lyrebird doing a mimicry rendition but this bird didn’t have the same mastery as the bird we had heard the previous day on the Lyrebird Falls Track.
Rufous Whistler (male), Brown Thornbill, Red-browed Finch (juvenile), Red-browed Treecreeper (female).
Bassian Thrush

A Nobby Dragon scuttled away too fast for a photograph. We walked up to a culvert to peer into the water for tadpoles and accidentally stepped close to a small Carpet Python in the process of uncoiling.

Carpet Python 
Duffer Falls is a series of beautiful falls and cascades that drop away over an escarpment to Boundary Creek in the Demon Fault Line. We sat on a rock in front of a picturesque cascade and had a picnic before exploring more of the falls.

Our picnic spot at the middle cascade at Duffer Falls.
An upper section of Duffer Falls.
Duffer Falls dropping over the escarpment and out of sight.
View from the escarpment.
There were lots of Eastern Water Skinks and Sundews amongst the rocks around Duffer Falls.

On our return to the campground we found a note from the caravanners camped nearby to let us know that there was a large tree over the exit road and that they would inform the ranger as soon as they could get phone reception. We had heard a loud crash during the night but had assumed that the tree had fallen in the forest and thought nothing more of it. By the time we returned from our walk to Duffer Falls the ranger had already been and cleared the tree. We were amazed that these lovely people, the same ones that had given us a brochure of the area, would take the time to leave a note for us when they must have been having a difficult day as it would not have been easy to reverse their caravan back to the campground! We always seem to meet such lovely people on the road.

Bird List:
Wonga Pigeon, Rainbow Lorikeets, Red-browed Treecreeper, Brown Thornbill, Eastern Yellow Robin, Rufous Whistler, Grey Fantail, Rufous Fantail, Red-browed Finch, Bassian Thrush. Heard: Superb Lyrebird.

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