Whether you’re journeying the Fossickers Way Loop or simply escaping the city this Spring, New South Whales is filled with natural regional highlights that won’t disappoint.
Warrabah National Park
No matter where you are on the loop, you’ll be able to reach this park, which sits smack bang in the middle of the circuit. Your best bet, however, is to access it from Manilla, around a 1.5-hour drive north-east of the park. There are campgrounds with great facilities by the tranquil Namoi River, but if you’re just here for the day, you might just want to enjoy the park’s other offerings, such as swimming and canoeing (if the spring weather is going your way!). A bushwalk is also in order, especially for those wanting to get a glimpse of the wildlife – if you’re lucky, you might catch a platypus in one of the waterholes, or even the rainbow-hued crimson and eastern rosellas.
Mount Kaputar National Park
Around 1.5 hours west of Barraba, this park features a spectacular mountain range, and is really for those wanting to enjoy a steeper hike for some breathtaking views. The Mount Kaputar Summit lookout provides an incredible 360-degree view of the area, with the Liverpool Ranges and many other wondrous sights in easy view. There are also gorgeous picnic and barbecue facilities if you want to enjoy some tasty regional produce and soak up the fresh air, while keeping an eye out for a whopping 185 bird species.
Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve
For those doing the loop back to Nundle or Tamworth, this reserve is another great stop, just 30 minutes west of Armidale. Although the reserve is great for a barbecue or a rest, it’s also the land of the Anaiwan people, and the site of significant Aboriginal cave paintings. It’s well worth taking the short three- kilometre-return walk, which will take you to see the rock art that is thought to be 150–500 years old – an incredible display of the New England region’s cultural heritage.
Wooldridge Recreation and Fossicking Reserve
If you’ve almost reached the end of your Fossickers Way loop and still haven’t struck gold (so to speak), then this is another spot you should detour to. Firstly, stop in at Uralla Visitor Information Centre to hire some gold pans and a map, and you’ll be on your way – it’s less than 10 minutes to the reserve from here. The reserve has plenty of space for parking your caravan, so enjoy the amenities after a long day of panning – let’s hope you find that diamond in the rough!