The temperature down in the Bellinger Valley was in the 30s, but up here, high in Dorrigo National Park, it is a very pleasant 20 degrees. We leave our picnic lunch in the car, and follow the path from Never Never picnic area through the shady rainforest. We spy a lovely swimming pool in Sassafras creek, before beginning the zigzag descent to cross over the top of Casuarina Falls.
We walk alongside Endiandra Creek, the large fruit from the rare Dorrigo plum (Endiandra introrsa) scattered around the path, before stopping to look at Callicoma Falls. Big old tallowwood and blackbutt line the track, and red cedar stumps – the area was heavily logged in the 1950s.
Blackbutt Track ends on Dome Road, near Dome Mountain, which is the highest point in the park at 990m. We picked up the pace for a fast walk back along Dome Road, but if you have two cars, leave one at the end of the walk to avoid the road walk. This also shortens the walk by about 4km. Never Never picnic area is a secret spot, green and lovely and not as crowded as the Rainforest Centre. Take a picnic with you.
Most people, including us, seem to experience that embarrassing “where is the start?” moment at Never Never. Rosewood Creek path (if you do the loop clockwise) starts off Dome Road, near the lowest car park where you drove in, or (if you do the loop anti-clockwise) from the top car park near the shelter. Blackbutt Track starts across the grass away from the carparks – look for the short marker pole with an arrow.