Guy Fawkes NP is still closed after the 2019 fires, so we did a big touring loop over 3 days, skirting around the edges of the park.
From Dundurrabin, we followed Chaelundi Road through parks and state forests, climbing to over 1000m, then descending to cross a strongly flowing Boyd River at Dalmorton. Dalmorton is the site of a historic mining and timber settlement, the hand-cut rock tunnel is nearby.
The old Grafton-Glen Innes road took us through Mann River Nature Reserve and back up to the Gwydir Highway and Glen Innes. We stayed two nights at Kings Plains Castle near Glen Innes, to allow more time to explore and walk on the Glen Innes highlands.
On our return trip, we took back roads through beautiful farmlands, crossing the Sara River near Kookburra, Nowlands Creek at Ward’s Mistake, and the Aberfoyle River before rejoining the main road between Guyra and Ebor.
Day one includes four lookouts on with big views, three of them on Chaelundi Road (Vista Point, Guy Fawkes, Sundew) and one a short detour off the old Grafton-Glen Innes road (Tommy’s Lookout). Peakfinder is my favourite app for identifying distant ranges and mountains from lookouts.
When you are done absorbing the big picture, take a moment to look closer at what grows nearby. We spotted yellow everlasting daisies (xerochrysum viscosum) at the roadside, guitar plants (lomatia) in the forest understory, Australian native parsnip (trachymene incisa) flowering in the crevices at the rocky outcrops. The native parsnip is bush tucker. The iNaturalist app and community is my goto for recording observations, making identifications, and learning more about what I see in nature.
Walks and heritage
There’s lots on the tablelands for the curious. We picked some short walks: Kings Plain Creek Falls and Thunderbolts Lookout.
We also stopped at the Celtic standing stones at Glen Innes, stayed two nights at Kings Plains Castle, and made a small detour to view the Yooroonah Tank Trap on Waterfall Way on our way home. (There are also tank traps at Paddys Flats on the Clarence River)
There’s more opportunities to explore in this area, we hope to return with 4WD to explore London Bridge Road on the Aberfoyle tablelands, and to camp and walk the trails in Guy Fawkes NP when it opens up again.