That feeling – when you have walked 12 kilometres and you can almost see your car waiting at the finish line and then… a sign, “Bridge Closed”.
We were at the crossing of a swampy inlet from Deep Creek at high tide, on our way back to Valla, and Council had unexpectedly removed the bridge leaving stumps in the murky water. Just as I was about to take off my shoes to swim, two locals appeared on the track and led us upstream to a nice little fallen log and rope crossing. Saved the day!
This loop starts with the intact long bridge crossing of Deep Creek, then a saunter up the beach where dolphins were frolicking in the shallows, before turning inland at Swimming Creek. Make sure you turn left onto Cottage Road, after the climb up from Swimming Creek, as right leads to the sewage works.
Various tracks lead through Nambucca State Forest, before crossing the road into Hyland Park. More tracks meander along Deep Creek and through the forest on the other side of the road, where the local gang of happy kids were busy building some bike ramps.
Conservation groups were successful in 2020 in stopping logging of the Nambucca State Forest, an unburnt haven for wildlife after the 2019 fires. The Gumbanyggirr Conservation Group collected over 23,000 signatures which were presented to Parliament.
Beyond the houses, a track leads down to the swamp and the Deep Creek crab lands, and that unexpectedly missing bridge. I’m told Council have now replaced the bridge, but you might still prefer the pretty log detour.