Chris Armstrong describes Kings Plains National Park evocatively in her awildland blog. Much of the grassy woodland in the north west of NSW has been cleared and grazed – this Park protects a rare patch of remaining woodland. Like awildland, we had the Park to ourselves – except of course for the birds, snake-necked turtle and black snake that were waiting to say hello as we made our way down Kings Plains creek.
Good rains ensured the falls were flowing. There is no marked track – we rock hopped until we reached the lip of the waterfall, with the deep gorge below. Beautiful orange gum grow on the hillside.
Other possible walks are upstream to the old sapphire mining area (Mine Trail) or through grassy woodland on management trails (Blackbutt Trail). This is Ngarrabul country whose tribal totem is the koala. Sadly, koala populations were decimated last century by hunting and land clearing.
Kings Plains Castle
Kings Plains are named for Joseph King who went for a ride and told his friends, land hungry settlers, about the grazing potential. The vast Kings Plains Station was established by the Vivers family in 1838. Later, in 1908, Dr George Vivers built a castle to impress his wife. Now Kings Plains Castle operates as a BnB, and is our deluxe accommodation for the night.
In the morning, our host Scott graciously takes us on a tour of the castle. The turret has a great view of the Sapphire Wind farm on the horizon. This is the largest wind farm in NSW, the 200m long blades spin serenely in the breeze above the grassy plains.
We also wandered through the back paddock, past some Texas long horn cattle, to visit the old wool shed and family cemetery.