We decided to try a new route home from Nambucca one day, and took the turnoff from Giinagay Way onto East West Road. The road travels first through farmlands, skirting around Picket Hill towards Newry State Forest.
Picket Hill is a distinctive local feature, visible from Sealy Lookout, from Valla beach walks, and from the highway. Nunguu Mirral Aboriginal Area on Picket Hill is a culturally significant site for the Gumbaynggirr.
Newry State Forest – Bryces Knob and Edwards Knob
We enter Newry State Forest on Range Road. We detour first to climb to the top Bryces Knob (310m) and then to walk up Edwards Knob (360m) which is in Jaaningga Nature Reserve. Neither peak has much of a view, as they are both covered in many beautiful trees. Trees that Forestry Corporation plans to log, and local community groups are actively defending.
Newry Sate Forest is a biodiverse native forest across a range with steep slopes. Jaaningga means “wattle tree” and the Newry Golden Wattle is one of the endangered species that are found here. The forest is proposed for inclusion in the Great Koala National Park and is part of an important wildlife corridor that runs from the high ranges in the west to the coast. Gumbaynggirr elders have set up a blockade at Camp Nunguu to protect the forest.
Old Brierfield Road
Range Road runs down to Bowraville Road. From Brierfield village, we turned off South Arm Road onto the Old Brierfield Road, through Tarkeeth State Forest, to rejoin the bitumen near Marx Hill. The old road is a bit rougher than the Newry Forest Road, with some muddy sections and vegetation growing close to the road, and crosses over a route we’ve previously walked from Fernmount to Bellingen.