Take your time on this lovely short walk near Pines Picnic Area in the subtropical rainforest along Way Way creek.
The trail includes full colour interpretive signage but also look for the smaller tree markers. We spotted the following trees – how many can you find? Bangalow palms (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana), red carabeen and yellow carabeen, turpentine, brush box (Lophostemon confertus), strangler fig (Ficus watkinsiana), black booyong, blue quandong (Elaeocarpus grandis), flooded gum (Eucalyptus grandis). You will spot lots of Bangalow palm fronds on the ground, useful for making water carriers. The Pines Picnic Area is named for a plantation of large hoop pines (Araucaria cunninghamii).
This is the Country of the Ngambaa people, and also highly significant to Gumbaynggirr and Dunghutti nations. The park name Yarriabini, and its alternative Yarrahapinni, means “koala rolling down the mountain” but sadly no koalas have been seen here for thirty years. The area is connected to a dreaming story of the Sand Goanna Sisters, Koala Brothers and Tiger Cat, which is shared on panels in the picnic area and represented in the lovely mosaic artwork in the picnic area. The duck is the Ngambaa totem.
Clement Hodgkinson described Yarrahapinni and the customs of the people who lived here, both First Nations and timber-getters, in his 1845 book. We walked a route in the spirit of Hodgkinsons 1841 exploratory journey from nearby Frederickton on the Macleay to Bellinger.
Yarriabini National Park extends down to the sea at Middle Head. Yarrahappini State Forest was declared in 1913 and Way Way State Forest in 1917. The National Park was declared in 2003.
We visited Pines Picnic Area as part of an adventure motorcycle ride, following Tourist Drive 14 and Tourist Drive 12. Even in our riding suits and wearing bike boots, this trail is an easy and enjoyable walk.