The lovely Cafe in the Valley at Ulong is the perfect place to start our journey to Timmsvale and Battery Falls. Good coffee, some free lemons and a mud map from the helpful and friendly Steve who suggests a list of things to see in the area.
Timmsvale and the Hydro Mill
First stop is the Old Hydro Mill at the start of the forest on the outskirts of Timmsvale. A walking track leads down to the creek, where signs explain the workings of the water-powered sawmill that innovative Mr Timms built in 1921. A path leads away from the turbine to the water race and its pipe, the weir was further up stream. Timms had plans to generate elecricity for the village, but nature destroyed the dam (flood) and the mill (fire) in 1932.
Forests and Gold Mines
Continuing along Timmsvale Rd, we turned onto Bopan Rd and took a short walk to admire a large tallow wood tree. Arthur McQuilty was the State Forestry foreman at Ulong from the late 1940s, supervising logging in the area. He and his wife had 11 children, their descendants still live in the area. McQuilty was a competent bushman despite accidentally shooting himself in the arm as a young man, he worked with a hook attached to his arm. On the Eastern Dorrigo Way, you can see the Jack Feeney memorial tree, another giant tallow wood.
As we were returning to our vehicle, another car pulled up – a lady who was visiting the haunts of her childhood. We had a chat and learned that nearby Crampton Rd was named for her family, and George Robb of George’s Gold Mine fame was a relative. History enthusiasts might enjoy the ebook that tells the story of gold mining in the Orara valley, and George’s mine that became a tourist attraction.
Battery Falls on the Little Nymboida River
Turning into Battery Rd, we kept a lookout for the sign to Battery Falls. Steve had warned us that it had fallen over so might be hard to spot. Sign found, we walked down the trail to admire the Little Nymboida river and Battery Falls.
We continued along Gentle Annie Rd, past some clear felling, to Timmsvale Rd, where we had a chat with the friendly operator of a road plant. We parked at the top of the descent to the confluence of the Bobo and Little Nymboida rivers, choosing to walk down with our lunch picnic. Lyre birds scuttled across the track ahead, and red browed finches darted about.
Eating our lunch in remote seclusion beside the Bobo, we were surprised when a local, Barb, strolled in to say hello! The people from Ulong to Timmsvale and beyond sure are friendly!
This is a relatively easy 4WD route as roads were cleared for the summer 2019 fires and by forestry in winter 2020. Two steep creek crossings (Battery Rd – Gentle Annie) might be interesting on an adventure motorcycle.
Next time we might try find the Upper Bobo gorge – Steve gave us some tips.