Walk along Robinsons Knob Trail to the intersection of Cascades and Wrights lookout trails in New England National Park. A shady bench here makes a lovely rest spot on an early summer day. A nearby sign commemorates botanist and conservationist J.B.Williams and gives a hint that the plateau above may offer more than just views.
After a rest at the bench, the path up onto the plateau is rocky. This geotour tells me the plateau is a trachyte dyke. The dyke dips steeply and is laminated. Even to this geo-novice, the thin laminations are quite clear in an outcrop on the side of the path climbing onto the plateau. The laminations were probably formed as the viscous flows of the magma cooled. Looking across to the cliffs of Point Lookout, the steps of the 5 major lava flows, over 300m thick, with their intervening breccias can be clearly seen.
Once on top, we are met by masses of pink flowering kunzea, banksia, tea trees. There are panoramic lookouts on the edge of the plateau, across the forested Bellinger valley to Killiekrankie and Crooked Top Mountain, and down to the Crescent and its volcanic plug. The plateau is a great place to linger and soak in the magnificence of this place, but stay on the marked path as the unique heathland is fragile.
New England National Park was established, thanks to the vision of Philip A Wright back in the 1920s. The area was declared a reserve in 1931 and the National Park officially opened in 1937. The Park was World Heritage listed in 1986 as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. The shelter hut at Point Lookout has more information on the establishment of the park.
You can walk out and back along Robinsons Knob Trail to Wrights Lookout, as we did, or combine the lookout with the Lyrebird or Cascades Walks for a longer walk.