Deserted beaches, spectacular waterfalls, pristine rivers and lush hinterland – These are some of the hidden gems to be discovered throughout the Clarence Valley.
Over 56% of the Clarence has been declared either a National Park or state forest so the valley truly is a nature wonderland. Many of the national parks in the area offer a multitude of walks through various environs: lush rainforest, traditional bush, imposing granite outcrops, large stretches of untouched coastal heathland and secluded rocky beaches. Campgrounds within these parks range from the well-appointed drive-in variety to the bare basic walk-in option. From the mountains to the sea, there is something for everyone.
Explore the longest undeveloped coastline in NSW! There are some fantastic views afforded by lookouts over the coast at Iluka Bluff, Dirrangan’s Lookout, Red Cliff, Cakora Point, Piper’s Hill & Tree Point and Wilson’s Headland. All these top viewing spots are along the Yuraygir Coastal Walk which follows the coast from Mara Creek near Angourie to Red Rock in the South, some 65kms that can be undertaken as a multi-day walk or in segments as a day trip.
River of Adventure
The Clarence River is the largest river on the east coast of Australia by volume. Flowing for over 400kms from source to sea, there are 100 chartered islands to explore. The upper reaches of the Clarence form the longest white water trail in Australia, at over 195kms it commences on the Nymboida River, flowing into the Mann River which are major tributaries of the Clarence River. The broad and deep waters of the lower Clarence River are perfect for sailing and cruising. Houseboats are available for hire for those without their own craft.
Ancient rainforests, lush fertile plains and quiet country towns make up the diverse hinterland of the Clarence. This is an area of stark beauty with lookouts over tree covered valleys, dense National parks and a network of streams and creeks that feed the mighty Clarence River. A great scenic drive from Cangai to Copmanhurst follows sections of the Mann and Clarence Rivers through rolling farmlands and glorious expanses of often verdant bush country.
The Clarence Gorge is a series of remarkable waterfalls created by the mighty Clarence River. Cascading waters pours through this rugged, rocky watercourse surrounded by captivating farming country. Accessing this natural delight is possible from either side of the Clarence River through two private working cattle properties. Accommodation on offer ranges from basic campgrounds to self-contained lodges and cottages. Day-trippers can trek to the falls area through the southern property upon request.
Old Glen Innes Road
For those who want to explore a place out of time, the Old Glen Innes Road, between Grafton and the tablelands to the west, offers the intrepid a rare view. Once the route for the Cobb & Co. coaches, this is a trail over and along multiple waterways with the Orara, Nymboida, Boyd, Guy Fawkes, Henry and Mann Rivers all crossing it’s path. Through remote untouched stretches of bush and past steep escarpments you travel along a road still made mostly of dirt.
Remnants of the old bridge remain in the river at Buccarumbi next to its modern replacement. The highlight of the trip is the hand carved tunnel through the rock just west of Dalmorton. Accommodation is pretty rudimentary with a primitive camping area at Buccarumbi and national park campgrounds near Dalmorton and at the Mann River Nature Reserve.
For 4WD enthusiasts, near the Mann River Nature Reserve is a road that heads west and up to Tommys Rock Lookout with it's unending scenic wilderness views over The Great Dividing Range. The 9km round trip hike can be done up the steep trail if you prefer.