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in In My Backyard, Life & Leisure, Travel, Travel Australia

In My Backyard: Wollumbin Mt Warning Circuit

  • August 3, 2015
  • By 50 Shades
  • 20 Comments
In My Backyard: Wollumbin Mt Warning Circuit
Mount Warning

Mount Warning

Remember the good old days of the Sunday drive? Mum would pack a picnic lunch and Dad would put petrol in the family car and off you would go for a drive into the country stopping somewhere scenic alongside a lake or river for a delicious lunch. Those were the days!

I have very happily resurrected the Sunday drive recently and taken off with either a girlfriend or my hubby with camera and picnic lunch to explore my magnificent backyard of the Gold Coast Hinterland and the Green Cauldron of the Tweed in far north New South Wales.

My latest expedition was a recommended 73km round-trip circling the imposing Mt Warning and Wollumbin National Park, which is recognised as part of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia. The drive not only takes you through scenic countryside, quaint villages and world heritage-listed rainforests, but leads you to the remnant of a volcano – Mt Warning.

View of Mt Warning from Cram Farm

View of Mt Warning from Crams Farm

Our trip commenced at the country town of Murwillumbah where we stopped at the Visitor’s Centre to obtain information and a map of the area. We headed south west towards Kyogle passing through Byangum and stopped at the village of Uki where we had coffee and a short walk around the main street.

The village of Uki has an organic-alternative vibe with the beautifully restored old Norco Butter Factory accommodating art studios, funky bric-a-brac stores and an antique shop. There are also the interesting Happy High Herbs, Glorious Organics and Holistic Health Centre in the heart of the village.

Village of Uki

Village of Uki

Mt Warning stands at a very impressive height of 1157m above sea level and it can be seen from almost every location in the Tweed. If you are adventurous and fit you can try climbing the 4.4km distance, with a challenging final rock scramble,to the summit of the mountain. The walk takes you through stunning scenery and offers magnificent views of the Tweed Valley and beyond. A very popular time to do this climb is prior to sunrise when you can sit on top of the world and watch the sun come up!

Mt Warning Sunrise

Mt Warning Sunrise

If you are not up for the summit walk you can take the Lyrebird track which commences at Breakfast Creek before winding 200m through palm forest and to a platform set amongst lush subtropical rainforest.

Interesting fact: The name Mt Warning was chosen by Captain James Cook to warn future mariners of the offshore reefs he encountered on his ship in 1770.

Only a short drive off the Kyogle Road is the Clarrie Hall Dam which has an impressive steep spillway. Built on Doon Doon Creek, a tributary of the Tweed River, Clarrie Hall Dam has a storage capacity of 16,000 mega-litres of water and the primary function of the dam is to provide storage for Tweed Shire’s water supply. The recreation area surrounding the dam is perfect for photography, bird watching, nature observation, environmental studies, picnicking and bush walking. Activities permitted on Clarrie Hall Dam include canoeing, boating (electric motor, sail or paddle power only) and fishing.

Clarrie Hall Dam

Clarrie Hall Dam

Further along Kyogle Road you can access Crams Farm which is at the other end of Clarrie Hall Dam and is accessed from Doon Doon Road. Crams Farm, as the name suggests was once a dairy farm owned by the Cram family with the old farmhouse, timber mill and the Doon Doon Hall still remaining.

On first sight you would think you were on a lake in the US with its spectacular scenery. It is a incredibly striking area to picnic, canoe, walk and generally spend time just looking and enjoying the scenery.

Crams Farm & Doon Doon Hall

Crams Farm & Doon Doon Hall

After leaving Crams Farm we took the Byrill Creek Road at the backside of Mt Warning and enjoyed the drive along a single laned gravel road which wound its way through the rainforest and rural farmlands crossing the creek in several places. We eventually found our way to the historic village of Tyalgum.

Byrill Creek & Doon Doon Creek

Byrill Creek & Doon Doon Creek

What was once a remote timber town is now one of the Tweed Valley’s most popular day-trip destination with its dramatic backdrop of the towering western wall of Mt Warning. Tyalgum has blossomed into a vibrant village with lovingly restored quaint old buildings transformed into cottage cafes, gift shops and art galleries.

Village of Tyalgum

Village of Tyalgum

Flutterbies Cottage Cafe is a delightful place to stop for an organic coffee, savour the elegance of the Tea Room and partake in high tea or just tuck into some good wholesome country cooking. You must also check out the gorgeous gift shop full of cottage craft, cuddly teddy bears and magical fairies.

Flutterbies Cottage Cafe in Tyalgum

Flutterbies Cottage Cafe in Tyalgum

Our Sunday drive started and ended on a very pleasant note. The villages of Uki and Tyalgum were a highlight of our road trip as was the brilliant scenery under the watchful eye of Mt Warning – simply stunning! What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday!

Do you ever go on a Sunday drive? Were do you head to?

For more posts of Northern New South Wales and The Tweed area see In My Backyard: The Tweed Coast, Numinbah Valley or Coolangatta & The Tweed

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By 50 Shades, August 3, 2015 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 20

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

20 Comments
  • Jo
    August 3, 2015

    It all looks so idyllic and very pretty. We were only today talking about doing a driving trip to your neck of the woods so I’m reading with beady eyes and taking it all in.

    • Kathy
      August 3, 2015

      It’s a long drive Jo – believe me, we’ve done it! I think you would enjoy the East Coast however and in particular the Gold Coast as it has so much to offer. Not just beaches and theme parks, but beautiful mountains, rainforests and quaint little country villages. :)

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    August 3, 2015

    I love the look of the cottage cafe. So many pretty pink things. Our parents took us on Sunday drives all the time. There was nothing else to do back then. It seems like such an old fashioned, but lovely thing to do. What a gorgeous area.

    • Kathy
      August 3, 2015

      Flutterbies Cottage Cafe was adorable. I didn’t get to sample any of their fare (because I’d devoured a massive picnic lunch!), but I have heard their food is great country cooking type food. Sunday drives were something we did a lot of as kids, but we never took our own kids. They would have thought it as being “very gay”. :)

  • budgettraveltalk
    August 3, 2015

    I love the way you say “Dad would put petrol in the family car…” I remember my Mum telling me that they only had a certain amount of money available for petrol and so going driving was not always possible! I do remember Sunday drives. I particularly liked driving at night so that I could fall asleep on the back seat. Carefree without seatbelts of course. It looks like a lovely drive. I remember that area and it is gorgeous.

    • Kathy
      August 4, 2015

      It was the highlight of the week when I was a kid and a chance to have quality time as a family. They were the days! Northern NSW is extremely pictureque and I love exploring its many different villages, narrow country roads, creeks and rainforests.

  • jennyandstephenmilan
    August 4, 2015

    I love that idea of reinstating the Sunday drive and lunch. What a beautiful journey.

    • Kathy
      August 4, 2015

      It’s a great thing to do on a Sunday. Especially when there are so many places that are within a half day’s drive of the Gold Coast. We are so lucky to have an abundance of scenic countryside around us. :)

  • Red Nomad OZ
    August 4, 2015

    I LOVE this area! Last year we stayed for over a week at Kyogle and explored the area thoroughly! We always use Mt Warning as an ‘age’ test – if we can still climb it, then we’re SO NOT OLD!! But I won’t tell you how long since we climbed it :D

    • Kathy
      August 4, 2015

      I have never done the Mt Warning walk. My husband has a few times and so has my daughter. But I have bad feet at the moment (painful bunions) so my walking is limited to only a few kilometres. Oh the joys of getting old! We want to do the Boundary Ranges near Kyogle next. Unfortunately the roads were closed there recently.

  • Red Nomad OZ
    August 6, 2015

    I’ve been planning a post about Kyogle for ages – I’ll be doing it soon! In the meantime, check out my older post about Woodenbong – the pizza was AWESOME!

    • Kathy
      August 7, 2015

      Yes I think I remember reading your post on Woodenbong. I must have another read as it might give me some ideas on where to take a sticky beak down that way. :)

  • Michele Peterson (A Taste for Travel)
    September 28, 2015

    I love the names of the places you saw on your journey – Breakfast Creek to Doon Doon Creek. It sounds like a real adventure!

    • Kathy
      September 28, 2015

      Yes there are some great place names everywhere you go in Australia. I can’t even guess where Doon Doon Creek came from! I love a pleasant Sunday Drive – very therapeutic! :)

  • Johanna
    September 28, 2015

    Flutterbies Cottage Cafe – such a gorgeous name, and what a lovely setting. Take me to Queensland and your back yard Please! :)

    • Kathy
      September 28, 2015

      Flutterbies was a gorgeous place. Real home country cooking and the best little gift shop!

  • budgettraveltalk
    September 28, 2015

    We went to Murwillumbah on our last trip to the Gold Coast. It was a lovely drive. After there we drove north back to the coast. I’ve been to Mt. Warning but not for a long time. I like the look of Flutterbies and the sound of it’s organic coffee. I might introduce one day a week for drives too. Good Idea.

    • Kathy
      September 28, 2015

      I have found my “Backyard” series to be not only be of interest to my readers but also very rewarding for myself. We don’t tend to take advantage of what is on offer around us. Northern NSW is a beautiful area. :)

  • All Around Oz
    September 28, 2015

    I’m a Gold Coaster also…we have a great backyard don’t we! Hubby and I did the loop through Mooball and Mt Warning a few weeks ago. Lovely day out.

    • Kathy
      September 28, 2015

      It is a lovely day out exploring some of the natural wonders in Northern NSW and Gold Coast Hinterland. I have only recently started doing this and didn’t realise that we had so much natural beauty. It is fabulous that you are getting out and about in your camper trailer and writing about your experiences. I will look forward to reading your blog. Thanks for visiting mine! :)

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