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During these crazy times I realise that it’s difficult to even think about travel. In particular overseas travel has been put on the back burner for the majority. Those with travel plans for 2020 have now had to cancel arrangements. My husband and I are currently trying to cancel our flight, cruise and accommodation bookings to Spain and Portugal in late August. We have all started to think about travel within our own country, state or even city. This is how we ended up on a Sunday drive into my backyard of the Border Ranges National Park in Northern New South Wales.
As the name suggests, this world heritage-listed park is located on the Queensland/New South Wales border within the Tweed Caldera. The Border Ranges are also part of Australia’s Gondwana Forests and contain relics of ancient flora and fauna mostly unchanged since the Jurassic period.
The Tweed-Mt Warning-Wollumbin shield volcano, and its caldera runs from the Gold Coast through Tweed to Byron Shire and the northern Lismore region. It is arguably “the best preserved erosion caldera in the world” – according to the World Heritage listing organisation. It is also the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.
The north and western edges of the ranges provide the most stunning views of the caldera valley and Wollumbin, and appropriately this is where there are three spectacular lookouts.
The Border Ranges National Park measures 31,683 hectares and adjoins Lamington National Park in Queensland. It stretches 85 kilometres from east to west, so get set to spend at least a day exploring the park. Otherwise there are camping grounds within the park where you can set up camp and take your time traversing the many tracks throughout the ranges.
Coming from Murwillumbah heading west along Kyogle Road we took a right hand turn at Lillian Rock, entering the National Park from Williams Road, then taking a right onto Creegan Road. The entrance to the National Park is well sign-posted and there is a small self-service kiosk where you pay to enter the park.
Otherwise if you’re coming from the south you can enter the Border Ranges National Park from the town of Kyogle. Travel 15 kilometres north along the Summerland Way to Wiangaree and then turn right onto Lynchs Creek Road. The park entrance is signposted from here.
There are countless opportunities to explore the abundant wonders of the rainforest hidden throughout this rare haven, by either driving the Tweed Range Scenic Drive, camping in the park or taking on the numerous hiking trails.
You can safely drive around Border Ranges National Park along the Tweed Range Scenic Drive touring route (part of the Rainforest Way). Although the road is predominantly unsealed it is in good condition and you don’t need a four-wheel drive vehicle to access it.
The drive comprises of a 42 kilometre all-weather gravel road crossing the eastern plateau of the park. The majority of the drive follows the caldera edge of the eroded Mount Warning volcano, providing breathtaking views. The drive can be completed in 4 to 5 hours, allowing for a leisurely pace with stops to enjoy views, strolls in the rainforest and picnic breaks.
You’re guaranteed to find a beautiful spot for a picnic or barbecue lunch within the Border Ranges. Also make sure you stop off at some of the park’s lookouts along the way. Avid photographers will love capturing billowing waterfalls, views of Wollumbin-Mount Warning and lush rainforest plants.
There are two camping areas in the park:
National Park entry fees of $8 per motor vehicle apply that can be paid at the self-serve kiosks at the entrance to the park. Additionally campsite fees at the daily rate of $24 per night apply, includes two people.
To check for the current status of the Border Ranges National Park closures and conditions head to National Parks NSW.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday, or any other day for that matter, than driving around this scenically abundant National Park.
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.
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