Trip Report – Timor to Woko

(Also known as Timor to Barrington Tops near Woko)

1-2 November 2014


  • Tony Clarke and Faye Goodman – Trip Leaders – Mitsubishi Challenger
  • Bev Fort – “The Lady Wears Prado”
  • Linda and Brian Payne – 100 Series
  • Alan Bull – Nissan GQ
  • Ken and Yvonne McDonald – Prado
  • Sue Maginnity and Cherrie Pandich – Prado
  • Deirdre Mudge – Suzuki Jimmny
  • Narelle and Marija Glabus – Nissan Navara
  • Adam and Riley Walters – “They Bought a Jeep”
  • Troy and Andrew Bennett – 80 Series
  • Shane Tapscott – Tappy – Hilux Ute
  • Grant and Tui Hampson and family – Hilux
  • Bob and Monica – FJ Cruiser

It started with a txt  “I know its short notice, but we’ve had a cancellation on our trip and you are on the reserve list; if you’re interested be at Macca’s at Scone at 9.30am tomorrow morning” sent from TC on Friday morning.  Since Bob had cancelled his Watagan’s B Grade day trip on Saturday due to the forecast heatwave and storm warning, a pleasant day cruising around Barrington Tops in air conditioned comfort sounded very tempting.  So, a quick pack up and an early start on Saturday morning saw us at Macca’s in Scone by 8.15am (and already 27 degrees).

After brekkie, introductions and pre-trip chat, we set off from Scone shortly after 9am, heading to the small town of Gundy, passing the interestingly named “Linga Longa Inn” (no lingering for us, unfortunately, as we had places to go) we pulled over near the general store to air down, whilst the local area Polo Meet was in full swing (no pun intended) at the showground behind us.

We crossed the Pages and Isis rivers and travelled through green rolling hills and pretty villages such as Moonan Flat, passing the turn off to Timor Caves, and heading toward Gloucester.  The drive took us past a very well maintained equestrian property owned by the Packer family, gradually climbing through beautiful scenery, with the Nundle plateau vista visible in the distance.  Parts of the drive passed through vast stands of Black Boy; I have never seen so many of them in one place.Grant Hampson_Karuah River_01Nov14_Compressed

Morning tea was a pleasant spot just off the side of the track, under some shady trees, and then we headed into Barrington Tops, towards Gummi Falls, stopping at Gummi campground to check out the Manning River – a pretty little spot; a few brave souls had a quick dip (I being less brave merely dipped a toe!). Continuing on, we looped around the north western side of the Barrington Tops, and descended Watergauge Track to a pretty little campsite on the side of the Manning River, surrounded by Broome in full glorious yellow bloom (yes I know it’s a weed, but it is pretty!), where we stopped for lunch and another swim (or in my case, the dipping of both toes, and the acquisition of a couple of leeches).  The river was flowing well, and the old water gauge, after which the campsite was named, is still there, albeit in somewhat dilapidated condition (as are the facilities – definitely a loo with a view).

Timo trip 3

From here, the trip was originally planned to head into Woko NP, but bush fires resulted in a change of plan, and we headed to Polblue campground instead.  This is a large, well maintained site, high in the Barrington Tops, overlooking the Polblue Swamp, which has an easily accessible walking track (approx 45 minutes to walk the full loop track).  The temperatures had dropped and the wind picked up by the time we made camp; wary of the predicted storms, everyone had their tents ‘back to the wind’ and well pegged down; guy ropes everywhere.  The campground has a large stone shelter that is great in such conditions, and would be even better if a fire could be lit in the hearth; however, total fire ban meant that was not an option.

Never the less we had a fine selection of drinks and nibbles for happy hour, and the early tea and bed as most of us had been awake since around 4am, and it was getting chilly.  Just after retiring to bed the rains arrived, beating down on our tents as we snuggled down to sleep.

The next morning was sunny, although a little chilly.  After breaking camp Faye and I had a quick walk, before we had to leave.  We headed down through the spectacular Rawdon Vale, taking a stunning little known track with amazing views (check out the photos on the club facebook page) that is used as a flood bypass route by locals, to reach Gloucester Tops, where we had a morning tea stop at the Gloucester River Campgrounds.  From here we drove towards Dungog, with several fords to cross we tried to see who could get water on the roof, and eventually descended towards Dungog on Terrible Billy Road.  An interesting, tricky little river crossing provided a challenge to be negotiated before lunch.

Timo Trip

Timo Trip 6

TC pulled out all the stops with the lunch time entertainment on this trip, providing a motorcycle stunt rider to demonstrate what happens when launching a motorcycle at the largest rock in the middle of the river.  Adam and Tappy thought it was real and dived in to the rescue the poor chap and his bike.  Top entertainment TC!

The trip then headed to the We Leaser, so that we could introduce the new club members to the excellent facilities at the Club Lease, before we aired up, said our goodbyes and headed home. Timo trip 5

An awesome trip, with a lot of last minute changes of plan due to the unpredictable weather and bush fires – great job TC and Faye J

Trip Report by Monica and Bob (FJ Cruiser)