State Forests of the Lower Barrington Tops can be found in Chichester State Forest. Chichester is divided into two distinct areas, the western side centred on the Allyn River and the eastern side centred on the Telegherry River. These two sides of the state forest are a good 90 minute drive from each other. So if your planning to drop by both of them on the same day then plan for a significant drive as well.
Address: Chichester State Forest West (Allyn River) Allyn River road, Upper Allyn.
Address: Chichester State Forest West (Telegherry River) Frying Pan road, Upper Karuah River.
Distance On the Telegherry River Side there was a rather beautiful walk along Problem creek to Problem Creek falls. No more then 2km each way I would think. The return Journey took me about 90 minutes. I would rate it as a Medium difficulty track. Easy enough to follow and in good condition. A little steep in places but not hard. The track commences at the far end of Frying Pan Camping area. On the Allyn River Side there was a Loop walk through the rain forest starting and ending at the Peach Tree camp site. This was a very easy walk that took about 20 minutes, if that.
Traffic was a bit of a cow… but like, not really. I don’t believe I seen a single car on the last half hour of my journey. A ton of cows, who all seemed to know how to handle traffic. (Actually if I’m completely honest, they seemed to have a lot more road sense then Buffy) There were a few Kangaroos and an Echidna also. The road was narrow and mostly gravel but also seemed rather well taken care of and pothole free.
I was still driving around, exploring and trying to get my bearings. I came across the rather ethereal looking Gunyah Hut campground. There is a beautiful flat four wheel drive track at the back that we walked along for about 30 minutes before returning to the car. Not quite sure where this goes. The map seems to show it just ending in the middle of the forest somewhere.
So wet dog and human back in the car for a quick drive back to Old Camp to start exploring the small trails behind the campsite. There is a ten minute walk through some very lush and green rain forest that follows the Allyn river.
The Allyn River could very well be the most picturesque river I have ever seen. Beautiful large black rocks with water cascading over them, large looming cliffs and plenty of greenery everywhere.
A little bit further up the river is the very popular Ladies Well. A beautiful waterfall dropping down into a deep waterhole.
In the summer it will be full of brave humans jumping off the rocks and into the basin below while the less brave sun themselves and watch.
Wet and now muddy dog is put back in to the car and I drive a little further up the road, maybe half way between Ladies Well and White rock Campground and stop where I see a cement slab on the river side of the road and a walking track near it.
Another stunning section on the river. This one had some fast running water and a lot of little falls. It put me in mind of riding tyre inner tubes down rivers as a child. It looks like just the place to do it, or you could just sit and chill in the spa like cascades if you were less adventurous.
At Peach Tree campground on the Allyn River is the Rainforest walk, a short loop walk through some rather amazing rain forest. Soaring trees, massive vines and huge mossy rocks make it look just like those rain forests you see in the scary movies where the woman out hiking alone with her border collie never makes it home..
But never mind that. I found these phenomenal Rock Orchids in flower during the walk.
So back in the car again with my wet and muddy dog. It is a 90 minute trip to the telegherry river.. More cows, a couple of sheep and a horse this time. What looked like a fast moving wallaby and this cute little fellow that I had to pick up and move off of the road. Apparently removing turtles or orchids from state forests is an offense and you can get in quite a lot of trouble for it. I checked.. just out of curiosity.
We parked at the Frying Pan camping area and I see a sign indicating a walk to Problem Creek Falls. Sweet!
The walk is easy and clear to follow, there are a couple of bits of ribbon left there to make it even more certain. It is a little steep in a couple of sections but really nothing too difficult and will take about 45 minutes each way.
A lot of the time it stays close to the creek making it a super pretty walk.
The falls themselves were a little dissapointing. Though in a very pretty ampitheatre type area, there was barely a trickle of water. I have since seen pictures of the falls when we are not in drought conditions and this entire ampitheatre is full of water. Still it was a nice walk. Time to put the wet and muddy dog back in the car and head home 🙂