Head for the hills and explore the remote wilderness of Carrai National Park.
1. Stay at the Daisy Plains Huts
These huts are owned and maintained by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and are surprisingly available to the public free of charge for camping and day-trip use.
With a kitchen hut, sleeping quarters hut and bathroom hut (complete with flushing toilet!), it’s quite a well-established spot to rest for the night, but be mindful it is first-in, first-served so don’t be surprised to see it busy with groups of explorers.
Originally, these huts were put here for the national park workers that frequented the area for maintenance to save the three-hour trip back to town each day. There are grassy areas where camper trailers and tents can be set up with ease amongst the tall timbers.
2. Visit Mary’s Lookout
Mary’s View is believed to be named after Mary Cochrane, the wife of an early settler and logger on the Carrai Plateau that was formed when a huge mass of molten lava welled in the earth, but slowly cooled to form what is known as a granite pluton.
This granite is younger than the surrounding sedimentary rocks and erodes more slowly, leaving a huge flat tableland surrounded by steep valleys.
Parking is at a premium at Mary’s; it can be tight if there are other cars around and just be warned: it is not advisable to tow a camper trailer here to the end of the track.
Once at the ‘car park’ it is a short 100m walk to the spectacular viewing area of Mary’s View. National Parks has done a great job here by installing safety barriers away from the 1000m drop below.
3. Discover Kookaburra
This long-forgotten town is the perfect spot to get out and stretch your legs, or stop and have a picnic lunch.
At 1000m above sea level and hidden away from the coast and major arterials, it’s almost impossible to believe this was once a busy hub.
Kookaburra was established in 1946 harvesting red cedar, rose wood and coachwood from the nearby forests where there were more than 30 men employed here until 1967 when the mill closed.
Spend some time checking out the boards depicting the mills working, complete with maps, old pics and interesting facts.