Point Lookout and Cathedral Rock: Are some of the highest publicly accessible points in the area with commanding views out over the Cunnawarra Wilderness area towards Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, and the Dorrigo Plateau. Cathedral Rock is a half day walk to the summit (including a challenging scramble up the rocks to the top) whilst Point Lookout has walks ranging from 500m on sealed paths through to all day walks through dry rainforest that is part of the Gondwana World Heritage area.
Gara Gorge and The Blue hole waterfalls: Gara Gorge was the site of one of the earliest hydroelectric power schemes in the 1800’s that was intended to power Hillgrove. Gara Gorge has a 6km circular walk that will take you along the route of the hydroelectric scheme with some fantastic views out into gorge country.
Tia Falls: A picturesque picnic spot, just off the Oxley Highway, makes Tia Falls an ideal stop over on a long drive. Located on the south western edge of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, it is a great introduction to the rugged wilderness of the gorge country.
Apsley Falls: Apsley Falls is perched on the edge of the Great Escarpment, with impressive views of upper Apsley Gorge, some 85 kms for Armidale.
There are also a variety of back roads that can be taken to link places together, often well-maintained dirt roads, which can give sneak peeks into other areas of interest:
• Metz Gorge: which is accessed from the Waterfall Way and is linked to Hillgrove. From Chinaman’s Gully Road, there is viewpoint into the back of Hillgrove looking out over Bakers Creek.
• Bakers Creek Falls: Accessed either via the Old Hillgrove Road, or via Metz and Chinaman’s Gully, these falls are hidden away from the main road and are much smaller than the surrounding falls
• To the north of Waterfall Way there is an alternative route back via Kilcoy Road and Chandler Road that will bring you back into North Armidale.
We decided to take to the air in a helicopter to see the true majesty & grandeur of this vast rugged wilderness landscape after visiting the numerous waterfalls by car earlier.
Wow! Certainly, an incredible experience especially after the heavy rains that have fallen there recently.
I must admit that I fear heights especially as we were in a small Bell with no doors, but the exhilaration of seeing that incredible landscape with just a thin Perspex barrier between us & the ground below, soon had me enthralled & wanting more even despite the brewing storm that started to roll in mid-flight.
The trip can be done in a day but why not base yourself at Armidale & spend a few days exploring this incredible area that has so much on offer.
See more about the area here: