Tuesday, March 26, 2013
It is with reluctance that I blog about this place - I'd like it to remain a secret! Cranky Rock Nature Reserve is about 8k east of Warialda, and it has everything: giant boulders tumbled into fantastic balancing acts by ancient volcanic action; interesting flora including the wonderful Tumbledown Gum (Angophora leiocarpa) which is the source of the dark, richly flavoured honey the area is famous for; regular sightings of the Dulgar or Hairy Man of Aboriginal legend, also known as the Yowie; a deep clear swimming hole; kilometres of interesting walks; a lively legend that involves Cranky Chinamen and murdered widows, its contradiction by history not lessening its popular appeal; well mapped and signposted birding routes; kangaroos and possums up close; and an abundance of birds. On top of all this it allows leashed dogs in the camping area and on the trails.
Originally only going to stay a day or two, we ended up staying for four days, with at most one or two other campers. While many birds were seen from my tent, including Little Friarbirds, the drive along Mosquito Creek Road to Pallamallawa produced some highlights including Pale-headed Rosellas, Budgerigars, Banded Lapwing and White-winged Fairywrens.