Woko waters

Recently I made my first visit to the Woko National Park near Gloucester, New South Wales. I was tagging along with the Upper Hunter branch of the National Parks Association, which I’ve joined.

The camp site was perfect, flat and grassy and right beside the clear and fast flowing headwaters of the Manning River. You could just float on the current, or skim along — but avoid the rapids if you’re a wuss like me.

Others, like Alan, (pictured) even tackled the log jam run left after an obviously mighty flood.

A fair-sized goanna came to see what riverside picnic lunch leftovers were on offer, but raced up the nearest tree at our chattering attention. Once again, I marvelled at the intricacy and variety of the patterning of this ‘prehistoric’ creature; and just look at its blue chin and neck!

There was water of a far more gentle sort in the dry rainforest  behind the camp, with several small waterfalls.

These were places to stop and listen and look, as the water fell perpetually and lightly down the gully. No roaring or rushing majesty here, but peace.

A good place to sit and take a tea break, except for the need to be on the lookout for the many leeches seeking to begin their ascent up your leg! Spraying insect repellent on socks and boots seemed to help — although one still found its way up under my shirt.

Being used to leeches, the walk was well worth the risk. Some others didn’t think so.

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