The Oxley Wild Rivers National Park on our tablelands has spectacular gorges, and usually equally spectacular waterfalls, although the drought has rendered most of the latter mere long narrow threads of water, if even visible.
My first glimpse was from Long Point campground, a small and satisfyingly empty one at the end of a long dirt road.
The Cassinia Walk passed along the edge of the gorge, through a literal forest of these tall plants, which were mostly not flowering yet. I don’t know which Cassinia they are, as the ranger I asked said they were weeds…
The other thing I asked about was the name of these trees, with their dramatically mottled bark. I was told they were Spotted Blue Gum, which I can’t find, and, given the Cassinia mislead, I can’t trust. But it would seem that Spotted Gums themselves do sometimes have such large blotches.
My next camp was at Wollomombi Falls. Stranded pools could be seen way down below.
The ‘Falls’ were barely running enough to fall.
The creek that fed them was as weedy as watery.
A very beautiful wattle, indigenous to these gorges, was in bloom everywhere here: Gorge Wattle, (Acacia ingramii).
As always, I found the lichen bedecking dead shrubs to be as attractive as any flowers.
When lichen lies along a branch like a hoary basking lizard, I am entranced…