This is a half day circuit drive with a total distance of 77km of which approx 47km is gravel road suitable for 4 wheel drive vehicles with reasonable clearance. Pack a picnic basket, as you will travel through National Parks, forest and beautiful countryside with picnic areas, toilets, and lookouts. Experience bush walking and listen for the bellbirds or watch for colourful king parrots. There are camping areas available if you wish to stay overnight.
Duration: Half day from Mallanganee
- Mallanganee National Park
- Cambridge Plateau Rest Area
- Culmaran Creek Falls
- Peacock Creek Valley
From Mallanganee: Travel east along the Bruxner Highway climbing for 2km to the top of the Richmond Range. As you top the range, the signposted road to the right takes you to the Mallanganee Lookout with panoramic views of the Clarence Valley to the west and tributaries of the Richmond River to the east. Toilet, barbecue, and picnic facilities are available.
Below you is Mallanganee National Park, a unique area of World Heritage dry subtropical rainforest, with magnificent hoop pines. The reserve was once known as Cherry Tree, and at flowering time, you will be greeted with a view of pink lacebark blossoms.
Return to the Bruxner Highway, turn right, and continue east for 100metres before turning left into Cambridge Plateau Forest Road and head into the Richmond Range National Park. Occasionally, after severe weather, the road may be closed, so always obey all signs. The vistas that were seen at the Mallanganee Lookout continue as you drive for the next six kilometres through cleared country before entering the forested national park. The Richmond Range group of parks is one of the largest continuous protected areas on the east coast of New South Wales.
For the first few kilometres inside the park, you will travel through stands of dry hardwood dominated by a variety of spotted gum unique to the Richmond Range. Other species that grow on the dry ridge top are ironbark and grey box. Blue gum and rainforest species flourish in the moister gullies. About 3km inside the forest, the vegetation begins to change from moist eucalypt forest to luxuriant rainforest.
6km from the park entrance, you will come to the Cambridge Plateau Rest Area with tables, barbecues, toilets, tank water, and a lookout with easterly views of Mount Warning and beyond. Three walking tracks from this point include an easy 10-minute loop walk, a 2km rainforest track, and a medium-grade hike of 6km to the beautiful Culmaran Creek Falls.
The rainforest becomes more pronounced once you leave the rest area. Watch for staghorns, elkhorns, vines, and the ever amazing strangler figs, and tree specimens which have been signposted along the way, including 300-year-old ‘Old Spotty’ and ‘Spotty Junior,’ and rainforest species, white beech, booyong, and brown pine.
Before the road descends into Peacock Creek Valley, the forest opens to the east with a chance to admire the view overlooking Theresa Creek and Dyraaba. 20km from the rest area brings you to the junction with Peacock Creek Road. Turn left and travel 3km to the Peacock Creek camping and picnic area on your right, once an old camp used by forestry workers. Situated beside Peacock Creek with open grassy spaces, toilets, and barbecues, is a popular camping site and picnic area. Listen to bellbirds and watch for colourful king parrots. There is a self-registration system for overnight visitors.
Leaving the camping area, after 13km the Peacock Creek Road meets the Clarence Way. At the junction you may turn right for a 5 minute drive to Bonalbo, a town with shops, accommodation and fuel, or turn left to return to Mallanganee. After 16km the Clarence Way meets the Bruxner Highway at the locality of Sandilands, where you can stop and view the Peace Totems on your right. The rest area has toilets for the disabled and a regional map which puts your day’s journey into perspective. Turning left on the highway for 8km eastward will bring you back to Mallanganee where you began your journey.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service App provides park visitors with up to date information on park facilities, closures and bookings for camping sites. Available for Apple and Android devices https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/app