After surviving our night living on the set of Wolf Creek, we set off back into Springbrook National Park. In the park there is a 17km circuit walk that takes you along ridges, into valleys, past multiple waterfalls and (hopefully) back to where you started. As we drove into the park, the ominous clouds gathered, and the rains came down. After our experience in Binna Burra and the absolute drenching endured there, we both got a bit scared. Although the rain was not too heavy, the clouds were rolling and it was threatening to shit it down at any moment. This meant we unfortunately had to sack off our return to Springbrook, and decided to just cut our losses and make our way south down towards our final destination – Sydney.
We took to the highway and the heavens opened. We knew it was coming, but did not quite expect it to be this emphatic and unrelenting. For hours it bucketed down onto the highway, as the cars slowed and the wipers flapped incessantly. Thank the lord we didn’t embark on that 17km walk through Springbrook!
After battling the rains on the highway for hours, we finally found a camping spot in a field by a pub (again – this seems to be a recurring theme!) at a place called John’s River just off the Bruce Highway. The rain finally ceased, giving us time to pitch our tent, grab a pint and hit the hay ready for another, hopefully more successful day!
We awoke to a much clearer day. Our aim for the day was to get into Barrington Tops National Park. As it turned out this was another absolute failure in the making. The road into Barrington Tops from Gloucester was absolute dog shit, and in no mood for having to fork out for any more repairs before selling our beloved car (which needed to be sold very soon) we turned back. The Barrington Tops road is 100km of rugged, corrugated, unsealed track – this is no place for a lowly 2WD wagon. Instead of exploring Barrington Tops we stopped at the much more accessible Copeland Reserve taking on a modest 8km walk along the Hidden Treasure trail to an old gold mine – a wild and very steep ascent, but really nice to actually do something, instead of just running away from the shitty New South Wales weather.
Our next, and final destination before hitting our end-point in Sydney, was to visit the Blue Mountains National Park. But before we could get there we had to overnight at a campsite en route. After searching for a while we found the Grey Gums International Café, which had a free campsite in its grounds. It looked ideal, it was on the way to the Blue Mountains and only a few hours drive away. Little did we know, it would be more eventful that first anticipated…
Before we could even reach Grey Gums we got pulled over by some dickhead driving a police car. I think he may have been a police officer… So, apparently the bike rack, which I have had strapped in the same way for the whole duration of my trip, through 5 Australian states, was illegal. He was quick to pick up on the fact that the wheels of the bikes partially cover the lights on each side of the vehicle. I protested and said that I had had no issues from other police officers and that my signals were still clear. He proposed the argument that (and quote) “If I was blind or visually impaired, I may not be able to see your indicator or brake lights and may cause an accident”. Sorry, but if you were blind, surely you would not be driving. Anyway, he was a right jobsworth. $108 fine… not too bad considering he told me that it could have been up to $1000 fine if I had not been/come across genuine and if he was not in a “good mood”.
After finally arriving at Grey Gums after my chance meeting with that legend, we set up camp. The evening was cold, one of the coldest we have experienced, but extra blankets and hot water bottles at the ready, we made it through. In the morning we rose to find the tent encrusted with ice, the car doors frozen shut, the windscreen completely iced over and an unrelenting chill in the air. As the ice thawed and our fingers and toes came back to life, we noticed the windscreen had developed a 10 inch crack across the middle. Just days before we wanted to sell the car, this was far from ideal!
Fuck it, onwards to the Blue Mountains, then to an Auto Glass shop to get a new windscreen…