Thursday, July 27, 2006
New England Australia gorge country
In my last post I provided some references on the Country Party to support my historical analysis.
I was going to continue the historical theme, but an email from Nicole Payne (John Campbell Communication & Marketing - http://www.jccm.com.au/) reminded me that this blog is meant to be about the life and culture of New England, not just its history. Nicole's email contained some wonderful pictures of New England's gorge country plus some supporting information.
In previous posts (see Geography of New England: overview, Geography of New England: impact of Great Diving Range) I have spoken about the region's geography and especially the impact of the the Great Dividing Range and its rugged eastern edge on New England's life and history.
The fast flowing coastal rivers have cut huge gorges through the escarpment, some stretching into the centre of the New England Tablelands. This creates a varied mix of spectacular country including major national parks running from the Barrington Tops in the south up to the Queensland border.
These parks can be accessed from either the coastal valleys or from the various Tablelands cities and towns. Each place offers access to different types of spectacular country.
There is not space in this entry to provide complete information - that deserves a number of entries. However, two examples will give an initial taste.
At Walcha on the Southern New England Tablelands, Oxley Explorer offers tours using "okas", 4WD vehicles seating up to 13 people, of some of the most spectacular of the gorges east of Walcha including the Apsley Gorge of the World Heritage listed Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
Sixty four kilometres north of Walcha, the Central Tablelands city of Armidale offers access to another set of gorges. There Fleet Helicopters offers a number of helicopter tours across the local gorge country.
This includes Heli Adventure transport, a specialised service for independent travellers and groups who want to be dropped into rugged and wild country. Fleet Helicopters can provide transport, food and equipment drops for camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and fishing.