The Guy Fawkes National Park- it’s what everyone on the National Trail looks forward to, brags about, or asks about. It has provided fodder for many a campfire story, and the very name is pretty much synonymous with the National Trail itself. The four-day trip along the gorge is meant to be absolutely stunning, with crystal clear water in the river and wild brumbies to be seen.
So taking all this into account, it seems rather ridiculous that of all the parts on the National Trail, this is the one that I chose to skip. Why? It is also very remote. It also involves many river crossings. Although we had just come out of the Kunderang and aced all our river crossing, I just didn’t want to push our luck in the Guy Fawkes, especially travelling with a child. The water levels only need to be mid-thigh before little Jasmine becomes buoyant, and there was rain expected.
So out came the maps and thus our ‘Guy Fawkes detour’ idea was born. Luckily we had a friend and vehicle to check it all out with and do a reconnaissance trip.
A few days later, with animals in tow, we successfully made our way along the ridge and around Chaelundi state forest to emerge at the beautiful little ghost town of Dalmorton, on the Boyd River. This has to be one of my favourite places so far, even though funnily enough it is not actually on the National Trail.
Another two days of riding along the historically-rich Old Grafton- Glenn Innes road brought us to Newton Boyd, where we connected back up with the National Trail again. Our little detour added 20 or so extra kilometres but it was fairly easy-going, non-eventful and relaxing- just what we needed at the time.
And although I’m sure it’s nowhere near as spectacular as th Guy Fawkes gorge, we did get to go through this spiffy little historic tunnel, all dug out with pickaxes by convicts. The walls are littered with graffiti, some of it even dating back to the 1800s. Z was most impressed that someone had even managed to string thongs from the ceiling. The things people do!