Our great outdoors provides a wide range of nature experiences from a bird lovers paradise to Aboriginal rock art, from picturesque picnic areas to rewarding bush walks. Lap it up and enjoy it all.
PUTTA BUCCA WETLANDS
Located off Putta Bucca road just north of Mudgee, this waterbird paradise exhibits a wide range of flora and fauna. Easily accessed with a parking area and includes an easy 2km walk and two newly built birdhides. This is a recreational area for birdwatching, bicycle riding, fishing and walking.
‘The Drip’ is a towering sandstone cliff-face adorned with weeping grasses + ferns and dripping clear spring water into the river below (and a local favourite). “The Drip” picnic area is situated 50 km (30 mins) north of Mudgee on the Cassilis Rd (37km from Gulgong) + 10km past the village of Ulan. Turn right straight after the white cement bridge. Please note, no animals allowed.
The Drip Walking Track
Walkers need to wear sturdy shoes and be of average fitness. The track length is approx 1.5km (20 minutes) each way.
The track begins at the Northern side of the parking area, near the 2nd BBQ and follows a cliff face adjacent to the Goulburn River. Proceed past the 3rd BBQ and over a foot bridge. Follow the rock face and cross over a tumble of rocks. Further down the track you come to a watercourse (Curra Creek). Cross over the creek and follow the path through ferns eventually crossing a dry watercourse. The track passes between a large rock on your right and a cliff face on your left. Look for the rock orchids and a small spreading fern with round succulent leaves. The track veers close to the river eventually dropping down onto the sand, passing through a hollowed arch rock. 100m after the arch on the opposite bank a rock overhang contains a Brett Whitley mural done in 1970 by the famous artist. A sign indicates a sharp left turn back to the cliff face. Follow the track at the base of the cliff line until it ends. Cross over a grassy bank. A sharp turn on the left brings you to the beginning of the Drip. The river flows over a rock platform at the base of an overhanging cliff face, dripping clear spring water.
HANDS ON ROCK
These stencils of hands were made by the Wiradjuri people who occupied most of the central west of what is now New South Wales, and were one of the largest of Aboriginal language groups. This heritage site is about 12km east of Ulan and 2km on the left hand side past the entrance to ‘The Drip’ (see above). To get there, turn left off the Ulan-Cassilis Road at the Bobadeen Road sign, turn sharp left again, and drive 500 metres to the car park.
The ‘Hands on Rock’ site is 600m from the car park. The path has a few roots across it, but is otherwise easy for about 400 metres; then it slopes up steadily to the rock cliffs. There are steps along the way, but some loose stones towards the end of the path require a little care, particularly on the way down. One of the features of the walk is the relatively unspoilt forest that surrounds the area. It is typical of the vegetation that once covered this part of the ranges. Please treat this area with care and respect. A viewing platform has been built, and visitors are asked not to leave it or the walking path.
This reserve protects an area of unique rainforest and western plant communities. The track to Ferntree Gully turns off from Bylong Valley Way 17km from Rylstone. It is a further 3 km on an unsealed track to the picnic area and start of walk. There are a number of walking tracks at Ferntree Gully that take you down into the cool narrow ferntree-studded valley floor, and/or around the top edge of the rocks where you can get an overview of the valley and the unusual rock formations on either side.
Allow a minimum of one hour to do the loop walk and longer if you linger to enjoy the rock formations, ferns and orchids along the way. Take food and water. The walk through the gully, returning via the top track system, requires a reasonable degree of fitness. There is some scrambling over rocks and some quite steep ascents and descents on the steps leading into and out of the gully. A damp section of the gully containing many tree ferns is accessible via a short boardwalk which allows comfortable access while protecting this sensitive part of the Reserve.
Just 19 km south-west of Rylstone on the Cudgegong River in the Cudgegong Valley, and worth a visit for fishing, watersports, camping and caravanning. Fun Fact : Windamere Dam offers some heart-stopping moments for anglers seeking Murray cod, silver perch and catfish. However, it’s the thrill of catching Windamere’s golden perch that have the fishing fanatics excited.