Travel

Natural wonders of Clarence Valley

Rich history: The south-western side of the Clarence Gorge has been in the Winters family for 111 years and is a working cattle property. In recent years the gorge has become a tourist attraction. The property itself is 3364 hectares and fronts the Clarence River for about 10km. Yamba kayakers Mark and Sylvie Watson are dwarfed by the basalt cliffs that divide the Winters property.
Rich history: The south-western side of the Clarence Gorge has been in the Winters family for 111 years and is a working cattle property. In recent years the gorge has become a tourist attraction. The property itself is 3364 hectares and fronts the Clarence River for about 10km. Yamba kayakers Mark and Sylvie Watson are dwarfed by the basalt cliffs that divide the Winters property.

THE sense of nature, in its most ancient form, is palpable in the rugged cliffs and deep caverns of the Upper Clarence as four rivers flow downwards through the valleys of the Devil’s Fault Line mountains to converge on a place locals call The Junction.

Having spent two weeks kayaking and bushwalking the wondrous turns of our mighty river, I was left inspired by the sheer majesty of what we have on our doorstep – just one hour’s drive west of Grafton.

The Nymboida and Mann rivers from the south, Coombadjha from the west and the Clarence River from the north combine their journey with their land cousins, the mammoth granite boulders and forests, to lie on the fringe of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.

The Clarence Gorge, both the top and bottom sections, offers an extraordinary and diverse range of water and visual experiences.

Depending on the rainfall, the river flow can vary within hours while the scenery that envelopes this watery trail offers up a spectacular range of vistas.

The original custodians call their land Gumbainggin Country, while two long-time farming families, the Ibbotts and Winters, whose properties adjoin the Clarence at the Gorge, have working cattle stations with more than 5260 hectares between them.

Both have a huge responsibility of ensuring the legacy of Mother Nature is there for future generations to enjoy and value.

The Austen property (some 2023 hectares) overlooks The Junction from the west, as does the family’s namesake mountain, Mount Austen.

Like most things rural, time moves slowly for these families as their farms have been handed down through generations.

Kayaking in and around the Gorge is a gentle way in which to truly experience and feel the magic of this very special place.

Paddling with the flow of the river enables the kayaker to enjoy the majestic walls of granite, some of which tower up to 15 metres, and boulders that have seemingly been strategically placed as nature’s mixed media artworks

The river depth varies anywhere from one metre to nine metres on a normal flow.

There are a number of areas to camp, bushwalk, and if roughing it isn’t your preferred style, there are some more contemporary places to stay.

A new art gallery (Coombadjha Art) opened its doors to the public last year and there is horse riding to entertain and give a taste of the outback.

The natural health of the river is preserved as the Clarence floods give rise to the opportunity for the river system to flush and clean itself to maintain its quality for the life it supports both above and below its confines.



Commercial fishers get extension, but it makes no difference

Ballina trawler harbour.

Deadline extended for NSW fishers buying back into the industry

Sex attacker slapped with strict supervision upon release

Violent sex offender's life after jail no walk in the park

Boogie woogie beauty took the world by storm

The grave of Winifred Atwell  at the Memorial gardens at South Gundurimba.

Photo Jacklyn Wagner / The Northern Star

International star who wanted to be buried on the Northern Rivers

Local Partners

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

The dead help solve the case

Debut novel delivers on wit, violence and shock

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!