Tag: Gunnedah

565. Sunday 6th August 2017. Looking for a big rock…

Monday 31st July

Today we leave Coonabarabran and head back to Port Macquarie via a different route. As the route would take us through Gunnedah we thought we would catch up with Tony’s brother but he had appointments which could not be broken. We also planned to catch up with my nephew Grant but we could not reach him either.

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Sunrise and on our way from Coonabarabran to Gunnedah.

So the route was through, Quirindi then on to Wallabadah.

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Clear flowing water at Wallabadah Creek.

Tony wanted to explore Wallabadah Rock or as it is also known “Rocks”. It seems this “rock is classified as the second largest monolith in the southern hemisphere. A quick Google search reveals there are several locations with rocks claiming to be the biggest or second biggest monolith in Australia. Semantics on how monoliths were formed etc aside, Wallabadah Rocks does win the title of second largest despite grudging acceptance by other contenders. Wallabadah Rocks is located entirely on private property. There is no National Park boundary within cooee so entry is by invitation only. Once more, Google came to the rescue, this time via Google Maps.

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No sense stopping at this Chilcott Creek farmhouse for directions. The sign said Keep Out. Love the old fireplace chimney though. Corrugated iron chimneys were common in the early days of opening up of land and building a house.

It got us to within a few Klms of the location but once again we came up against private property. Tony was able to throw around a few names of people he knew when he lived in the area. The farmer gave us permission to enter his property and general directions on how to reach a nearby hill from where we could get a good view.

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Wallabadah Rock (or Rocks depending on your location.

The Prado got us as far as it was possible to go before new growth, fallen trees, rocks, creek crossings and thick bush told us we had reached the end of the line.

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Come on Tony just a little bit further. A little bit further is about all we could take the car. From here it was up up up, boulder strewn, fallen trees and gullies. The Prado took us as far as it was able

Even hiking as far as we could go would still only give us a view of the monolith. There would be no hiking on Wallabadah Rocks today. The rainforests that snake up Wallabadah’s weather-formed gullies have never been studied by biologists, and earth scientists have only recently dated the plug of the extinct volcano at 45.5 million years. The rock would have been formed from molten material that cooled in the throat of the volcano. Still it was fun 4 wheel driving through the cattle property.

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Wallabadah Rock. It looks like sheer cliffs.
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Zoom in for a closer look. Those rock faces are actually millions of barrel size rocks. Very similar to the rock faces we saw at Bundellah Lookout on Coolah Tops which I wrote about last week. Not surprising they look similar. Although they are about 150 Klms apart as they crow flys they are both part of a chain of ancient volcanoes.
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Volcanic Erruptions in this area was 33 – 45 million years ago, The volcanic structures in Coolah Tops last errupted in that same time period as they are both part of the multiple volcanoes in the Liverpool Range.

Leaving the farm we joined the New England Highway near Murrurundi after driving along a back road – Chilcotts Creek Road – serving farms in the area. We continued to Singleton where once again we struck out through back roads, joining the Pacific Highway near Taree and on to Port Macquarie. It was a long day of driving having left Coonabarabran at 8.30am and arriving at Port Macquarie by 8.30 pm.