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1300 136 559


The houseboats and hire craft on Myall River at Bulahdelah

Pleasant town which is a major access point for the Myall Lakes
Located 242 km north of Sydney and 98 km north of Newcastle on the Pacific Highway, Bulahdelah is a pleasant town with a population of 1100 and an elevation of only 10 m. In recent times it has become a popular departure point for an exploration of the area's many state forests (still a major source of timber for the local mills) and the Myall Lakes which lie to the south.

'Bulahdelah' derives from the language of the Worimi Aborigines who occupied the area before white settlement. It is thought to mean 'meeting place of two rivers'. John Oxley gave the name to the mountain which looms to the east in 1818 and it was later transferred to the township.

Known locally as Alum Mountain it was once an important source of the mineral alunite used as a fertiliser and in the textile industry. The mining, which took place between 1878 and 1950, has left its legacy in the form of the mountain's present profile, the regrowth forest on the western face and the abandoned quarry sites which can still be seen. The area around the mountain has been declared a state forest reserve called Bulahdelah Mountain Forest Park.

People wanting to spend a day mooching around the Bulahdelah area (and with the forests and the beautiful Myall Lakes it is easy to do) should visit the town park where there is a placard listing all the region's attractions and providing a good map showing how to get to the various places. The Plough Inn Hotel in Stroud St also functions as a supplementary tourist information centre. The Bulahdelah Show and Rodeo is held each November and a popular fishing festival, The Bass Bash, on the last weekend of October. A market is held on the first Saturday of the month at the Plough Inn.

Things to see:   


The Court House

Bulahdelah Court House
The town's one building of real historic interest is the old courthouse (1886) on a hill to the east of town overlooking the Myall River. It has. recently been repainted and restored as a museum. The cells out the back are worth a visit. They are remarkably salubrious and spacious. The museum is open Saturdays or by appointment, tel: (02) 6597 4838.


Myall Lakes National Park
If you are coming from the south, cross the bridge, take the first right into Crawford St and it is clearly visible on the corner with Anne St, which takes you the 15 km (mostly on very bad dirt road) out to Myall Shores private caravan park, Bombah Point and the ferry across The Broadwater to Mungo Brush, all within the beautiful Myall Lakes National Park, a 31 562-ha reserve which combines long beaches, fresh and salt-water lakes, swamps and rugged headlands (see the entry on Myall Lakes for greater detail). The branch road to the Korsmans Landing campground is to your left 11.5 km from the courthouse. The ferry operates every half hour from 8.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.


Boating Holidays
Not surprisingly boating holidays are popular in this area. There are houseboats and yachts for hire, as well as cruises of the river and the Myall Lakes. Just follow Crawford St past Anne St down the hill to the rivers' edge. To access the natural boat ramp and picnic spot on the western side of the bridge turn off the highway to your left just before you reach the bridge, if you are coming from the south. The river is a good spot to catch bream, blackfish and perch.


Bulahdelah Mountain Forest Park
Access to Bulahdelah Mountain Forest Park is via Meade St, the third right north of the bridge. At the end of this road is the State Forestry Commission District Office, tel: (02) 4997 4206. It is worth a visit as they can furnish maps and a range of pamphlets containing information about the state forests in the area and outlining drives and walking trails.

Just past the office is the entrance to the picnic grounds at the base of the mountain. There are information boards, as well as picnic, barbecue, toilet and children's play facilities. The Twin Dams Nature Trail heads off from here on a 650-metre ramble through swamp forest, moist and dry eucalypt forest and small pockets of rainforest above Twin Dams, which were built for the alunite mining c.1880.

The picnic area was once an alunite stockpile site. The ore was transported down the mountain by cable-operated carriers. A tram line then took skip trucks along Church St to the river where it was loaded on barges.

A narrow, steep and rocky road (1.5 km) leads from the picnic area at the base of the mountain. At the road's end you will notice what appear to be two trails heading off into the bush, a set of concrete steps near the information board and another trail on the other side of the picnic spot. The two trails join up to form one short track which will take you to the old Tunnel Quarry site.

The concrete steps are a good spot to start the Alunite Trail. They lead up to a track which takes you past the Kimberley Quarry and Ladysmith Quarry sites. Follow the path to the Big Quarry site where there is a lookout which faces west. The view over Bulahdelah is excellent. When you return to Ladysmith Quarry, follow the steps down the hill to the fence. The track which heads down the mountain is the old tramway. It leads down to the lower picnic area. The track to your left will take you back to the upper picnic site. The whole walk is about 40 minutes return.

Another enjoyable track is the Ted Baker Walk which has views down the coast to Broughton Island, Yacaaba Head and Tomaree Head.


Other Forest Walks
South of Bulahdelah is Nerong State Forest a haven for local wildlife as the surrounding area is cleared for pastoral usage. West of town are Renwick State Forest and Myall River State Forest. All three can be approached off the road to Booral.

The Myall Forest is a mountainous reserve which incorporates Cabbage Tree Mountain, the tallest local peak at 660 m, the Strike-a Light Campsite, the remains of the old Blueberry Mill and the Tallowwood Forest Park, where there is a picnic-barbecue site and the 30-minute Carabeen Walk through rainforest gullies.


Attractions north of the Town
Stoney Creek Rd weaves its way through the Bulahdelah Forest joining up with The Lakes Way. There is a signpost inviting you to drive the 6 km to the 'Grandis' a huge, 400-year-old flooded gum (Eucalyptus grandis) which, at a height of 76 metres, is said to be the tallest tree in New South Wales.

If you continue to follow the increasingly steep highway north towards Taree after 1 km you will come to Wang Wauk Forest Way on your left. It will take you into the Bulahdelah and Wang Wauk State Forests (18 800 ha). Forest Drive signs will direct you to Shortys Camp (5 km) and the old trestle bridge where there are picnic, barbecue and toilet facilities.

Just beyond the Wang Wauk Way turnoff is a short side-road to the left (signposted on your right) which will lead you into the O'Sullivans Gap Flora Reserve rest area. Amenities are provided and an information board indicates a half-hour (1.25-km) walking trail through some truly beautiful and untouched rainforest.

Another way of accessing the trestle bridge is by taking the scenic 6-km walk along the old tramway route west of Wootton. As you pass the houses adjacent the highway at Wootton the road climbs a hill then veers sharply to the left.


Wootton Historical Railway Walk
9.8 km from the Flora Reserve rest area, is a small sign denoting "Wootton Historical Railway Walk". The light railway was constructed in 1890 to cart timber from the forests to the Coolongolook River and to Mayers Point on Lake Myall where it was placed on punts. The wood was used in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Melbourne docks. Logging began in the Bulahdelah forests as early as the 1820s. Bullock trains were first used. They were changed for a tramline, initially horse-drawn but later pulled by steam locomotive.

4.4 km along Squires Rd is an intersection and an information board. Bangalow Rd, to your left, heads back to the highway 4 km south of the Squires Rd turnoff. Continuing along what is now Worths Creek Rd, 500 m will bring you to Sams Camp picnic area where a little letterbox has pamphlets outlining the walk. A little post with a red plaque and white train symbol indicates the start of the 6-km trek. The Forestry Department's Wang Wauk Forest Drive is another way of exploring this whole area.


The Lakes Way
Another major road associated with Bulahdelah is The Lakes Way which will take you east through some delightful scenery out to the coast, around the lakes, north to Forster and back to the highway a little south of Taree. The Lakes Way can be accessed by heading 1.8 km north from the hill at the northern end of Bulahdelah. It will take you down to a major campground within Myall Lakes National Park. 7.6 km along The Lakes Way is the other end of Stoney Creek Rd which leads the 5 km to the 'Grandis'. 23.5 km along The Lakes Way is the pretty little village of Bungwahl. At its eastern edge is the Seal Rocks turnoff (see Seal Rocks).


Sugar Creek Toymakers
2.5 km beyond Seal Rocks Rd (27.9 km east of the Pacific Highway) you will come to Sugar Creek Rd which is on your left, clearly signified by a large, attractive sign advertising Sugar Creek Toymakers, who specialise in exquisitely crafted wooden toys. All of the toys are hand-made on the premises, some of local corduroy beech (one tree lasts them 7 or 8 years). There is also a little luncheon section that is tasteful, clean, and tidy.


Wallingat State Forest
This road leads into Wallingat State Forest which covers the area east of the Wallingat River and west of Lake Wallis. A series of blue arrows with a white leaf inset on white circular discs indicate the route of the Wallingat Forest Drive (25 km), as outlined in an accompanying pamphlet which directs you to the sites of greatest interest, including the Sugar Creek Flora Reserve (7 km) and Wallingat River Forest Park (10 km) which has a campsite and picnic area. There was formerly a small community in the vicinity of the latter which supplied timber for the punts headed upriver to timber mills at Coolongolook and Tuncurry (1855-1954). The picnic area was once a log dump and the camping area a bullock pen.

At the Sugar Creek Flora Reserve is a picnic area and a rather beautiful 30-minute walking trail. It is well worth investigating the Whoota Whoota Lookout (15 km) which is also indicated on the Forest Drive pamphlet. There are outstanding views over Wallis Lake and south-east down to Hawks Nest and the offshore islands.

The park's birdlife is prolific and includes rare species such as the little tern, the sea eagle and the wampoo pidgeon. There are also bandicoots, kangaroos, koalas, tiger cats, possums, wallabies and gliders. A warning however, the road is unsealed, rough and hopeless when wet.


Coomba Bay
Continue for 7 km along The Lakes Way and you will come to a turnoff to the left into Coomba Rd which runs around the western shore of Wallis Lake up to the boat ramp and picnic area at Coomba Park, a farming district adjacent the rural tranquillity of Coomba Bay (22 km).



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Phone: 1300 136 559

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