We accidentally woke up a little later than planned, but none the less I was excited to jump out of bed and start my instagram takeover for Wild Tasmania and Co! First stop Kickaboom, one of my favourite local spots for coffee. With my coffee in hand we’re finally making tracks to the other side of the mountains.
Along the winding road I constantly said over and over “WOOOOOW” my mind was blown by how lush, beautiful and untouched this side was compared to where I currently live, which it is quite ‘touristy’ on weekends.
I yelled out to Pat who was driving ‘THAT’S MOUNT BANKS!’ but we didn’t have time to quickly pull over but very shortly after I yelled out again ‘STOP HERE’ as I saw a parks sign and noticed it was for Pierces Pass which is on my ‘to explore list’ as well as Mt Banks if you couldn’t tell. We drove up to the start of The Walls Lookout, I was so excited that I ran! I saw one couple walking back on the little bush hike and I secretly loved that, feeling like I might be able to run a muck and take in the beauty of the land as much as possible. I honestly can’t believe that NSW Parks don’t have much information for this side of the Blue Mountains, it’s sooo beautiful that you have to witness in person yourself! If you’ve ever hiked around with me you know I like sticking to the paths but also love having no fences and feeling free to roam.
We headed back to the car excited to explore more of what this side of the mountains has to offer.
Next stop, Cathedral of ferns! this place is so ridiculously lush! I can not wait to come back again to shoot some digital shots (I’ll be back asap!). After a quick walk and drive around such green and gorgeous roads we headed to our last stop for the day to beat the sun going down! We quickly stopped into Lithgow as I didn’t trust that Maps was taking us to the right spot, trust your gut guys! The people at Lithgow information centre gave us some paperwork that showed us the correct way to Newnes Campground!! I have wanted to go to Newnes Campground for THREE PLUS years! I found out about this amazing spot just before I moved to Melbourne and was so bummed that I never had gone, but I finally made it! The drive into the campground was spectacular, like i mean SPECTACULAR. Pat and I have both previously have had kangaroo’s jump out of no where and hit our cars before so we were both extremely on edge as there were a tonne of them jumping around along side the road, thankfully these cuties seemed to have known to jump away from the road when they saw a car coming. We made it to the campground after 36kms of my anxiety levels peaking and we both felt sooo relieved to have made it, we felt like we never were going to make it there safe.
We parked Rhonda next to a fire pit and jumped out to start collecting sticks and wood for the fire as we knew we were in for a chilly night. Unfortunately we had no timber so I offered a couple that were nearby some cash for exchange of some firewood (I could see they were well and truly loaded up with fire wood). The gentleman was so unbelievably kind and gave us a bunch of kindling and a log for our fire, he refused to take my money and I couldn’t thank him enough for his kindness and generosity. I promised myself that I’ll always take enough firewood so in future if someone asks me for some I can pass on the generosity.
I grabbed out all our food and cooking gear to cook up some gnocchi to eat for dinner with a glass of red wine by our little camp fire. There’s only been one other time when I’ve seen as many stars sparkle in the sky, so breathtaking! After dinner we cleaned up and cozzied up around our fire until it slowly died out. With our bellies full and our bodies all nice and warm we jumped into the back of Rhonda and set up our sleeping mats, bags, and pillows.
The entire campground was still and foggy it felt like I was the first awake. I was dying to jump out of my sleeping bag to see the mountains that surrounded us. This camping ground was worth the 3 year wait. One by one everyone slowly started to move around their site. Pat went out to look for more wood for us to burn and whilst he was out I started to make breakfast. My body was ready for a cheeky aeropress coffee along with some porridge to warm up our bodies. We decided to have a slow morning so we didn’t have to go through another dreaded 36km drive with kangaroos.
With the car packed we left the unforgettable site, we came across such a cute wombat which melted my heart. We decided to change our plan and instead of heading back the quickest way home we went back the way we came.
..so we could stop of at Mt Banks! The drive seemed fairly fast to the start of the walking track, we originally thought the walk was going to be 2hrs one way as I was told by someone previously but the walk was surprisingly quick! 1.5hrs return makes for a happy sleepy Erin. The view was beautiful as is everywhere along the entire Bells line of road.
And of course I couldn’t not pick up a family sized apple pie and apple juice when driving through Bilpin, an absolute must :D!