Eight magnificent parks join each other on the eastern edge of Australia’s Great Divide, between Glen Innes and Grafton, in the heart of New South Wales.  They have something for everyone, from World Heritage rainforests, woodlands and spectacular flowering heaths, to striking granite outcrops and steep escarpments along wild river gorges.  Each park is a good place for sightseeing, camping and bush-walking.

The Gibraltar Range National Park and Washpool National Park were awarded World Heritage status (as part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia) in 1986, when it was recognised as an area of  ‘outstanding value’ that must be conserved.  Other World Heritage areas include the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef and the Greater Blue Mountains of New South Wales.  The Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves form a chain of  ‘rainforest islands’ stretching from Barrington Tops through north-east NSW into south-east Queensland.  They protect thousands of special plants and animals living in these rainforests, including the biggest area of subtropical rainforest left in the world.

One of the viewing points we visited was Raspberry Lookout, but even though it had been a bright sunny day when we left where we are staying, by the time we climbed up to about 800 metres elevation, the valley below was shrouded in swirling mist.   The vistas changed by the minute allowing for some dramatic photos.

We walked along the World Heritage Walk, which is a marked walking track, deep into the forest.  We didn’t see any creatures whilst we were walking, but we heard the constant song from the many birds in the canopy.

Today’s excitement on our way home was a four foot lizard, who ran across the road in front of the car …safely, I might add!