Fitzroy Falls, Morton National Park
Wind your way along the wooden boardwalk, through native bushland and past a gentle flowing creek deep in the heart of Morton National park, and soon you will arrive at a lookout to see water pounding its way off an escarpment, smashing and splashing over itself before falling down, down onto the rocks more than 80 metres below. This is Fitzroy Falls, and it’s a truly magnificent sight. Fitzroy Falls is located at the northern end of the Morton National Park in New South Wales. It forms where the Yarrunga Creek pours over the sandstone escarpment and after many lookouts were created in the park, the falls have become a popular destination. Close by, the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre provides information about the local history, wildlife and birdwatching in the area and can provide you with walking trails throughout the park. The Gundungurra people traditionally had numerous pathways and many reasons to travel through the park such as gathering seasonal food, hunting, trading and ceremonies. Along each route are landmarks which are part of sacred and non-sacred knowledge. Within Morton Park scarred trees occur throughout the area. Bark was carved from the trees by the aboriginals to mark useful resources such as coolamons and bark shelters. Coolamons were used to carry gathered food, they were also lined with soft bark and used to carry babies. The Gundungurra people continue to travel throughout Australia today. The national park is also home to many unusual native plants and animals. However one of the most common animals you will find here is the common wombat - often nicknamed ‘the bulldozer of the night’. The wombat is one of the largest burrowing animals in the world, building burrows on the sides of gullies. A main burrow can be up to 30metres long and several metres deep with many sleeping chambers. This helps to keep the wombats cool in summer and warm in winter. Some of the burrows are made just for resting. The larger burrows may be the work of several generations of wombats and can accommodate several family members if necessary. A wombat’s stubby powerful legs and sharp claws are great for digging. Female wombats have pouches facing backwards to stop dirt and twigs getting caught in the pouch whilst digging. Their diet consists mostly wombats of grass, roots, bark and fungi and their teeth keep growing throughout their lifetime! I wanted to explore more of the national park the next day and decided to stay at the Wog Wog Campground which is easy to drive to from the Fitzroy Falls. The campground is free and can be located using the Campermate travel app on your phone. There are barbeque facilities and toilets at the campground but no electricity or water, so campers must be well prepared! I was also hoping to catch a glimpse of a wombat come dusk and had my camera ready. I couldn’t believe it when a little fury thing, looking a lot like a baby bear, came scampering along the grass nearby. It looked so fluffy like you could just go over and scoop him up, except after hearing stories about a wombat’s behind being as tough as a steel plate, I just admired from afar and took some photos. The sky come evening time was awash with a thousand stars as I called it a night and headed to bed with the sounds of the burrowing creatures and creaking critters all around me sending me to sleep. Bookings for Wog Wog Campground are not needed. To park at Fitzroy Falls visitor centre is $4 per vehicle and provides a great base to explore the lush escarpment country of the Southern Highlands and Kangaroo Valley nearby. The national park is just a two-hours drive outside of Sydney.