Australia has an abundance of awesome national parks to explore. Some of them are so vast that you need weeks to get the most out of them, but Wadbilliga is the perfect little beauty to explore when you only have 1-2 days. It’s probably one of the lesser known national parks around, but it’s absolutely stunning.
Depending on what direction you’re coming from, you can access the park from Tuross Road, Tuross Falls access or Bourkes Road (see this link for more info on getting there https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/wadbilliga-national-park/visitor-info). We entered via Tuross Road, which takes you through some private property before entering the park. Via this entry road, there would’ve been a great river crossing if not for the drought. Unfortunately the river was so dry, it was more of a puddle crossing.
We’d read online that Wadbilliga Road drive was a medium grade 4WD track. However, we were pretty disappointed how easy it was. It may be slightly more challenging if the river hadn’t been dried up, as there were plenty of opportunities for river crossings throughout the drive. So, I wouldn't bother visiting if it’s an action packed 4WD you’re looking for.
The beginning of the drive is dirt road inclining up into the bush and it’s quite pretty. But then you begin to descend down into the valley, these views are STUNNING. There are all these amazing ferns and it felt like a dinosaur would walk out of the bushes at any moment. As you’re winding down the side of the mountain you have a gorgeous view of the valley below, and other rocky mountains. So while the drive isn’t really a hectic 4X4, it’s worth a visit for the scenery!
Once you reach the bottom, there’s a clearing with a picnic table, a fire pit and a toilet. Part of the river also runs through this area, and it’s a nice place to stop for a picnic. We stopped and had some snacks and a cold one from our eski. We could hear all the beautiful sounds of the river and so many birds!
We kept driving, and while it was a pleasant drive, we were keeping our eye out for tracks to try that come off the main road. We didn’t find any unfortunately, we did however see plenty of wild life! We saw a couple of goanna’s and a brown snake sunbaking in the middle of the road. There were loads of Wallabies and birds around too. So if you’re keen on checking out some native Australian wildlife, this is a great place to do it. I read as well that you might see a platypus in the river, but we weren’t so lucky this trip! Did you know, Goanna’s represent an important food source for many Aboriginal Peoples. They are tracked to their burrows and dug out with a digging stick.
Eventually we reached Cascades Campground, which was nice and secluded, surrounded by tall trees. There are only 6 campsites there, which means it’s an intimate space. It’s right next to Tuross river, and from the campground you can reach Tuross falls hiking trail if that’s your thing. We didn’t have time to camp overnight or do the walking trail, but we’ll definitely make time to go there again. It would be beautiful after some rain.
Once we were done at Wadbilliga, we drove on to Mystery Bay, which is only a 30 minute drive away. We wanted to check it out as we’ve been thinking of going there for a while now! It was beautiful and definitely worth a visit. If you have enough time I would highly recommend camping there, as the campground is massive, right on the beach, and set in beautiful bushland.
After, we had a late lunch at Tilba Valley Winery & Ale House. I would definitely recommend if you’re ever around that area! Food was grand, and the rosè was divine. After that, it was time to do the 3 hour drive home. We ended up with a flat tire which was a pain at the end of a such long day (the chain that lowers our spare tire jammed and then the tool you use to lower that broke). But we got home in the end after a brilliant day of exploring!