summary: With an FJCC christmas party near Newcastle I couldn't resist heading up to the Watagans for some pre-party camping.
date: 13th, 14th December 2013
region: Watagans National Park and Forestry area
distance: 680 kms
duration: 2 days, 2 nights
views: 2640


With an club christmas party planned for Swansea (near Newcastle) for Sunday, I couldnt resist taking a few days to check out The Watagans again. I hadn't been up that way in many years so I couldn't remember much about the area.

I set off early from work on Friday and headed for the Watagans National Park for the night. Travel time was a little less than I expected, and I managed to arrive with plenty of day light left, around 6:30pm. I decided to check out the Gap Creek and Bangalow camp grounds for the night. Both of the sites were easy to find, and had large flat areas to camp as well as toilet facilities. There was already campers at Gap Creek, so I threw my swag down at Bangalow.

The area would have been very peaceful if it were not for the overwhelming noise from the Ciccadas! These things were so loud it was actually painful on the ears.


I was up early in the morning, and with the Ciccadas still asleep, I packed up camp and headed down the road to do the Gap Creek Falls walk. It was only a couple of kms, but quite steep in places eventually leading down to a large open area with a small trickle of water falling over the cliff face. I could image that this would be quite spectacular after some rain fall, so is definitely on the list of places to see once this drought finally breaks!

Heading back up to the car was hard work, and after following the "Forest Walk" for a while, I decided the track was that overgrown that I was likely to get lost if I continued! So a warning to anyone trying that trail, it does not currently loop back to the carpark!

Eventually back at the car, I checked out the map and made a decision on what to do for the day.

I headed off down the trail with the plan of checking out a number of lookouts and campsites around the area so that I would have the best possible camp for Saturday night.

I checked out many sites, including Hunters Lookout, Macleans Lookout, Heatons Lookout, The Pines Forest Park, Muirs Lookout.

I eventually decided that Hunters Lookout would be the best site as it had amazing views to the North looking up the valley towards Newcastle.

So later in the afternoon, I doubled back to Hunters Lookout and settled in for the night. I was also fortunate enough to have good radio reception there so I was able to listen to the rest of the Ashes Test being played in Perth.


So today was the day for our FJ christmas party that Millsy had organised. I decided to drive back through The Watagans Forestry area along Watagans Forest road towards Wyong before getting back on the highway and heading into Swansea.

The location of the party was easy enough to find, but was extremely popular! There were thousands of people here all doing pretty much the same thing as us. We had a good turnout in the end, Nathan brought along his family, Craig was there, Noreen was there and Boris came along with his wife, daughter and neice. And with the weather gods shining on us, we were able to use the marquees to shade us from the burning sun rather than the forecast rain!

We finished up our BBQ/story telling abour 3:30pm and I hit the road again for the long drive home. Eventually getting back home by about 7:00pm.

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