Comboyne Picnic

12 August 2019 / Words and photos by John Hansen

Tuesday 6th August found a small but enthusiastic group of MX-5s with their owners assemble outside ‘Oliver’s’ at the Port Macquarie Service Centre for a picnic lunch run. The day was a perfect driving day with just a few squiggles of clouds against a light blue sky and brilliant sunshine to warm us up. The day could be considered a perfect spring day except that this was supposedly the middle of winter. however, we would not complain. Peter was run leader in his black NB, with Pam and Allen in their red ND, Greg in his grey GT RF limited and John in a grey NC completed the group.

Our first stop was the ‘Abundance Cafe’ at Sancrox for morning tea and/or breakfast for some of us. We followed the Oxley Highway to the recently completed turn off onto the Rawdon Island Road for the short drive through farmland to the ‘Abundance Cafe’ at Sancrox. The cafe overlooks a large pond with floating water lilies complete with water hens and the occasional tortoise. Even though the water levels were low, the sunlight glinting off the water provided a picturesque backdrop. We managed to solve the world’s problems over some delicious bacon and egg rolls and various delicacies, whilst taking advantage of relaxing in the warming sunlight. Eventually it was time to move on and we enjoyed looking at the garden centre as we sauntered back to our cars. Greg had to leave us and so three of our cars were left to tackle the rest of the expedition.

We retraced our steps and turned right onto the Oxley Highway appreciating the improved sight lines on what was regarded as a rather notorious blind spot intersection. The road surface through Spencers Cutting is now quite smooth and we were soon at Wauchope. In seemingly no time we had passed through Huntingdon and were at the Comboyne Road turn off. Fortunately, there was no traffic in front of us which added to the enjoyment of the twisty windy road right up to the top of the Comboyne Plateau. The countryside along the valley had lost its overall green look however the views still looked spectacular as we looked towards the hinterland and then it was time to really concentrate on the road after the small township of Byabarra, as it snaked around the tight 25 kph corners with quite a drop off the side to heighten the experience. The countryside changed as did the temperature when we arrived at Comboyne; there were many more patches of green and a quite a drop in the ambient temperature of a few degrees. We passed through Comboyne itself and followed the road to the Boorganna nature reserve. The track from the road to the actual nature reserve is dirt with some loose gravel in the road ruts which threatened to hang up one of us, however we eventually all made it through to the picnic area without mishap.

We regrouped and prepared for the bushwalk on the trail to Boorganna Falls before lunch. The walking trail is well defined and leads through an area of old rainforest and fauna which is well explained with very good signage along the way. Soon the easy grade started to steepen up and as we approached a fairly steep zig zag section of the trail, we realised that we had been walking steady downwards for quite a while and these trails always seem to become steeper on the journey back. As we had left a member at the picnic area guarding our cars and lunch, we decided it would not be fair to leave them for much longer and the trek to the bottom of the falls should be subject of a much longer days walk, at least that was the official explanation of the turnaround!

It was just as we had anticipated; the walk back had mysteriously become much steeper than the descent. However, we all made it back, some puffing and panting harder than others. It was pleasant to open up our luncheon goods and tuck in, eat and talk. After lunch and a final look, around the interesting vegetation surrounding the area we called it a day.Although the run had been short we agreed that it was a pleasant midweek break and a very good reason to take advantage of the unseasonable weather and be able not only to have a demanding drive up and down the mountainside, but also have some physical exercise while appreciating the surrounding country side.

Thanks to our club’s coordinators, Peter and Allen for organising the run and Peter for leading it. As we didn’t have our intrepid photographers with us, only a few photographs were taken some of which will be placed on the Mid North Coast’s facebook page.