When I was young, my parents would often take my brother and me out on day trips. We'd all pile ourselves into the Pajero along with our picnic goods and drive a few hours from Brisbane to a beach, a national park, or a rainforest. As family day trips ranged from when I was 9 to about 14, images of the places we visited have become one big blurry picture. I might recognise the name of a place, but I won't remember what it looked like. However, one place was etched in my memory – Bald Rock National Park. You might wonder, what was so special about this place that nearly 20 years later, I could still remember everything about it. Well, you'll have to experience it for yourself. Recently I went to Bald Rock again, only this time, with my husband.
Bald Rock National Park is located in northern New South Wales, just north of Tenterfield on the Queensland border, which neighbours Girraween National Park on the Queensland side. Like the name suggests, the park is named after its most striking feature, Bald Rock, which is about 200 metres high, 700 metres long and 500 metres wide, making it the largest granite rock in Australia.
My husband and I drove about three hours from Brisbane and started our expedition to the summit of Bald Rock via a marked walking track. We arrived at the bottom of the rock and were in absolute awe of what was in front of us. I stood at the foot of this gigantic rock and the feeling of nostalgia came over me as it brought back memories of when I climbed this with my Dad. It looked a lot bigger and steeper than I remembered.
And I was scared.
On the other hand, my husband was excited. He held my hand, told me it wasn't hard, encouraged me and reassured me that I could do it. Well, he was right. The first half was easy, and then I got up two thirds of the way and looked down. Oh my … I was so high up and it gave me butterflies in my stomach. By this time, my husband was a small dot in the distance. He tried to encourage me once more, but all I could picture was me losing my footing and cracking my head open. So I stayed where I was and waited for rescue. At that time, it started to drizzle, which made me hang onto the little tree poking out of the rock even tighter. Eventually, we made it back down in one piece and went back to our B&B.
The next morning, we decided to attempt the climb once more, only this time I would get to the top. My husband once again encouraged me and was by my side all the way. It really gave me courage and finally, I got to the top. It was so exhilarating to be sitting on top of Bald Rock looking at gorgeous panoramic views. Honestly, pictures don't do it justice. I was literally on top of the world (and felt it too).
Although Bald Rock was definitely the highlight of our mini getaway, it wasn't the only thing we found breathtaking. There were enormous granite outcrops, balancing boulders, arches made from rocks balancing on top of one another as well as clear running streams. To top it all off, hearing male cicadas serenading the females was an added bonus, though they can get quite deafening at times.
This was one of the best trips I've had in a very long time and it was just three hours from Brisbane. Whether you're a camper, a picnicker, or a walker, Bald Rock National Park is sure to meet your needs. Furthermore, there are areas for barbeques and caravans. If climbing a big rock is not your thing, there are various bush walking tracks to choose from. Signs and information on these tracks are available so be sure to choose a track suitable to your fitness level.