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BE­FORE man walked the earth, the NSW coast was alive with vol­canic erup­tions. One sig­nif­i­cant vol­cano was near Ebor, 65km east of Ar­mi­dale on the state’s mid-north coast. It’s been es­ti­mated the Ebor Vol­cano was very ac­tive 30-60 mil­lion years ago. The lava-flows from this vol­cano ex­tend for sev­eral hun­dred kilo­me­tres around it to such ar­eas as the Bar­ring­ton Tops and Mount Ka­putar. This is ev­i­denced by the rich-red farm­ing land the NSW mid-north coast is known for. There are flood­plains to the west, where the basalt soils are black. From the potato-grow­ing area near Dor­rigo to the lush sub-trop­i­cal rain­for­est ar­eas that run along and meet the coast to the north and to the south, this is known as Gond­wana­land. The New Eng­land NP, which sur­rounds the vol­cano, plays a sig­nif­i­cant part in the pro­tec­tion of a wide di­ver­sity of plants and an­i­mals. This was recog­nised in the late 1980s and was listed as a World Her­itage area. Ebor Vol­cano’s 300m-thick rim can be viewed from Point Look­out, which is 1565m above sea level. The look­out pro­vides stun­ning views into the wilder­ness ar­eas that sur­round the rim, and at this high al­ti­tude you can see cold, tol­er­ant snow gums cov­ered in thick moss.

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