WAVE HILL STA­TION, NSW

A se­cluded farm-stay get­away lo­cated along the boun­ti­ful Clarence River.

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WAVE Hill Sta­tion is a 50km² work­ing cat­tle prop­erty po­si­tioned along the Clarence River within the foothills ad­ja­cent to the great Gond­wana Rain­forests, just out of Grafton in NSW. The area is known for its ex­cel­lent bass-fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties – more so at the wa­ter­falls – as well as pro­vid­ing pris­tine views of the Clarence Val­ley. Upon ar­rival at the prop­erty you’ll be greeted at the gate by the owner, Steve. If he isn’t home there are sep­a­rate mail­boxes la­belled for ev­ery camp­site and ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tion, so you can grab all the info you need – es­pe­cially the map of the prop­erty – from the cor­rect box.

Once in­side the prop­erty the ter­rain changes sig­nif­i­cantly, but the tracks are main­tained and it’s easy

to nav­i­gate. The camp­sites are ap­prox­i­mately 9km from the homestead, and ac­cess­ing all of them can take up to an hour be­cause they are spread out. On this trip we stayed at the Top Gorge Back Chan­nel site, an open, grassy camp­site with a huge, shady tree over­look­ing the back chan­nel, lo­cated just down­river from the junc­tion of the Mann and Clarence Rivers. It’s an in­cred­i­ble spot to pitch a tent for a week, and it’s within walk­ing dis­tance to the Sa­fari Tents just over the hill. Firewood is aplenty here, and some of the best views of the val­ley are on of­fer from where the fire-pit is sit­u­ated. How­ever, the camp­site doesn’t have easy ac­cess to the wa­ter, and to go for a dip you need to climb down a slippery slope of rocks. Kayaks can be launched a few hun­dred me­tres from

WHEN YOU REACH THE BOT­TOM YOU’RE GREETED BY THE PUMP­ING SOUND OF WA­TER GUSH­ING OVER ROCKS

camp, where the land­scape is flat­ter; al­though, the cur­rent is very strong be­cause you’re at the top of the wa­ter­fall, and Wave Hill Sta­tion strongly rec­om­mends wear­ing per­sonal buoy­ancy de­vices and hel­mets at all times.

There is a walk­ing track not far from the Back Chan­nel camp­site, which crosses just in front of the Sa­fari Tents. The track is a thin, over­grown goat track with some handrails and stairs along the way. It’s very steep in places, but when you reach the bot­tom you’re greeted by the pump­ing sound of wa­ter gush­ing over the rocks. This is a great place to cast a line, and the best spots for bass are in the back­wash where the fish hide from the strong cur­rent, await­ing lunch.

The ter­rain can be quite dif­fi­cult as you fol­low the edge of the river, so en­sure ad­e­quate footwear is worn. Your best chance to catch a good one will be when you spot the wa­ter­fall, but fish­ing from the rocks here can be dan­ger­ous. Wave Hill Sta­tion of­fers catch-and-re­lease fish­ing, so please

abide by this re­quest. If camp­ing isn’t your thing or you don’t have an ad­e­quate rig to ex­plore the rest of the prop­erty, there are cot­tages lo­cated near the homestead, and while you’re there you can play ten­nis or ar­range to see the prop­erty on horse­back with a guided tour. There’s some­thing for ev­ery­one here. There is so much to do at this place that a cou­ple of days isn’t long enough – if you’re plan­ning to visit this spec­tac­u­lar piece of prop­erty, en­sure you come for at least a week. It’s def­i­nitely worth it and, if noth­ing else, it’ll force you to put your phone down to take it all in. Look this place up, book it and go; you won’t be dis­ap­pointed.

THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO AT THIS PLACE THAT A COU­PLE OF DAYS ISN’T LONG ENOUGH ... WE REC­OM­MEND AT LEAST A WEEK

You can’t beat swim­ming and re­lax­ing in na­ture’s own freshwater river sys­tem with rock pools. Just be­ware of the strong cur­rent. WET ’N’ WILD

The back chan­nel, down­river from the junc­tion of the Mann and Clarence Rivers, is a hot spot for bass fish­ing. GONE FISH’N

There’s noth­ing more ubiq­ui­tous and quintessen­tially bush Aus­traliana than the farm-gate op­er­at­ing sign. SHUT THE GATE!

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