SHOCK WAVE

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

WORDS AND PHOTOS LUCY EATON

WAVE Hill Station is a 50km≤ 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 Ė more so at the waterfalls Ė as well as providing pristine views of the Clarence Valley. Upon arrival at the property youíll be greeted at the gate by the owner, Steve. If he isnít home there are separate mailboxes labelled for every campsite and accommodation option, so you can grab all the info you need Ė especially the map of the property Ė from the correct box.

Once inside the property the terrain changes significantly, but the tracks are maintained and itís 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. Itís an incredible spot to pitch a tent for a week, and itís 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 doesnít have easy access to the water, and to go for a dip you need to climb down a slippery slope of rocks.

I, NATURE The beauty of Wave Hill Station is that you can pick a remote campsite and enjoy the views all to yourself ... or with a bunch of mates.

THE AREA IS KNOWN FOR ITS EXCELLENT BASS-FISHING OPPORTUNITIES, AS WELL AS PRISTINE VIEWS OF THE CLARENCE VALLEY

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

Kayaks can be launched a few hundred metres from camp, where the landscape is flatter; although, the current is very strong because youíre 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. Itís very steep in places, but when you reach the bottom youíre 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.

WET íNí WILD You canít beat swimming and relaxing in natureís own freshwater river system with rock pools. Just beware of the strong current.

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

If camping isnít your thing or you donít have an adequate rig to explore the rest of the property, there are cottages located near the homestead, and while youíre there you can play tennis or arrange to see the property on horseback with a guided tour. Thereís something for everyone here.

There is so much to do at this place that a couple of days isnít long enough Ė if youíre planning to visit this spectacular piece of property, ensure you come for at least a week. Itís definitely worth it and, if nothing else, itíll force you to put your phone down to take it all in. Look this place up, book it and go; you wonít be disappointed.

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

THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO AT THIS PLACE THAT A COUPLE OF DAYS ISNíT LONG ENOUGH ... WE RECOMMEND AT LEAST A WEEK

TRAVEL PLANNER WHERE 543 Carnham Road, Fineflower (via Grafton), NSW, 2460 CAMPING There are three 4WD-accessonly camping areas on the property, requiring high-clearance vehicles. During wet weather the tracks are closed for safety reasons. FACILITIES Long-drop toilets are available at the campsites. OTHER INFO Dogs allowed; fires allowed; no mobile reception; bring your own fuel and water. CONTACTS Email: info@wavehillfarmstay.com.au Phone/Fax: (02) 6647 2145 Mobile: 0428 472 145 Web: wavehillfarmstay.com.au RESTRICTIONS & PERMITS Strictly no motorbikes or guns are allowed on the property. Bookings are essential, and 50 per cent of the fee must be paid to secure the booking. ACCOMMODATION If camping isnít your thing there are four accommodation styles available, where you can stay in one of the cottages, lodges or Safari Tents.