This is the second part of our journey riding off the beaten track from the Macleay River to the Bellinger through state forests and national parks, as explorer Clement Hodgkinson did back in 1841. Part 1 took us from from Frederickton on the Macleay River to Taylors Arm.
From the famous Pub, we follow Goondari and Targamindi Roads up to the ridge line, where Kosekai Road climbs through old growth forest in Dunggir National Park to a high point on Bowra Sugarloaf. There are great views from Kosekai lookout over the Nambucca Valley to the sea.
Fires burnt through this area in 2019, particularly on the drier northern slopes, but the trees are now recovering. On the shaded slopes, whole communities of pineapple zamia (Lepidozamia peroffskyana) are flourishing. Fun fact #1: this cycad native to Australia is named for Count Peroffsky who was a benefactor of the St Petersburg Botanic Gardens, and a player in the Great Game (no not golf, a confrontation between Britain and Russia over Central Asia in the 19th century). Fun fact #2: the plant is pollinated by weevils.
From Kosekai Lookout, we continue down to the junction with Springs Road. This road is an interesting descent to the farmlands of the Buckra Bendinni valley. Remember to leave gates as you find them and that animals and wildlife have right of way. Fortunately for us, that very large bull was more interested in his herd cows than us!
The rest is an easy ride on quiet farm roads into Bowraville. If you need refreshments, check out the delightful Le Maroc Cafe opposite the Bowraville Folk Museum on High Street.
Next we take the road up the Missabotti valley, and up onto the range toward Bellingen.