"Dalmorton is a great place to visit," my mate, Geoff Gilmore, said. "Pristine grounds, the beautiful fast flowing Nymboida River, and great facilities."
"Dalmorton? I've never heard of it," I replied.
"That's the beauty of the place, very few people have," Geoff said.
Dalmorton is an easy, seventy-five minute drive from South Grafton, NSW, mainly on tar with the last few kilometres on good gravel. We had recently purchased an old 1978 Viscount caravan and thought this would be an ideal trip to see if we liked caravanning.
We set off in convoy along the Old Grafton to Glen Innes Road with Geoff and his wife Rae and their next door neighbour Errol Campbell. Errol has lived at South Grafton all his life and he knows Dalmorton like the back of his hand. "It's my back yard," Errol said.
We stopped on the low level bridge fording the Nymboida River and marvelled at the steel remains of the once impressive Buccarumbi Bridge.
Finished in 1875 after six years of construction, this bridge was built up high to allow easier access across the river in times of frequent flooding, only to be washed away in the huge flood of 1946. To give some idea of the impact of that mighty deluge, the Buccarumbi Bridge stood 15.5 metres above the river. The remains looked a forlorn site as the river ebbed its way around them.
Around 500m past the bridge, where the Boyd River meets the mighty Nymboida, we took a turn-off to the right and travelled another 20km into Guy Fawkes River State Conservation Area. On entering the park we were greeted by the sight of an old butcher's shop, which was still in reasonable condition given its age.
We continued on past the shop, further into the park where Geoff's friends Ian and Vicki had pegged out their spot. The level camp ground was high enough above the river to be away from too many mosquitoes, yet close enough for us be still conscious of the sounds of a fast-flowing river.
The following days were set aside for exploring, and Errol's local knowledge really came to the fore.