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Threlfall Walk Photo Guide & profile   Click on thumbnail to see larger             back

You drive down past the Blue Hole to the end of the road at the main picnic area. This information board is at THRELFPICNIC ( full coordinates AGD 56J 0384750.6613853- in future just the last 5 digits in each will be used – i.e. 84750.13583). It explains that the path follows an historic 19th century hydroelectricity scheme developed to supply power to busy mining area at Hillgrove, to the east.

There’s a number of picnic tables, barbecue plates, and toilets just beyond the noticeboard (seen from 84750.13583)

 

The start of the Threlfall Walk, from 84776.13884. Most of the falls and lookouts in the Armidale area are on metasediments or basalt, but here the Gara River cuts its way through large granite masses.

 

The walk is on grating from the above point to across the river.

The steel bridge crossing the river at 84803.1391, shown at normal river height. You will notice that the handrail is hinged, which allows it to bow down…

... under the much greater pressure exerted by floods- which are sometimes metres above the grating.

After crossing the bridge, turn right, and you’ll shortly see this sign (at 84856.13946). This is the first of many along the track.

 

There are many remnants of the old hydro scheme along the track- including this unexplained eyebolt in a pathside rock at 85760.13850

 

The present track more or less follows the original 1894 scheme route, but this sign says the fluming was re-routed closer to the gorge in 1900.

 

This sign at 85040.14195 is headed “A Gigantic Black Snake”, and shows the fluming on trestles winding its way through the countryside. It would have been fun to float down it on a rubber boat- as long as you disembarked before the drop into the gorge!

Cascades off the track from 85172.14258. The rivers foams between large granite boulders as it drops quickly here.

There are a number of delightful pools, but they beyond the scope of the Threlfall Track.

A view from 85338.13659 to the open grazing country of ‘Kenwood Park’ on the opposite western side of the Gara.

The largest of the cuttings on the track, at 85356. 13644. Imagine digging this all out with pick and shovel in the 1890s!

The Penstock carried the water into the power station 140 metres below. The sign cautions against climbing down by this route. Having inadvertently climbed out here, I thoroughly agree! There is an unsigned (as at 2011) track leading towards the gorge from here, which if you take care…

…. leads to a natural lookout platform at 85772.13377 (THRELFLO858), with views up the gorge, and if you edge around to the left, across to …

…. some of the favourite spots for climbers in the Armidale area. The granite clefts allows solid piton placement, and the great blocks gives some airy exposure.

From the only built lookout platform, at 85998.13704 (THRELFLO8600). Mushroom Rock at the right centre is on the inside of an almost 180- degree bend in the Gara.

The Rotary seat, at 86071.13856, about halfway up the only bit of a climb on the whole track, is a good place to take in the view….

…. south down the Gara, to where it meets Salisbury Waters running West-East and becomes the Macleay River. The Enmore area is on the centre skyline of the photo.

A little bridge, and a floodgate marking the edge of the grazing country, at 85429.1432

This strange construction was built by a party of Scouts in about 1980, and has lasted remarkably well.

The track swings around nearly 180 degrees at 84909.14347, opposite the Blue Hole and its picnic shelter. This water is retained by…

... the remains of a dam, as seen in this bit of the eastern abutment. The road to Hillgrove once ran across it here (at 84834.14406).

This weir below the dam ( THRELF WEIR ) lead water into the ….

... concrete water channel, that still can be followed (though sometimes buried under recent alluvium) back down to the steel bridge.

This pleasant seat at 84805.14000 is beside the last information board, which gives information about other schemes for harnessing the power of New England’s wild rivers.