Snake scare at Dorringo National Park -Sunday 4th December 2011


I’m desperate to get inside Australia. We’ve seen so much wonderful coastline but what happens just a few miles in? There has been so much sea, beautiful, varied in colour, temperament and texture but what is it like inland a little?

Drive along the Pacific Highway to Raleigh and head in, you will be traveling along Waterfall Way and no prizes for guessing what you might see! There is also farmland: macadamia, cattle, mangoes, tractors much of which remind me of Surrey the way the hills roll.

Past Thora we pass Newell Falls and Serrand Falls and arrive at Dorringo. Just beyond this is Dangar Falls with its convenient car park and viewing platform.

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Impressive but trapped behind a fence and viewing platform.
Back then to Dorringo, through the rainforest centre and straight onto the skywalk. It’s safe and has a great view, it’s too close to the centre I feel.

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Wonga Walk begins with a lovely walk with the birds high in the treetops, lifting you half way up into the canopy. Not many birds actually but a lovely place. Suspension bridges feature a lot in this walk for we view the Crystal Falls from one. You can also walk behind this waterfall.

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Tristania Falls cascade over a wall of jagged rocks, impressive in the afternoon sun. Although the path is man made, the whole atmosphere of this walk is natural and exciting. You walk through dense forest with sun trickling through the crevices left between the leaves.

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Suddenly John is leaping backwards towards me and at the same moment I see why. A two meter long black red-bellied snake has uncoiled itself from the side of the path, just over a meter from us. It loops up some 50 cm high, startled by our noise, just as we are startled to see it move. Wildly we move back, and it throws itself off the edge of the path into the shadows. I KNOW it is venomous. I know we are far from help and anti venom. My heart is thudding and my body prickling with fear.

I can no longer walk slowly, we march full pelt, stamping to alert any future snakes of our arrival. We are only half way through our walk and we make it back in about half the expected time! It’s mostly uphill, so we must look totally bedraggled when we arrive back at the centre.

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It’s a story to tell! After a glass of wine and a swim in the pool back at the apartment we laugh about it but in the car I think we were still shivering!

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