Willow visits Wattle Flat but no Frogs

Our plan of escaping the Brisbane heat had brought us to Northern NSW and its magnificent beaches – but the days were still scorching. So, from Grafton, Steph, Willow, and I headed up the Great Dividing Range on our way to a little campsite by a river that I just knew would give us the reprieve from summer that we needed. [vcm_short_ad] Travelling along Waterfall Way West of Ebor, we pulled off onto Kempsey Road and after 20 kilometres of gravel found Styx River Forest Way. There, we followed the signs to the Wattle Flat campground.
Where is it?
Other places we have visited

Our river home

There were plenty of places to camp along the river. Although most of the picnic tables had succumbed to floods, there were still fireplaces for barbecues and very basic toilet facilities. Willow, having just awoken from her afternoon nap, jumped out of the van to explore our camp. I wondered if she remembered the last time we visited here in 2015. Surely she remembered the bright yellow Stony Creek Frogs that sat on the rocks by the river at night calling out to their mates. The frog is usually an olive green colour, but during mating season the males turn a splendid yellow. There was a stillness in the air as we listened to the flow of the river and the birds in the trees. No phone reception could reach the bottom of the gully, so we were no longer at the mercy of the outside world in our new river home.

Bright Yellow Frogs

After a cool night we woke well after the dew had formed on the grass. Around mid morning we heard some commotion down the road. Some cows had paid us a visit, but they must have had other plans for they did not stay long. We spent the afternoon taking photos, reading, and relaxing. I mixed up some flour and water for flat breads, and struggled greatly in rolling them. Then I realised I forgot to add the secret ingredient – some milk powder. After dinner it was time. I walked down to the river with my camera in hand ready to spot the hundreds of bright yellow frogs – perched on their very own rock, each luring their mate with both call and vibrancy.

Many a squall

I reached the bank but there was nothing. Not frog nor rogue ribbit. How foolish I was to think that they would put on their show for me today! For it was March now and not springtime. From over the gully thunder cracked, drops fell, and I went back to the van to shelter with Steph and Willow. We poured a rum and broke open the mint chocolate. The bright bolts lit up the clouded sky as the rains fell. How safe we are, together in our home on wheels. Willow curled up on the front seat not concerned with the display outside as she has weathered many a squall. The storm passed and the scene outside was peaceful once again. Big drops still fell from the trees but the clouds cleared showing the stars that had been waiting for us. The moonlight cut through the rising mist and I grabbed my camera to capture the moment. We slept well knowing that tomorrow we would be heading back to the coast and now knowing that if you leave a frog on a rock, it may not be there when you return.

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