Southern Tablelands: Big Waterfalls, Bigger Fruit and Veg!

There are many valleys in the world. Wandin Valley. Narara Valley. Kirstie Valley. But there’s only one that’s overflowing with bouncy marsupials, and that’s Kangaroo Valley, in the shadows of the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. I love ‘roos, so I jumped in the del Sol and braved the journey through Sydney and then a few hours south to continue the Drunk and Jobless World Tour Tour of Regional Australia.

Kangaroo Valley might be the most beautiful valley in Australia (according to their tourism board), but I had some important detours to make on the way. BIG detours. First up was the Big Apple at Yerrinbool which is, admittedly, bigger than a regular apple. Not much bigger, but if you were at a fruit and veg shop and saw it sitting there, you’d probably tell your mates about it. The Hume Highway bypassed it years ago, but with pretty much everyone in New York dead or dying of the China Virus, this is your best chance of visiting the Big Apple anytime soon, so check it out.

The Apple might be a bit rotten, but just down the road is one of the most wonderful Big Things on the planet – Robertson’s Big Spud. It ticks all the boxes for a classic Big Thing. Ridiculously larger than the thing it’s based on? Tick! A bit crap? Tick! Plenty of goofy memorabilia to commemorate the visit? Tick! The Spud is bang in the middle of Robertson, and is obviously a source of pride for the locals, despite (or perhaps due to) looking look a giant poo. I’d wanted to visit this infamous roadside attraction for years, and it was great to finally have the Big Spud and the Big Stud together after all this time.

If you enjoy staring in wonder as wet stuff tumbles off something high, Kangaroo Valley is the place for you. The first waterfall I visited was Carrington Falls, which is about 10 minutes drive out of Robertson. Pull up at the picnic area, and a series of short, easy tracks offer astonishing views of the 160m-high waterfall and the valley below. It’s a natural wonder and I’m sure that if you visit, you will, like me, fantasise about how cool it would be to roll the Big Spud off the top and watch it crash on the rocks far below.

Even more impressive is the nearby Fitzroy Falls, which has more walking tracks, more lookouts, and more waterfalls than you could ever imagine! Alright, it has two waterfalls, two tracks, and maybe seven lookouts, but your imagination might be rubbish from years of drug abuse, so my point stands. This beautiful area has been lovingly developed for visitors, so you can get up close with these natural wonders. It’s a serene place that shows off the valley – for the most part. The downside is that one of the main lookouts is right next to the main road, so at any time of the day there are dozens of chattering tourists taking selfies and getting in everyone’s way. I’m sure that if you visit, you will, like me, fantasise about how cool it would be to roll them off the top and watch them crash on the rocks far below.

The highlight of the Fitzroy Falls area is a quiet little spot tucked away from the masses, hiding in the shadows of a thousand ancient ferns. The Grotto boasts a small waterfall of its own and with a soundtrack of rustling leaves and croaking frogs, is simply magical. Legend has it that a motley crew of politicians, performers, prostitutes and perverts would regularly congregate there in the 1800s for depraved sex parties. I haven’t been to a depraved sex party in a while, so I cracked open a beer and hung around in the Grotto for a while to see what happened. One beer turned into 16, tossed down with some glowing orange mushrooms I found growing on a log and by the time I passed out, Penny Wong could’ve had her way with me and I wouldn’t have known.

Oh, and Kangaroo Valley? I did eventually make it there, but that story will have to wait for next time… In the meantime, why not check out the latest entry in my short story series. It takes place in Panama and it’s not very long, so if you think it’s garbage you won’t have wasted much time.

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