The Fossickers Way Visitor Guide Volume 1 - Page 15

Warialda Did you know? The Legend of Cranky Rock suggests the popular nature reserve is so named because a ‘cranky’ Chinese man who was accused of murder was chased by the police and evaded capture by leaping to his death from the rock C onsidered the oldest town on the Northwest Slopes and one of the oldest settled anywhere west of the Great Dividing Range, Warialda was established in earnest in the 1830s. It’s an attractive, historic town with interesting architecture and a scenic location perched on Warialda Creek. Warialda is known for its relaxed pace of life and its warm country welcome. It has a long rural history and also enjoys some pretty fabulous geological wonders, including the breathtaking Cranky Rock Nature Reserve. Known as the place where ‘the birds of the east meet the birds of the west’, Warialda also boasts a fabulous variety of birdlife, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers. Cunningham’s Rest marks the spot where the Fossickers Way turns right onto the Gwydir Highway, and the region has a few key fossicking sites where prospectors can dig for opalised wood, jasper, quartz and more. fast facts • What You Might Find: Petrified wood, jasper, chert, agate, quartz, amethyst and chalcedony • Equipment Needed: Gold pans, fine sieves, pick and hammer, shovel WHERE TO FOSSICK Tigers Gap, opalised and petrified wood Head 5km east of town on the Gwydir Highway Old Gravel Quaries, ironised and other woods, jasper quartz and chert agate Fossick in the old gravel quarries either side of the road leading to the airstrip road. CRANKY ROCK NATURE RESERVE Just 8km east of town, Warialda’s foremost geological wonder, Cranky Rock Nature Reserve, contains a cluster of boulders that have settled into interesting and beautiful arrangements beside Reedy Creek. A millennia of weathering and gravity has crafted this natural work of art, and several walks are available (including over a suspension bridge) to take in this natural wonderland. Camping is available. 15