Wauchope, Timbertown and Big Trees

Just about 19 kilometres inland from Port Macquarie lies the town of Wauchope – pronounced “War Hope”. The town sits on the Hastings river where even this far inland the  river is wide.

Hastings River at Wauchope

It is a pleasant little town – the kind I like. This town was built on the exploitation of the large trees that grew in this area. Particularly the large Red Cedar trees which were cut down for all sorts of uses from the first days European settlers arrived. Wauchope was the original ‘timber town’.


Just outside the town there is one of those living museums. One of those ‘step back in time’ places where you can see how people lived. Due to the industry that gave birth to this town  the museum cum theme park is called simply “Timbertown”.  It was an interesting way to spend a day and great fun for kids. Dani loved it but there was enough for a family day out and something for everyone. Including a winery and port tasting building, steam train, tractor rides, farm animals and a host of reconstructed historical buildings. Many of the buildings were real working buildings taken from other sites and rebuilt here. It was much better than I had expected and showed how things would have looked around these parts when the early settlers built the area.

This huge log gives an idea of the size of the trees that made this area rich

Old “Wild West” Town

Dani refers to this place as an old ‘wild west’ town as it looks so much like the places you see on the old cowboy movies. He is not far off there…

Timbertown station
Old fashioned street scene

Old School House
Inside the school house
Old school bell

They had it all…

The “town” has its own Fire Station, Blacksmiths, restaurant and bar – among other places. It also had some real old fashioned ladies toilets. I wonder if these will ever make a comeback?

Ladies Toilets !!
Fire Station
Inside Fires Station

And of course no town in Australia would be complete without its old Gaol…

They could resurrect these places for iPad crimes…

Old Bottlebutt…

While almost all of the very largest trees were cut down in a relatively short space of time there is one big one that attracts tourists. On the way back to Port Macquarie we stopped at yet another rain-forest. I know. But they are everywhere in this part of the world. It lies about 10km south of Wauchope. There are many trails through this forest but the main attraction is the huge tree known as ‘Old Bottlebutt’ due to its wide bottle shaped base.

No bananas on this tree but the boy is there to give a sense of scale.

The huge Old Bottlebutt tree

‘Old Bottlebutt’ is an ancient Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) tree located in the Burrawan State Forest. The largest recorded example of its kind, Old Bottlebutt is unique in shape, its large flared ‘butt’ having a huge girth of more than 16 metres just above its base. The hue tree is over 200 years old  and is the main feature on a beautiful 600 metre loop walking track. Yet another fantastic forest on the eastern coast of this country.

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