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Pokolbin State Forest

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Pokolbin State Forest is located between Wollombi and Cessnock in the lower Hunter Region of NSW. Broken Back Rd is the main road through there and while not as large as the Watagan Mountain Ranges it still provides some amazing locations. Coming in from Cessnock you drive down quite country roads surrounded by Vineyards and large farm properties. Venturing onto Broken Back Rd you make your way up along narrow dirt roads and through private property with cattle grids making the boundary. Because these roads are pretty narrow be sure to drive to the conditions, reduce tyre pressures and pay attention to other road users.

The main road through is in generally good condition although it may be slippery in wet weather. There are loads of side tracks that you can head out onto although some will take you onto private property and locked gates where turning around may be difficult so towing along these roads is not recommended. Being State Forest the collection of

Fire Wood is permitted but be sure to check for any fire bans before lighting your camp fire. Camping is allowed anywhere you can find a spot and Pokolbin State Forest provides some amazing views with camps on or very close to lookouts and clearings. In some places you can even park up and camp right on the edge of a lookout. The Lookouts I found mostly face North/East over looking Cessnock, Singleton and out towards Maitland.

Heading across the mountains to the Western side you follow Broken Back Trail, again there are loads of side tracks to explore of varying difficulty. I headed down Yellow Rock Rd to visit the stunning Yellow Rock Lookout. This trail can be rather tricky with quite a lot of water sitting in areas, tight tracks that may give you a couple of bush pin stripes as well as some rocky and washed out areas that require a 4wd vehicle.  Yellow Rock Lookout it’s self is set on the North Western side of the range over looking Singleton Military Area and the town of Broke. There is a small walk that heads out to the point if you are feeling adventurous although this appeared to be pretty over grown when I headed out. There is reported to be some Aboriginal Rock Carvings in the area and on the main platform it appears there could have been a few sections where the Wonnarua people would collect water or ground seeds to make flour, possibly even sharpen tools. Yellow Rock is known to have been a meeting place where the Wonnarua people would trade with neighbouring tribes including the Worimi, Awabakal, Darkinjung and even Dharug people.

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