Visitor's Information Centre
'The Drip' refers to the small streams that flow from the rock and cliff formations along this section of the Goulburn River. The River rises at Munghorn Gap, flows through the National Park named after it, and then joins the Hunter River, which flows into the sea at Newcastle.
The river has worn the cliffs down over eons. Except in flood time, it flows gently between them, around sand banks and through rocky patches.
Some of the rain from the surrounding hills seeps through the rocks and emerges again from the cliffs along the river, dripping on to the rocks.
One of the most picturesque of these drips lies about one and a half kilometres off the main road from Gulgong to the coast. To reach the turn-off to the car park, travel east 10 kilometres from the junction of the Mudgee-Cassilis road and the road from Ulan village (see map on page 14). Immediately after crossing the bridge over the Goulburn River, turn right at the wooden 'The Drip' sign and drive in to the car park.
The narrow track lies along the northern bank of the river, often fairly flat and smooth, but at times requiring care and some agility; this is particularly the case during the second half of the walk, which is not well suited to young children. The track is slippery after rain.
The walk to 'The Drip' and back takes about an hour at normal pace, or twice that long, and more, according to the time spent gazing at the sights along the way: clear water flowing over gravel that seems to hold the promise of gold; ancient trees, rocks and cliffs; wombat burrows; tracks of kangaroos and wallabies; tiny waterfalls; clear rock pools.
Compare this country with the drier forest of the Great Dividing Range on the track to 'Hands on Rock'.
"Hands on Rock"
These stencils of hands were made by the Wiradjuri people, using a spray of ochre mixed with liquid. The Wiradjuri occupied most of the central west of what is now New South Wales, and were one of the largest of Aboriginal language groups. They probably numbered about 12,000 at the time of white settlement. The site of 'Hands on Rock' is at the eastern end of Wiradjuri lands, at the edge of the Great Dividing Range.
This invaluable heritage site is not hard to reach. It is about 12 kilometres east of Ulan and two kilometres on the left hand side past the entrance to 'The Drip' (see above). To get there, turn left off the Ulan-Casslis Road at the Bobadeen Road sign, turn sharp left again, and drive 500 metres to the car park.
The 'Hands on Rock' site is 600 metres from the car park. The path has a few roots across it, but is otherwise easy for about 400 metres; then it slopes up steadily to the rock cliffs. There are steps along the way, but some loose stones towards the end of the path require a little care, particularly on the way down.
One of the features of the walk is the relatively unspoilt forest that surrounds the area. It is typical of the vegetation that once covered this part of the ranges. Pause for a moment and look around. This is little different from the land that was seen by the owners of those stencilled hands.
This is such a priceless area that it must be treated with the greatest care and respect. A viewing platform has been built, and visitors are asked not to leave it or the walking path.
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