Nature places in Australia and Pacific
© Fingal Ross
Set amongst the lush, humid rainforest of the Nightcap National Park is a landmark of local pride and perseverance. Protesters Falls is named for the people that defended its very borders against loggers and their bulldozers in 1979 destroying the rainforest of New South Wales. Ferns grow from the cracks in the rocks surrounding the waterfall pool; Bangalow Palms create a corridor that leads you along the boardwalk following the creek all the way. Being so well preserved it has an abundance of wildlife including native frogs, goannas, rare butterflies and the most beautiful and harmless carpet python.
From the local shop it takes 30 minutes to reach the car park, and from there it is a 10 minute walk to the base of the falls. Camping is limited to one night only and no dogs are allowed, as it is a national park. If you fancy a bit of nude frolicking there are plenty of secluded water holes around the camping area, be wary that it is mountain water and is a lot cooler than it appears.
From the top of the sheer cliff that shelters the bay, you can look straight through the clear water and see mingling sharks (yellow reef sharks) at the bottom. Sea turtles do also occasional cruise by and can be seen in the surf. You cannot access the black sand beach at Sharks Bay, but you can go around the northern tip, climb down a ladder, and walk along the rather deserted beach on the other side. A beautiful and tranquil walk that can be extended all the way to Port Resolution (needs a bit of inland walking) where the gorgeous White Sand Beach lies.