Laurel Hill Sugar Pine Walk - Kopsens Road, Batlow NSW, Australia 2730. Photos taken by Betty and myself with my Canon 70D DSLR
When Betty showed me some photos of this little known place, I knew we had to make the trip no matter how far. It turned out to be 419 kilometres away and a four and a half hour drive! Yet as adventurers and a lovers of nature we dove into planning the roadtrip without hesitation.
Waking up at 3.45am, we packed the car and drove our way down. Betty and I munched on chips and lollies, with a warm coffee and a blanket in our laps. We sang along to old 90's RNB music and reminiscence on our childhoods and we found out more about each other. And I thought I knew everything there is to know about my best friend Betty!
We started to grow a little worried as we got off the highway and onto the single road that lead to Laurel Hill. We kept passing trees and farms and we were well aware of the lack of Petrol Stations and an almost empty fuel tank. But luckily we found one in Batlow, a few kilometers from our destination and blew a sigh of relief to fill up again. (Note to self, never make that same mistake again).
Finally we reached Laurel Hill. We turned into Kopsens road and drove past some sugar pine trees, the scenery already changing from the usual Aussie gum trees. As we drove along we found out the owners were cutting down trees around the park to use in their furnaces. The surrounding grounds looked barren and ripped apart - it was a bittersweet sight.
Luckily, we also found out the owners of the land decided to keep the Sugar Pine Walk intact, so we felt a little at ease.
Once at the entrance of the forest, and looking straight down the centre path, took our breaths away.
These non-native Sugar Pine trees were planted in 1928 and is the tallest species of the pine trees. They were planted in a specific way that created a clear path that leads through the centre and to the other side of the forest. The forest was very still, peaceful and quiet. The leaves were so high up you can barely hear any rustling as the wind picked up.
When you look up, you crane your neck trying to take in the sight of the trees. It' was just so beautiful.
We walked the 200 metres to the other side in awe and silence taking in the beauty of the grande forest. I felt lucky to have shared this experience with Betty and I felt joy when I knew we will continue to have more adventures like this.
We ended the walk with taking a special photo together on my tripod, intending to keep our memories alive.
After we took it all in, we drove down to Tumbarumba to have lunch at Nest, a cute cafe that served wholesome, homely food. We then left Laurel Hill, already planning a trip to come back to the Sugar Pine forest when it snows. The locals told us it was twice as beautiful in Winter.
Thank you Betty for introducing me to this magical place, and thank you for the memories. It feels so special to have found this place and to know such beauty exists in such the simplest of things.