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Listen to Episode Five of the Voice of Real Australia podcast: The campaign to Save The Drip Gorge near Mudgee in New South Wales

About half an hour north of Mudgee, on the Ulan Road, is a stunning natural sandstone formation which runs along the Goulburn River.

It's called The Drip Gorge, and it gets its name from the perennial trickle of water which runs down its face into the water below.

The Drip Gorge, near Mudgee. PHOTO: Mudgee District Environment Group

The Drip Gorge, near Mudgee. PHOTO: Mudgee District Environment Group

The Drip has been a treasured spot for Indigenous women for thousands of years, and Wuradjuri women still go there to conduct business.

It's also beloved by locals, and Europeans have been visiting the oasis for centuries, lured in by the fact it can be 15 degrees cooler during the summer months than only a few hundred metres away.

We did a trip around Australia for 12 months and I came back and people said, what was the most beautiful place that you saw? And I said, The Drip, Mudgee, right in my own backyard.

Phyllis Setchell

The Drip was added to the Goulburn River National Park a couple of years ago, but some locals are anxious that the nearby Moolarben coal mine and its plans for expansion could damage the cliffs, impact the water table, and render this unique and beloved spot too dangerous to visit.

Walkers along the Goulburn River at The Drip Gorge. Photo courtesy of the Mudgee District Environment Group

Walkers along the Goulburn River at The Drip Gorge. Photo courtesy of the Mudgee District Environment Group

For them, that would be a tragedy, a sad ending to a story many thousands of years old. We spoke to the women campaigning to save The Drip to find out what's at stake.

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This story Meet the women fighting for The Drip first appeared on Newcastle Herald.