Dorrigo National Park is an hour inland from Coffs Harbour on the Waterfall Way Scenic Drive.
Here, you can explore ancient rainforest walks, visit stunning waterfalls and swimming holes, relax at scenic picnic areas and spot some amazing birdlife.
Explore ancient rainforest
Dorrigo National Park is a lush, ancient rainforest that is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area: the most extensive strip of diverse rainforest anywhere on the planet. Situated on the traditional lands of the Gumbaynggirr people, the national park works with traditional custodians to manage many significant Aboriginal sites. Take the Gumbaynggirr culture rainforest tour with a local Aboriginal guide to learn more about the local culture, heritage and history of the area.
Above the trees
A great place to start your trip is at the Dorrigo Skywalk: a 70-metre-long elevated viewing platform that soars over the edge of the escarpment 21 metres above the rainforest. It showcases stunning views of the Bellinger Valley all the way to the sea, with deep valleys and gorges blanketed in a rich, green canopy. It offers a true bird’s-eye view and is easily accessible. From here, you can take a bushwalk to the Crystal Shower Falls for a journey behind the falls and drop into the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and Canopy Café.
Dorrigo National Park is renowned for its waterfalls, so make sure to check out Dangar Falls, falling 30 metres into a crystal clear swimming hole, or take the challenging trek to the dramatic Red Cedar Falls – the largest waterfall in the park.
Things to do
Head out on the water with Bellingen Canoe Adventures. They offer canoe and kayak trips for all ages and levels of experience: from beginners to the more advanced. You can choose between flatwater, whitewater, sunset and full moon tours. This is a fantastic way to observe and appreciate the rich wildlife, flora and fauna of the Bellinger River. The good news is that they are open seven days, including public holidays – rain, hail or shine!
Where to eat
On Waterfall Way Scenic Drive is the eclectic, historic town of Bellingen, with plenty of places to stop for a bite. Take a walk down historic Hyde Street and pop into the Federal Hotel, a beautifully renovated pub and bistro that first opened its doors in 1901 or check out the Bellingen Farmers & Produce Market held every week in the Bellingen Showgrounds.
Here you can also find the Cedar Bar and Kitchen, housed in a a gorgeously renovated timber church that’s 113 years old. Run by a husband-and-wife team since 2015, they offer a relaxed dining experience the whole family can enjoy. Grab some polenta chips and a bowl of warm olives, or order several plates for a delicious grazing-style feast. They also have a wide selection of regional and international craft beer, boutique wines and spirits, and owner Paul is keen to chat about their latest arrivals.
Check out the Bellingen Brewing Co for live music, artisan beers and great rustic vibes.
Where to stay
Stay at the Lookout Mountain Retreat, positioned on the escarpment of the Dorrigo Plateau with sensational sweeping views of the mountains, valley and ocean. It’s just a stone’s throw from key sites and is the ideal spot for a romantic weekend away, a relaxing break or a family adventure.
Fly into Coffs Harbour with Rex Airlines.
For more amazing rainforests to discover around Australia, check out Gulaga National Park.