Dorrigo might be a small village, but it’s surrounded by the most incredible things to do, and a day just isn’t long enough!
Dorrigo is the gateway to the World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park, and home to ancient rainforest, dramatic waterfalls and beautiful heritage. Explore the area, walk above the rainforest canopy, discover this charming hinterland town and explore the chic cafe’s, boutiques, galleries and gorgeous organic produce.
Dorrigo National Park
Dorrigo National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, offers stunning scenery that’s been millions of years in the making. The park has a range of forest environments that protect an enormous variety of animals and birds. You might spot red-necked pademelons, the vibrantly coloured wompoo fruit-dove, or the spectacular regent bowerbird.A great day trip from Coffs Harbour, you can go birdwatching, relax at scenic picnic and barbecue spots, explore secret waterfalls and rainforest walks, and be amazed by the views from the elevated walk which looks all the way from the forest to the sea. Be sure to stop in at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and Canopy Cafe.
Dorrigo Rainforest Centre is the best place to get great tips and advice on planning your visit to the park, including which walking tracks will best suit your needs. You can find out about guided tours and take a look at the park heritage exhibition. The Rainforest Shop offers a great range of books, gifts, postcards and souvenirs relating to the rainforest environment. Don’t forget to take a walk above the rainforest canopy along the elevated boardwalk.And if you need a bite to eat, the award-winning Canopy Cafe has delicious lunches, gourmet cakes and great coffee. Alternatively, you can enjoy a picnic at the centre’s grassy picnic area, with its free electric barbecues.Many of Dorrigo National Park’s walking tracks begin here, including the Wonga walk and the Lyrebird link track.
Walk through lush rainforest to reach Crystal Shower Falls in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. Enjoy spectacular views from the rocky cavern behind the waterfall.The walk to Crystal Shower Falls might be one of the shortest waterfall walks, but it is also one of the most intriguing because you can go behind the waterfall itself. Lush rainforest towers above you on the walk to the falls and you might hear the call of rainforest birds like fruit doves.Once you reach the falls, a suspension bridge leads to a short side track that will take you behind the waterfall into a rocky cavern.To get to Crystal Shower Falls you’ll need to take the first part of the Satinbird stroll and then join the Wonga walk, leaving from The Glade picnic area. If you are feeling energetic and want to explore the rainforest more you can carry on walking the Wonga walk.
Directly connected to Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, Skywalk lookout offers a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape. Perched right on the edge of the escarpment, the views take in Bellinger Valley to the coast with deep valleys and gorges, blanketed in a rich rainforest. If birdwatching is of interest, look for regent bowerbirds, topknot pigeons and grey goshawks.Skywalk lookout is a 70m boardwalk that soars over the edge of the escarpment some 21m above the rainforest. Easily accessible, anyone can enjoy the panoramic views of the Rosewood rainforest basin. If you prefer a closer look, stretch your legs along Rosewood Creek walking track.The view is dominated by the double peak of McGraths Hump, also known by locals as ‘old man sleeping’. There are a number of Gumbaynggirr stories about the mountain silhouette, which features the profile of a face. It commands a strong presence from wherever…
The Australian Bonsai Gallery houses some 100 mature and ‘in-progress’ trees; some more than 100 years old, most 25 to 47 years old.Most of the bonsai have been started as cuttings or seedlings, field-grown to develop some size, then container-grown to promote a refined style and root system.The trees are large! Some well over 100 centimeters high. Over four decades of work has gone into producing this collection.
Get high among the rainforest trees along the elevated Walk with the Birds boardwalk, in Dorrigo National Park. This fully-accessible walkway, elevated above the forest floor, offers unique forest views and close-up birdwatching opportunities, near Bellingen on the NSW North Coast.Far below, you might see brush turkeys raking litter for their nests or a lyrebird searching for insects. Among the branches, you could spot the stunning paradise riflebird with its glossy black and iridescent blue plumage, as well as fruit doves and green catbirds. Look for the information panels to learn more about the rainforest locals.Enjoy a packed lunch at The Glade picnic area, and if you’re feeling energetic, try nearby Wonga walk or Satinbird stroll. As night falls, listen for the ‘mo-poke’ call of the southern boobook owl or watch for ringtail possums emerging from their nests.
The strenuous hike to Red Cedar Falls is one of suspense, with glimpses of dramatic vistas and World Heritage-listed rainforest. The waterfall is the largest in Dorrigo National Park, accessible by Red Cedar Falls walking track. Setting out on the hike to witness the beauty of Red Cedar Falls is definitely one of the best and most rewarding things to do if you’re visiting the Coffs Harbour area.Starting at Never Never picnic area, follow Rosewood Creek walking track for 2km to the turn-off. Descending steeply for 1.2 kilometres, you’ll see towering red cedars and bangalow palms. The water plunges over the escarpment creating a mighty roar and a fine spray of mist. The scene is breathtaking.Find a place to picnic, or save your appetite for the picnic area with its wood barbecues. Enjoy some birdwatching or listen out for stuttering barred frogs. To return, retrace your steps, or swing right at the turn-off to complete the rest of Rosewood Creek walking track.
Dorrigo National Park, which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, is a short drive from the town. Begin your rainforest adventure at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre. There are exhibitions on the flora and the many intriguing animals, including the lyrebird, a native bird with the ability to imitate almost any sound. Walking trails also depart from the centre, step out onto the Skywalk for panoramic views of the Bellinger Valley and rainforest basin before taking a walk through 600-year old trees including twisted strangler figs and towering rosewoods.
Crystal Shower Falls is the most famous attraction in the area, and easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls in NSW. Located deep in the heart of the rainforest you’ll discover a breathtaking waterfall that cascades down the side of a fern covered cliff. The setting is as dramatic as the falls themselves and those who are not afraid of getting wet can walk right behind the falls and view the curtain of water from behind.
Just north of Dorrigo amid the rolling farmland is Dangar Falls, a lovely waterfall with a drop of 30 metres with a viewing platform and a walking trail to the bottom of the falls. Dangar Falls is a dream swimming spot that is easy to access via a short 10 minute walk. The water here is cold however, after the initial shock, it’s incredibly invigorating.
Dorrigo offers the adventurous-at-heart extraordinary bush walking, 4 wheel driving, mountain bike riding, canoeing, horse-riding, bird watching and trout fishing.