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The Forests of Coffs Harbour Region

Updated: May 9, 2022

Hinterland of Coffs Harbour Upper Orara, Bellingen, and Dorrigo

Coffs Harbour, with its gorgeous beaches and attractions, is a popular holiday destination on NSW's North Coast. In the Coffs Harbour region, there is much more to discover than just the beaches; the Hinterland.

Coffs Harbour hinterland

I'll take you to Upper Orara, Bellingen, and Dorrigo so you can see the amazing rainforests of the area.

Sealy Lookout Coffs Harbour

Sealy Lookout, Coffs Harbour

Forest Sky Pier, Sealy Lookout is close to the Big Banana, a well-known landmark in the area. The trip up to the overlook is lovely, going past many banana farms before entering the rainforest on a winding uphill road. Tree Tops Coffs Harbour is a fun location to stop before reaching the overlook.

When you arrive at the Sealy Lookout carpark, you'll be greeted with a breathtaking view over Coffs Harbour and other North Coast NSW beaches. The skywalk is the ideal location for capturing that great Instagram shot! Take the rainforest circle trek and appreciate the birds and plants to make the most of your excursion up to Sealy Lookout. It isn't a difficult journey (not suitable for wheelchairs).

Picnic tables and restrooms are available.

upper orara Coffs hinterland

Although there isn't much to do in Upper Orara, NSW, a trip through this gorgeous region is well worth it. It was almost as if you were in the countryside of the United Kingdom. I found a fantastic Airbnb in Orara that transported me to a location where I felt at one with nature.

I went for a drive on the Eastern Dorrigo Way the next morning, thinking I'd be able to go to Dorrigo this way, but it turns out the remaining 35 kilometres of the route are gravel! I was only driving an insufficient Suzuki Alto, which isn't ideal for gravel curving roads, so I had to return to the beginning (all up two hours). On my drive, I discovered an amazing State Forest and a charming settlement called Ulong, and I had no regrets.

Dorrigo National Park


Bellingen has a lot to offer in terms of shopping, dining, and coffee! The village is lovely, with a variety of stores. The nature surrounding the area is phenomenal and a beautiful part of NSW.

Dorrigo national park

Dorrigo National Park is a national park in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

In and out of Dorrigo, the route is an experience in and of itself. It can be a lengthy procedure to get there because it is a long winding uphill climb, especially if there is a lot of traffic. Take aware that you must give way to vehicles rising in various specified areas of the road when descending.

On the climb up, the vista is breathtaking. The Dorrigo National Park lies on the right as you approach the settlement. This was the highlight of my trip to the Coffs Coast Hinterland.

Skywalk overlook, which is connected to the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, provides a wonderful view of the surrounding area, which includes the Bellinger Valley to the coast, steep valleys and gorges, and lush rainforest. The Skywalk is a 70-metre boardwalk that rises 21 metres above the rainforest. Everyone has access to it.

Take a virtual tour of the Skywalk overlook, which was captured using Google Street View Trekker.

crystal falls Dorrigo national park

Dorrigo National Park's Crystal Shower Falls

The National Park has a range of trails for different fitness levels, so if hiking in North Coast NSW is on your itinerary, this park should be on your list! You will not be let down.

I was not worried to go on this hike alone because there are many people who are discovering the sanctuary's beauties. After stopping for photos and speaking with other nature lovers, I decided to do the longer journey, which took about 2 hours.

I almost avoided walking on a Red Belly Black snake that was on the footpath, so keep a watch out, especially during the summer.

Dorrigo national park

You'll see a lot of birds as you walk through the rainforest. Brush Turkeys (I even saw several chicks) and, as previously said, possibly a snake will be seen. This is a spectacular walk, complete with waterfalls and thrilling bridges to traverse.

The Crystal Waters Falls you an opportunity to stand behind the river and witness nature's magic.

I drove into the Village after my enjoyable day at the National Park. This village's location on top of the mountain is perplexing! There are a few cafes in the area, as well as numerous shops throughout the village. I thought it to be a peaceful village where people were relaxed and simply living their lives. There's no need to worry!

I drove down to Dangar Falls and was dismayed to hear that they were closed due to boardwalk maintenance. I had met a couple of others from the Rainforest Walk earlier who had gone to see the falls and had waded through the river, but I had opted not to do so. They assured me that it was worthwhile because the falls are breathtaking.

If you are a vistor to NSW and love nature then a couple of days exploring the Coffs region is a must do.


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