About Dorrigo

From ancient rainforest to vivid waterfalls, Dorrigo is in the heartland of the World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park and is simply not to be missed on any North Coast or Hinterland trip to New South Wales.

The small rural town of Dorrigo is just an hour inland from Coffs Harbour by car via the Waterfall Way, a scenic driving route that winds past five stunning national parks and through Bellingen town centre.

From your stay at Lookout Mountain Retreat, it’s only a short drive or walk to many of the truly memorable Dorrigo sights to see.

Things to do

3 Day Family Itinerary

3 Day Family Itinerary

Dorrigo is an ideal spot for families. Pack the family and come explore the beautiful Dorrigo area together without breaking the bank!

Wheelchair Access in Dorrigo

In a wheelchair? No problem! Stay in wheelchair friendly accomodation and learn how to explore Dorrigo National Park in a TrailRider!

Charming cafes and local finds

Dorrigo town centre epitomises country style living with locally-owned cafes, shops and the Heritage Hotel, its relaxing to wander through the main street, mingling with locals and perusing the local finds and produce.

Guest favourites include: Dorrigo Deli, Peaches Patisserie, Food Angel Café, Cheeky Sparrow Cafe, Components Café, Tallowood Cafe, and Heritage Hotel & Pub. If you’re interested in shopping and gifts, visit What Do You Think Miss Wink. Mountain Merchant Emporium, What do you think Miss Wink,  Misty Threads and Big Table Studio.

Looking for convenience stores? There’s an IGA and 5-star Supermarket, Dorrigo Cellars, Pam’s Fruit and Vegetables, Dorrigo Bakery and Dorrigo Plateau Pharmacy for any health needs you may have.

Dorrigo Community Markets

1st Saturday of each month (rain or shine) 8.30am to 12.00 noon.

A community market with a range of products and services from the Dorrigo Plateau and surrounding areas. Featuring fresh local foods, arts and crafts, tea and coffee and light food held in a convivial country atmosphere.

Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and National Park

A part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Dorrigo National Park is a short distance from Lookout Mountain Retreat.

Begin your adventures at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre. There are exhibitions on the flora, fauna and the many animals and birds who call the rainforest home. Including lyrebirds, who are famous for their uncanny ability to imitate almost any sound.

Image courtesy of National Parks & Wildlife Service

Skywalk Lookout

You can walk above the rainforest canopy to the Skywalk lookout, located at the Rainforest Centre. The lookout platform perched over the escarpment edge provides a close-up view of the rainforest canopy. The boardwalk takes you over the top of the rainforest canopy, providing magnificent views over the rainforest, down to the Bellinger Valley and sometimes as far as the Pacific Ocean on a clear, blue sky day.

Lyrebird Link Track

The Lyrebird Link track winds past the fluted trunks of giant stinging trees and birds nest ferns. The easy 800 metres-return trail connects to the Wonga walk, a 6.6km loop that includes the gorgeous Crystal Shower Falls. Here, you can take a brief walk to a rocky cavern behind the pretty waterfall.

Crystal Shower Falls

Also located off the Rainforest Centre is the spectacular short walk (3.5km return) to Crystal Water Falls. What is most appealing about these falls is that you are able to walk behind the falls. Lush rainforest towers above you on the walk to the falls and you might hear the call of rainforest birds like fruit doves or lyre birds.

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. It’s well worth the 1-2 hour expedition.

Image courtesy of visitnsw.com

The Satinbird Stroll

The Satinbird stroll is near the Glade picnic area, where there are barbecues and other amenities free for use. A great place to have a picnic or spend the afternoon, the stroll is named after the satin bowerbird (pictured left) renowned for its remarkable courtship ritual.

Birdwatching on this track is superb, so don’t forget to bring a pair of binoculars. You might be lucky enough to spot the stroll’s namesake or perhaps a migrating black-faced monarch between September and March.

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. It’s well worth the 1-2 hour expedition.

Image courtesy of visitnsw.com

Never Never Picnic area

Most visitors to Dorrigo National Park frequent The Glade picnic area but tucked away in the gorgeous interior is a quieter alternative, just past Dorrigo Rainforest Centre. Never Never picnic area is an ideal spot for anybody wanting a spot of nature and privacy.

Image courtesy of visitnsw.com

Walk with Birds

To keep the legs moving, consider connecting the stroll to Walk with the Birds boardwalk. The Walk with Birds Boardwalk is enthralling, too. The wheelchair-accessible elevated path winds through the emerald forest, home to hundreds of bird species such as the paradise riflebird – the jet-black males with greenish blue iridescent crowns and breasts perform amazing courtship dances.

Image courtesy of visitnsw.com

Rosewood Creek

Rosewood Creek offers sparkling pools and cascading waterfalls for budding photographers. Find a shady spot on the bank for a picnic snack or pull out some binoculars for bountiful birdwatching. In spring, the area also blooms with flowering trees such as the famous Dorrigo waratah. To extend your walk, turn at the Red Cedar Falls junction, and return via a spectacular route.

Image courtesy of National Parks & Wildlife Service

Red Cedar Falls

Near the quieter Never Never picnic area is the Rosewood Creek walking track to the cascading Coachwood Falls and the Red Cedar Falls walking track to the largest waterfall in the national park. The strenuous hike to Red Cedar Falls is one of suspense, with glimpses of dramatic vistas and World Heritage-listed rainforest.

Image courtesy of National Parks & Wildlife Service

The Glade Picnic Area

The area has great facilities and offers stunning views from its elevated lookout. After a picnic lunch there are lots of walking tracks to explore, like the Crystal Shower Falls walk that starts nearby.

Besides its natural beauty, The Glade picnic area has free barbecues, as well as undercover and outdoor picnic tables. And don’t be surprised if a brush turkey or a wallaby sneaks up to join your barbecue. The Glade picnic area is also home to the park’s field study centre.

Image courtesy of National Parks & Wildlife Service

Dangar Falls

Just north of Dorrigo amid the rolling farmland is Dangar Falls, a lovely waterfall with a drop of 30 metres. There is a viewing platform and a walking trail to the Bielsdown River at the bottom of the falls. You can walk or ride your bicycle from the town centre to the waterfall, next to a picnic area.

Information courtesy of Visit NSW and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
For more information on Dorrigo Activities head to Visitnsw.com or NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

Other Day Trip Activities

White-water Rafting

Exodus Adventures offer a white-water rafting experience on the Upper Nymboida River. On your rafting adventure you will experience surging grade 3-4 rapids and exciting white-water. They will guide you through this rugged paradise richly steeped in history, lush rainforests, spectacular gorges and deep tranquil pools. This unique rafting tour will give you awesome contrasts of power and peace, giving you the ultimate outdoor playground all year round. Find out more information at Exodus Adventures.

Cathedral Rock National Park

Rock-hopping isn’t just for the wallaroos at Cathedral Rock National Park. Hike to the park’s main boulder piles of Woolpack Rocks and Cathedral Rock and scramble to their summits. Then enjoy the superb views across the wilderness landscape of dry eucalypt forest and granite outcrops.

Perfect for a day trip, there are plenty of sights to see as well as birds to watch. Including the screech of the glossy black cockatoo or you may be lucky to spot the endangered turquoise parrot and remember to look out for the wedge-tailed eagle silently circling the granite tors. For more detailed visit information click here

Ebor Falls

Please note: Ebor Falls is currently closed due to bushfire damage. The Gumbaynggirr people traditionally called Ebor Falls ‘Martiam’, which means ‘the great falls’. Located in the Guy Fawkes River National Park, it’s around a 45-minute drive from Dorrigo along the Waterfall Way towards Armidale. Ebor Falls is easily a half-day or day trip excursion from Dorrigo.

Watch the spectacular Guy Fawkes River plunging 100m over two waterfalls at Ebor Falls. Three lookout platforms along the edge of the gorge – upper falls, lower falls and valley view — give spectacular views out into the rugged gorge country. A walking track links the upper falls and lower falls lookout platforms via the escarpment edge and is an easy walk that’s suitable for children. You can start out at either end and return via the road.

Golden everlasting daisies bloom around the upper falls in the warmer months and rare ground orchids flower in the late spring and summer. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a wedge-tailed eagle soaring above you as you picnic in the grassy woodlands area next to the falls.

Word of advice: pick your visit wisely as Ebor can experience much colder temperatures than Dorrigo resulting in thick fogs and very poor visibility of the Falls and surrounds. Best to visit National Park’s website to check for any weather alerts or updates before you plan your trip.

Visitor information courtesy of Visit NSW and NSW National Parks.
For more information on Dorrigo Activities head to Visitnsw.com