Dorrigo, where mountains meet sky

Rainforest Boardwalk (Photo: Steve de Vroom)

Up in the clouds, at an elevation of 760 metres overlooking the beauty of the north coast of NSW, sits a pretty little town called Dorrigo.

Leaving the Pacific Highway at Urunga, just south of Coffs Harbour, you travel through lush farmland and the alternative lifestyle town of Bellingen, then wind your way up the Waterfall Way to the top of the escarpment. Dorrigo greets you and makes you feel welcome. As the name suggests, the Waterfall Way takes you through the land of waterfalls and you pass over two of them on the drive up the mountain. They actually flow under the road and continue on down the mountain.

Waterfall Way has been described as one of the top motorcycle rides in NSW. Stretching from Urunga on the Pacific Highway to Armidale, it traverses some of the richest agricultural land in the country. In the town you may discover what is famous as the “world’s smallest motorcycle museum” at Juan’s Cafe Del Fuego.

Dorrigo has the highest rainfall in NSW at over 4 metres of rain per annum. It also boasts a World Heritage listed Rainforest National Park. This park is a major attraction of the town and is well equipped to handle the many visitors who come to walk along the pathways in dappled light, discovering natural beauty, waterfalls and native fauna protected by the unique rainforest vegetation that has evolved over thousands of years.

Waterfall (Photo: Steve de Vroom)

A boardwalk allows visitors to move out into the canopy to experience the treetop view enjoyed by the rainforest birds and gaze out towards the ocean through the mountain haze. The boardwalk is wheelchair accessible.

There are many choices when it comes to accommodation in Dorrigo and if you want to see all the wonders that the district offers, you would do well to plan to stay for several days in the area. My favourite place to stay is a Bed and Breakfast establishment, located on Dome Road  just 2km past the National Park. Run by  international tour guide, Helen Proud, Gracemere Grange is a haven of tranquillity where you can relax in a country home with an expansive view across the rich farmland of the district. Children and pets are welcome and Helen is an expert on all the lesser-known wonders of the area. More info is available on their website.

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