From ancient rainforest to dramatic waterfalls, Dorrigo is the gateway to the World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park. You can walk above the rainforest canopy to the Skywalk lookout, and in the charming Coffs Coast hinterland town enjoy cafes, a heritage hotel and a popular music festival.
The small rural town is an hour inland from Coffs Harbour on the Waterfall Way, a scenic driving route that winds past five stunning national parks. Dorrigo National Park, which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, is a short drive from the eponymous town.
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.
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.
The Satinbird stroll is near the Glade picnic area, where there are barbecues and other amenities. Near the quieter Never Never picnic area are 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.
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.
You'll find accommodation options to suit various budgets, including retreats, a bed and breakfast federation home, cottages and the 1925-built Heritage Hotel Motel, which has a bistro. Nearby is the delicious Food Angel Cafe. The three-day Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival is held every October.