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SEALED OR SOFT ROADER ROUTES Waterfalls and World Heritage 6 Southern Beaches Trail 8 Valley Escapes 10 Hinterland Hideaway 12 The Ultimate Touring Trail 14


CONTENTS 4x4 TOURING ON COFFS COAST 4x4 driving Local 4WD groups

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4WD ROUTES Northern Beach to Bush 18 Boambee Beach 20 Orara Escarpment 22 Coffs Harbour Mines 24 Platypus Flat 26 Rover and Commando Trail 28 Mount Coramba 30

January 2014 Produced by: Coffs Coast Marketing, Coffs Harbour City Council Enquiries: Coffs Harbour Visitor Information Centre. T: 1300 369 070. E: Disclaimer: The contents of this guidebook are presented as source information only and in good faith on the basis that Coffs Harbour City Council and employees, are not liable (whether by reason of error, omission, negligence, lack of care or otherwise) to any person for any damage or loss whatsoever which has occurred or may occur in relation to that person taking or not taking (as the case may be) action in respect of any information given in this booklet.


Touring Trails Coffs Coast is made for touring, so jump in, buckle up and enjoy the ride. Head off into the wilderness and discover the lands where dinosaurs once roamed, migratory birds call home and rivers converge as the Sub-Alpine, Sub-Tropical and Sub-Marine all present themselves in the one place. This diverse hot spot called the Coffs Coast offers stunning scenic drives, touring trails and 4WD routes ranging from mild to wild. From cruisy coastal routes on sealed surfaces to off-road peaks, ridgelines, rocky outcrops and steep hills for 4x4 vehicles; simply turn off the Pacific Highway and within minutes you’ll be greeted by treasured landscapes, fabulous site seeing and activities to engage in along the way. Enclosed within this guide are our top touring trails for the Coffs Coast, providing a mix of journey experiences for everyone from the nature lover to the caravanning grey nomad; those seeking family fun to outdoor adventurers. More details at

Acknowledgements Thank you to the following contributors; 4WD and Ute Extras for the provision of some 4WD route details; Seen Australia, ST Images and the National Park and Wildlife Service for some imagery.


The Environment Please take care as you traverse the routes and trails in and around Coffs Coast. If in doubt about weather conditions you can contact the Visitor Information Centre, National Parks or the Forestry Corporation. Wet conditions can cause some off-road areas to be slipery and fire bans should also be noted. Great care is taken in the upkeep of nature areas so please remove any rubbish and leave plants and wildlife undisturbed so that generations to come can also enjoy our beautiful and diverse landscapes.

Contacts Visitor Information Centres Coffs Coast: Cnr Mclean St & Pacific Hwy Coffs Hbr. T: 02 66484990 Bellingen: 29-31 Hyde St, Bellingen. T: 02 66551522 Dorrigo: 36 Hickory St, Dorrigo. T: 02 66572486 Woolgoolga: Cnr Beach & Boundary Sts, Woolgoolga T: 02 66548080 National Parks and Wildlife Service Coffs Harbour: 32 Marina Dr, Coffs Harbour. T: 02 66520900 Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, Dome Rd, Dorrigo. T: 02 66572309 Forestry Corporation 130 West High St, Coffs Harbour. T: 02 66520111


Waterfalls & World Heritage If you love the spectacular sound of rushing water, the spray in the air, photographing lush tropical falls or swimming in fresh streams, then this drive is for you. Between Bellingen and Ebor along the aptly named ‘Waterfall Way’ you can enjoy Newell and Sherrard Falls, Tristania Falls and Crystal Shower Falls, Casuarina and Callicoma Falls, Coachwood Falls and Red Cedar Falls. Up the road in Dorrigo, are the lofty Dangar Falls before continuing to the 2-tiered Ebor Falls. Further afield toward Armidale are Wollomombi and Chandler Falls, Bakers Creek and Dangars Falls. Distance/time: 87 kms one way, allow 4 hours. Grade: Easy. Start / Finish: Bellingen to Ebor. Facilities: Picnic areas at Sherrard Falls, the Never Never, Dangar Falls and Ebor Falls. Highlights: Bellingen, historical town of Dorrigo, National Park walks and waterfalls. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available from Bellingen, Dorrigo and Ebor • Map link: Did you Know? Waterfall Way has been voted one of the top three scenic drives in Australia.




Southern Beaches Drive Looking to get wet? Bays and beaches, headlands, breakwaters, creeks, rivers, estuaries, lagoons, parks, picnic areas, nature reserves, lookout points, boardwalks and seaside towns are all in order on the Southern Beaches Drive. Distance/time: 58 kms one way, 1.5 hours. Allow 4 hours. Grade: Easy. Start / Finish: Coffs Harbour to Urunga. Facilities: Coffs Harbour Marina, Sawtell, Mylestom, Urunga. Highlights: Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour Jetty, Boambee Creek Reserve, village of Sawtell, Sawtell Headland, Bongil Bongil National Park, Bonville Creek, Northbeach Bellinger River, Raleigh Winery, Kalang River, Urunga Lagoon. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available from Coffs Harbour, Sawtell and Urunga • Map link - Did you Know? The Aboriginal name Bongil Bongil means ‘a place where one stays a long time because of the abundance of food’



Valley Escapes An enjoyable day trip through the green pastures and hinterland of Upper Orara before following the old train line out to Nana Glen. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and escarpment ridgelines that frame the valley while sipping on a glass of wine and tucking into some lunch. The trail then leads you past the wet and dry schlerophyll forests of Bucca onto Bruxner Park Flora Reserve on the return. Distance/time: 80kms loop trail. 1.5 hours’ drive, allow 3 hours. Grade: Easy. Start / Finish: Coffs Harbour. Facilities: Coramba and Nana Glen. Toilets at Bruxner Park. Highlights: Quaint country roads through Upper Orara, villages of Coramba and Nana Glen, Two Tales Winery, Kookaburra Cafe, picnicking on the Orara River, Korora Lookout, Lower Bucca and Orara East State Forests and Ulidarra National Park. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available at Coramba and limited fuel in Nana Glen • Map link: Did you Know? The name Nana Glen is derived from the TwoTailed Lizard - a rare and mysterious reptile once spotted in the region.



Hinterland Hideaway Descend from high on the Dorrigo mountain escarpment through stunning national park and sub-tropical rainforest down the plateau where green rolling hills, pastures and forest trails are revealed. Skirt along Junuy Juluun National Park before enjoying 21kms of unsealed roads between Megan and Ulong through Cascade National Park and Wild Cattle Creek State Forest. From Lowanna snake down the Eastern Dorrigo Mountain through the stunning vistas of Nana Creek State Forest. Distance/time: 90 kms one way, 2 hours. Allow 3 hours. Grade: Easy/medium. Start / Finish: Dorrigo to Coffs Harbour Facilities: Dorrigo, Ulong and Lowanna Highlights: Dorrigo, Junay Juluun National Park, Cascade National Park bushwalks, the historic timber town of Cascade with relic steam mill, Old Dorrigo Railway Line near Briggsvale, Bobo River; Ulong RSL, Lowanna or Coramba pubs for lunch; Nana Creek State Forest and viewing platform at Karangi Dam. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available from Dorrigo, Ulong and Coramba • Map link: Did you Know? Historic logging tramline remnants from timber and sawmill days still exist along this route.



The Ultimate Touring Trail See the best of the region on the ultimate touring trail by car, motorcycle or off-roader. You’ll be surprised by the diversity of the landscapes from coast to plantations, rainforest to mountains. After heading west, traverse north near the Nymboida River before cruising through state forests to return to the coast. To make the most of the stops we recommend staying overnight in Bellingen or Dorrigo. Distance/time: 365 kms loop, 6 hours. Allow 2 days. Grade: Easy/medium. Start / Finish: Sawtell Facilities: Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, Dorrigo, Ebor, Nana Glen Highlights: Sawtell, Dorrigo, waterfalls, the Nymboida River, lunch at Coaching Station Inn, bushwalks, rainforest, lookouts. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available from Urunga, Bellingen, Dorrigo and Nana Glen. • Map link: Did you Know? The Nymboida River is 165km long and descends over 1000m from it’s main source in the New England National Park.


4WD Coffs Coast Coffs Coast offers everything from beaches to plantations and sub-tropical rainforest to test your 4x4 skills on and with track names like Commando, Broken, Dump, Widowmaker, Impossibles, Rocky and Perseverance, you can guess what types of terrains are available within the region. Please note that track conditions change with weather and use. Where possible always travel with other vehicles and ensure that you have the skills and suitable equipment to hand, before departure. Would you like to know more? A 4WD touring book with routes, history, stories and suggested stop locations is produced by local 4WD enthusiast Kev Smith and available at ARB & Ute Extra’s or take a look at his blog, For extremely challenging 4WD trails we recommend speaking to ARB, TJM or the Coffs 4WD Clubs; their details follow.

Local 4WD groups Coffs Coast Jeepers

For Jeep lovers and owners, this non-profit organisation affiliated with the 4WD NSW and ACT Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, coordinate outings monthly. Contact: Graham Harris T: 0428 582 668 E:

Coffs Harbour 4x4 Club

Join an organised 4WD trip with the social not for profit group affiliated with the Recreational Four Wheel Drive Association of Australia. A couple of drives are organised each month in and around the region. T: 6653 2466. E:


4WD Essentials ARB & Ute Extras In addition to topographic maps, ARB can kit your car up with 4WD essentials to go off road anywhere in Australia. Take up the special package offer from ARB and get two free nights’ accommodation while your 4WD is getting bull bars, winches, side steps, snorkels, reverse cameras or other gear. T: 02 6651 6461. E:


A list of products as long as your arm for your 4WD including canopies, diff locks, tents, recovery and bush kits, lighting, batteries and more. Come and have a chat to the team about your Coffs Coast 4WD adventure. T: 02 6652 4899. E:

4WD Checklist 1. Vehicle suitability eg. low range gears and safety check 2. All terrain tyres are also a good idea, along with a spare and an air compressor 3. Good ground clearance under your 4WD for creek crossings, rocky climbs and tree branches 4. UHF radio to stay in touch with others 5. Good topography maps or GPS device 6. Snatch-em straps, tow ropes & winch for vehicle recovery 7. Enough food and water for the trip and a little longer 8. Contact National Parks & Wildlife Service or Forestry Corp. before you set off to check if bush fires or wet conditions have resulted in closed or inaccessible trails. 9. 4WD with other vehicles or at least notify someone of where you are going


Northern Beaches to Bush One of the 4x4 driving beach treasures - Yuraygir National Park offers estuary creek crossings, sand dunes and million dollar ocean views. We recommend staying overnight at Station Creek before continuing on the route, traversing forest trails to view headland vistas onto rocky hill climbs. Distance/time: 103 kms, 2.5 hours. Allow 2 days. Grade: Medium/difficult. Check tide times in Yuraygir National Park for creek crossings. Start / Finish: Station Creek to Orara East State Forest. Facilities: Station Creek and Sherwood Nature Reserve picnic areas, toilet and BBQ facilities Emerald Beach. Highlights: Sand dunes and estuary of Station Creek Yuraygir National Park, Sherwood Falls, Mary’s Waterhole, kangaroos at Look at Me Now Headland Emerald Beach, flora and fauna, 4x4 tracks through Conglomerate State Forest and Orara East State Forest. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available from Emerald Beach • ARB maps: N.W.Region–Hema, Woolgoolga 9537-4N, Glenreagh 9437-1N, Moonee Beach 9537-4S • Map link: Did you Know? The keyman statue acknowledges the maker of Jonas, a Lithuanian tightrope walker and local axeman in the 1960’s.




Boambee Beach If golden sandy beaches, crystal clear blue ocean waters and islands dotted on the landscape is more your driving scene, then 4WD owners will enjoy cruising along the sands of Boambee Beach. Distance/time: 5.7 kms one way, 20 minutes. Grade: Medium. Hazardous and inaccessible at high tide. Start / Finish: Northern end of Boambee Beach, Corambirra Point, Coffs Harbour Jetty. Facilities: The Deep Sea Fishing Club, Coffs Harbour Jetty Highlights: Boambee Bay Creek, 15m high foredunes (driving on dunes is prohibited), historical bunker remnants, fishing, surfing at ‘Gallows’, swimming in Boambee Bay Reserve. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available from Coffs Harbour Jetty • Map link: Did You Know?: Other 4WD beaches on Coffs Coast are Corindi/ Pipeclay Beach (Arrawarra), Darkum Beach, Hearnes Lake Beach and Woolgoolga Back Beach.


Orara Escarpment This delightful day trip full of waterfalls, picnic spots, swimming holes and wildlife dotted along the landscape, journeys through valleys framed by mountain views and ridgelines, forests and national parks. The stunning Bangalore Falls is a great place for a picnic and bushwalks to more remote falls downriver such as Urumbilum Falls where the head waters create a dramatically deep cut gorge in a remote and rugged setting. Distance/time: 52kms. Allow 4 hours. Grade: Medium. 500m up Wedds Rd a winch is required. Start / finish: Sawtell to Bangalore Falls Facilities: Sawtell. Toilets at Bangalore Falls picnic area. Highlights: Old-growth forests, waterfalls, abundant wildlife, Bangalore Falls, Urumbilum River, crystal clear swimming streams, Bindarri National Park, Orara West State Forest, Boambee State Forest. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available from Sawtell • Map link: Did You Know?: Bindarri means ‘many creeks’ in the local Gumbaynggir language.



Coffs Harbour Mines Not many people associate Coffs Coast with mining, but at the turn of the century there were literally hundreds of mines around the region. The whole area was rich in minerals including gold, silver, copper, tin, gas and even some mercury. They range from simple pits to major workings. It is great for kids to explore just be careful and look out for open mine shafts. From Coramba take Eastern Dorrigo Way, after 9km turn right onto Bella Spur Rd (Forest Trail sign) up to Battery Rd before reaching Orara Way. Distance/time: 40kms loop. Allow 4 hours. Grade: Medium. Start / finish: Coramba Facilities: Coramba and Nana Glen Highlights: old mines, mining relics and equipment, old growth forests, endangered Bent-Wing Bats, Nana Creek Village. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available from Nana Glen and Coffs Harbour • ARB maps- N.E.Region –Hema, Coffs Hbr –9537-3N, Moonee Beach –9537-4S, Moleton –9437-1S • Exact trail details and mining relic locations in Kev Smith’s book Coffs Coast 4WD Destinations. Did You Know?: The Coffs Coast had over 100 registered gold mines at the turn of the 20th century.



Platypus Flat Trail Tour 60km’s west of Coffs Harbour for a huge array of scenery and history to keep you and the kids captivated. Take in the sites of old schools, log camps and mills from 100 years ago. Platypus Flat is great for swimming and camping. Then 8kms down Mills Rd to Moonpar Rd, head to Norman Jolly Memorial Grove to see the 800 year old Tallowood Trees towering overhead. Distance/time: 65kms one way. Allow two days and stay overnight Grade: Easy to Medium (rain may cause tracks to become slippery). Suitable for 4x4 vehicles. Some unsealed roads. Start/finish: Coffs Harbour to Nymboi-Binderay National Park Facilities: Coramba, Ulong, Cascade and Platyus Flat Highlights: Exploring the hinterland, rainforest, massive timber stands, old settlements, mills and train relics, swimming, fishing, granite gorges, bushwalks, Norman Jolly Memorial Grove. Requirements/resources: • Fuel available in Coramba and Ulong • ARB maps - N.E.Region –Hema, Dundurrabin – 9437-4S, Moleton – 9437 -1S, Glenreagh – 9437-1N • Map link: Did You Know?: This is a world famous and challenging whitewater area where two rivers, the Nymboida and Wild Cattle Creek meet.




Rover and Commando Trails The Rover Trail is a great local track for experienced 4x4 drivers and will take you through a variety of landscapes. From Korora through banana plantations, Orara East State Forest, old logging sites to dense rainforest and mountain views. Parts of the track are very difficult and also shared with motorbike riders. As a side trip, continue down Rover Trail and 2km up Sealy Lookout Road to the Forest Sky Pier. Distance/time: 25kms one way, allow 2.5 hours. Grade: Medium/difficult. Some steep clay and rocky climbs. Rain causes a slippery track. Start / finish: Korora to Karangi Facilities: toilet facilities at Sealy Lookout, store at Karangi Highlights: Flora and Fauna, stunning coastal views, mountain views, old growth forests, Orara East State Forest. Resources: • Fuel available from Sapphire • ARB maps -N.W. Region –Hema, Moonee Beach – 9537S and Coffs Harbour – 9537-3N • Map link Did You Know?: In 1970, Queen Elizabeth II visited Sealy Lookout to enjoy the panorama, where the Forest Sky Pier now stands.



Mount Coramba For the serious off roaders, the rocky section of Dump Trail near Mount Coramba is a challenge and a half. This 4x4 trail requires diff locks, a winch and a second vehicle in case towing is required. One of the better routes is to turn right from Morbid Trail onto Taylors Creek Road and left to go up Dump Trail. Distance: 23kms one way, allow 2 hours. Grade: Extreme. Start/finish: Coffs Harbour to Mount Coramba Facilities: Small selection of supplies at the Karangi store Highlights: The views from Mount Coramba, Orara East State Forest, 4WD terrain to test your skills on. Resources: • Fuel available from Coffs Harbour • Trail route at Did You Know?: Mount Coramba is 576m above sea level and topped with a Telstra telecommunications tower.


For more touring trails go to

Coffs Coast Touring Trails