Twenty minutes drive from Bellingen (via Waterfall Way) will lead you to Dorrigo National Park, home to part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests (the world’s most extensive area of subtropical rainforests, with reserves clustered around the NSW and Queensland borders).
Set out on foot from the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and lose yourself in a giant cubbyhouse of trees; you may hear the Indiana Jones theme song echoing softly between your ears as you walk through what looks like a Peruvian jungle complete with fat, python-like vines coiled and falling from branches.
The path will bring you to a suspended wooden bridge offering prime viewing of the gorgeous Crystal Shower Falls, then follow the track around (you’ll see what we mean) for a backstage pass as the water thunders down in front of your eyes.
The entire walk takes around three hours and ends (or begins) with ‘The Skywalk’ – a wooden viewing platform that opens up views all the way out to the Pacific Ocean, past rolling green mountains and sweeping valleys of the region. Then venture another five minutes in your car to Dangar Falls, where a walk to the base will have you staring up at the powerful body of water throwing itself continuously over the cliff’s edge.
Stomachs grumbling after a grand adventure? Kenton Shaw refuels the weary traveller at Dorrigo Wholefoods, with his tasty range of fare – organic, of course (we did warn this would be Byron-themed). Dishes are whipped up daily from whatever inspires; ask for a cup of ‘Pop’s Blend’ coffee to kickstart the heart.
If something stronger tickles your fancy, wander across the road to the Red Dirt Distillery to sample their potato vodkas and Italian-style aperitifs – the shop has a Breaking Bad feel about it with large pot stills scattered throughout the shop, ready to produce the tasty concoctions.