Coffs Harbour Hinterland
The Coffs Harbour region is home to a wide range of 4WD tracks that cut through this lush coastal hinterland, making it an accommodating destination for off-road travellers of all levels of experience.
|Grading||Good ground clearance and all-terrain tyres at the least|
Two or three days
|112km, Lowanna to Boambee|
|Facilities||Lowanna, Coffs Harbour, Cascade (no fuel), Glenreagh, Boambee, Mylestom|
|Best time of year||Any but can be dangerous after rain|
|Warnings||Recovery gear and tyre repair gear should be carried. As you will be travelling through tall-forested areas fallen trees may be a problem, hence a chainsaw kit is recommended but not essential. The trek is suitable for towed camper trailers except for the Mobong and Flaggy Creek Loop and the Bonville Peak Loop. It is wise to travel in a group so that assistance is readily available. Track conditions throughout this trek vary considerably and can become dangerous after rain as many tracks are composed of clay and covered with leaf litter.|
|Permits and fees||National park camping fees apply in Nymboi-Binderay National Park|
Nymboi-Binderay National Park
Dorrigo Rainforest Centre Ph (02) 6657 2309
NPSW Grafton Ph (02) 6641 1500 www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
Leaving Coffs Harbour, travel north to Korora. Just before Korora, turn left into Bruxner Park Rd, and enter one of the best sections of remnant subtropical rainforest in the region – Bruxner Park. Turn left at the ridgetop to Sealy Lookout with panoramic views over Coffs Harbour, the coast and ranges. At the northern boundary of Bruxner Park, turn right (east) into Polyosma Rd, which ascends the Coast Range through dense forest to the junction of the bitumen Gaudrons Rd and Settles Rd. Take Settles Rd north through state forest to join the Nana Glen Rd (bitumen). LHT and then RHT into Boyds Rd, which continues north past Stony Hill along the Coast Range. The tracks you pass on the right (Link, Stony and Power Line roads) all descend the range steeply to join the Eastern Boundary Rd – all these tracks are Graded 3-4 especially when wet and all allow you to descend the range and then to re-ascend the range to join Boyds Rd – a little bit of adventure but not for AWDs.
Boyds Rd passes through Wedding Bells SF to eventually terminate at a Y-junction with Gentle Annie Rd (on the east – to Woolgoolga), and the Sherwood Rd on the west. Follow Sherwood Rd west by northwest to Glenreagh across mainly sandstone ranges and plateaus. You pass Pudding Rd on the right and travel through Conglomerate SF and the southern section of the Sherwood NR. This trek is notable in that it follows the southern escarpment of the Conglomerate Range. You pass Waihou Rd on the left (a very steep switchback descent to the Orara River and Glenreigh Rd) before encountering a number of short tracks (unnamed) that take you to lookouts along the escarpment where you have an unrestricted view across the Orara River Valley towards the northern extremity of the Dorrigo Plateau. The Sherwood Rd then descends the range to join the Upper Corindi Rd. A RHT here takes you a short distance past Arthur Gap to the falls and swimming hole on Middle Creek adjacent to the bridge crossing: a great place for a break after a short walk. A LHT takes you to the Glenreagh Rd and the quaint village of Glenreagh with its timber and railway history.
From the north side of Glenreagh, turn west into the Tallawudjah Creek Rd then turn right into the Twelve-Sixty Rd that passes through the magnificent tall stands of wet sclerophyll (eucalypt) within the Twelve-Sixty Flora Reserve. You now come to a Y-intersection with Cradle Creek Rd and the Black Mountain Rd. There is an excellent camping area here at the site of an old Forestry Camp. Take the Black Mountain Rd some 10km to turn left into Junction Rd, which descends steeply to The Junction day use and camping area: a place of isolation and tranquillity.
Return to the Cradle Creek Rd and head south past the old gold-mining locality of Moleton to historic Lowanna. South of Lowanna, turn left into the Coramba Mountain Rd and right into the Lower Bobo Rd that travels through to Cascade village. Then follow Moses Rock Rd, Mororo Rd and Cedar Rd to the beautiful Platypus Flat campground.
An interesting side trip
Travellers with a serious 4WD seeking some adventure can take Measuring Hut Rd just west of Cascade north to turn left into Mobong Falls Rd. This overgrown track will take you across Mobong Creek at the very top of Mobong Falls to join the Orange Fire Road. RHT, and then LHT into Flaggy Falls Rd, which crosses Flaggy Creek above the Flaggy Falls to join Black Bull Rd. RHT into Retrievers Rd and the Cod Hole Rd to descend steeply into The Cod Hole: a favoured launching spot for rafters and paddlers heading down the Nymboida. There is excellent camping at the Cod Hole. To reach Platypus Flat from the Cod Hole, ascend the Cod Hole Rd to the Moses Rock Rd south to Retrievers Rd and then via Cedar Rd to Platypus Flat.
From Platypus Flat, retrace Cedar Rd east to Cascade. Then travel south past Briggsvale towards Megan to turn left (east) before the village into Old Coramba Rd that takes you back to Ulong and the Coramba Mountain Rd. Turn right into Corfes Rd to once again enter Bushmans Range and Bindarri NP. Turn left into Pine Rd to descend steeply to Dairyville, then proceed straight ahead on Range Rd to follow the signs to a series of falls and beautiful isolated reserves – Bangalore Creek, Urumbilum, Mirrong, Last Effort and Try Again Falls, which are accessed via walking trails. The circuit to take is Range Rd through to the dead-end of Urumbilum Rd – then via Loudens Rd and Bangalore Rd back to Range Road. Pine Rd descends the range through tall eucalypt forest to the Urumbilum River. Turn right at the base of the range into Jersey Bull Rd to enter the idyllic and pristine lower section of Bindarri NP.
The Dairyville Rd travels east to Upper Orara – turn right into Upper Orara Rd to Dunvegan and right into Fridays Creek Rd and right again into South Island Loop Rd. Island Loop Rd (SW), Dingo Creek Rd (S), Frontage Creek Rd (S) and then Peak Rd (S then E) ascend Tuckers Knob Range to join the Bonville or Peak Trail at its very crest. Turn east on the Peak Trail to Bonville Peak Trig and then descend east to join the South Boambee Rd to Boambee and the Pacific Highway. These are challenging 4WD tracks: not for beginners. (The easy way back from Dunvegan to Coffs Harbour is via Mt Browns Rd and Coramba Rd.)
To complete this trek, travel south to the Raleigh turnoff to Mylestom where you can gain 4WD access to the beach via Rutile Track (next to the caravan park) to drive north to Bundagen Headland. The coastal walk from Tuckers Rocks to Bundagen Headland is worth the effort. Alternatively, take the Surf Club beach access south to the entrance of the Bellinger-Kalang estuary.