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Exploring the 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 offroad travellers of all levels of experience.

Essential information

Grading: Good ground clearance and all-terrain tyres at the least

Time: Two or three days

Distance: 234km

Longest drive without fuel: 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

Camping: Nymboi-Binderay National ParkPlatypus Flat, The Junction, Cod Hole

Important contacts: 

Dorrigo Rainforest Centre
P: 02 6657 2309

NPSW Grafton
P: 02 6641 1500 

Coffs Harbour Hinterland

The drive

Leaving Coffs Harbour, travel north to Korora. Just before Korora, turn left onto Bruxner Park Road, 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) onto Polyosma Road, which ascends the Coast Range through dense forest to the junction of the bitumen Gaudrons Road and Settles Road. Take Settles Road north through state forest to join the Nana Glen Road (bitumen). LHT and then RHT onto Boyds Road, 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 Road — 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 Road. 

Boyds Road passes through Wedding Bells SF to eventually terminate at a Y-junction with Gentle Annie Road (on the east — to Woolgoolga), and the Sherwood Road on the west. Follow Sherwood Road west by northwest to Glenreagh across mainly sandstone ranges and plateaus. You pass Pudding Road 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 Road on the left (a very steep switchback descent to the Orara River and Glenreagh Road) 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 Valley towards the northern extremity of the Dorrigo Plateau. The Sherwood Road then descends the range to join the Upper Corindi Road. 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 Road and the quaint village of Glenreagh with its timber and railway history.

From the north side of Glenreagh, turn west onto the Tallawudjah Creek Road then turn right onto the Twelve Sixty Road 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 Road and the Black Mountain Road. There is an excellent camping area here at the site of an old Forestry Camp. Take the Black Mountain Road some 10km to turn left onto Junction Road, which descends steeply to The Junction day use and camping area: a place of isolation and tranquillity.

Return to the Cradle Creek Road and head south past the old gold-mining locality of Moleton to historic Lowanna. South of Lowanna, turn left onto the Coramba Mountain Road and right onto the Lower Bobo Road that travels through to Cascade village. Then follow Moses Rock Road, Mororo Road and Cedar Road to the beautiful Platypus Flat campground.

An interesting side trip

Travellers with a serious 4WD seeking some adventure can take Measuring Hut Road just west of Cascade north to turn left onto Mobong Falls Road. 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 Road, which crosses Flaggy Creek above the Flaggy Falls to join Black Bull Road. RHT onto Retrievers Road and the Cod Hole Road 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 Road to the Moses Rock Road south to Retrievers Road and then via Cedar Road to Platypus Flat.

From Platypus Flat, retrace Cedar Road east to Cascade. Then travel south past Briggsvale towards Megan to turn left (east) before the village onto Old Coramba Road that takes you back to Ulong and the Coramba Mountain Road. Turn right onto Corfes Road to once again enter Bushmans Range and Bindarri National Park. Turn left onto Pine Road to descend steeply to Dairyville, then proceed straight ahead on Range Road to follow the signs to a series of falls and beautiful isolated reserves — including Bangalore Creek, Urumbilum, Mirrong, Last Effort and Try Again Falls, which are accessed via walking trails. The circuit to take is Range Road through to the dead end of Urumbilum Road — then via Loudens Road and Bangalore Road back to Range Road. Pine Road descends the range through tall eucalypt forest to the Urumbilum River. Turn right at the base of the range onto Jersey Bull Road to enter the idyllic and pristine lower section of Bindarri NP.

The Dairyville Road travels east to Upper Orara — turn right onto Upper Orara Road to Dunvegan and right onto Fridays Creek Road and right again onto South Island Loop Road. Island Loop Road (SW), Dingo Creek Road (S), Frontage Creek Road (S) and then Peak Road (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 Road 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 Road and Coramba Road.)

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 a popular spot and definitely worth the effort. Alternatively, take the Surf Club beach access south to the entrance of the Bellinger-Kalang estuary.

Next steps

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