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Dooragan National Park

Important information

Alerts for Dooragan National Park: fire bans

Details

Updated: 01/11/2014 12:01 AM

“Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy the park is from the summit. I always bring friends from out of town up here.”

Dooragan National Park is the perfect place to relax and unwind, while enjoying the view over a casual picnic and watching the passing parade of wildlife. Located west of Laurieton - a pretty coastal village - the views from North Brother's summit are exceptional, stretching far over Queens Lake and North Haven. Easy accessibility makes it a fantastic destination to bring guests and visitors to the region.

Several of the park’s walks, including Laurieton track, take you through spectacular blackbutt forests which mingle with enormous old stumps, reflecting the old days of timber harvesting in the park. The trails are buzzing with the sounds of the park’s wildlife residents and, in summer, the echo of cicadas can almost be overpowering.

Dooragan National Park is so diverse, it’s not unusual to see colourful hang-gliders launching from the popular North Brother summit, or even wedding parties posing for photos on their big day.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Dooragan National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

Dreamtime stories
The local Aboriginal people tell a Dreamtime story of three brothers in the Birpai tribe who were killed and buried where the mountains stand. The youngest of the three brothers was Dooragan, hence the park’s name. Coincidentally, ‘Three Brothers’ was also a name given to the three mountains by Captain James Cook as he sailed past in 1770, without any knowledge that the local Aboriginal people referred to them in such a similar way.

The lifeblood of Laurieton
Sixty or so years after Captain Cook passed by, the forests of North Brother Mountain and good access to waterways for easy transport and shipping, meant that timber harvesting contributed to the establishment of the Camden Haven area, and pioneer settlements developed around them.

A choir of birdsong
While most visitors may see certain species around the lookouts – like cheeky magpies, currawongs and kookaburras – those with an ear for birds will find the forest has a greater diversity than their eyes would have them believe. Occasionally, a lucky birdwatcher may spot the dramatic flash of rainbow colour as a wompoo fruit-dove darts from place to place in search of rainforest fruits. Overhead, resident wedge-tailed eagles demonstrate their clever use of up-drafts, watching for where their next meal might come from.

Soar like an eagle
Popular for almost 30 years as a hang-gliding site, most park visitors leave launching themselves off the summit to the professionals, and just enjoy watching the awesome spectacle as experienced pilots lift off from and soar around the lookout area.

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Alerts

fire bans

A total fire ban applies in the park. (Ends Saturday 1 November)
A total fire ban has been declared by the Commissioner of the Rural Fire Service which includes this park. The total fire ban applies on Saturday 1 November for the entire 24 hour period. Total fire ban rules apply. This ban may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.
Find out more information about fire bans in parks and reserves including your responsibilities:http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/safety/fire
 

Getting there

 Car

From Port Macquarie via Ocean Drive:

  • Travel south out of Port Macquarie on Ocean Drive for around 33km, following signs via Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills, and then to Laurieton.
  • At Laurieton, turn towards Kew and continue on Ocean Drive for around 0.5km.
  • Travel 5km up Captain Cook Bicentennial Road

From Port Macquarie via Pacific Highway:

  • Follow Oxley Highway for approximately 9km west to Pacific Highway
  • Turn east off Pacific Highway, 22km south at Kew, and follow Ocean Drive east for about 7km.
  • Travel 5km up Captain Cook Bicentennial Road

From Taree via Pacific Highway:

  • From the northern end of the Taree bypass on Pacific Highway, travel north on the highway for around 39km to Kew.
  • Turn east off Pacific Highway at Kew and follow Ocean Drive east for about 7km towards Laurieton
  • Travel 5km up Captain Cook Bicentennial Road

Get driving directions

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 Opening times

Dooragan National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

 Close to

Dooragan National Park is close to:

  • Laurieton (1km)
  • Port Macquarie (25km)

 Public transport

For information about public transport options to Taree, Laurieton or Port Macquarie, visit the NSW country transport info website.

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Dooragan National Park. Here are some of the highlights:


Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • A colourful burst of wildflowers spring into bloom under the forest canopy, particularly in the open, grassy forest.
  • Hill-topping butterflies start to use the summit area of the mountain, and on warm calm days, they spend all day dancing around near the lookout.

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • This is the best time for north-easterly winds, favoured by hang-gliding enthusiasts. Watch the amazing spectacle of these masters of the sky launching themselves from the summit.

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • This is the best time to tackle the strenuous Laurieton track, with the weather cool enough to make the exercise a pleasant way to keep warm, and a great time to hear lyrebirds chortling away in the cool gullies nearby.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 23°C and 26°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 40.2°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 16°C and 20°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -5°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is March, the driest is September.
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 310.6mm in one day

Safety

Port Macquarie

Phone: 02 6588 5555
Street address: 22 Blackbutt Road, Port Macquarie 2444

Close
 
 
Dooragan lookout, Dooragan National Park. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government