Dorrigo National Park

Overview

Dorrigo National Park is only an hour from Coffs Harbour and yet if feels miles away. Visit World Heritage listed rainforests on a school excursion or day trip; magnificent waterfall walks, scenic barbecue areas and excellent birdwatching opportunities await you.

Read more about Dorrigo National Park

Dorrigo National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area offers stunning scenery that has been millions of years in the making. The park contains a range of forest types that protect an enormous variety of animals and birds, like red-necked pademelons, the vibrantly coloured wompoo fruit-dove and the spectacular regent bowerbird.

A great daytrip from Coffs Harbour, you can go birdwatching, relax at scenic picnic and barbecue spots, explore secret waterfalls and rainforest walks and be amazed by the views from the elevated walk which looks all the way from the forest to the sea. Be sure to stop in at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and Canopy Cafe.

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/dorrigo-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the North Coast region
  • Dorrigo National Park is open daily (except Christmas Day) 9am to 4.30pm but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Dorrigo National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Armidale, drive east along the Waterfall Way for about 90 minutes. You'll see the park turnoff on the left, about 2km past Dorrigo.

    From Coffs Harbour:

    • Travel south along the Pacific Highway, cross the Bellinger River and take the Waterfall Way exit to Dorrigo via Bellingen.
    • Approximately 2km before Dorrigo township, turn right at Dome Road and continue for approximately 1.6km to the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather

    By bike

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

    By public transport

    For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

    Best times to visit

    The weather at Dorrigo National Park can vary from warm to mild to cool, depending on the time of year you visit. The summer months usually have the highest rainfall.

    Spring

    The rainforest is alive with birdlife - walk the Lyrebird Link for a close up view.

    Summer

    Escape the summer heat along one of the waterfall tracks and feel the coolness envelop you.

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Prohibited

    Camp fires and solid fuel burners

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Dorrigo (9 km)

    Dorrigo is a serene country town and the gateway to Dorrigo National Park. Its close to the edge of the escarpment above the Bellingen Valley.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Bellingen (34 km)

    Bellingen is a laid-back, tree-lined town with a New Age vibe. It's set in a luxuriant valley beside the Bellinger River.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Coffs Harbour (69 km)

    Coffs Harbour is a coastal city on the North Coast, packed with things to do. It's surrounded by lush forests and national parks.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    World Heritage rainforests

    The Skywalk, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    The rainforests in Dorrigo National Park are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area; the most extensive strip of diverse rainforest anywhere on earth. The World Heritage Area is a direct window into the past and the future, providing a link to the ancient pre-human world and a stunning and irreplaceable record of life on our planet. You can explore the rainforest on one of the many walking tracks, like the Lyrebird Link that leaves from the Rainforest Centre.

    • Lyrebird Link track Lyrebird link is an easy walking track in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. It is a great spot for birdwatching and there are picnic and barbecue areas nearby.
    • Sensing the Rainforest Sensing the rainforest is a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) school excursion in Dorrigo National Park, which focuses on HSIE. Students will explore the wonders of Dorrigo Rainforest - observing, listening, touching, smelling and searching to discover this special environment. It is a fun program for all ages, adults included.
    • Wonga walk Take a walk amongst subtropical rainforest and 600-year-old trees along the Wonga walk in Dorrigo National Park, home to the Tristania and Crystal Falls.

    Rich Aboriginal heritage

    Blackbutt track, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Dorrigo National Park aims to manage Aboriginal sites, many of which are associated with natural features in the landscape. Involving local Aboriginal custodians in managing their traditional homelands, and continuing their connection to country, is a priority in Dorrigo National Park.

    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students, focusing on science and technology. We’ll investigate the living world in Dorrigo National Park, home to World Heritage listed rainforests.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Dorrigo National Park.

    Dramatic waterfalls

    Walk with the Birds boardwalk, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    The area is renowned for its dramatic waterfalls; so much that part of the park was first reserved in 1901 to protect the Sherrard and Newell Falls along the Waterfall Way. Today, there are a number of great rainforest walks in the park, try the Crystal Shower Falls walk for a journey behind the falls, or the longer Casuarina Falls circuit that offers views of Dorrigo Mountain and Rosewood River Valley.

    • Volunteer at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre Join a fun and passionate team of people when you become a volunteer at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre shop. Help show off Dorrigo National Park to visitors from around world. Explain the park’s activities and offer information about the nearby town of Dorrigo.

    A wide range of animals

    Australian brush-turkey (Alectura lathami), Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Dorrigo National Park plays home to many different animals, including 30 types of mammals, more than 128 kinds of birds and 44 species of amphibians and reptiles. The dense forest is the ideal hiding place for reptiles, so you'll need to be very quiet and patient in order to catch a glimpse. Look for the southern angle-headed dragon clinging to the trunks of trees along the Wonga walk and the red-necked pademelon on the lawn by the Rainforest Centre.

    • Lyrebird Link track Lyrebird link is an easy walking track in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. It is a great spot for birdwatching and there are picnic and barbecue areas nearby.
    • Satinbird stroll Satinbird stroll is an easy access trail through Dorrigo’s World Heritage rainforest, ideal for all the family, and offers birdwatching and a great place to picnic.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students, focusing on science and technology. We’ll investigate the living world in Dorrigo National Park, home to World Heritage listed rainforests.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Dorrigo National Park.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Satin bowerbird. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

      With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

    • Australian brush turkey, Sea Acres National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami)

      The Australian brush turkey, also known as bush or scrub turkey, can be found in rainforests along eastern NSW. With a striking red head, blue-black plumage and booming call, these distinctive Australian birds are easy to spot while bird watching in several NSW national parks.

    •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

      With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

    • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

      Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

    Plants

    • Coachwood flower. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum)

      Coachwood trees are Australian native plants that grow in warm temperate rainforests along coastal NSW. Also known as scented satinwood, the mottled grey bark of the coachwood has horizontal markings and a delicate fragrance.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (8)

    What we're doing

    Dorrigo National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Preserving biodiversity

    Dorrigo National Park takes pride in and values the biodiversity in the area with strategies in place to ensure ecological communities are adequately mapped and conserved. Managing the protection of rare, endangered or threatened species is of particular significance in this park and a priority. Educational research into the habitat requirements of the wildlife in Dorrigo is an ongoing contribution to the conservation of native animal communities.

    Conservation program

    BioNet

    Uniting technology with the vast collection of information on biodiversity in NSW, BioNet is a valuable database open to any user. From individual plant sightings to detailed scientific surveys, it offers a wealth of knowledge about ecology and threatened species in NSW. 

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Dorrigo National Park. Risk assessments for new and emerging weeds are carried out as an ongoing initiative within the park. Pest management of invasive weeds is a priority and an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the integrity of biodiversity which exists within Dorrigo.

    Conservation program

    Wild dog control program

    Wild dogs can have significant impacts on other animals and are regarded as pests. Our wild dog control program operates in many NSW national parks and reserves. When carrying out such pest control, we aim to minimise the wild dogs’ effects on livestock and wildlife, while still maintaining dingo conservation in key areas.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    Dorrigo National Park provides visitors with an ecologically sustainable experience, presented specifically to foster environmental and cultural understanding, awareness and appreciation. The Dorrigo Rainforest Centre welcomes visitors from around the globe to experience and learn about this precious rainforest heritage through its friendly staff, gift shop and cafe, Ranger-guided tours, interpretive displays and network of walking trails. The park's Skywalk and boardwalks make it one of Australia's most accessible World Heritage areas.

    Conservation program

    Tour guide and visitor services volunteer program

    When you sign up to volunteer for tour guiding and visitor services, you’ll be doing something for yourself as well as for the benefit of visitors to NSW national parks.

    Conserving our Aboriginal culture

    Dorrigo National Park aims to manage Aboriginal sites with guidance from the Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites for the conservation of significant cultural places in the area. Ongoing research and maintenance of an Aboriginal sites register within the park is a priority in Dorrigo.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Hazard reduction program

    Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

    Walk with the birds, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary