Don’t go chasing waterfalls

Yes you’ve got me. The title is just another cheesy excuse to use a song title. But at least it provides something more entertaining for you to do than read my drivel. The title should probably be more accurately, do go chasing waterfalls, as we find it to be a pretty satisfying occupation.

Valley view at Ebor Falls
Valley view at Ebor Falls

We’ve written before about making unexpected stops on our travels and the value of serendipity. Our drive from Armidale to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales was no exception. I guess the fact that we driving along Waterfall way should have given some indication that there were sights to be seen along the way.

Ebor Falls
Ebor Falls

Our first stop was Ebor Falls where a short walk provided stunning views of a series of falls just off the main highway. I also nearly dropped our car keys down the composting toilet which would have been a fun retrieval exercise.

We then continued until we reached the Dorrigo Rainforest centre just outside Dorrigo, approximately 60km from Coffs Harbour. There’s a great visitor centre here with an impressive café. I spend a fair bit of time in hotels for work and my go-to room service sustenance is a club sandwich. Containing all the main food groups – it’s the perfect snack in my mind. In fact I’m thinking of writing a hotel guide with rankings based on the quality of their club sandwich. We shared one of these culinary wonders at Dorrigo and its ranking would definitely be up towards the top of the scale. Even better were the hand cut chips, some of the best we’ve had in a while, and excellent coffee.

Rainforest canopy at Dorrigo Rainforest centre
Rainforest canopy at Dorrigo Rainforest centre

Following lunch, despite the rain we headed out to the skywalk which was a great way of seeing the rainforest canopy from above. We then took the reasonably short lyre bird trail into the rainforest. We heard lyre birds but didn’t see them on this occasion, although there were plenty of bush turkeys shuffling around. The forest had some longer trails as well and its certainly somewhere you could spend a good half day at. We, however, were aiming to get to Coffs Harbour by mid afternoon so carried on our way. Not before we had a look round the informative visitor centre and purchased a couple of souvenirs.

Dorrigo rainforest
Dorrigo rainforest

Back on the highway, we didn’t intend to stop again but the small town of Bellingen a further 30km along the road seemed to be worth a look. It was a quaint regional Australian town that reminded us a lot of places like Childers or Maleny. An unusual tourist feature by the river was a post with a QR code you can scan with your phone which brought up a commentary on a bit of the history of the town. We’d never seen this before and thought it was a neat idea.

By the time we got to Coffs Harbour, it was getting a bit stormy. We just about managed to have a look at the marina before the clouds opened and we made a dash for our accommodation for the night, The Observatory Apartments. The comfortable studio had great views over the ocean and the managers were really friendly.

We braved the rain to spend the evening just round the corner on the Jetty Strip, first in The Pier Hotel and then Element Bar where they had a fantastic range of beers and we dined on spicy chicken wings.

Next morning, we had a bit of a drive to The Gold Coast but the weather had brightened so we did manage to take a few pics of one of Coff Harbour’s most famous sights – The Big Banana. It was impressive, but as Queenslanders, not as impressive as the Big Pineapple at Nambour.

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