When people visit Coffs Harbour they tend to gravitate to the beautiful beaches – completely missing out on the wonders of the hinterland region. Of course, one way to enjoy the Coffs Harbour hinterland is to simply sit on the balcony of your secluded cottage at Friday Creek Retreat and soak up the rolling hills and green pastures. But if you’re up for a little exploration why not give these hidden secrets a try.
Bindarri National Park offers 4WD touring, mountain bike trails and plenty of scenic spots for picnicking, swimming and bird watching. But we think the highlight is Bangalore Falls.
It’s an easy 1k walk from the car park to the cascading waterfall. From here you can also lookout to glimpses of Bangalore Gorge. Take time to admire the majestic old growth trees and go for a swim in one of the refreshing pools. Settle under a tree to enjoy a picnic lunch, accompanied by a symphony of birdsong and tumbling water.
For the more energetic (and experienced) there is an alternative 8k medium grade walk from the falls. The walk is breathtaking but the path can be long, rough and very steep with limited signage. So take care!
Friday Creek flows gently past our property to the crystal clear Orara River, the only western flowing river in the region. The river can be a place for a freshwater swim, a kayak paddle through grade 2 rapids, or a spot of fishing for bass and perch.
Our favourite river activity is a gentle paddle from Hartley’s Bridge to Coramba Bridge. It’s an easy 45-minute paddle that winds through pristine countryside and farmland. There are some fabulous picnic spots along the way, so pack a lunch and make a day of it.
Almost any drive in the Coffs Hinterland is going to be beautiful. But if you want to get off the beaten path, then the 4WD track on the Orara Escarpment is a great day trip.
The drive starts at Bindarri National Park and takes in Bangalore Falls before winding through remote eucalypt forests and subtropical rainforests. There’s a great picnic spot at Urumbilum and from here you can take a short walk downstream to discover Urumbilum Falls. If you like birdwatching then keep your eyes out for lyrebirds and black cockatoos along the way.
For anyone who wants to really get back to the land and see exactly where good food comes from, then a visit to Synchronicity Farm is a must. The farm not only grows wonderful organic food, its vision is to connect people to the food cycle and inspire them to eat local, seasonal and artisanal food.
The owners of Synchronicity Farm welcome visitors during open hours to just drop in for a wander. But we suggest that you book in for a formal farm tour. The inspiring farm owners will regale you with stories about the design and construction of the place, the secrets of hot composting and permaculture and so much more. And, of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to taste the wares, with many of the tours including a meal as well.
Our neighbours HWH Stables, only 10 minutes down the road, provide an opportunity for even inexperienced riders to explore our hinterland region on horseback. Their horses are friendly and know where they are going, so riders can relax and enjoy the scenery.
They do offer beach rides, but we naturally prefer the inland rides which explore either along and into the Orara River or head out into the bushland of the Upper Orara, through lush green pastures and tropical rainforest.
Wherever you choose to explore, your Friday Creek Retreat cottage will be waiting for you to return. Relax on the balcony, light a fire in the winter, rustle up some food in the fully equipped kitchen or wander down to the pool deck and make pizzas in our wood fired pizza oven. The Coffs Harbour hinterland is a truly magical place!