With its peaceful atmosphere and unpretentious luxuries, the temptation with Friday Creek Retreat is to stay tucked away in the serenity of this beautiful valley. But if you are feeling rejuvenated and have time to spare, you won’t want to miss one of our favourite day trips in the Coffs Harbour region. Jump in the car for a scenic drive through the rolling hills of the Orara Valley countryside. Pass thriving local farms to the culturally-rich Sealy Lookout surrounded by ocean views. What are you waiting for? Hop in!
Start your journey early and you will be rewarded with views of the mist-covered hills on your way down Fridays Creek Road.
Make sure your route takes you left onto Upper Orara Road. This will lead you over the hills, passed lush paddocks leading straight to the Karangi General store. Head north on Coramba Road, passing the still active railroad and over the sparkling Orara River into the historic village of Coramba. With the Coramba Hotel, Artspace on 45 gallery, and Nesting Needles, the village of Coramba is a hub of activity in the Orara Valley. Live music, events and workshops will keep you entertained. Fill up on fuel or grab a coffee at the Coramba Store before continuing your journey through town and onto the Orara Way.
Although quaint, Nana Glen is big on inspiring community-driven family businesses. First, you’ll pass by the Raw Food hub at Synchronicity Farm a family run social enterprise and working organic farm. Arrange a tour before your trip to check out their abundant homestead. Not far down the road is Two Tails Winery and Velvets Restaurant. If you’ve timed it just right, its a perfect stop for a gourmet breakfast, lunch or even a wine tasting. If you’re in need of a dog friendly locale, Idle in Cafe has an outdoor seating area and delicious food. After your bellies are full, be sure to stop into the Nana Glen General Store for some local honey, from nearby Mount Coramba Apiculture. This passionate family sells delicious raw honey and offers beekeeping workshops. Head out of Nana Glen by taking Grafton Street east to Bucca Road.
If you’re traveling this route between mid December to mid February be sure to stop in to Bucca Valley Blueberries, a family owned farm that is truly a labor of love. They have opened their front blueberry rows to the public for anyone to ‘Pick Your Own’ chemical free blueberries. Check in at the little shed on the lake for instructions, buckets and to pay for your blueberries. Be sure to bring a hat and keep your berries away from the friendly pet pig, that loves to gobble them up! As you leave Bucca, take a right turn heading south for the last leg of your journey to Sealy Lookout.
Once on Bruxner Park Road, the views will turn from native bush to hillsides abundant with banana plantations and avocado groves. When you arrive at Sealy Lookout head straight for the Forest Sky Pier. Soak in the awesome views overlooking the tree canopy out to the azure coastline. With monthly cultural experience shows featuring a walking tour, market and bush tucker cafe run by the local Gumbaynggirr people, you’re day will be filled to the brim with unforgettable experiences.
If you’re still feeling a bit adventurous or need to wear the kids out before the day is done, Treetops Adventure Park, will do the trick. With ropes courses and zip lines to get you high in the tree canopies of Orara East State Forest. On the way back to Friday Creek Retreat take the shorter 30 minute route through Coffs Harbour, passing the Big Banana and Park Beach Shopping Centre.