Along the western escarpment of the New England National Park
the altitude is around 1500 metres. Sightly higher are the granite boulder peaks of nearby Cathedral Rock National Park
At this altitude the air is crisp, days sunny and the nights frosty, especially from late Autumn to early Spring.
It is because of this altitude that sub alpine Snow Gums, Shining Gums, heath, button grass and snow grasses dot the open woodland landscape. The slender tree trunks and soft colours are a striking contrast to the lush rainforest vegetation along the coast.
Around the high escarpment edge, in protected crevasses, ancient Antarctic Beech trees flourish. Their trunks thicker and leaves a stronger green than the Gum's. They are today's reminders that this region of Australia was once part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana.
Although the climate is crisp, wildlife is abundant. Kangaroos and wallabies, sugar gliders and possums and the elusive but curious Spotted Tail Quoll are all residents of this high plateau. So too are Superb Lyrebirds, Crimson Rosella, Pied Currawong and a myriad of smaller birds that flit among the woodland leaf litter and sub alpine plants.
One of the best locations to experience this sub-alpine environment is Point Lookout. It is reached via the township of Ebor, a 90 minute drive from Coffs Coast along the Waterfall Way towards Armidale.
From the two viewing platforms, the vista is along precipitous cliff edges of New England National Park. Below, are the ranges, folded hills and valleys that lead to the distant coastline and Pacific Ocean.
Around Point Lookout
are a variety of walking tracks. They pass through the sub alpine woodlands and along the escarpment edge. Walks vary from a few minutes to a few days.
And remember, whatever time of the year you visit, be sure to take warm clothing.
Enjoy the fresh, invigorating air of a surprising sub alpine Coffs Coast.