A local’s guide to Bushwalks and trails on the Coffs Coast
Meet Yvonne Everett – Author of Coffs Walks & Trails Guidebooks. A relative newcomer to the Coffs Coast, Yvonne arrived with a love of bushwalking and a goal to find at least 15 good walks in the region. Her love of the outdoors has seen her exploring hundreds of trails across all corners of the region over the past 4 years. The result – Yvonne has now mapped over 200 walks, created a dedicated trails website, coffstrails.com and published a guidebook – a must-have for all visitors keen to explore the Coffs Coast headlands, rainforest and state national parks.
From 1km strolls to 60 km multi-day hikes
From the 1km culturally rich Gumgali Track sharing a Gumbaynggirr dreaming story through art to a 60km multi-day hike covering beaches, headlands, rainforests, creek crossings and beachside towns. The Coffs Coast has so many great trails to choose from.
Whether you want the best coastal views, to find an uncovered gem or a physical workout in the fresh air – there are walks and trails for all. From short strolls to multi-day hikes, Yvonne knows all the best spots along the coast.
Yvonne’s Top 5 Trails on the Coffs Coast
1. Gumgali Track – Korora Lookout
A 1km-return family-friendly walk to Korora Lookout combining stunning views of the Coffs Coast with an Aboriginal Interpretive story of engaging artworks sharing the Gumbaynggirr dreaming story. The Gumgali Track celebrates the black goanna through a series of sculptures, murals and signage and ends with panoramic views north to the Solitary Islands. Relax and take in the view while listening to a sound bar recorded story from Gumbaynggirr language teachers and elders while you enjoy the coastal views.
The Gumgali track begins on the road to Sealy Lookout just inside the park gates and is clearly signposted. For more details visit Gumgali Track & Korora Lookout.
2. Bruxner Park Flora Reserve Rainforest Walks
A number of short rainforest walks are accessible from The Gap, at the top of Bruxner Park Road. These include a 1.4km Rainforest Loop track, the 800m Bangalow Track, and an even shorter 240m Vincents track, which Yvonne suggests can all be combined into a 4.7km grade 3 loop walk over 1-1.5 hours where you may also see some of the historic tramway infrastructure from when the forest was used as a timber resource and logs were transported from the area to the sawmill and Coffs Harbour Jetty.
These short walks in the subtropical rainforest of Bruxner Park Flora Reserve are perfect to combine with a visit to Niigi Niigi (Sealy Lookout), Coffs Harbour’s first ECO-certified tourism attraction. The cantilevered Forest Sky Pier, high in Orara East State Forest, offers amazing panoramic views across Coffs Harbour and south to Smoky Cape on a clear day. A short 15-minute easy-grade loop track is accessible directly from the picnic area adjacent to Sealy Lookout – the Garaan Gurr Track.
3. Red Rock River Walk
Another family-friendly trail. This time a 3km loop walk along the Corindi River and around Jewfish Point. The Red Rock River Walk begins at the boardwalk across the park from the Red Rock shop and near to the boat ramp. It’s an enjoyable walk with mangroves, peeling paperbarks and corkwood lining the path.
Along the route, you may see people fishing along the river, Pelicans feeding, and, if you are lucky, discover a secret tribe of gnomes hidden in the forest. Look out for a large tree with a curious hollow base and discover the place gnomes and fairies call home. Started by a local over 20 years ago, the gnome population has been delighting children ever since.
Red Rock is a place of cultural significance for the Gumbaynggirr people, with Jewfish Point a designated meeting and ceremonial place, as well as a favourite place to collect Oysters. Red Rock is also the start of the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk, the last featured walk in Yvonne’s Top Trails.
4. Bangalore Falls – Bindarri National Park
A personal favourite of Yvonne’s is the Grade-3 Bangalore Falls walking track in the Bindarri National Park. A 1-km return track through rainforest to a spectacular waterfall and lookout, not to be missed.
It’s an easy 500m walk from the car park, and the views are outstanding all year round. Admire the views of the cascading waters and snatch glances into the Bangalore Gorge from the lookout.
From creeks and freshwater swimming holes to natural waterfalls and escarpment, the Bindarri National Park in Upper Orara has it all, with Kangaroos, Koalas, Platypus, Turtles and an abundance of bird species calling Bindarri National Park home.
5. Solitary Islands Coastal Walk
This iconic walk stretches over 60km along the Coffs Coast from Red Rock in the North to Sawtell in the South. This multi-day hike covers beaches, headlands, rainforests, creek crossings and beachside towns. It’s possible to enjoy the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk in shorter sections, from 2km strolls through to the full 4-day hike with sections between Red Rock – Woolgoolga – Moonee Beach – Park Beach – Sawtell.
Regardless of the season, the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk has so much on offer, from picturesque views of the Solitary Islands and areas of cultural and historical significance to an abundance of wildlife (kangaroos, dolphins and whales in season) and many nearby cafes and accommodation options to enjoy along the way.
For further information, check out the blog on Solitary Islands Coastal Walk.
Where you’ll find Yvonne
When not writing her next trail guide, you’ll find Yvonne out exploring the trails and bushwalks of the Coffs Coast either by foot or 4WD, or a combination of the two. Yvonne’s top tip for hiking, after packing the essentials, is to stop by Peach & Wolf Bakery in Coffs Harbour to pick up a well-deserved treat to enjoy when you reach the peak of your trail.
Yvonne’s book Best Walks of NSW Mid North Coast, a highly regarded Woodslane Walking guide and her newest book; 4WD Treks of Northeast NSW are available to purchase online or locally at the Book Warehouse Coffs Harbour.
Read Yvonne’s Local Guide To The Best Bushwalks On The Coffs Coast