Road Trip Day Five – Dorrigo National Park
Despite the heavy rain that pounded on the roof the night before, our bikes were dry and the sun was out. We were moving from the private room to a shared room, which meant controlling the massive backpack explosion that occurred since arriving in the private room as free space is a luxury in most hostels.
After packing and cooking some breakfast, we hit the road to travel inland to the mountains of Dorrigo National Park along the highly recommended Waterfall Way. Quaint farms and cow pastures flanked either side of the road until we passed through Bellingen, a small hippy town with a reputation for all things organic that looked frozen in time. We scooted down the main road and up into the curving mountain twisties with breathtaking views of the lush canyon below, gushing waterfalls passing underneath, and the misty ferns of the jungle. Each turn brought us higher up the mountain peak as the temperature dropped and the road narrowed.
At the top, we pulled off at the Rainforest Center and took in the view from the skywalk before trekking for two hours along a path through the rainforest. The jungle canopy only allowed a few glimpses of the sky below with all the thick ferns and towering trees—some hollowed out by the vines twisting up the trunks. The path brought us past bright colored berries on tree leaves, birds that chirped like a laser gun, and a threatening black snake lying across our walkway.
We continued north on the bikes to the Dangar Waterfalls and the Griffiths Lookout before descending back down the twisting road—praying the rain would hold off until we got down. We walked through Bellingen town center and witnessed three separate bluegrass guitar buskers and a five person Irish folk band. The town had more people barefoot than wearing shoes and the word all-natural appeared on every other sign but it was quaint and seemed pretty neighborly.
Back at the hostel, we attempted to go for a swim at the beach but the lighting and thunder moved in just as our feet hit the sand. We ditched our plans, headed back to the hostel for a tasty steak and potato meal. We listened as the rain beat down on the pavement with immense power, and felt guilty about our two bikes outside.
April 21, 2018
Accommodation: Aussitel Backpackers, $24
Entry to Dorrigo Park: $2.50
Total km covered: 140km