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4WD Medium Public

GRADING: 4WD, Medium.

TIME: Overnight.

DISTANCE: 190KM, Sawtell to Woolgoolga. 

LONGEST DISTANCE WITHOUT FUEL: 69KM, Nana Glen to Woolgoolga.

BEST TIME OF YEAR: All year round - although in Winter, temperatures can be bracing.

PERMITS AND FEES:   National park camping fees apply.

MAPS: Hema's 'New South Wales' State Map.

THE DRIVE:

The trip begins in Sawtell, which threatens to swallow your motivation before you even reach escape velocity. It’s low-key but far from ramshackle, and with an effortless coffee culture brewing along its main esplanade – it’s what Byron Bay was before capitalism took notice at the turn of the millennium.

To douse your inner hipster’s fire with a refreshing splash of the wild, head north out of town along Hogbin Dr then west along Stadium Dr towards Boambee State Forest. Englands Rd becomes unsealed as you begin to climb the hills around the North Boambee Valley before it turns into Gum Flat Rd and the track becomes more interesting — a change that’s in perfect timing with the increase in elevation. The lower sections at the edge of the forest are easily flooded, and when dry they can present some challenging ruts and wash-outs.

After exiting the forest, head west along the sealed arterial road taking in the quaint Upper Orara countryside before you plunge into the overgrown masterpiece of Bindarri National Park. Within the Park are easy gravel tracks, pockets of intense rainforest and Bangalore Falls – a short walk from the titular picnic area and a sight well worth the stroll. Continue through Bindarri, exiting to cross the Eastern Dorrigo Way before striking north along Moleton Rd to Cradle Creek and then Black Mountain Rd — all easy and scenic unsealed work to bring you to the doorstep of Nymboi- Binderay National Park.

Break off to The Junction Rd, which becomes a somewhat tough steep descent in anticipation of your campsite for the night: The Junction Camping Area. Sitting at the confluence of the mighty Nymboida and Little Nymboida rivers, The Junction is a simple campsite in an attractive location. The rivers’ clear, amber water can be heard rushing above the crackle of a night fire, and its constant pounding is a visceral reminder of the wilderness surrounding you on all sides.

After a morning dip in the Nymboida’s boulder-strewn flow, retrace your tread out of the Park until you deviate left onto Moleton Rd towards the sealed Coldwater Creek Rd and the tiny township of Nana Glen (home to the classic Idle In Cafe´). Breeze along the arterial roads (Grafton St and Bucca Rd) for 12km, before turning left onto Sherwood Rd.

Once inside Wedding Bells State Forest, take the Short Cut, Boyds Rd and then Marys Waterhole Rd through to Sherwood Rd. This section is scenic and not without potential 4WD challenges, and this motif continues as you wind your way into Sherwood Nature Reserve.

Bending east, Sherwood Creek Rd touches Conglomerate State Forest as you head to Upper Corindi and the end of the unsealed part of the drive. As with the other state forests and reserves in the Coffs Harbour hinterland, Conglomerate SF is a maze of tracks that offers the chance for some hair-raising four-wheel driving. If you have time and fancy your skills, a deeper dive into these lesser-maintained tracks is a must.

At the end of Sherwood Creek Rd, take Eggins Dr south past Arrawarra and into Woolgoolga — another seaside town on the Mid North Coast currently mixing a sweet draught of culture and coastline. Drive until you hit the car park at the headland, then wander out to gaze at the ocean with sea spray in the air and rainforest remnants still clinging to your tyres.

    

FERN GULLY

This journey traverses traditional lands of local Aboriginal tribes such as the Gumbaynggirr people, who first recognised the inherent beauty around

Bindarri and Nymboi-Binderay national parks. The Gumbaynggirr word ‘Bindarray’ means ‘many creeks’, ‘Binderay’ means ‘river’, while ‘Nymboi’ is the river’s name, bestowed upon it by its people.

Rainforest accounts for less than a third of a per cent of Australia’s landmass, but within that tiny space, about half of all Australian plant families and a third of its mammal and bird species reside. Its rarity and complexity is an alchemical soup that yields much and hides more within its limited confines. The rainforest is, scenically and statistically, perhaps the most significant land-based environment on Earth. And so, to find such dense and consistent stands of it as far south as Coffs Harbour’s hinterland (and further even) is almost as unexpected as it is rewarding.

Particularly majestic examples of rainforest pop up in the valleys of Bindarri National Park, Boambee State Forest and even around the Moleton area, as well as other spots outside of any park or reserve between Sawtell and Woolgoolga.

Place image
4WD Medium Public

GRADING: 4WD, Medium.

TIME: Overnight.

DISTANCE: 190KM, Sawtell to Woolgoolga. 

LONGEST DISTANCE WITHOUT FUEL: 69KM, Nana Glen to Woolgoolga.

BEST TIME OF YEAR: All year round - although in Winter, temperatures can be bracing.

PERMITS AND FEES:   National park camping fees apply.

MAPS: Hema's 'New South Wales' State Map.

THE DRIVE:

The trip begins in Sawtell, which threatens to swallow your motivation before you even reach escape velocity. It’s low-key but far from ramshackle, and with an effortless coffee culture brewing along its main esplanade – it’s what Byron Bay was before capitalism took notice at the turn of the millennium.

To douse your inner hipster’s fire with a refreshing splash of the wild, head north out of town along Hogbin Dr then west along Stadium Dr towards Boambee State Forest. Englands Rd becomes unsealed as you begin to climb the hills around the North Boambee Valley before it turns into Gum Flat Rd and the track becomes more interesting — a change that’s in perfect timing with the increase in elevation. The lower sections at the edge of the forest are easily flooded, and when dry they can present some challenging ruts and wash-outs.

After exiting the forest, head west along the sealed arterial road taking in the quaint Upper Orara countryside before you plunge into the overgrown masterpiece of Bindarri National Park. Within the Park are easy gravel tracks, pockets of intense rainforest and Bangalore Falls – a short walk from the titular picnic area and a sight well worth the stroll. Continue through Bindarri, exiting to cross the Eastern Dorrigo Way before striking north along Moleton Rd to Cradle Creek and then Black Mountain Rd — all easy and scenic unsealed work to bring you to the doorstep of Nymboi- Binderay National Park.

Break off to The Junction Rd, which becomes a somewhat tough steep descent in anticipation of your campsite for the night: The Junction Camping Area. Sitting at the confluence of the mighty Nymboida and Little Nymboida rivers, The Junction is a simple campsite in an attractive location. The rivers’ clear, amber water can be heard rushing above the crackle of a night fire, and its constant pounding is a visceral reminder of the wilderness surrounding you on all sides.

After a morning dip in the Nymboida’s boulder-strewn flow, retrace your tread out of the Park until you deviate left onto Moleton Rd towards the sealed Coldwater Creek Rd and the tiny township of Nana Glen (home to the classic Idle In Cafe´). Breeze along the arterial roads (Grafton St and Bucca Rd) for 12km, before turning left onto Sherwood Rd.

Once inside Wedding Bells State Forest, take the Short Cut, Boyds Rd and then Marys Waterhole Rd through to Sherwood Rd. This section is scenic and not without potential 4WD challenges, and this motif continues as you wind your way into Sherwood Nature Reserve.

Bending east, Sherwood Creek Rd touches Conglomerate State Forest as you head to Upper Corindi and the end of the unsealed part of the drive. As with the other state forests and reserves in the Coffs Harbour hinterland, Conglomerate SF is a maze of tracks that offers the chance for some hair-raising four-wheel driving. If you have time and fancy your skills, a deeper dive into these lesser-maintained tracks is a must.

At the end of Sherwood Creek Rd, take Eggins Dr south past Arrawarra and into Woolgoolga — another seaside town on the Mid North Coast currently mixing a sweet draught of culture and coastline. Drive until you hit the car park at the headland, then wander out to gaze at the ocean with sea spray in the air and rainforest remnants still clinging to your tyres.

    

FERN GULLY

This journey traverses traditional lands of local Aboriginal tribes such as the Gumbaynggirr people, who first recognised the inherent beauty around

Bindarri and Nymboi-Binderay national parks. The Gumbaynggirr word ‘Bindarray’ means ‘many creeks’, ‘Binderay’ means ‘river’, while ‘Nymboi’ is the river’s name, bestowed upon it by its people.

Rainforest accounts for less than a third of a per cent of Australia’s landmass, but within that tiny space, about half of all Australian plant families and a third of its mammal and bird species reside. Its rarity and complexity is an alchemical soup that yields much and hides more within its limited confines. The rainforest is, scenically and statistically, perhaps the most significant land-based environment on Earth. And so, to find such dense and consistent stands of it as far south as Coffs Harbour’s hinterland (and further even) is almost as unexpected as it is rewarding.

Particularly majestic examples of rainforest pop up in the valleys of Bindarri National Park, Boambee State Forest and even around the Moleton area, as well as other spots outside of any park or reserve between Sawtell and Woolgoolga.

Place image
4WD Medium Public

GRADING: 4WD, Medium.

TIME: Overnight.

DISTANCE: 190KM, Sawtell to Woolgoolga. 

LONGEST DISTANCE WITHOUT FUEL: 69KM, Nana Glen to Woolgoolga.

BEST TIME OF YEAR: All year round - although in Winter, temperatures can be bracing.

PERMITS AND FEES:   National park camping fees apply.

MAPS: Hema's 'New South Wales' State Map.

THE DRIVE:

The trip begins in Sawtell, which threatens to swallow your motivation before you even reach escape velocity. It’s low-key but far from ramshackle, and with an effortless coffee culture brewing along its main esplanade – it’s what Byron Bay was before capitalism took notice at the turn of the millennium.

To douse your inner hipster’s fire with a refreshing splash of the wild, head north out of town along Hogbin Dr then west along Stadium Dr towards Boambee State Forest. Englands Rd becomes unsealed as you begin to climb the hills around the North Boambee Valley before it turns into Gum Flat Rd and the track becomes more interesting — a change that’s in perfect timing with the increase in elevation. The lower sections at the edge of the forest are easily flooded, and when dry they can present some challenging ruts and wash-outs.

After exiting the forest, head west along the sealed arterial road taking in the quaint Upper Orara countryside before you plunge into the overgrown masterpiece of Bindarri National Park. Within the Park are easy gravel tracks, pockets of intense rainforest and Bangalore Falls – a short walk from the titular picnic area and a sight well worth the stroll. Continue through Bindarri, exiting to cross the Eastern Dorrigo Way before striking north along Moleton Rd to Cradle Creek and then Black Mountain Rd — all easy and scenic unsealed work to bring you to the doorstep of Nymboi- Binderay National Park.

Break off to The Junction Rd, which becomes a somewhat tough steep descent in anticipation of your campsite for the night: The Junction Camping Area. Sitting at the confluence of the mighty Nymboida and Little Nymboida rivers, The Junction is a simple campsite in an attractive location. The rivers’ clear, amber water can be heard rushing above the crackle of a night fire, and its constant pounding is a visceral reminder of the wilderness surrounding you on all sides.

After a morning dip in the Nymboida’s boulder-strewn flow, retrace your tread out of the Park until you deviate left onto Moleton Rd towards the sealed Coldwater Creek Rd and the tiny township of Nana Glen (home to the classic Idle In Cafe´). Breeze along the arterial roads (Grafton St and Bucca Rd) for 12km, before turning left onto Sherwood Rd.

Once inside Wedding Bells State Forest, take the Short Cut, Boyds Rd and then Marys Waterhole Rd through to Sherwood Rd. This section is scenic and not without potential 4WD challenges, and this motif continues as you wind your way into Sherwood Nature Reserve.

Bending east, Sherwood Creek Rd touches Conglomerate State Forest as you head to Upper Corindi and the end of the unsealed part of the drive. As with the other state forests and reserves in the Coffs Harbour hinterland, Conglomerate SF is a maze of tracks that offers the chance for some hair-raising four-wheel driving. If you have time and fancy your skills, a deeper dive into these lesser-maintained tracks is a must.

At the end of Sherwood Creek Rd, take Eggins Dr south past Arrawarra and into Woolgoolga — another seaside town on the Mid North Coast currently mixing a sweet draught of culture and coastline. Drive until you hit the car park at the headland, then wander out to gaze at the ocean with sea spray in the air and rainforest remnants still clinging to your tyres.

    

FERN GULLY

This journey traverses traditional lands of local Aboriginal tribes such as the Gumbaynggirr people, who first recognised the inherent beauty around

Bindarri and Nymboi-Binderay national parks. The Gumbaynggirr word ‘Bindarray’ means ‘many creeks’, ‘Binderay’ means ‘river’, while ‘Nymboi’ is the river’s name, bestowed upon it by its people.

Rainforest accounts for less than a third of a per cent of Australia’s landmass, but within that tiny space, about half of all Australian plant families and a third of its mammal and bird species reside. Its rarity and complexity is an alchemical soup that yields much and hides more within its limited confines. The rainforest is, scenically and statistically, perhaps the most significant land-based environment on Earth. And so, to find such dense and consistent stands of it as far south as Coffs Harbour’s hinterland (and further even) is almost as unexpected as it is rewarding.

Particularly majestic examples of rainforest pop up in the valleys of Bindarri National Park, Boambee State Forest and even around the Moleton area, as well as other spots outside of any park or reserve between Sawtell and Woolgoolga.

Place image
4WD Medium Public

GRADING: 4WD, Medium.

TIME: Overnight.

DISTANCE: 190KM, Sawtell to Woolgoolga. 

LONGEST DISTANCE WITHOUT FUEL: 69KM, Nana Glen to Woolgoolga.

BEST TIME OF YEAR: All year round - although in Winter, temperatures can be bracing.

PERMITS AND FEES:   National park camping fees apply.

MAPS: Hema's 'New South Wales' State Map.

THE DRIVE:

The trip begins in Sawtell, which threatens to swallow your motivation before you even reach escape velocity. It’s low-key but far from ramshackle, and with an effortless coffee culture brewing along its main esplanade – it’s what Byron Bay was before capitalism took notice at the turn of the millennium.

To douse your inner hipster’s fire with a refreshing splash of the wild, head north out of town along Hogbin Dr then west along Stadium Dr towards Boambee State Forest. Englands Rd becomes unsealed as you begin to climb the hills around the North Boambee Valley before it turns into Gum Flat Rd and the track becomes more interesting — a change that’s in perfect timing with the increase in elevation. The lower sections at the edge of the forest are easily flooded, and when dry they can present some challenging ruts and wash-outs.

After exiting the forest, head west along the sealed arterial road taking in the quaint Upper Orara countryside before you plunge into the overgrown masterpiece of Bindarri National Park. Within the Park are easy gravel tracks, pockets of intense rainforest and Bangalore Falls – a short walk from the titular picnic area and a sight well worth the stroll. Continue through Bindarri, exiting to cross the Eastern Dorrigo Way before striking north along Moleton Rd to Cradle Creek and then Black Mountain Rd — all easy and scenic unsealed work to bring you to the doorstep of Nymboi- Binderay National Park.

Break off to The Junction Rd, which becomes a somewhat tough steep descent in anticipation of your campsite for the night: The Junction Camping Area. Sitting at the confluence of the mighty Nymboida and Little Nymboida rivers, The Junction is a simple campsite in an attractive location. The rivers’ clear, amber water can be heard rushing above the crackle of a night fire, and its constant pounding is a visceral reminder of the wilderness surrounding you on all sides.

After a morning dip in the Nymboida’s boulder-strewn flow, retrace your tread out of the Park until you deviate left onto Moleton Rd towards the sealed Coldwater Creek Rd and the tiny township of Nana Glen (home to the classic Idle In Cafe´). Breeze along the arterial roads (Grafton St and Bucca Rd) for 12km, before turning left onto Sherwood Rd.

Once inside Wedding Bells State Forest, take the Short Cut, Boyds Rd and then Marys Waterhole Rd through to Sherwood Rd. This section is scenic and not without potential 4WD challenges, and this motif continues as you wind your way into Sherwood Nature Reserve.

Bending east, Sherwood Creek Rd touches Conglomerate State Forest as you head to Upper Corindi and the end of the unsealed part of the drive. As with the other state forests and reserves in the Coffs Harbour hinterland, Conglomerate SF is a maze of tracks that offers the chance for some hair-raising four-wheel driving. If you have time and fancy your skills, a deeper dive into these lesser-maintained tracks is a must.

At the end of Sherwood Creek Rd, take Eggins Dr south past Arrawarra and into Woolgoolga — another seaside town on the Mid North Coast currently mixing a sweet draught of culture and coastline. Drive until you hit the car park at the headland, then wander out to gaze at the ocean with sea spray in the air and rainforest remnants still clinging to your tyres.

    

FERN GULLY

This journey traverses traditional lands of local Aboriginal tribes such as the Gumbaynggirr people, who first recognised the inherent beauty around

Bindarri and Nymboi-Binderay national parks. The Gumbaynggirr word ‘Bindarray’ means ‘many creeks’, ‘Binderay’ means ‘river’, while ‘Nymboi’ is the river’s name, bestowed upon it by its people.

Rainforest accounts for less than a third of a per cent of Australia’s landmass, but within that tiny space, about half of all Australian plant families and a third of its mammal and bird species reside. Its rarity and complexity is an alchemical soup that yields much and hides more within its limited confines. The rainforest is, scenically and statistically, perhaps the most significant land-based environment on Earth. And so, to find such dense and consistent stands of it as far south as Coffs Harbour’s hinterland (and further even) is almost as unexpected as it is rewarding.

Particularly majestic examples of rainforest pop up in the valleys of Bindarri National Park, Boambee State Forest and even around the Moleton area, as well as other spots outside of any park or reserve between Sawtell and Woolgoolga.

Place image
4WD Medium Public

GRADING: 4WD, Medium.

TIME: Overnight.

DISTANCE: 190KM, Sawtell to Woolgoolga. 

LONGEST DISTANCE WITHOUT FUEL: 69KM, Nana Glen to Woolgoolga.

BEST TIME OF YEAR: All year round - although in Winter, temperatures can be bracing.

PERMITS AND FEES:   National park camping fees apply.

MAPS: Hema's 'New South Wales' State Map.

THE DRIVE:

The trip begins in Sawtell, which threatens to swallow your motivation before you even reach escape velocity. It’s low-key but far from ramshackle, and with an effortless coffee culture brewing along its main esplanade – it’s what Byron Bay was before capitalism took notice at the turn of the millennium.

To douse your inner hipster’s fire with a refreshing splash of the wild, head north out of town along Hogbin Dr then west along Stadium Dr towards Boambee State Forest. Englands Rd becomes unsealed as you begin to climb the hills around the North Boambee Valley before it turns into Gum Flat Rd and the track becomes more interesting — a change that’s in perfect timing with the increase in elevation. The lower sections at the edge of the forest are easily flooded, and when dry they can present some challenging ruts and wash-outs.

After exiting the forest, head west along the sealed arterial road taking in the quaint Upper Orara countryside before you plunge into the overgrown masterpiece of Bindarri National Park. Within the Park are easy gravel tracks, pockets of intense rainforest and Bangalore Falls – a short walk from the titular picnic area and a sight well worth the stroll. Continue through Bindarri, exiting to cross the Eastern Dorrigo Way before striking north along Moleton Rd to Cradle Creek and then Black Mountain Rd — all easy and scenic unsealed work to bring you to the doorstep of Nymboi- Binderay National Park.

Break off to The Junction Rd, which becomes a somewhat tough steep descent in anticipation of your campsite for the night: The Junction Camping Area. Sitting at the confluence of the mighty Nymboida and Little Nymboida rivers, The Junction is a simple campsite in an attractive location. The rivers’ clear, amber water can be heard rushing above the crackle of a night fire, and its constant pounding is a visceral reminder of the wilderness surrounding you on all sides.

After a morning dip in the Nymboida’s boulder-strewn flow, retrace your tread out of the Park until you deviate left onto Moleton Rd towards the sealed Coldwater Creek Rd and the tiny township of Nana Glen (home to the classic Idle In Cafe´). Breeze along the arterial roads (Grafton St and Bucca Rd) for 12km, before turning left onto Sherwood Rd.

Once inside Wedding Bells State Forest, take the Short Cut, Boyds Rd and then Marys Waterhole Rd through to Sherwood Rd. This section is scenic and not without potential 4WD challenges, and this motif continues as you wind your way into Sherwood Nature Reserve.

Bending east, Sherwood Creek Rd touches Conglomerate State Forest as you head to Upper Corindi and the end of the unsealed part of the drive. As with the other state forests and reserves in the Coffs Harbour hinterland, Conglomerate SF is a maze of tracks that offers the chance for some hair-raising four-wheel driving. If you have time and fancy your skills, a deeper dive into these lesser-maintained tracks is a must.

At the end of Sherwood Creek Rd, take Eggins Dr south past Arrawarra and into Woolgoolga — another seaside town on the Mid North Coast currently mixing a sweet draught of culture and coastline. Drive until you hit the car park at the headland, then wander out to gaze at the ocean with sea spray in the air and rainforest remnants still clinging to your tyres.

    

FERN GULLY

This journey traverses traditional lands of local Aboriginal tribes such as the Gumbaynggirr people, who first recognised the inherent beauty around

Bindarri and Nymboi-Binderay national parks. The Gumbaynggirr word ‘Bindarray’ means ‘many creeks’, ‘Binderay’ means ‘river’, while ‘Nymboi’ is the river’s name, bestowed upon it by its people.

Rainforest accounts for less than a third of a per cent of Australia’s landmass, but within that tiny space, about half of all Australian plant families and a third of its mammal and bird species reside. Its rarity and complexity is an alchemical soup that yields much and hides more within its limited confines. The rainforest is, scenically and statistically, perhaps the most significant land-based environment on Earth. And so, to find such dense and consistent stands of it as far south as Coffs Harbour’s hinterland (and further even) is almost as unexpected as it is rewarding.

Particularly majestic examples of rainforest pop up in the valleys of Bindarri National Park, Boambee State Forest and even around the Moleton area, as well as other spots outside of any park or reserve between Sawtell and Woolgoolga.

Place image
4WD Medium Public

GRADING: 4WD, Medium.

TIME: Overnight.

DISTANCE: 190KM, Sawtell to Woolgoolga. 

LONGEST DISTANCE WITHOUT FUEL: 69KM, Nana Glen to Woolgoolga.

BEST TIME OF YEAR: All year round - although in Winter, temperatures can be bracing.

PERMITS AND FEES:   National park camping fees apply.

MAPS: Hema's 'New South Wales' State Map.

THE DRIVE:

The trip begins in Sawtell, which threatens to swallow your motivation before you even reach escape velocity. It’s low-key but far from ramshackle, and with an effortless coffee culture brewing along its main esplanade – it’s what Byron Bay was before capitalism took notice at the turn of the millennium.

To douse your inner hipster’s fire with a refreshing splash of the wild, head north out of town along Hogbin Dr then west along Stadium Dr towards Boambee State Forest. Englands Rd becomes unsealed as you begin to climb the hills around the North Boambee Valley before it turns into Gum Flat Rd and the track becomes more interesting — a change that’s in perfect timing with the increase in elevation. The lower sections at the edge of the forest are easily flooded, and when dry they can present some challenging ruts and wash-outs.

After exiting the forest, head west along the sealed arterial road taking in the quaint Upper Orara countryside before you plunge into the overgrown masterpiece of Bindarri National Park. Within the Park are easy gravel tracks, pockets of intense rainforest and Bangalore Falls – a short walk from the titular picnic area and a sight well worth the stroll. Continue through Bindarri, exiting to cross the Eastern Dorrigo Way before striking north along Moleton Rd to Cradle Creek and then Black Mountain Rd — all easy and scenic unsealed work to bring you to the doorstep of Nymboi- Binderay National Park.

Break off to The Junction Rd, which becomes a somewhat tough steep descent in anticipation of your campsite for the night: The Junction Camping Area. Sitting at the confluence of the mighty Nymboida and Little Nymboida rivers, The Junction is a simple campsite in an attractive location. The rivers’ clear, amber water can be heard rushing above the crackle of a night fire, and its constant pounding is a visceral reminder of the wilderness surrounding you on all sides.

After a morning dip in the Nymboida’s boulder-strewn flow, retrace your tread out of the Park until you deviate left onto Moleton Rd towards the sealed Coldwater Creek Rd and the tiny township of Nana Glen (home to the classic Idle In Cafe´). Breeze along the arterial roads (Grafton St and Bucca Rd) for 12km, before turning left onto Sherwood Rd.

Once inside Wedding Bells State Forest, take the Short Cut, Boyds Rd and then Marys Waterhole Rd through to Sherwood Rd. This section is scenic and not without potential 4WD challenges, and this motif continues as you wind your way into Sherwood Nature Reserve.

Bending east, Sherwood Creek Rd touches Conglomerate State Forest as you head to Upper Corindi and the end of the unsealed part of the drive. As with the other state forests and reserves in the Coffs Harbour hinterland, Conglomerate SF is a maze of tracks that offers the chance for some hair-raising four-wheel driving. If you have time and fancy your skills, a deeper dive into these lesser-maintained tracks is a must.

At the end of Sherwood Creek Rd, take Eggins Dr south past Arrawarra and into Woolgoolga — another seaside town on the Mid North Coast currently mixing a sweet draught of culture and coastline. Drive until you hit the car park at the headland, then wander out to gaze at the ocean with sea spray in the air and rainforest remnants still clinging to your tyres.

    

FERN GULLY

This journey traverses traditional lands of local Aboriginal tribes such as the Gumbaynggirr people, who first recognised the inherent beauty around

Bindarri and Nymboi-Binderay national parks. The Gumbaynggirr word ‘Bindarray’ means ‘many creeks’, ‘Binderay’ means ‘river’, while ‘Nymboi’ is the river’s name, bestowed upon it by its people.

Rainforest accounts for less than a third of a per cent of Australia’s landmass, but within that tiny space, about half of all Australian plant families and a third of its mammal and bird species reside. Its rarity and complexity is an alchemical soup that yields much and hides more within its limited confines. The rainforest is, scenically and statistically, perhaps the most significant land-based environment on Earth. And so, to find such dense and consistent stands of it as far south as Coffs Harbour’s hinterland (and further even) is almost as unexpected as it is rewarding.

Particularly majestic examples of rainforest pop up in the valleys of Bindarri National Park, Boambee State Forest and even around the Moleton area, as well as other spots outside of any park or reserve between Sawtell and Woolgoolga.

Place image

A relatively easy 4x4 track with some medium difficulty features. There are multiple creek crossings with one significant washout but is still traversable. Scenic views of escarpments and valleys stretching off into the distance.


Provides a good prelude to the Rosea track however you will require reasonable ground clearance for this track.

Place image

A relatively easy 4x4 track with some medium difficulty features. There are multiple creek crossings with one significant washout but is still traversable. Scenic views of escarpments and valleys stretching off into the distance.


Provides a good prelude to the Rosea track however you will require reasonable ground clearance for this track.

Place image

A relatively easy 4x4 track with some medium difficulty features. There are multiple creek crossings with one significant washout but is still traversable. Scenic views of escarpments and valleys stretching off into the distance.


Provides a good prelude to the Rosea track however you will require reasonable ground clearance for this track.

Place image

A relatively easy 4x4 track with some medium difficulty features. There are multiple creek crossings with one significant washout but is still traversable. Scenic views of escarpments and valleys stretching off into the distance.


Provides a good prelude to the Rosea track however you will require reasonable ground clearance for this track.

The mission objective was simple: assemble a crew including 4WDs, campers and a caravan, and burn rubber on the way up north to the Australian camping Mecca of Cape York. Over a pint or three it was christened Race to the Cape, and the plan soon evolved into a journey of epic proportions – which is bound to happen with any idea born in a pub. The itinerary quickly became jam-packed, and the next step was to form a crack team who would be willing to belt up the Bloomfield, rev through river fords, and more importantly, drink mid-strength beer for an extended period. It was an offer hard to refuse (aside from the beer), and it didn't take long to get the right people on board. We gathered from all over the country – Melbourne, Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and the Sunshine Coast – and met at our starting point of Cairns. We stocked up on essentials (beer, snacks, and enough toilet paper to equip the MGM Grand), and enjoyed our last night in air-conditioned comfort. We set off, headed for our first stop, Cape Tribulation. Morale was high, and the countdown to the first croc and cassowary spotting had started. The next two weeks stretched out ahead of us, on a red and dusty track. Exactly what we'd encounter on our trip to 'The Tip' was unknown. One thing was for certain though – adventure was on the cards.

Day 1 – Sept 10th

• Cairns to Cape Tribulation Camping

– depart mid-morning

• Cross Daintree Ferry

- $20 per vehicle and trailer

• Approximately 150km mostly sealed roads

• Food available on the road.

Day 2 – Sept 11th

• Cape Tribulation to Elim Beach, via Bloomfield track

• Travel through Hope Vale community –

max 1x30 case of light or mid strength beer

per person OR 1x750ml wine. Spirits and full

strength beer are not permitted.

• Approximately 180km on unsealed roads

• Final chance for supplies in Cooktown

• Refuel

• Optional – arrive at camp at 1.30pm,

un-hitch the campers and head along the

beach to explore Cape Flattery sand dunes

• Breakfast available at Cape Tribulation

Day 3 – Sept 12th

• Elim Beach to Musgrave Roadhouse via

Battlecamp Road and Lakefield National Park

• 117km to old Laura

• 165km old Laura to Musgrave.

• 282km total on unsealed roads with

scattered shallow river crossings

• Old Laura Homestead is long abandoned –

supplies unavailable

• Musgrave Roadhouse has hot meals,

showers, basic supplies and fuel

Day 4 – Sept 13th

• Caravans to Weipa

• Campers to Chilli Beach via Portland Road

– Lunch at Archer River Roadhouse

• 173km unsealed roads to Archer River

• Basic supplies, food and fuel available.

Please ensure you have enough supplies for

camp cooking this evening

• 193km unsealed roads to Weipa

– bitumen close to town

• Mining town so supplies and

workshops readily available

• 143km unsealed roads to Chilli Beach

• No supplies available – camp cooking

Day 5 – Sept 14th

• Caravans to Bramwell Station via main

roads – caravan walk throughs will be filmed at

the van park in the morning

• Campers to Bramwell Station via

Frenchmans Track

• Caravans – 271km unsealed roads

• Batavia Downs Road saves approximately

100km but can be closed

• Campers – 193km via Frenchmans Track

• Lunch will be on the road, please ensure you

have enough supplies

• Hot meals and showers available at

Bramwell Station. Expect campers

to arrive after caravans.

Day 6 – Sept 15th

• Bramwell Station to Cockatoo Creek

• Caravans via Bamaga Road

• Campers via Old Telegraph Track

• Hot food and fuel available at Bramwell Junction

Caravans will travel 137km on unsealed

roads – some back tracking to reach Cockatoo

Creek down Old Telegraph Track

• Will need to cross Sailor Creek – a timber

bridge is available to cross but will require

caution and may be in disrepair. At worst, turn

around and camp back at junction between OTT

and Bamaga Road. Re-convene in morning.

• Campers – 51km on Old Telegraph Track,

with eight creek crossings to take on. Winching

will be required and going will be slow.

• No fuel/food/phone reception after Bramwell Junction

Day 7 – Sept 16th

• Head to Fruitbat Falls and Elliot Falls

• Caravans to leave vans and go in with 4WD

• Campers to continue through Old Telegraph Track – meet at Jardine River Crossing

• Caravans to return to van then head up Bamaga Road – meet at Jardine River Crossing

• Camp at Mutee Head

• Caravans – 137km unsealed roads, with one long, deep river crossing on OTT to access

Fruit Bat Falls. Caravans are routinely left at Junction

• Campers – 139km if we proceed through to Nolan’s Brook. This will be a full day, expect

late arrival into camp.

• 119km if we cut short and leave

OTT after Sam Creek

• Jardine River runs 9am – 5pm but is a very

relaxed schedule so earlier arrival is preferred

• Fees will be $129 per vehicle

Day 8 – Sept 17th

• Mutee Head to Punsand bay or Loyalty Beach

• Half day to re-stock

• Half day for filming

• 32km to Bamaga – fuel and food available.

• 10km Bamaga to Loyalty Beach

• 50km Bamaga to Punsand Bay

• Hot food available for all meals

• Fuel available in Bamaga and Seisia

Day 9 – Sept 18th

• Filming day

• Food available at Punsand Bay and Loyalty

Beach for all meals

Day 10 – Sept 19th

• Trip to the tip

• Explore the region

• 5 beaches run

• WW2 plane wrecks

• Somerset ruins

• Approximately 150km round trip

• No food or fuel available

Day 11 – Sept 20th

• Day trip to Torres Strait Islands

• Green Hill Fort

• Anti-aircraft emplacements on Horn Island

• Most northern pub in Australia

• Food available on all islands

Day 12 – Sept 21st

• Depart Punsand bay/Loyalty Beach

• Travel to Bramwell Station – approx.

240km with a ferry crossing OR

• Travel to Musgrave roadhouse – big day, approx. 580km

• Fuel and food available at:

• Bramwell Junction

• Bramwell Station

• Archer River Roadhouse

• Coen township

• Musgrave Roadhouse

Day 13 – Sept 22nd

• Bramwell to Hann River Roadhouse –

400km unsealed roads

• Musgrave to Cairns – 450km mostly

unsealed roads

• Food and fuel available at:

• Archer River Roadhouse

• Coen

• Musgrave Roadhouse

• Hann River Roadhouse

• Laura

• Lakeland

• Palmer River Roadhouse

Day 14 – Sept 23rd

• Hann River to Cairns – 400km

• Fuel and food available at:

• Laura

• Lakeland

• Palmer River Roadhouse