BACK TO NATURE WITH STYLE COFFS COAST SHOWCASES BUSH AND BEACH BEAUTY
WE’RE welcomed to Hungry Head House by lounging kangaroos and swamp hens emerging from the macadamia plantation.
The wraparound soundtrack of smashing waves and a cappella birdsong has an effect akin to a head and shoulder massage.
At the spacious and secluded hideaway we’re using as a base for exploring the nature-rich Coffs Coast, we’re surrounded by 5 bushstudded hectares.
The huge decks and vast windows create a sense of being cocooned within fragrant gums.
There are times when getting away unashamedly means escaping the clamour of people and settling into Hungry Head House proves the perfect entree to a region replete with reclusive options.
Like so many beaches that stretch south of laid-back Coffs Harbour town, Hungry Head Beach is blissfully empty; a boundless unfurling of golden sand and sparkling water.
Along with beaches you’re very likely to have to yourself – Tuckers Rocks, reached by delving through rainforest, soon become another favourite – this section of coast is distinctive for the fringing ribbons of aquamarine inlets.
A little further north, we drive through rural scenes to reach the sleepy settlement of Mylestom, where the mountains-meets-ocean vistas that characterise the Coffs Coast are especially impressive.
The sort of place I’d imagined long vanished from the east coast; Mylestom is perfect for a picnic. Just behind the dunes of Sawtell Beach is a lagoon where deep swimming holes form at high tide.
Fish, cormorants and rays congregate here, so it’s a good idea to bring a snorkel mask. Boasting numerous waterfalls that spill into tempting pools, the road that twists up towards the misted ranges that form Coffs Coast hinterland is aptly called Waterfall Way.
The World Heritage-listed Gondwana forests of Dorrigo National Park can be accessed by uncrowded walks; Crystal Shower Falls and the elevated Walk with the Birds boardwalk are just two of many splendid wilderness immersions involving minimal exertion.
A patchwork of forests and limegreen valleys rolls out as we drive from the time-frozen town of Dorrigo towards fetching villages called Cascade and Coramba.
Scattered throughout these foothills are the evocative, photogenic remnants of a timber-getting, goldseeking heyday.
If we had time to follow this loop back to Coffs Harbour, we’d find more rainforest at the Bindarri National Park. But at the end of the day, there’s no place quite like the open-to-the-bush bathhouse back at Hungry Head House.
The birds are going bonkers and wallabies are flirting, and best of all I can soak it all up from the bathtub, bubbly in hand.
The Skywalk at Dorrigo Rainforest Centrehas sensational views looking out into Dorrigo National Park.