national parks, reserves + forests

North Brother Lookout

Sea Acres Rainforest Centre in Sea Acres National Park is a place of outstanding natural beauty protecting rare sub-tropical coastal rainforest. Take the wonder walk along the 1.3km elevated rainforest boardwalk, which is stroller and wheelchair friendly. Be inspired by the timeless beauty of pristine rainforest. Take a guided Rainforest Discovery tour or enjoy the walk at your own pace. Browse the gift shop offering unique gifts and homeware, souvenirs, educational toys and books. Discover more about other great national parks and nature reserves to visit. Relax in the Rainforest Café, which serves delicious lunch, morning and afternoon tea. Located on Tourist Drive 10, 4km south of Town Beach along Pacific Drive. Sea Acres Rainforest Centre: 6582 3355 9am to 4.30pm. Rainforest Cafe: 6582 4444 9am to 4pm. Centre open 7 days excluding Christmas Day and scheduled Ironman events.

Dooragan National Park on North Brother Mountain overlooks Queens Lake and Camden Haven. Viewing platforms at the summit offer the most breath-taking views and are a must to visit. There is an easy 30 minute walk through lush rainforest, or try the Top Track which is a moderate 1 hour walk. You can return to the summit or continue on the Laurieton Track, which is a demanding 2 hour walk. Make sure to have a vehicle waiting at the other end.

Kattang Nature Reserve is accessed through Laurieton and across the Dunbogan bridge. The main feature is the majestic Perpendicular Point with its spectacular vertical cliffs plummeting 40 metres to the sea below. The reserve is surrounded by rock platforms, with the Camden River estuary to the north. The Flower Bowl Circuit (2km) is an easy walk with stunning coastal views or try the Perpendicular Point Walk (3.6km return) with panoramic views.

Crowdy Bay National Park heading south through Camden Haven and past the Dunbogan turn off, you'll find Crowdy Bay's long sweeping beaches, dramatic headland, extensive wetlands, rainforest pockets and untouched coastal land featuring beautiful wildflower displays. There are three camping areas around Diamond Head and several day use areas along the coast.

Boorganna Nature Reserve is a significant remnant of the extensive rainforest that once covered the Comboyne Plateau. The reserve protects 396 hectares of diverse vegetation ranging from Eucalypt forest to subtropical rainforest. Stroll the 2.7km walk that starts at the picnic area and descends through the tranquil rainforest to Rawson Falls. The return trip (uphill) takes about 2 hours at a steady pace. Bring your bird book, as the reserve is very popular for bird watching (best observed during the early hours of the day).

Burrawan State Forest located just 10 kilometres south of Wauchope you will find the world's largest Red Bloodwood tree! Tourism award-winning 'Old Bottlebutt' is unique in shape with its flared 'butt' with a girth of more than 16 metres. At 51 metres high and over 200 years old, this magnificent tree is the main feature on a beautiful 600 metre loop walking track that starts and ends at the Burrawan picnic area. From Wauchope travel south of Bago Road 10 kilometres, then turn left onto Internal Break Road and follow the signs. Open 24 hours, 7 days including public holidays.

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5 best ways to start your morning in Port Macquarie

5 best ways to start your morning in Port Macquarie

Oct 01 2016
ONE: Put your best foot forward and take a walk along the Coastal Walk - a 9km easy grade walk that follows one of the most dramatic and inspiring coastlines in NSW TWO: Go for a bike ride along the foreshore - start at the Port Macquarie Marina on Park Street (...