About 400 metres into this walk all I could think was this must be one of the best short rainforest walks in Australia.
In such a tiny 1.4km loop, when you take the left path first you walk through some genuinely spectacular rainforest, down into a fern and tree lined bubbling creek, past spectacular old rainforest strangler figs and back out on a pathway of gnarled ancient tree roots!
This walk is also dog friendly as it is in the Orara State Forest.
|Quick Fact Box – Rainforest Loop Walk|
|Visit the Foresty Corporation before visiting for Safety & Up to date Official Information|
Walk Distance: 1.4km according to Foresty Corporation
Getting There: Bruxner Park Road then onto Scenic Drive
Track Grade: The track has uneven surfaces and up and downhill sections.
Therefore I would estimate Grade 3 ‘Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience is recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km’
Dogs: Yes this walk is dog friendly, dogs are allowed on lead (be aware for ticks & leeches)
Walk Highlights: It’s like real-life Avatar in there
Accessibility: Not accessible to wheelchairs
Mobile Reception: No – I lost reception most of the middle section of the walk as it was in a gully
How to get to the Rainforest Loop Track in Orara East State Forest
It’s a short drive from Coffs Harbour on up the 2wd accessible Bruxner Park Road and you park at the ‘gap’ which is just the corner of Bruxner Park Road and Scenic Drive.
The Rainforest Loop Walk Track Notes & Photos
The signage recommends some bush walking experience and this is probably fair. The path is undulating and uneven in some spots and the 2nd half of the walk the track was basically tree roots plus I had to cross a creek at one point.
These photos are not in the exact order just give you a rough idea of what you will see.
I had mad regrets about wearing hiking sandals instead of my boots as it had rained for several days prior and the leeches were brutal, I just totally forgot about them if am to be honest as its a long time since I bushwalked in a proper wet rainforest.
If you are walking with a dog be aware of the risk of ticks and how to prevent them, particularly at certain times of the year and to check your dog for leeches as well.
The start of the Loop Walk & descent
When looking at the signage the walk starts from the left hand side of the carpark and I took the left hand upper path first to walk in a clockwise direction loop.
Within a very short distance from the carpark it starts to feel like you are in proper dense rainforest.
Its not completely untouched though, it is on foresty land, there is remnants of logging dotted throughout as well as signs to tell you what some of the tree species are.
The creek crossing
When I descended down into this little creek gorge was the moment I decided it felt like I was in real life avatar.
This middle section was my favourite part of the walk as it felt like I was in proper dense rainforest and I could no longer hear the cars on the road just the trickling of the creek, bird calls and some insects.
Unfortunately when I visited the bridges over the creek are completely washed away which was not an issue when I visited as the creek was just a trickle so I could just step across it.
However I could imagine there could be times where it might require shoes off or become impassable depending on the amount of recent rainfall (though I don’t know for sure, perhaps it becomes a raging torrent that’s impassable without the bridges ha).
All around you and as you climb up out the otherside are ancient fig trees with impressive and huge root systems.
The ascent and end of the loop walk
The 2nd half of the walk (when walking clockwise round the track) undulates through more different dominant tree species and the track is often just uneven tree roots so watch where you put your feet.
I just honestly spent this whole walk in awe, I got to the point where my phone ran out of space for photos and videos I took so many lol.
The 2nd half of the walk takes you deeper into the forest before a long uphill section to get back to the starting point.
I mean I don’t want to oversell it, there are other lovely rainforest walks in Australia and maybe its too long since I travelled to them but I finished the walk still thinking, this must be one of the best short walks in Australia, why are there not more people here!
Happy Bushwalking 🙂
Plan your visit to Coffs Coast
Also, see in Orara East State Forest:
Visit the Official Foresty Page for Orara East State Forest with handy maps and notes