We arrived into Coffs Harbour bright and early after an overnight greyhound from Sydney. Along with two others we were the only ones to get off the bus, everyone else going onto Byron. Coffs was a place we didn’t known much about and it was off the well trodden backpacker route.
We were both slightly apprehensive, however once stepping off the coach our worries soon evaporated, we were greeted by a guy from the hostel and taken on a tour of the town. We were immediately struck by the beauty of the place, and surprised at how mountainous it was.
It was relaxed, friendly and everyone super welcoming. This is the way I had remembered hostels from when I was last here. Almost as soon as we sat down an Aussie guy had a great chat to us and gave us plenty of tips. We felt at home and at ease.
Wanting to make the most of the day, we decided to go stand up paddle boarding and headed to the local creek. Neither of us had done it before and didn’t know quite what to expect. Ally took to it like a duck to water, with the most incredible and stable balance. I was a little more shaky at first but after a few minutes was well away.
We paddled through our new surroundings, passing mangroves, trees and wildlife – with no one else around. The point of view offered while stood on the board was awesome. Ally led most the way, the only time she became unstuck was when I got distracted and punted her board from behind, which sent her flying into the water…oops.
The next day we headed into Dorrigo Rainforest with a couple that we met at the hostel the night before. They invited us along and it was to good an offer too turn down. The main destination was Dangar waterfall for a swim.
While driving up into the mountains the cloud got denser and it started to drizzle. But with the music pumping and chat in full flow we were excited. We parked, grabbed our belongings and scrambled down through the rainforest. By the time we reached the bottom the rain had got heavier, but a little rain wouldn’t put us off and we all jumped in the water.
We swam across the natural basin towards the fall, the water was cascading off a huge cliff, soaring trees and lush vegetation lay either side. As we swam beneath the waterfall you could feel the force of the water hitting your skin. Climbing the rocks behind it the four of us felt happy to share the moment together, we paused and absorbed it. As we swam back sudddenly the sky rumbled and the heavens opened, it was astonishing to see so much rain hitting the surface of the water, and we now know why it’s called a rainforest. I didn’t get any photos, but the memories are super vivid.
Soaked to the skin and happy we explored the rainforest further, although the mountainous views lay hidden behind cloud in most places. While we looked out Ally casually said ‘I think I’ve got a leech on my ankle’, sure enough she did. It took some pulling but eventually we got it off.
As the sun dropped in the sky that day we climbed Mutton Bird island, which is situated just off the mainland. This gave us a perspective back over the town and surrounding landscape.