I just may have left a piece of my heart in Dorrigo.
As we turned east towards the coast from Ebor Falls the countryside soon became lush and fertile with green farms spreading before us on the undulating Dorrigo plateau. Although only about 40 minutes drive from Ebor Falls, it seems almost a world away.
By the time we reached the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre it was 6pm, the clouds were closing in, drizzling gentle rain, and the light was fading. No one else was there but the access gates were still open. We took a quick walk out onto the short elevated boardwalk, as I tried to huddle my camera under the shelter of an umbrella. Below you can see the rainforest floor. Should we just head for home - or hope the rain holds off long enough for a quick walk through the rainforest?
One look down the ramp and we decided we had to venture further - after all, J said the tree canopy would protect us from most of the rain....
We were soon entranced by the wonderland below. We could hear some birds and with no other visitors, the atmosphere was truly amazing. The camera managed to capture these scenes much better than the naked eye for the light was quite dull.
For over twenty minutes we kept following the winding path, enjoying every turn, not wanting the journey to finish. Deeper into the rainforest and the magic it held.
But then it really did start to rain, enough to put the camera safely away and decide to retrace our steps. What lies beyond that curve? I will have to return another day to find out. Rainforest is my very favourite habitat in the world.
There are many tracks and more areas of World Heritage listed rainforest in the Dorrigo area. I last visited Dorrigo on our honeymoon, nearly 25 years ago - and have been wanting to return ever since. The Dorrigo Rainforest Centre wasn't here then - it's the perfect way to enjoy a taste of the rainforest, very accessible and user friendly. I can hardly wait to return for a full day of rainforest walking, hoping to bring the younger six children (and my husband when he is well enough) who weren't able to come this day.
Back onto the road and down out of the clouds, we followed the Waterfall Way all the way to Coffs Harbour on the coast. The road is an adventure in itself - I see woolly sheep poking through those truck rails!
It was dark by the time we arrived home. A day to savour, having visited the University of New England in Armidale, Hillgrove, Wollomombi Falls, Point Lookout, Ebor Falls and last but not least, Dorrigo. Oh - and the reason for this whole big day out - J had to sit an exam at UNE in Armidale - and he scored a brilliant result!