In the words of JR Tolkien "Not all those who wander are lost". My passion and loves are my family, travel and writing. I'm fortunate to be able to combine all three for an extraordinary life adventure....
There is a majestic quality and breathtaking beauty that comes with that special moment of standing in close proximity to a cascading, powerful waterfall. Crystal Falls located in Dorrigo National Park, set amongst world class heritage rainforest, is no exception. It is well worth the day trip from Coffs Harbour, to the inland town of Dorrigo, to view nature's stunning creation.
As you drive the 60kms or so from Coffs Harbour, the landscape and scenery provide a visual beauty of a different kind, moving from surf coastline and seaside towns to rolling green hills, lush rainforests and quaint farmhouses set amongst welcoming country towns.
The Dorrigo National Park is a popular tourist attraction, well equipped with scenic BBQs, picnic grounds, toilet facilities and a rainforest visitor centre with informative displays, helpful customer service staff and a fully stocked souvenir shop.
There are several walks which begin from the Visitor Centre itself, including; the short 'skywalk lookout' with a stunning view overlooking the rainforest and the 'Walk with the birds' boardwalk, a real treat for nature and bird lovers. For the opportunity to spot and/or at least hear the lyrebirds which live in this special habitat, there is the short 'lyrebird link track'.
The 6.6km circuit of Wonga Walk (which takes in Crystal and Tristania Falls) also begins at the Visitor Centre. However, there is also a shorter 5.8km circuit (approximately 2.5 hours) directly to the Crystal Falls which begins from' The Glade' picnic ground, an easier option for young kids like ours.
The walk to the falls is by a sealed easy track, shaded by tall lush forest. A suspension bridge takes you in front of the falls and to a track which then leads behind the waterfall to a cavern and a viewing platform of a different kind. As you stand behind the veil of the tumbling mass of falling water, you can imagine, for a moment, that you and the waterfall are one.
So why are these falls particularly special? All waterfalls have a unique pattern and flow, carving their own journey and powerful descent to the waters below, forever surging forward. Crystal Falls is no different. What is special about Crystal Falls is the unique vantage point, a different way to experience nature's magic and energy.
What is it about being in the presence of waterfalls that gives us those feelings of calm, happiness and pure bliss? Is it a symbolic parallel connection between the tumbling water washing over the steep descent of rock, and our own desires to just as easily, wash away any negative feelings? Is it because waterfalls are vibrant reminders of our vital life source? Or maybe it's because of science.
One such possibility explains that the air which circulates around some of these natural wonders contain tens of thousands of negative ions which lead to an increased release of serotonin levels and the dreamlike feelings of euphoria.
Maybe it's just the visual beauty, the simple presence of being surrounded by nature and in a different space to the usual daily grind which provides that 'happy place'. Whatever it is that draws us to this awe-inspiring beauty is yours to self-discover.