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Sunrise at Dorrigo's Skywalk Lookout

Home > Coffs Harbour > Outdoor | Free | Family | Escape the City | Picnic Spots
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane. https://www.instagram.com/megforbesphotography/
Published February 29th 2020
Stunning views across the rainforest to the ocean
The skywalk at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre in Dorrigo National Park offers superb views across pristine rainforest and the Bellinger Valley to Coffs Coast.

Sunrise from Dorrigo Skywalk
Sunrise from Dorrigo Skywalk


Visits to the skywalk vary radically according to the weather. Some days the sky is completely clear and you feel certain you can see the sun glistening off the ocean. On others, mists rising through the rainforest feel like they might engulf you at any moment.

Mist rising to engulf the skywalk
Mist rising to engulf the skywalk


Without a doubt, however, our family's favourite time to visit is at sunrise. When the Rainforest Centre is open, entrance to the skywalk is through the shop and information centre. But in the early mornings, a little gate just to the right of the building is left open so that the skywalk may be accessed outside of office hours. Entrance to the skywalk is free, although a gold coin donation is welcome.

Sunrise on the Dorrigo Skywalk
Sunrise on the Dorrigo Skywalk


The well-designed skywalk provides many interesting opportunities for families such as being level with the forest canopy and looking down onto tree ferns.

Looking down on tree ferns from the Dorrigo Skywalk
Looking down on tree ferns from the Dorrigo Skywalk


There is a camera tripod attachment permanently installed at the end of the skywalk for families who wish to include everyone in the memory. However, we've found it quite fun to play with shadows at various times of days for family portraits on the rainforest itself

Family portrait from the Dorrigo Skywalk
Family portrait from the Dorrigo Skywalk


Being up in the rainforest canopy provides fairly unique opportunities for bird spotting, especially those species who tend to be too shy to come down to the ground.

A wompoo fruit dove in the rainforest canopy
A wompoo fruit dove in the rainforest canopy


As you leave the canopy going back through the little gate to the side of the Rainforest Centre, there is an entrance to the Pademelon Picnic Area. This area includes a shelter with picnic tables and additional tables on a grassy area under the trees.

A pademelon in the Pademelon Picnic Area next to the skywalk
A pademelon in the Pademelon Picnic Area next to the skywalk


A picnic breakfast here is the ideal way to round off your morning at the Skywalk before exploring one of the trails, waterfalls, or the Rainforest Centre itself when it opens at 9:00am (daily, except on Christmas Day). If you are quiet, birds from the rainforest may even come to get a closer glimpse of you.

An eastern yellow robin in the Pademelon Picnic Area
An eastern yellow robin in the Pademelon Picnic Area

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Why? Stunning views across the rainforest to the coast
When: Always
Phone: (02) 6657 5913
Where: Dorrigo National Park in New South Wales
Cost: Free (gold coin donation welcomed)
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