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The majestic Dorrigo National Park in New South Wales is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, the largest strip of subtropical rainforest on Earth. Follow our guide to exploring the landscapes and meeting the wildlife during your visit.
Dorrigo National Park is home to an astounding 150 species of birds – making it a bit of a bird-watchers paradise – and the Walk with the Birds Boardwalk is the ideal place to start twitching. Search among the forest branches for the glossy black and iridescent blue plumage of the paradise riflebird, and keep an eye out for green catbirds and fruit doves. Don’t forget to look to the forest floor for fossicking lyrebirds and nest building brush turkeys and if you happen to be around at night, listen out for the mo-poke call of the southern boobook owl and see ringtail possums scurrying to their nests. The Birds Boardwalk is a short half-kilometre walk on an accessible platform that takes 15-30 minutes to complete.
If you’re after a serious adventure, Slingsbys Trail and Syndicate Ridge Track is a challenging walk across varied landscapes from grassy plains to escarpment and ancient Gondwana rainforest. Walk through the Killingoodie Plain, a traditional hunting and camping site for the Gumbaynggirr people and a change of scenery from the surrounding rainforest. This is a long, difficult walk for experienced hikers and can also be ridden by experienced mountain bikers. Bring your binoculars for birdwatching and a compass and map or GPS as there is not much signposting. The Slingsbys Trail and Syndicate Ridge Track is a difficult 15-kilometre one-way walk.
Download the National Parks and Wildlife Service self-guided tour app and follow the Rainforest Birds Revealed tour of Dorrigo National Park, which includes stops at habitats where you are most likely to encounter the birds. Start from the Skywalk lookout and try to find the rose-crowned fruit dove or regent bowerbird. Continue to the Lyrebird Link track and listen out for the superb lyrebird, one of the finest vocalists in the bird world, before taking the Wonga Walk where you can spot stunning flycatchers with their whisker-like feathers. Then move on to the Walk with the Birds boardwalk to look out for eastern spinebills, or sooty owls in the evening. The tour is 3 kilometres and 1-2 hours long.