A short walk on our weekend in Dorrigo, the Wonga Walk doesn’t really feel like a bushwalk as the entire walk is on a concrete path… which is understandable considering the amount of rain and traffic on this walk. It’s a a popular walk described by the Dorrigo tourism office as one the “most popular walks not only in Dorrigo National Park, but also in Australia”. A big claim – but I did see quite a few people on the Wonga Walk trail, despite it being an overcast and rainy day. And the Wonga Walk does pack a lot of great scenery and waterfalls in a relatively short and easy bushwalk.
The path heads down gently through towering trees and huge strangler figs. I’m starting at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and taking the Lyrebird Linking Track. You can do the walk in either direction, but I’m going clockwise and meeting the rest of the family at the “Walk with the Birds” boardwalk, which can also be reached by a short drive to The Glade Picnic Area and carpark.
It’s easy walking, and the trees – some up to 600 years old and part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage site – are impressive.
I reach the first waterfall – Tristania Falls – after about half an hour, with the path crossing the creek on a solid metal bridge.
There’s a bit of a view down the creek and across the valley, before the path ascends up some stairs and back into the rainforest.
A bit further along is a slightly better view (but not great!) through the trees towards the coast at Hardwood Lookout. Not that you would do this walk for the views!
Next is Crystal Shower Falls, the star attraction of the Wonga Walk – many people just walk down from the Glade Picnic Area to see this waterfall. You ccan also do the Crystal Shower Falls Walk which goes from the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre to the waterfall, and returns the same way. The water cascades off a semi-circular cliff, surrounded by ferns and dense foliage.
Unfortunately you can no longer walk behind the waterfall, due to the danger of rockfall. On my last visit (in 2007) the track went under the overhang and behind the falls…
The new track crosses Crystal Shower Falls on a very serious suspension bridge, which gives you a different perspective of the falls from my last visit.
Then it’s all (gradually) uphill to the Glade Picnic Area. There’s a lot more interprettative signage on this section, pointing out rosewood trees, yellow carabeen, “red gold” (red cedar trees that were almost entirely wiped out on the NSW coast by logging) and walking stick palms.
I meet the rest of the family at the elevated “Walk with the Birds” boardwalk, before continuing up to the Glade Picnic Area.
There’s a last lookout at the Glade Picnic Area over the Dorrigo National Park and McGrath’s Hump (the peak to the left) and towards Bellingen and the coast.
As we drive back to the Visitor Information, we spot a pair of lyrebirds, which are foraging on the rainforest floor near the road. It’s a nice end to a very pleasant walk!
0.0km Start at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre (Lyrebird Link Track) 0.4km Lyrebird Linking Track joins Wonga Walk 2.9km Tristania Falls 3.7km Crystal Showers Falls 6.0km Walk with the Birds boardwalk 6.5km Glade Picnic Area (I finished here) 7.1km Return to Dorrigo Rainforest Centre
More information on the Wonga Walk
- Australian Geographic – Wonga Walk trail guide
- National Parks (NPWS) – Wonga Walk
- National Parks (NPWS) – Crystal Shower Falls Walk