Jun 21, 2010


Just a few kilometres north of Coffs Harbour is where you can start another great morning drive, giving you uninterrupted ocean and mountain views. Travel north from Coffs approximately 7kms and turn left into Gaudrons Road. As you wander up Gaudrons road for the next 2km, you will be amazed at the breathtaking ocean views looking out over the Solitary Islands, plenty of stops for a photo opportunity. Rover trail will appear on the left, and this is where hubs should be locked in. The climb from here begins in low range as you rise to the top of the spur. Being an access track it is generally well maintained and graded, great for the beginners. Straight on past several side tracks, as you admire the views to the east overlooking the resort strip that lies just north of Coffs. At 1.5kms turn left and this will start shooting you down some exciting down hill drops. You will notice now more and more banana plantations on the northern side of most hills. Along Rover there is evidence of the old log cutters, quite often you will see the notches cut by the early timber getters, all done by hand and pulled out by bullocks. A further 1.6km will see you approach some great low range hills. At the top veer left, and admire more views overlooking Coffs towards the harbour. This road is used regularly by bikes, other 4wds and bushwalkers, so take care.

Driving on the edge of this ridge you will soon start a descent down to a tar road. Two options here, either turn left and head back to Coffs ( only 7km away ), or straight across and wander 2km between banana plantations and Ulidarra National Park to a fantastic lookout and picnic stop- Bruxner Park. This stop will give you uninterrupted views south over Coffs, towards Sawtell and further to South West Rocks. Several walking tracks are available here for the keen walker; keep an eye out for koalas, lyrebirds, scrub turkeys and resident goannas. A great spot to visit at night where the odd possum will show its face and if you’re lucky and good enough with a torch it’s possible to spot several species of owls. Covering an area of over 400 hectares, the park consists of dense rainforest and eucalypt stand; it was declared a flora reserve in 1958 because of the abundant flora and fauna.

Retracing your steps 2km back to the tar intersection, turn left and wind your way through pristine rainforest, with tree ferns and palms lining the road. Keep a lookout for ‘’The Vincent’’ tree on the right. This huge flooded gum was named in 1961 after the Honourable R.S Vincent, for his role in creating the flora park. Further on past here you will cross several timber bridges, around in these valleys was where gold was first discovered in Coffs. Turn left 3.5kms past the Vincent tree onto Mount Coramba road. A well maintained road used by service trucks, residents, bike riders and log trucks- caution needs to play a part along here. Mt Coramba road winds its way some 5km uphill where it puts you 590 metres above sea level, giving 360’ views around the Coffs coast. Look out for local down hill mountain bike riders as a purpose built track lies just off the main road. After taking in an eagle’s eye view of the coast, head back down the mountain for just 500 metres and turn right into Morbid Trail. Beware as you cross the bike track.

Best to select low range from here as the track can be slippery. From here the next few hundred metres will see you travel down hill through lantana and rainforest infested bush. As the track levels out, it will change to a rock base where it can get a bit bumpy, slow and steady- with some help from any passengers will see you pass this section with out any drama. As it runs under powerlines it is maintained on a regular basis, and for this reason there are plenty of spots where you can pull over to admire the view. The track winds its way further down giving more opportunities for a photo session. A mere 1.5 km down veer right to stay on Morbid, and as it drops and flattens out several more times stop and take a look back from where you came from. The view back up the hill where the track cuts through the greenery can give you an impressive photo or two. Further down as Morbid flattens right out, you will again enter more farm land, this time farmers are growing Kiwi fruit. The dirt turns to tar and as you follow it to the end, the choice is turn right to head to Coramba for some lunch, or simply turn left back to Coffs.

Rover Trail is a great local track. Starting just a few kilometres north of Coffs, you are nearly always in view of the city or coast line and being so close to Coffs Harbour, it can be done with in an hour or two. The trip can be continued through to Coramba for lunch.
A great trip the whole year round. Rain can cause the tracks to be slippery.
Coffs Harbour and Coramba are close by with fuel and plenty of supermarkets.
Flora and fauna, stunning coastal and mountain views, old growth forests.
Northeast Region......Hema
Moonee Beach..........9537s
Coffs harbour..........95373n

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