MOUNT CORAMBA & The rover trail

North of Coffs Harbour is where you can start another great drive, giving you uninterrupted ocean and mountain views. Travel north from Coffs approximately 7kms, 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. 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. Irregularly maintained, the track changes depending on weather and traffic. 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 and up to Bruxner Park.

The Bruxner Park lookout 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. Covering an area of over 400 hectares, the park consists of dense rainforest and eucalyptus 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.
This well maintained road used by service trucks, residents, bike riders and log trucks, so 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. As it runs under power lines 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.

No comments: