There's a lot to explore in NSW. Next time you are heading North of Sydney and want a detour, or to discover something a little different, check out my favourite places to visit.
Dark Point Aboriginal Place
Dark Point Aboriginal Place (near Hawks Nest) is one of NSW best kept secrets! If you want to escape to a remote wilderness and hike along the sand dunes, then you should head there. If it was not for the ocean view, you might think you were stranded in the middle of a desert.
When I first came across these sensational sand dunes I was in awe, and since discovering this astonishing part of NSW, I visit often. Nearby is Mungo Brush, offering a tranquil place for a picnic or kayaking on the lake (maybe not in holidays as it gets packed). There is also a wonderful rainforest track and you will likely come across dingoes both at Dark Point Aboriginal Place and Mungo Brush.
Bulahdelah Mountain Aboriginal Place
Every time I drove north on the Pacific Highway through Bulahdelah, I looked up to the mountain wall and wished I could climb up there. I didn't realise that there was actually an astonishing hike up to that exact spot and believe me, it was worth the effort, both for the spectacular views from the top and the impressive flora and fauna on the way up.
Bulahdelah Mountain Aboriginal Place is located in Bulahdelah State Forest, east of the township of Bulahdelah. As an Aboriginal Place, it is in recognition of the cultural, spiritual and historical significance of the area to the Worimi people, the Traditional Owners of the Land. You will come across traditional tree carvings, a cultural space with seating and a fire-pit. The carved trees are there to remind people passing by that this is a special area, a message to visitors that Boolah-Dillah Mountain has spiritual significance. I certainly felt that presence and respect.
Bouddi National Park
Not too far North of Sydney, on the Central Coast is the stunning Bouddi National Park. It is a popular place to visit on weekends with a fantastic trail along the coastline and rainforest. The rock formations are stunning. Part of the track is a boardwalk and other times you will be on a dirt track, which can get a little muddy in places. On the way back, weather permitting, you can cool off in the ocean.
Wingham Brush is a 10 hectare subtropical floodplain rainforest and one of the few remnants of this rare type of rainforest in Australia. It is a pleasant walk on a boardwalk with lots of flora and fauna (1.9 km and barrier-free).
You will notice Giant Moreton Bay figs and an immense colony of endangered grey-headed flying foxes. The flying foxes make a lot of noise. You will also come across Brush Turkeys walking through the forest.
While you are at Wingham, check out Bent on Food for lunch.
Grandis The Tallest Tree in NSW
A beautiful picnic spot on the mid north coast is the Grandis, amidst the dense, lush rainforest on the western edge of Myall Lakes National Park. Just off the Pacific Highway, north of Bulahdelah, this picnic spot is only 75 metres from Grandis, the tallest known tree in NSW.
The road is a gravel road, but you do not need a four-wheel drive to drive the 5 km up. Along the way, take time to pause, listen to the birds and smell the scent of the rainforest. You will know when to stop when you come across the lush bushes and palm trees.
Continue on to the picnic area and take the 75-metre boardwalk to a most spectacular site, Grandis, the tallest tree in NSW.