State Forests offer spectacular school holiday activities

Camping in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest. Photo: Forestry Corporation.

FAMILIES wanting to experience the amazing forests of northern NSW this spring can’t go past these top picks from local state forest staff during the upcoming holidays.

State Forests of NSW offer fun and free experiences that are always changing with the seasonal conditions.

To help you experience the best of what the region has to offer, we asked local Forestry staff to suggest a their favourite state forest experiences:

· Orara East State Forest – Coffs Harbour – Picnic at Niigi Niigi/Sealy Lookout. Take in the views of Coffs Harbour from the Forest Sky Pier and Korora Lookout, walk the Gumgali, Garraan.gurr, Rainforest, Bangalow and Midway tracks, enjoy a coffee at the Nyanggan Gapi Café and take to the high ropes course at TreeTops Adventures Coffs Harbour.

· Styx River State Forest – Located between Armidale and Ebor – Tour along Styx Forest Way to Wattle Flat and camp on the open grassy areas next to Styx River, wet a line, land a trout.

Free camping, basic facilities and dogs are always welcome.

· Wild Cattle Creek State Forest – near Dorrigo and Cascade – Recently upgraded day use area on the stunning Mobong Creek, some limited camping spots (first in best dressed) with picnic facilities linking to the amazing Mobong walking track back to village of Cascade.

· Wedding Bells State Forest – west of Woolgoolga – Take the kids mountain biking on the fresh single tracks managed by the Woolgoolga Mountain Bike Club.

· Bom Bom State Forest – South of Grafton-Family Mountain biking on the undulating single trails managed by the Grafton Mountain Bike Club.

· Pine Creek State Forest – A mixture of family friendly and intermediate mountain bike trails managed by the Coffs Harbour Mountain Bike Club, including the famous Cows with Guns and Sawmill trails. For a scenic drive: follow Crossmaglen Rd out to Tuckers Nob State Forest, visit Never Never Creek at Gleniffer Hall, head along the new Gleniffer Road back into Bellingen for coffee, shopping and cake.

· Nambucca State Forest – Hyland Park – Access deep creek from the northern edge of the forest with a number of secluded spots to cool off or go fishing. Take in a sunset over the water looking west towards Viewmont and Bollanulla Nature Reserves.

· Newry State Forest – Urunga – Paddleboard or kayak along Picket Hill Creek into the Kalang River. Gain access to the water off Martell’s Road, paddle down to Urunga with the outgoing tide.

· Double Duke State Forest – near New Italy Rest Area, south of Ballina – Explore the coastal forests and ranges, take the kids for a ride around the New Italy Mountain Bike Forest. Enjoy a coffee at Tastes of New Italy Café to break up the drive if you’re heading up or down the coast.

Forestry Corporation’s Partnerships Leader Ryan Ellis said there’s been a steady pace to facility improvements in state forests over the past year, helping the public to make the most of their family day trips.

“We encourage people to visit State forests during their travels, you can take the family dog, pack a picnic lunch and find your own special place off busy well-travelled routes,” Ryan said.

“Sealy Lookout is an award-winning tourism attraction and is always a hit, the best place to start any holiday by getting your bearings and setting off in any direction.

“You can see up and down the coast and along the Great Dividing Range, as well as into the surrounding hinterland. “It’s perfect for a short visit or easily fill in a day with the nature walks.

“These sites are just the tip of the iceberg for family friendly locations on the North Coast,” he said.

Visitors should visit the Forestry Corporation website for closures and notices before heading out, stick to formed roads and trails and be mindful of other forest users and changing conditions.

With more than 2-million hectares of State forests across NSW, there are endless places to discover and experiences to share.

“Our State forests have spectacular scenery and award-winning visitor areas.

“I encourage anyone who needs a change of perspective to get out and discover their new favourite places and make the most of the favourable conditions these holidays,” Ryan said.

“Visitors can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for up-to-date information on special places to visit,” he said.

For more information about Forestry Corporation of NSW, visit

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