A few weeks ago we ventured out to the beautiful Coorabakh National Park, about an hour’s drive from our home in Port Macquarie. We spent a few exploring Waitui Falls and its beautiful bush and rainforest surroundings, as well as taking a refreshing winters dip in the water! We finished our day with a bumpy ride up to Flat Rock Lookout which gives you the most stunning views of the region. Its an incredibly picturesque area, great for photography and exploring.
From Port Macquarie it took us around an hour to get to Waitui Falls. We took the Pacific Highway until the Johns River turnoff, drove through Johns River and up through Hannam Vale until we reached the falls. I’d pre-programmed the falls into Google Maps which was good because I lost reception basically as soon as we hit the unsealed roads and also because there wasn’t any signs near the waterfall. I’ve heard from a few people that the locals take the signs down as they don’t want it to get too busy and to be honest, I don’t blame them!
The drive to the falls was pretty east, the road was unsealed, dirt road for quite a while however it was fairly smooth and as long as it wasn’t too wet, it would be fine in a 2WD, so we were very comfortable in Dan’s 4×4 ute.
This year we changed our car insurance on both vehicles to Qantas after we did a lot of research and compared car insurance quotes online. Qantas were actually one of the best priced insurances for our vehicles and we got a nice sign up bonus of points which was great, even though we won’t be using the points anytime thanks to covid, however they will be there when travel (and semi-normal life) resumes.
It was just a few minutes stroll from where we parked out car, down through the bush to the falls. There was a few people at the base of the falls when we arrived, so we headed up to check out the falls from above first. Thanks to the rain that we’d had over the last few weeks there was plenty of water flowing and it really was just such a tranquil, beautiful spot.
At the top of the waterfall is a creek with plenty of smaller swimming holes which would be perfect on a nice sunny day!
Waitui Falls are beautiful from every angle and we loved the side view of the falls on our way down to the ‘beach’.
It’s just a short walk around the falls and from the car, but I would definitely wear joggers and not just thongs as it the ground is quite uneven and slippery when wet.
We passed by a small picnic area before crossing over a small creek ‘bridge’ and then we were at the base of the waterfall.
Waitui Falls isn’t the biggest of waterfalls, but it is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by lush, green bush. The water was crystal clear and quite enticing, even on a dreary, wet day. I can’t even imagine how beautiful it would be on a Summer’s day!
I’d worn my swimmers but when we arrived at the falls it was drizzling and cold so I decided against swimming. Once we got to the base of the falls and the ‘beach’, I felt the water and it was chilly but nice so decided we’d come all this way and I would be disappointed if I didn’t swim! The water was actually so lovely and it was wonderful to be swimming whilst it was raining.
I’ll always be a beach girl, but I do love swimming in nice, clean fresh water as you always feel so refreshed afterwards! It wasn’t even cold when we got out, I think because the area was so protected from any wind.
Dan hadn’t worn or brought his swimmers, so he was a good sport and still went in, just in his undies. He swam across to the waterfall and loved it.
Flat Rock Lookout
We then continued on the road to Flat Rock Lookout, which is only 9km but took us about 25 minutes. The road was drastically worse from Waitui Falls to Flat Rock Lookout and we definitely wouldn’t recommend tackling it if you aren’t in a 4×4. The road is unsealed, with massive potholes, super steep and is definitely only one way. We came across a few other cars going the other way and we had to reverse downhill (super dodgy) until the road was wide enough for them to pass. Definitely don’t recommend doing this road if you aren’t in a 4×4 or at least an AWD.
Flat Rock Lookout was however signposted and only a short stroll from the car. It is an incredible location with beautiful views over the Upper Landsdowne Valley and Comboyne Plateau from the fenced viewing platform. If you’re lucky you’ll also spot some falcons and eagles! It was super misty when we visited, but it made the views even more magical.
We’d packed our thermos and some hot chocolate and it was the perfect place to warm up after our swim with a hot drink whilst taking in the stunning views.
We had a great Sunday adventure out to Coorabakh National Park and whilst it wasn’t the best day weather-wise, it worked in our favour because we had both Waitui Falls and Flat Rock Lookout almost all to ourselves. I imagine on a nice day, Waitui Falls in particular would be very busy!
On the way home, we were stopped near Hannam Vale whilst maybe 100 or more cows decided to cross the road at the same time! This definitely reiterated to us just how much we were in the middle of farming country! It is such a lush, green part of the Mid North Coast and definitely one of the best kept secrets in the region. It was so nice to see the region so green and fertile, particularly after how badly we were hit by the horrific bushfires last year.
Coronavirus has stopped us from travelling like we used to, but we’re actually really enjoying our slower paced lives currently (particularly being pregnant) and exploring all that our local area has to offer!
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This post was written in collaboration with Qantas.
All words are our own.