Relaxing Rainforest Retreat

Koompartoo Retreat is tucked away in its own little tropical paradise on the edge of Bellingen's town centre, surrounded by lush greenery and an array of native birdlife.
We arrived on a blazing hot day and were delighted to find our chalet already cooled for our comfort. We instantly relaxed into the slow and natural pace the wind-chimes on the veranda set for us and slipped into a cozy mid-afternoon nap.

Small details created an exquisite uniqueness of our chalet. Crafted from stunning hardwood, the barn-style half doors creaked in the most satisfying way. The stained glass bay window was the perfect spot to curl up with a book and the pull-chain lights brought some history into our experience.

There are many natural beauties to explore in the area. We spent a lot of time cooling off in the freshwater of the Never Never Creek, hiking the many bush trails of the Dorrigo National Forrest and despite TLC's advice, chasing waterfalls all around the shire. Koompartoo is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning 'fresh start'. Breathing in the raw air of the rainforest we couldn't help but dwell on the fact that it felt like we were washing away the grime of city life and giving our bodies (and minds) a fresh start just by being there.

An impressive lighting storm blazed a trail through the area during our stay, temporarily knocking out the power and giving us the perfect opportunity to snuggle up on the couch together, play cards and cook with gas on the BBQ.

Things We Did

  • Food & Drink
  • Waterfall
  • Surf
  • Walk
  • River
Pizza & Pints at Bellingen Brewing Co
The Bellingen Brewery & Co can be found tucked away in the heart of Bello Shire, behind a curtain of greenery that snakes and vines it's way up the front entrance of this inviting and imaginative space.
All materials used in the build were recycled and locally sourced to create a unique and homey experience with minimal environmental impact.
The pizza is hand-kneaded and wood-fired (we couldn't go past the classics Margarita and Funghi!) and the Porter and Pale Ale is something to brag about. We enjoyed a quiet, mid-week catch up with friends, though come the weekend live acts attract a full house and play from the mezzanine floor above the bar!
Swimming at Dangar Falls
A 30 minute drive that winded up and into mountains inland lead us to Dangar Falls, an impressive sight to behold. Just north of Dorrigo, this scenic beauty had us mesmerised by the amount and roar of water crashing over it's edge. Even from an above viewing platform we felt minuscule in comparison to the power of nature. The paddle across the water left us puffed but it was well worth it to revel in the sensation of droplets showering down on us....
Surfing with dolphins at Sawtell
We always find time for the ocean in our adventures as surfing is great for our mind, body & soul. Sawtell has a great island beach break as well as a back beach that is sheltered from northerly winds. It boasts an Ocean Pool for those days the surf is too rough and a pop-up coffee kiosk will keep you fuelled for those early morning barrels. Dolphins are known to frequent the area, and on this morning, we even shared a wave with them!...
Dorrigo National Park walk
The Dorrigo National Park is a World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest with walking trails that wind through ancient trees and dramatic waterfalls. The air is crisp and tranquil here and feels a world away from civilisation. Home to a wide range of wildlife it is perfect for birdwatching, there is even a trail named after the Australian Lyrebird.
There are BBQ and picnic facilities to enjoy a bite to eat after your hike and drinking water on tap to keep you hydrated.
Coffee at the Old Butter Factory
A quick stop on our way into Bellingen town, The Old Butter Factory Cafe has some funky craft shops and galleries to browse after a caffeine boost. We shared our morning tea with some particularly chirpy locals....
Urunga Boardwalk
Following the Boardwalk 1km to the end takes you from the quaint town of Urunga right out to where the ocean meets the Bellingen River mouth. A high tide means more chance of spotting creatures and sea life beneath the surface though we enjoyed the patterns nature had created when the tide was low....
Never Never Creek for a dip
The Bello Shire is home to some amazingly tranquil and picturesque swimming holes along the Never Never Creek. Fresh and brisk water gave us the early morning wake up we needed (alongside coffee) to explore the surrounding areas....

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Where we stayed
Things we did

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