Urunga is a little hidden gem located about 6 hours north of Sydney, New South Wales (NSW). Many travellers – including myself – often bypass this charming town when driving up the Coffs Coast region, opting for the more well known and popular Coffs Harbour – home to Australia’s The Big Banana.
With the north coast Pacific Highway undergoing an obscene dollar amount upgrade, it won’t be long until Urunga (pronounced you-rung-gah) will be on the popular tourist trail. I must admit, I’d never heard of the area until we started researching for alternative accommodations a couple of weeks ago. Coffs Harbour proved to be slightly expensive and we wanted to stay somewhere away from the busy tourist centre. (Tip: Best time to visit is after the school holidays late January to early February).
Urunga’s main attraction is its quiet and relaxed atmosphere, almost secluded beaches and fantastic year-round climate. If you’re into hiking and exploring unspoilt natural parks and reserves, this region will also be your haven. The Dorrigo Plateau, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour are all within minutes drive where you can visit:
Dorrigo World Heritage National Park
Skywalk at the Dorrigo National Rainforest
Bellingen Lookout Walk
Bellingen Jazz and Blues Festival (August)
Bellinger River National Park
Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve (Giidany Miirlarl)
Forest Sky Pier / Sealy Lookout / Bruxner Park Flora Reserve
As we only had a couple of days in the region, we were only able to visit the local town, Urunga Boardwalk/Footbridge, Muttonbird Island, Forest Sky Pier, Coffs Harbour Marina and Jetty. Despite the area being known for its generally attractive climate, we got rained on just as we reached the top of Muttonbird Island and also at the breakwater bridge directly across.
Already planning on road trip #2 with focus on more hiking and bushwalks. There are so many things to do up and down the northern tablelands including Byron Bay, Tweed Heads, Lennox Head, Ballina, Yamba, Manning Valley, Port Macquarie, Port Stephens…and this is just a small fraction! I will link separate posts for some of these places once it’s up on the blog.
We stayed at the Kabana Luxury Accommodation at Urunga, a listing we found via AirBNB.com. The Kabana is run by John and Vicki Moore who are such accommodating and lovely hosts. Make sure you grab them for some vino and ask them to share their travel stories. You might just get an awesome itinerary idea out of it. Contact John and Vicki here. Also register here to claim some AirBNB travel points – on us!
Planning a road trip to the NSW north coast?
Here are other useful links to help you plan your next road trip in the northern tablelands of NSW: