Never Never Combo Track
North Coast NSW
Dorrigo National Park
A challenging walk combining a number of tracks and rewarding hikers with beautiful waterfalls and tranquil natural swimming holes.
This lightly trafficked walk starts from the Never Never Picnic Area, at the end of Dome Road in Dorrigo and joins three walks together - Casuarina Falls Track, Red Cedar Falls Track and the Rosewood Creek Circuit.
There are three trailheads at the picnic area – two at the rear of the picnic area (right-hand side for the Blackbutt Trail, left-hand side for the Rosewood Creek Circuit) and one on the left-hand side of the road as you enter the picnic area (the end of the Rosewood Creek Circuit).
Start along the Blackbutt Track, following Sassafras Creek (on your right). There are a few opportunities to hop into the creek and get a closer inspection of the cascades and natural rock pools.
At the junction about 1.3 kms in, continue straight for a steady descent to Casuarina Falls.
On the way to the falls, the creek moves further from the track, but there are plenty of sneaky views to a number of beautiful waterfalls and rock pools in the gorge below.
Casuarina Falls is massive (approximately 50m tall), however you only get obscured views of the main drop.
That said, just upstream from the top of the falls is a beautiful set of cascades which flow about 20 metres down a series of large rockfaces into a deep natural pool.
The views south from the top of the falls are magnificent, gazing over the valley to the surrounding ranges, including Dorrigo Mountain and McGraths Hump.
From the top of the falls, retrace your steps to the previous junction via a steady ascent up switchbacks. Be careful not to continue along the Blackbutt Track from the top of the falls.
Back at the junction, turn right along the Rosewood Creek Circuit, followed soon after by another junction where you will continue right again (following signs to Red Cedar Falls). Heading left takes you back to the picnic area via the return leg of Casuarina Falls Track.
From here, the trail begins to trace the ridgeline of the Dorrigo plateau, through lush rainforest.
The next junction is for the side-track to Red Cedar Falls (look for the directional sign at a sharp right turn).
At 58 metres high, the spectacular Red Cedar Falls is the tallest waterfall (on a tracked walk) in Dorrigo National Park.
There are numerous excellent viewing positions at the base of the falls where you can watch as Rosewood River plunges over the escarpment to the shallow pool below.
The track to the base of the falls is very steep, starting along switchbacks through towering red cedars and bangalow palms, before an even steeper rocky step section closer to falls, and one small loose shale section immediately preceding the falls.
Of course, the steep descent on the way to the base means a steep ascent on the way back. In total this side-track is 2.7 kms return and involves 169 metres of elevation.
The walk down to Red Cedar Falls requires moderate fitness and is probably not suitable for people with balance issues, but is not difficult for experienced walkers.
Once returning back to the main track, head straight (as opposed to the sharp left). From here it is a gentle ascent back to the picnic area.
Continue through beautiful forest, including blackbutt, tallowwood, coachwood, crabapple and sassafras trees, as the famous Dorrigo waratah. Giant stumps are a reminder of the logging history in the area.
On the way back to the picnic area, short side-tracks lead to base of Coachwood Falls, as well as multiple rock pools, most of which are steep and slippery and require care and attention.
Coachwood Falls may be comparatively smaller than the other falls on the walk, but it is still beautiful. Watch as Rosewood River cascades through a narrow gap in the rock face, first into a small pool halfway up the falls, and then gently into a bigger, tranquil pool at the base.
The falls can be seen from both the base, as well as from the top, however care is required at the top of the falls on the slippery rocks.
There are tranquil swimming holes at both the base, surrounded by behemoth boulders, as well as upstream of the falls.
On the final leg of the trail, the creek should remain on your right-hand side, with the track finishing at trail head off the road at the entrance to the picnic area.
There are toilets, picnic tables and BBQs at the picnic area.
Dorrigo National Park can be visited as part of the 185 km Waterfall Way scenic drive from Coffs Harbour to Armidale.
Track: The track mostly involves well-maintained graded paths, however the side-tracks to Casuarina Falls and Red Cedar Falls involve rocky steps, loose shale sections and switchbacks. The track is well-signed and relatively easy to follow.
Difficulty: The main track has a relatively gentle elevation profile, however the side-trails to Casuarina Falls and Red Cedar Falls require moderate fitness and involve a decent amount of elevation.
If exploring any of the falls, cascades or numerous rock pools more closely, be careful of slippery rocks and sheer edges, especially downstream of Casuarina and Red Cedar Falls, and at the top of Coachwood Falls.
Direction: This is a loop track, with out-and-back additions. While it can be done in either direction, it is recommended to complete the walk in an anti-clockwise direction.
The trail starts from behind the Never Never Picnic Area, at the end of Dome Road in Dorrigo, approximately 5 hours drive south of Brisbane, 1.5 hours drive east of Armidale, 1 hour drive west of Coffs Harbour or 6 hours drive north of Sydney.
The last 7 kms of road to the picnic area is unsealed, however a regular 2WD vehicle should be fine in good conditions.
Parking is ample for however trafficked the walks are at this location.
best time to go
The walk can be completed year-round.
Like any walk involving waterfalls, it is best done after recent rain. However, if completing after recent rain, be sure to check the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service website for updates regarding flooding and track closures.
Note that there are park fees associated with entering many national parks in New South Wales. Check the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service website for more information.
Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure.
I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.