Watch whales from Coffs’ first eco-certified destination in Orara East State Forest

The spectacular Forest Sky Pier at Sealy Lookout, the new First People  experience along the Gumgali Track to Korora Lookout and a network of rainforest walking tracks have earned Bruxner Park Flora Reserve in Orara East State Forest the title of Coffs Harbour’s first eco-certified destination.

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Partnerships Leader Holly James said Orara East State Forest was also the ideal vantage point for viewing this season’s whale migration.

“Forestry Corporation has made a significant investment in recent years in transforming this flora reserve in Orara East State Forest into an award-winning destination and it’s now become the first eco-certified tourism attraction in the Coffs Harbour region,” Ms James said.

“This eco-certification is an endorsement of our efforts to develop Orara East State Forest into a destination that’s both unique and environmentally sensitive.

“Bruxner Park Flora Reserve in Orara East State Forest has a really interesting history. It has long been a significant site for the traditional Aboriginal owners and in the 1930s it was set aside as a reserve to preserve the area’s unique flora and fauna, including critically endangered lowland rainforest vegetation.

“In developing the area over the past few years, we’ve been mindful of ensuring we develop facilities that enhance the natural and cultural significance of the area and leave a light footprint, so visitors can continue to experience this unique spot without having a negative impact on the forest itself.

“If you haven’t made the trip up to the Forest Sky Pier nestled in Orara East State Forest, it really is a must-visit destination.

Orara East State Forest is home to the iconic Sealy Lookout, which is one of the best vantage points for viewing our spectacular coastline and whale watching season is a particularly special time to visit.

“The lookout is completely accessible for people of all abilities with an accessible picnic area to enhance the experience for people using wheelchairs or prams, so it’s a great spot to take the whole family.

“We are also privileged to have the Gumgali Track, an Aboriginal interpretive walk that we developed in partnership with the Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council and Coffs Elders Group.

“We’ve worked with Elders, Muurrbay Language Centre, Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan – 2 Path Strong and local artists to create a really exciting new experience that includes three magnificent timber sculptures, a 30-metre mural and a soundbar that allows people to listen to Gumgali’s story in Gumbaynggirr language and English while taking in the view from Korora Lookout.

“If you haven't visited Orara East State Forest, or if you haven’t been for a while, take the family for a visit –  it’s only a short drive out of town and you won’t be disappointed.”

Media contact: Elizabeth Fowler 9407 4265/ 0408 779 903