Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, to wine and dine, shop, or time spent in nature, Urunga in the Bellingen Shire has it all.
The NSW North Coast town of Urunga is renown for its picturesque lagoon to ocean boardwalk, amazing surfing beaches, fabulous river fishing and beautiful surrounds. Located on the coast.
Urunga makes the perfect starting or end point for exploring the stunning Waterfall Way as it meanders through lush green valleys, through Gondwana sub-tropical Rainforest, the waterfalls of Dorrigo National Park and Dorrigo's Dangar Falls with its popular swimming hole at the base of the falls.
Situated amidst the popular holiday destination of Coffs Harbour, the artisan villages of Bellingen and Dorrigo, and the coastal beauty of Nambucca Heads, Urunga and the Bellingen Shire have something to offer everyone, whether you are chasing relaxation or adventure.
A 2km return walk, the famous Urunga Boardwalk is a beautiful place for a stroll or jog and is also accessible to prams and wheelchairs. Enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, there are spectacular views from the tidal lagoon to the ocean, and mountain views on the return. The boardwalk leads to Urunga's long white sand beaches, and for the perfect photo, is best experienced at dusk or sunrise. For those wanting to dip their toes in the water, both children and the young at heart enjoy the lido and its accessible Jetty and pontoon. Ramp and Mobi-Mats allow those with beach wheelchairs or accessibility concerns to access the beach.
The Urunga Wetlands are another must see, with an accessible boardwalk and short walking track through regenerated native vegetation that was once an Antinomy mine.
For those who enjoy their beaches without the crowds, the picture-perfect long sand beaches of Urunga make the ideal spot for swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, or simply soaking in the sun.
The surf in the NSW North Coast is some of the best in the country with many amazing spots from Newcastle to Byron Bay. For the best ocean waves at Urunga we recommend heading to Hungry Head or North Beach in Mylestom, which are both patrolled in holiday periods so safe for the whole family, or nearby Sawtell & Coffs Harbour in the north, and Nambucca & Scotts Head in the south.
If you would like some individual or group surf lessons for yourself or the kids, Waves to Wilderness operate learn to surf lessons in Coffs Harbour.
What better way to explore our beautiful waterways than by kayaking or standup paddleboard? Fun, tranquil, and maybe a bit of arm work, enjoy the incredible scenery as you coast along our beautiful rivers full of native wildlife, and a great way to get the kids outside. Pack a picnic and travel over to the Aboriginal historically significant site of Urunga Island. Kayak & paddleboard hire is available to guests from Riverside Holiday Resort for $10.00 per craft which includes lifejackets and any other equipment needed. Resort staff can provide a detailed map of the area and assist with planning your trip.
If you would prefer joining a kayak tour, Bellingen Canoe Adventures operate a range of daytime and evening tours along the Bellinger River from Fernmount.
Riverside Holiday Resort is located on Gumbaynggirr land, and in the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr Traditional Custodians past, present and future, and their connections to land, sea and community.
To learn and discover some of the culture of the local Gumbaynggirr Saltwater Native People's, take a walk to Urunga's Flagstaff Hill and along the Boardwalk, as well as the Mylestom reserve to peruse the signage, or take a visit to the Urunga and Bellingen Museums and speak to a local historian.
There are several local Gumbaynggirr sacred sites including Urunga Island and Yellow Rock in Urunga's north; the Native Title land surrounding Wenonah Headland to the south of Hungry Head; and Nunguu Mirral Aboriginal Area commonly referred to as Pickett Hill in Valla. If you look towards the mountains in the west, you will see the majestic looming mountain profile of Old Man Dreaming. Legend tells the story of warrior Ngali, responsible for the protection of the women who came to the valley to give birth, but after falling asleep on the job was punished and turned to stone.
In Coffs Harbour, Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours blend nature, adventure, and education with their standup paddleboard tours in picturesque and highly culturally significant marine park settings. Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience operates monthly at Sealy Lookout in conjunction with the Giingan Markets. Unkya Cultural Eco Tours offer two different experiences, with their Ocean Dreaming Tour operating daily in Scotts Head. Renown artists Miimi & Jiinda have a new studio in Urunga, so be sure to check out their art on their website.
If adventure is what you are seeking, then the Coffs Coast is where you will find it in bucketloads. If you have a bit of a competitive streak, then challenging the family to a Go-Kart race at Raleigh Raceway will be sure to deliver the fun, or maybe viewing the beauty of the region from dizzying heights is more your style with a skydive in Coffs Harbour.
With some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country ranging from beaches, rivers, valleys, rainforest mountains, and waterfalls, you will want to get out and explore it. Cycle or mountain bike your way along the scenic coast or through the magical Bellingen Valley, or hire a bike and join a bike tour.
Discover off-road trails via 4WD or dirt bike through the state forests or stay on-road with a Harley Trike Tour (based in Urunga) taking you wherever you would like to go. Book a scenic helicopter tour over the region for the ultimate lavish experience.
The Coffs Coast and its protected Solitary Islands Marine Park is a haven for marine life, and with warm ocean temperatures for much of the year, the Coffs Coast is a great place to dive and discover this rich and diverse environment. Jetty Dive run snorkel tours and dives within the Solitary Island Marine Park, plus run learn to dive and advanced courses for diving enthusiasts. Jetty Dive also run whale swimming experiences where you can snorkel up close with the passing humpbacks during their annual migration through the months of August and September.
Coffs Harbour is bursting with family fun activities and attractions to visit. The Big Banana Fun Park provides a jam-packed day (and then some!) of excitement for the big and little kids alike, and is also home of, you guessed it, the iconic Big Banana. With a range of attractions including waterpark, toboggan ride, giant slide, mini golf, ice skating, laser tag, reptile park and so much more, and a cafe onsite, it is easy to make a big day out of it. With limited capacity during school holidays, we suggest buying your tickets online before you visit to avoid disappointment.
Tree Tops Adventure Park located next to spectacular Sealy Lookout in the Orara East State Forest, is a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful bush surroundings whilst challenging yourself through the elevated obstacles and spending quality bonding time with the family. Open every day during school holidays, and weekends during term, there are two courses, one for those aged 3-9 and the other for those aged 10 and above. Parents can grab a coffee from Nyanggan Gapi Cafe, and don't forget to check out the Forest Sky Pier with its sweeping views of the town of Coffs Harbour and Coffs Coast.
Head out to Valery Trails Horse Riding and spend a day with the family riding in the stunning Bellingen Valley or on Boambee beach. Valery Trails are RDA NSW accredited, and run Riding for the Disabled, and Horse Friends programs. Bookings are essential. In Coffs, the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park offers interactive experiences for the budding conservationists and the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House in Bonville is another great place to check out with the kids. If visiting in winter, don't miss the passing Humpback Whales. Whale Watch Experience run cruises from Jun-Nov.
The Bellingen Shire literally has it all. Mountains, valleys and coastline with vegetation that ranges from Gondwana subtropical rainforest, fertile farmland, coastal scrubland and wetlands. The crystal clear waterfalls and streams that flow down into the Bellngen and Kalang Rivers where they converge at Urunga before flowing into the ocean. It is no coincidence that you will find a place named the Promised Lands in this beautiful part of the country, and the majesty and beauty of the landscape will remain with you for a long time to come.
A day trip not to be missed, the Dorrigo National Park has a range of walking tracks to suit all abilities, from the accessible Skywalk Lookout at the Rainforest Centre, and the 0.56km Walk With the Birds boardwalk at The Glade Picnic Area; to the higher grade Crystal Shower Falls Walk and Wonga Walk. Whether you enjoy bird watching, being surrounded by ancient Gondwana forest with trees that are up to 600 years old and species from eras gone by, or purely there to get the heart pumping, this is certainly one of those top-of-the-world bucket-list experiences.
The best way to discover the region is to explore it with a passionate local. Waves to Wilderness offer Coastal, Rainforest and Sunset experiences that include morning tea and lunch, plus pick up and drop off from your accommodation. Tours are suitable for all fitness levels and abilities.
If you are looking for an intimate exploration of the Bellingen Shire, discover the mountaintops, lowlands or gorges with local ecologist Mark Graham and Bellingen Nature Tours. Groups are capped at a max of five people.
You may not be in the city, but some of the best coffee in the country can be found in the Bellingen Valley and Coffs Coast. If searching for a cafe in Urunga, Liberty Providores is located at the old garage on Giinagay Way, and you will find Pomegranate Cafe where they make everything from scratch in house from fresh, local produce, and The Boardwalk Cafe in town. Bellingen is home to sensational coffee and both foodies and coffee addicts will be spoiled for choice as you really can't go wrong wherever you end up. Another fantastic strip to check out is the picturesesque main street of Sawtell. Read more...
If looking for a dinner spot in Urunga, the Ocean View Hotel is open every day and is great spot to take the kids with its enclosed beer garden and live music on Fri and Sun. Embers dishes up Mediterranean Cuisine with the finest ingredients. Next to Riverside Holiday Resort, The Shank Inn at C.ex offers superb river views and pub fare for dinner Weds-Sat, and the local Bowls Club has both a Chinese and Australian menu and is open seven nights a week. Further afield in Bellingen you will find a large selection of cuisines to choose from, from pub fare, pizza, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Japanese and fine dining. Read more about our Urunga and Bellingen dining picks.
Less than ten minutes from the heart of Urunga, the award winning Raleigh Winery is open Tues-Sun from 10am-5pm and offers a delectable food and walk-in wine tasting. Book ahead to nab a table on the deck overlooking the nearby mountains.
If a craft brew is more for you, then head to the Bellingen Brewing Co. for some beer, pizza and live music. Only open Friday evenings and Sat-Sun from 12pm 'til late. A quick walk from Riverside will take you to the C.ex, Ocean View Hotel or the Bowling Club if wanting a cheeky one closer to town.
If your idea of the perfect holiday is spending time being pampered, then there are lots of options to choose from in the area. Located next to Urunga's The Art Space, The Beauty Spot offer both massage and a range of beauty treatments to start your holiday. Head to Bellingen for a range of natural therapy treatments, plus pamper and healing packages, at the award winning Alchemy. For those that like to start their day with a spot of Yoga, Yoga in Urunga have classes three days a week, or join a yoga or meditation class at Bellingen Yoga Studio.
With plenty of space to lay on the sand, find a spot along the river foreshore with a picnic blanket, or by the resort pool, Urunga is a great place when all you want to do is not much at all. Soak up the sun and curl up with your favourite book whilst the kids play and enjoy the best temperate weather in the country. For leisurely walks, enjoy the accessible paths along the Urunga foreshore all the way to Hungry Head where you can sit at the Headland and take in the ocean views, or head out to Mylestom to stroll the accessible path along the Bellinger River, or up the long sands of North Beach.
If fishing soothes your soul, then Urunga is the perfect destination for river and ocean fishing enthusiasts. Cast a line from the coast, break-wall, river bank, bridge, kayak or boat, and be treated with a mix of bream, flathead, whiting, mulloway, trevally mangrove jack, and snapper, or visit for the annual Urunga Sport Fishing Tournament in Nov.
The Urunga C.ex Golf Course is located next to Riverside Holiday Resort with social golf seven days a week, or head out to the clubs at Bellingen, Nambucca Heads Island, or the renown course at Bonville for a hit.
The Bellingen Shire is a festival haven with a large range of renown arts and music events including Camp Creative, the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival, Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Bellingen Fine Music Festival, River Sounds, Screen Wave International Film Festival and Bello Winter Music just to name a few.
Other events include the Bellingen Agricultural Show, and a range of community events held on the foreshore in Urunga, including their Annual Carols in the Park, Australia Day, and Father's Day events.
The Bellingen Shire is bustling with plant fairs and community, artisan and growers and producers markets. The Bellingen Community Markets are held every 3rd Saturday, and are one of the most diverse and longest running markets in the region. The Urunga Riverside Market are held on the 2nd Sunday on the foreshore adjacent to the boardwalk, and up the hill, the Dorrigo Community Markets are held every first Saturday. If you like your produce fresh, the Bellingen Growers Market are held weekly at the showgrounds, and the Farmers and Producers Markets on Wednesday afternoons. Other must visit seasonal markets include the Plant Fair, Artisan Market and Made in Dorrigo.
The Bellingen Shire is known for its mix of both farming and alternative hippie types, so it is no surprise that it is a hub for the creative and a strong focus on the arts, whether it be music, visual and everything in-between.
Urunga is home to The Art Space art gallery open everyday except Monday and studio of Gumbaynggirr artists Miimi & Jiinda, the Nexus Community Gallery is located at the Old Butter Factory in Bellingen, and Tree-O Furniture Gallery in Raleigh. A little further in Coffs Harbour you will find a large selection of galleries in the Coffs Coast Culture Guide.