Dungog, the name ain’t pretty, but the surrounds sure are. The region features Australian hardwood forest, lush temperate rainforest, freshwater swimming holes and picturesque ridgelines. At 2.5 hours from Sydney, it’s not nearly as remote as it feels. We had a chat with Heather and John from Carawirry Forest Escape to get the lowdown on the best microadventures in the region.
So what’s with the name? Dungog actually comes from the Gringai language. The clan were part of the Wonnarua people and are the Traditional Owners of the region.
Carawirry’s pretty incredible in its own right. Tucked into 250 acres of stunning Aussie bushland at the base of Barrington Tops National Park, the refurbished log cabins represent a shift from the location’s timber mill origins to more sustainable (and peaceful) ecotourism.
It’s now a base for all kinds of adventures, as you’re about to find out!
Canoe Through Clarence Town
Bring your canoe, kayak or SUP for a paddle up the Williams River, starting from the boat ramp at Bridge Reserve, to down under the Brig O Johnson Bridge and North along the river towards Rowlands Falls. You’ll see plenty of gorgeous farmland and birdlife along the way, and get a decent arm workout while you’re at it.
First time? You can head here to book a tour.
Take Part In The World’s Biggest Treasure Hunt
If you haven’t tried geocaching yet it’s time to get on it. We’re talking about a real-life, outdoor adventure where players use an app or GPS device to discover hidden containers with items inside! Imagine the best Easter Egg Hunt from your childhood, but more challenging and more fun (BYO eggs though, sorry). You can check out Geocaching NSW to find caches all around Dungog.
Stay In A Treehouse
Station your adventure headquarters at Carawirry Forest Escape, it’s an adventure in itself, an adventure in leisure. Ok sorry, but the refurbished luxury log cabins are pretty delightful to come back to after a big day of ticking off the other microadventures on this list. We’re talking outdoor baths, rainfall showerheads, coffee machines and aircon. You can even book a massage or spa treatment. Yum.
Check out The Treehouse to get the vibe of the cabins, pretty spiffy eh?
Walk Corker Trail And Camp Under The Stars
One for experienced bushwalkers, Corker Trail will take you through snow gum woodlands, grassy plains, swampland and, of course, incredible views near Corker Mountain. The ridgeline walk features jaw-dropping views that you’ll probably have all to yourself.
This trail is nearby the Wombat Creek campground, so you can even spend a night under the stars before heading home (or drive back to your cabin if you love yourself just that little bit more).
Get Cranky At Pedalfest
Bike fiends listen up! The Dungog Pedalfest is a weekend festival dedicated to a series of cycling events. From the 20th to the 22nd of September you’ll be able to partake in family-friendly, competitive and mountain biking events around Dungog.
If you’d rather do your own thing, there are also plenty of great spots to go mountain biking anytime. The Dungog Common is a popular spot for mountain biking, and those staying at Carawirry can also get access to the exclusive off-road trails on the property.
Join A Dirtbike Rally
There’s a heap of dirt biking fun to be had in Dungog if you’re a bit of a full-throttle fiend. On the 20th and 21st of July, Motorcycling Australia will bring the Australian Off-Road Championship to town, where enthusiasts can participate in an Enduro Rally. Ok, it’s not quite a microadventure, but it’s rad as heck so you should probably do it.
Run A 50 Kilometre Trail
If you’re hungry for a little more than a subtle bushwalk, on the 3rd of August Run Dungog will be hosting a range of runs for all fitness levels, including its longest run ever – all 50km of it. The Run Dungog Ultra will take place off the beaten track. Literally, you’ll run a course that is only open for this event and not accessible at any other time during the year. How’s that for adventurous?
Go Fishing In The Williams River
There are plenty of popular fishing spots along the Williams River that runs through Dungog. If you’re staying at Carawirry, you can even fish off the private jetty and try your luck at scoring a Silver Perch or Bass.
Go Riding On The Horses (Yeah, Yeah)
Get your cowboy/Daryl Braithwaite/Red Dead Redemption fix by taking some noble steeds for a whirl. There’s an excellent horse riding facility, located a 90-minute drive from Carawirry Forest Escape. Heather and John say it’s their best-kept secret, so if you book a stay, ask them for the details on arrival.
Take A Wine Tour
Definitely back onto the chill end of the scale now, but one more thing you’ll love about Dungog is that it’s neighbours with the Hunter Valley, so a pleasant 40-minute drive from the town will have you in the heart of wine country, with endless vineyards to explore. After a few days of trail running, biking or paddling, you’ll have earned it!
Cheers to Heather and John for sharing these adventures with us. We reckon Carawirry Forest Escape is a stellar place to unwind and base yourself for an adventure escape to Dungog – take a look at the cabins or book now – the good times are yours for the taking.
Explore the Hunter