From Wauchope, we head up to Dorrigo. I always assumed Dorrigo was an aboriginal name, but Major Parke – who explored the Dorrigo Plateau and fought in the Peninsula Wars under a Spanish General, Don Dorrigo – is said to have named the town after his friend. Though, it’s more likely that, like numerous NSW towns which are variations of indigenous names, the derivation of 'Don Dorrigo' is Dundurriga (Gumbaynggirr for the Stringybark).
Famed for its stunning waterfalls and bushwalks, I describe Dorrigo to Sydney chums as the ‘Blue Mountains of Bellingen’, and in keeping with our timber theme, most of the streets in Dorrigo are named after trees: Myrtle, Cypress, Rosewood, Mahogany, Tallowwood, Kurrajong, Ash, etc.
It’s a pretty – if not anxious – drive up the escapement to Dorrigo, with hairpin bends and surprise logging trucks (hey, don’t take any big trees, fellas). It takes us some time to find the Jack Feeney Tree on Coramba Rd, Dorrigo. The council needs to signpost it better as even the locals aren’t sure exactly where it is.
But what a beauty! This stately tallowwood stands at 58 metres.
It’s humbling to stand beneath its wide belly and gaze skywards. Our son stands in the trunk for a photo to give the tree perspective.
The following day we walk amongst treetops at the fabulous Dorrigo Rainforest Centre. The centre is run by passionate tree-folk going out of their way to help you engage with these woody leviathans.
Moreover, flanking the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre is the brillo Skywalk Lookout, which offers killer views over Dorrigo National Park and encompasses the Bellinger Valley to the coast. Bring the binoculars!
Jack Feeny Tree, Eucalyptus microcorys (tallowwood), near Dorrigo, New South Wales is possibly the largest tallowwood tree known. Its circumference is 10.09 metres and its height is 55.5 metres.