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Dorrigo

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North Coast

The small rural town of Dorrigo, an hour inland from Coffs Harbour, is located on the spectacular Waterfall Way and surrounded by stunning national parks.

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Location

Dorrigo is 60 km (1 hr drive) west of Coffs Harbour and 128 km (90 min drive) east of Armidale. The town is 550 km (6 hr drive) from Sydney and 425 km (5.5 hr drive) from Brisbane.

Located 730 m above sea level on the Dorrigo Plateau, the area is home to World Heritage Listed rainforests, spectacular waterfalls and rolling farmland where sheep and cattle graze.

How to get there

The closest airport to Dorrigo is Coffs Harbour Airport, 65 km (65 min drive) to the east. The airport is serviced by Fly Corporate (flights to Brisbane), Tiger Air (flights to Melbourne and Sydney), Qantas (flights to Sydney) and Virgin Australia (flights to Sydney).

Coffs Harbour is also serviced by NSW TrainLink with northbound and southbound trains daily.

Population

Home to nearly 2000 people, the median age of Dorrigo residents is 55 years.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up almost 4% of the population.

Dorrigo is located in the North Coast Primary Health Network, this needs assessment provides an insight into population health across the North Coast community.

Healthcare facilities

Bellinger River District Hospital, 30 km (35 min drive) east of Dorrigo is the nearest hospital facility. It is a 36 bed acute facility providing a 24 hour service with medical services provided by GP and surgical services provided by specialist surgeons and anaesthetists contracted to the Health District. Services include emergency, general medicine, aged care and day surgery. The hospital forms part of the network of services across the Health District working closely with Coffs Harbour Health Campus and others as patient needs require.

The nearest major referral hospital is Coffs Harbour Health Campus, 64 km (1 hr drive) to the east. With 292 beds, it provides a broad range of specialist medical and surgical services including general medicine, surgery, day surgery, planned and emergency theatre service, coronary care, intensive care, obstetrics, paediatrics, 24-hour emergency department, oncology, palliative care, rehabilitation, stroke, acute renal dialysis, high dependency and mental health and an extensive range of outpatient clinics. A range of allied health services are also available on the campus.

There is an Ambulance Service of NSW station in Dorrigo.

Accredited GP practices

  • Dorrigo Health and Wellbeing

Doctor accommodation

Accommodation for registrars training in Dorrigo may be available, please contact your Rural Support Officer for more details.

  • Industry

The major industry sectors employing residents of Dorrigo are: accommodation, hospitals, cafes and restaurants, beef cattle farming, and supermarket and grocery stores.
  • Education

Dorrigo has two primary schools and one high school: Dorrigo Public School, Mt St John's Primary School and Dorrigo High School.
  • Childcare

For young families Dorrigo there is a preschool in Dorrigo, in nearby Bellingen there is a wider range of childcare facilities available including long day care, family day care and out of school hours care.
  • Shopping

Dorrigo has a 5 Star and IGA supermarkets, butcher, baker, fruit and vegetables, clothing, chemist and gift stores as well as monthly markets. The larger centre of Coffs Harbour offers shopping precincts and many major retailers including Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and SUPA IGA, Target, Kmart, Big W and Harvey Norman.
  • Places of worship

In Dorrigo, there are Catholic, Uniting and Seventh Day Adventist churches. Additional places of worship are available in nearby Bellingen and Coffs Harbour. In Coffs Harbour there is a Budhist community and Islamic musallah.
  • Points of interest

For a small rural town there are many attractions and points of interest, such as World Heritage listed Dorrigo National Park, New England National Park, Dangar Falls, Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, The Lyrebird Link track and The Skywalk Lookout. Dorrigo is known for its popular Blues Grass Festival held in October each year and its annual Agricultural Show held in November, a listing of local events is available at the I love Bello Shire Events Calendar.
  • Sporting activities

In Dorrigo there are many sporting clubs and activities, including rugby union, tai chi, tennis, pilates and yoga, netball, rifle club, swimming, amateur boxing, squash, cricket, horse and pony, and golf.
  • Community groups and activities

In Dorrigo community groups and volunteer organisations include the Old Gazette Film Society, Bellingen Music Association Inc, Landcare and Rivercare groups and Dorrigo Visual Arts Group. Bellingen Shire Council provides a Community Directory with contact details for various community groups.
  • Social media groups

There are social media pages and groups dedicated to life and sport in Dorrigo, a good place to start are the Facebook pages and groups: Dorrigo Notice Board, Destination Dorrigo, Bellingen Shire Courier Sun and Bellingen Dorrigo Urunga.