On a clear day, you can see from Collombatti Lookout to the sea in the east, and more mountains than you can name in all directions. Point Lookout, Banda Banda mountain, Smoky Cape, Yarrahapinni – the view is intoxicating as we spin around atop the tower trying to take it all in.
The Black Summer fires raged through here, as the burnt trees attest. In Ngambaa nature reserve, the route traverses ridges, saddles and pockets of rainforest that shelter birds and wildlife. This area is of significance to the Dungutti and Gumbaynggirr language groups.
We approached the lookout via a very steep trail that leads off Collombatti Rd, driving our 4WD up from Frederickton. Easier up than down, high clearance low range vehicle and experience essential. There are alternative routes to Collombatti Lookout that are less manically steep, so consider this trail (“its not a road” says the nervous passenger) as the completely crazy option, and choose a route that is suitable for your vehicle and your capabilities.
As with most trails on the mid north coast, best in dry weather, impassable in wet. Expect to need to stop occasionally and do some gardening – moving tree branches etc out the way. It’s possible to find your route blocked by a fallen tree, on a narrow trail where it is hard to turn around.
You can make a great day out in your 4WD by stringing together various routes: Bellingen to Bowraville, then up Hanging Rock Road to Kosekai lookout and down to Taylors Arm for lunch, then up to Collombatti Lookout and down to Frederickton for an afternoon cuppa at Fredos Pies before taking the freeway home.
Illegal dumping – cars in the bush
Why do we see so many abandoned vehicles in the bush? It is illegal dumping, littering of the worst kind.
If you see a newly dumped vehicle, please take a photo and report it.