The town of Bellingen lies 25 kilometres to the east of the park and is the main town servicing the Bellinger Valley. The mid-north coast is within one hours drive of the park with the increasing population of centres such as Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Heads an important factor in park use and management.
Part of Dorrigo Mountain was first protected in 1901. The area of reserved lands was progressively enlarged and granted increased protection until in 1967 when it was reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1967 as a State Park. Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1974 Dorrigo State Park was accorded national park status. In 1986 it was incorporated in the World Heritage List as one of the Sub-tropical and Warm Temperate Rainforest Parks of Eastern Australia, now known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia.
Dorrigo National Park is one of an important group of conservation areas on the Great Escarpment which include New England, Guy Fawkes River, Cathedral Rocks and Oxley Wild Rivers National Parks and Mount Hyland and Guy Fawkes River Nature Reserves.
The objectives, policies and actions for managing the area as a national park also meet the requirements of the World Heritage Convention. To this end particular emphasis is given to:
- protecting the outstanding combination of physical, biological and scenic features of the park and to management of the whole area as an interrelated system;
- promoting the importance of Dorrigo National Park, New England National Park and Mount Hyland Nature Reserve as one of the eight groups of protected areas which conserve the major centres of rainforest distribution in NSW; and
- promoting the importance of Dorrigo National Park as one of a system of national parks within the region which protect areas containing plant and animal communities typical of the eastern rim of the New England Tableland and the Great Escarpment.
The park provides significant opportunities for recreation in a rainforest setting along the mountainous escarpment between the North Coast and New England Regions. The North Coast Region has been identified as a priority area for tourism development in New South Wales and emphasis is being given in the region to identifying potential tourism development areas with outstanding environmental and aesthetic qualities.
Dorrigo National Park / OEH