Iluka World Heritage Rainforest is a walk through the Iluka Nature Reserve, starting at Long Street in the seaside town of Iluka and taking you to Iluka Bluff Picnic Area in the Bundjalung National Park.
The walk is 2.5km one way along an easy grade walking trail. The information about the walk state it is wheelchair friendly between the Long Street entrance and a disabled access point on Iluka Bluff Road (about 1km before Iluka Bluff Picnic Area). The trail is flat for the most part, however, there are a few obstacles that will require assistance, such as thick vines and tree roots across the path.
The last section that more or less follows along the side of Iluka Bluff Road is steeper, rougher, and sandier, but it is still an easy grade, just less suitable for wheelchairs.
The nature reserve of the Iluka World Heritage Rainforest protects 90 hectares of littoral rainforest. Leaf litter rots and breaks down to return nutrients to the rainforest. Its significance is due to the harsh coastal environment where it exists.
Similar sandy coastal rainforests in other parts of New South Wales were lost when they were cleared for mineral sand mining. The Iluka Nature Reserve is the largest remaining area of this forest type in New South Wales.
The Iluka community fought to protect the rainforest in Iluka from other land uses and controlling introduced weeds invading the nature reserve. Weeds such as the climbing asparagus fern and bitou bush replace native species and change animal habitats.
Thanks to the Iluka community protecting the rainforest, the Iluka rainforest was listed as World Heritage. Iluka Nature Reserve is separate from Bundjalung National Park it adjoins with, however, nature reserves are created under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
There are no facilities at the walk, however, Iluka Bluff Picnic Area has long-drop toilets and picnic tables. If you want facilities to be available, then heading to Iluka Bluff Picnic Area and starting the walk from the other end may be a better choice.
Iluka Bluff Picnic Area has easy access to the beach north of the Bluff and a short walk to the top for Iluka Bluff Lookout. The lookout has views out to the ocean where we were able to catch glimpses of whales in the distance. Vegetation blocks the views to the south but you can see the rock walls coming out from Iluka and Yamba and Yamba Point for the mouth of the Clarence River.
To get there:
From the Pacific Highway, take the exit for Iluka (on the north side of the Clarence River). There is a lot of construction building the new highway and a new bridge over the Clarence River (July 2019), so keep an eye out as there may be changes from time to time. Head towards Iluka from the roundabout near the highway and follow Iluka Rd for 17.3km, becoming Owen St when entering Iluka. Turn left into Spencer St at the brown sign for Iluka World Heritage Rainforest. Follow Spencer St for 700m and turn right into Crown St with another brown sign. Follow Crown St for 200m, the entrance to Iluka World Heritage Rainforest walk is on the right, at the junction of Long St.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes, with assistance