Because of its stunning natural scenery, the laid-back vibe, clean air and water and the abundance of outdoor attractions, The Clarence Coast is a very special part of Northern NSW and indeed, Australia. Who wouldn’t want to have a property here?
The Clarence Coast is surrounded by Yuraygir National Park and encompasses the main town of Wooli, the smaller town of Minnie Water and even smaller communities called Diggers Camp, Sandon, Tucabia and Pillar Valley.
Motorists who turn off the Pacific Highway 10 kilometres south of Grafton past the big Wooli sign must wonder what they will find at the end of the road. It curves and dips through the hamlet of Pillar Valley and the unspoilt Yuraygir National Park, past the gleaming expanse of Lake Hiawatha, and emerges in the small settlement of Wooli.
As you drive into the village, on one side, the roar of the ocean can be heard; on the other, the broad Wooli Wooli River makes its leisurely way down to the sea. On the narrow spit between, with its string of character beach homes, lies Wooli, waiting to cast its spell over yet another unsuspecting visitor.
Visitors to Wooli often describe it as “sleepy”, “peaceful” or “laid-back”. But there is no shortage of things to do here - as a holiday destination, Wooli has something for everyone. The wide, stunning beach attracts surfers and swimmers, fishermen and fossickers, beach cricketers and sandcastle builders. Best of all, it is never crowded, even in popular holiday times and there is safe patrolled swimming in peak seasons.
Serious bushwalkers and meanderers alike will relish the picturesque 8km walk along the beach and clifftops, around fascinating rockpools, to Wilson’s Headland and the tiny village of Diggers Camp, via National Park boardwalks to Minnie Waters and on to the settlement of Sandon, which is only accessible from the beach.
For nature lovers, there is a thriving variety of coastal flora and fauna in the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in NSW – banksias, paperbarks, several mangrove species, wildflowers (especially impressive from August to October), and wildlife unique to this subtropical/temperate climate such as the endangered coastal emu. Dolphins and occasional whales are common sights off this spectacular shoreline.
Of particular interest to bushwalkers and nature lovers is the Yuraygir Coastal Walk, four days from Angourie to Red Rock, staying overnight in Minnie Waters and Wooli.
Fishing has been an integral part of Wooli activities since it was first settled and a profitable fishing fleet operated from its river moorings. Recreational fishing is still popular and fishing equipment is available for sale in local businesses.
When you have finished being inspired by the fabulous beach, take a look at the Wooli Wooli River on the other side of the peninsula. A huge sand dune towers over its western bank and a dignified cluster of well-fed pelicans perch serenely on the mooring posts near the boat ramp. It is reputedly the cleanest river in NSW, unsullied by industry or farming. Baby oysters grow fat in these waters and Wooli oysters appear on restaurants Australia-wide. Freshly-shucked oysters and other seafood from the Oyster supply on Riverside Drive are available almost all year round.
Safe swimming spots along the riverbank are paradise for kids. Swim, fish, yabby, canoe, birdwatch or sleep in the sun – it’s your choice. The upper reaches of the river can be explored by boat – yours or hired. A day on the Wooli Explorer, complete with back deck barbecue and a friendly driver, is a must. There is simply no better way to immerse yourself in the simple joys of Wooli or to observe the kangaroos, emus, black-necked storks, brolgas, kingfishers, parrots and other wildlife that throng the banks of this imposing waterway.
Don’t miss the chance to experience the wild beauty and world-class dive sites of the Solitary Island Marine Park just a boat ride away. These sites feature frequently in international diving publications.
Wooli, its beach, river and village, attracts artists and photographers from all over Australia.
If tranquillity, simple pleasures, the great outdoors, superb scenery, friendly locals and the choice of doing plenty or nothing is what you want, Wooli is waiting.
At the end of your stay, we know you’ll be as wild about our tiny town as we are.
So go on: make some memories in Wooli.
If you thrive on “latte culture”, don’t go to Diggers Camp, 6k from Wooli down a gravel road. If however solitude and unparalleled peace and quiet are your bag, Diggers has just 15 houses, all of which supply their own electricity through solar power and use only rain water. To make up for a lack of sophisticated facilities, breathtaking nature is at your very door – best of all, you don’t have to share it with holiday crowds.
You can always go to “The Big Smoke” of Wooli for supplies and nightlife!
Even more delightfully untouched is the village of Sandon, which is accessible only from the beach. Sublime and unbelievable are words that come to mind, along with “I’d love to live here”. Wallabies graze on the short grass and there is a peace and tranquillity that you don’t experience in many places.
Click here to view information on Wooli to Sandon scenic drive.
The delightfully named Minnie Water is a small coastal village completely surrounded by the Yuraygir National Park. The village is a picture when the Christmas Bells or the Flannel Flowers bloom in the surrounding parklands. Over 120 species of wildflower have been identified around Minnie Water.
There are two short but picturesque walks in the national park: Angophora Grove Walk and Rocky Point Walk. The rock platforms extending seawards to Rocky Point offer hours of entertainment for those who enjoy examining the microcosm of marine life in tidal pools and rock crevices. Sea urchins, star fish, cunjevoi, coral and a variety of sponges and shells may be found in this area.
Minnie Lagoon is a very popular and beautiful spot for swimming, picnics and safe boat launchings. To find this spot, turn into Hiawatha Road, then left at Pipers Hill following the Waratah Reserve along to the Tree of Knowledge Lookout where there is a steep sealed road down to the lagoon.
Perched on a headland overlooking the splendid white beach, Minnie Waters offers a one-stop store for fuel, general supplies, alcohol and good coffee. Chill out with a yoga class overlooking the beach or if you feel really energetic, shake your bootie to a zumba beat.
FISHING on the Clarence Coast: Click Here for more information.
WALKS within Yuraygir National / Solitary Island Marine Parks with qualified local guides for more information call 0455 044 292 or www.clarencevalleyexperience.com.au
The Wooli General Store and Caltex Service Station
Phone: 02 6649 7546
Supplies fuel, mini supermarket, ATM, take away food, ice, bait, fishing gear and licences, as well as some camping, surfing, hardware, boating and auto needs.
They are open every day except Christmas Day. Meat trays are available when the butcher is closed. Roast chickens can be ordered in advance, and collected on Christmas Eve.
Phone: 02 6649 7322
This butcher shop is run by Geoff and Del and is part of the Caltex service station complex. If you would like to order meat, please ring Del or Geoff during their opening times. You will be asked to pay a deposit and you can arrange when you would like to collect the meat and pay the balance.
Other services and businesses in Wooli and Minnie Water:
Wooli Hotel Motel
Phone: 02 6649 7532
Good bistro menu, pizzas to eat in and take away, steaks, roasts and raffles.
Wooli Bowling Club
Phone: 02 6649 7525
Excellent Chinese restaurant called Harry’s, range of dishes, friendly service.
Phone: 02 6649 7606
Breakfast, coffee and cake, burgers to eat in, fish and chips, range of lunch and dinner meals.
Phone: 02 6649 7606
Fish and chips, range of groceries, bread, newspapers and magazines.
Wooli River Lodges
Phone: 02 6649 7750
Website: Wooli River Lodges
Self-contained riverside accommodation amid beautiful garden with a swimming pool and barbecue area. Guests can fish the river right from the riverbanks and get free use of canoes to explore the river.
Wooli Dive Shop
Phone: 02 6649 7100
Bait, fishing and diving gear, book charters, dive trips .
Wooli Post Office
Phone: 02 6649 7540
Open Monday to Friday 9-5pm excluding public holidays – usual post office items, plus local chutneys and jams, postcards, local cards, gifts.
Charon Fishing Charters
Phone: 02 6649 7554
Phone: 132500 or 0428 297 776
Rural Fire Service
Phone: 0429 497 546
Phone: 0428 310 465
Mobile phone signal;
Telstra and Optus have variable to good service in both Wooli and Minnie Water
Other providers don't have good service in Wooli or Minnie Water.