Wooli

Set on a narrow three-kilometre peninsula, the tiny town of Wooli is practically an island. On the North Coast of NSW, just a 40min drive southeast of Grafton in the Clarence Valley, the finger of land is wedged between the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Wooli Wooli River to the west and south. Naturally, life here revolves around the water, whether you’re surfing, swimming and fishing, or cruising around the immense Solitary Islands Marine Park,

Mouth of the Wooli Wooli River, Wooli in Clarence Valley

On the water

Wooli is legendary among avid anglers, who come here to cast a line into the estuary or ocean from the beach, breakwater and boats – charter a vessel from Wooli River Boat Hire to explore calm waterways. Bring your appetite; the oysters and mud-crabs harvested here are stand-outs.

Sandon River Campground in Clarence Valley, North Coast

The estuary’s mirror-like conditions also make it ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding, with equipment available for rent from Stellar Water Sports. While you glide, keep watch for stingrays and turtles swimming below, kangaroos beside you on the banks and yellow-tailed black cockatoos overhead.

Visitor enjoying the sunrise near Wooli, Clarence Valley

In the water

Wooli Beach curves 6.6km from the breakwater north to Wilsons Headland. Waves crashing to shore at the southern end of the sand, near the breakwall, are reliably good, attracting surfers year-round. From May through November you’ll likely spot whales breaching and blowing offshore, with Wooli Dive Centre getting you close to the action on scenic cruises, as well as diving and snorkelling expeditions.

Wilsons Headland, Clarence Valley on the North Coast

The ocean enveloping the Solitary Islands – just a 20min boat trip away – is a wonderland for 90 species of hard coral and 550 types of reef fish. The best way to appreciate this vast marine bounty is with your head under water, so jump overboard to dive and snorkel with tropical and subtropical fish.

Children snorkelling in a rock pool near Wooli, Northern Rivers NSW

Coastal hikes

Nature reigns supreme back on land as well, as Wooli is almost completely surrounded by Yuraygir National Park, stretching from Yamba in the north to Red Rock in the south. The park is home to 65km of striking cliffs, rocky headlands and beaches backdropped by wildlife-rich forest, heaths and wetlands. 

Family enjoying Red Cliff Beach off Yuraygir National Park

You can also spot whales in season, plus dolphins and turtles year-round, from the 3km Wilsons Headland walking track, which hugs the coast and leads you past blissful beaches and quiet coves, inviting you to cool off with a swim.

Red Cliff and Lake Arragon campgrounds, Clarence Valley

Getting there & where to stay

Wooli is a 6.5hr drive north from Sydney or a four-hour drive south from Brisbane. You can also fly into the Clarence Valley Region Airport and hire a car for the 30min drive to the coast. When you arrive, riverside accommodation offerings await near town, including cottages and self-contained apartments, as well as options to the north at Diggers Camp and Minnie Water, two beachside villages close to national park campgrounds.

Newcastle Airport

Fly into Clarence Valley Airport

Clarence Valley Regional Airport is located 12km from Grafton’s town centre. Use the taxi services available at the terminal to make the short trip northwest. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace.

Regional Express flies direct between Sydney and Clarence Valley Regional Airport three days a week. For other major Australian cities, connect via Sydney for travel into Grafton.

Things to Do and Places to Stay

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