You’ll need to make a detour off the Pacific Motorway to get to Wooli. Perhaps that’s why this tiny coastal hamlet in the Clarence Valley on the North Coast of NSW has remained almost a complete secret to visitors, except for surfers and avid fishermen. But Wooli is well worth the journey.
On the water
Wooli sits on a narrow peninsula surrounded by the pristine Yuraygir National Park, the Wooli Wooli River and the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Fishing is legendary here, especially on the estuary and beaches. Cast a line off the breakwater and you’re almost certain to land a fish. Hire riverboats from Wooli River Boat Hire to fish the calm waterways.
Take to the estuary on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard – hire them from Stellar Water Sports. Kangaroos hop on the river banks and yellow-tailed black cockatoos fly above. Keep your eyes open for stingrays and turtles. Oysters and mud crabs are harvested in the river and nothing beats eating these fresh.
Beaches and coastal walks
Wooli Beach curves 6.6km north from the breakwater to Wilsons Head. The beach breaks at the southern end near the wall create perfect tubes for surfers. Wooli Dive Centreoffer whale-watching cruises as well as fishing, diving and snorkelling tours. This is one of the best diving spots in the world, with over 90 species of hard coral and over 550 reef fish species.
The Wilsons Headland walking track meanders along the coastline, past empty beaches and perfect coves you’ve never heard of. The lookouts along the 3km trail give sweeping views of the entire marine park, where you’ll look down on pods of dolphins and cruising turtles. You can spot humpback and other whales migrating between May and November.
Getting there and where to stay
Wooli is a 6hr 40min drive north of Sydney and four hours’ south of Brisbane. You can also fly into Clarence Valley Regional Airport near Grafton, a 40min drive to the southwest. There are riverside accommodation options near town as well as north at Diggers Camp and Minnie Water, two beachside villages close to national park campgrounds.