Beautiful, unspoilt beaches, rolling farmland, magnificent rainforest and a vibrant multi-cultural community are the hallmarks of Woolgoolga (named after the Aboriginal word for ‘bush plum’) on the mid-north NSW coast, making it the ideal base for a coastal getaway.
The most visible landmark in Woolgoolga is the imposing Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, built in 1969 by the town’s Sikh community. The temple, with its white façade and minarets, welcomes respectful visitors and features a museum showcasing Sikh culture in Australia as well as offering free vegetarian feasts for worshippers.
Each September, Curryfest celebrates Punjabi cuisine, dancing and culture, with a hot time guaranteed! You can also tantatalise your tastebuds at one of the excellent Indian restaurants in the town.
Woolgoolga Beach, known to locals as Woopi, curves to the Woolgoolga Headland, in the gorgeous Coffs Coast Regional Park. With spectacular views, the headland is one of the best vantage points in the region for spotting whales during the annual migration between May and November.
At the southern end you’ll find rockpools as well as a beachside reserve that hosts the Blues and Berries music and food festival in November. At the northern end is the colonial shipwreck the Buster, which ran aground in 1893. Behind Woopi is Woolgoolga Lake, where you can enjoy kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
Other beaches just north of Woopi include Mullaway, Arrawarra, Corindi and Red Rock, near the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre’s Pipeclay Cafe and art gallery. These beaches form part of the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk, a 60km walk stretching from Sawtell in the south up to Red Rock.
Mountain bikers make a beeline to Woolgoolga in September for the MTB Festival, a three-day mountain biking extravaganza. Meanwhile, bikers can take on the Woolgoolga Coastal Loop at any time, a single-track ride between Woopi and Arrawarra with varied terrain and great views along the way.
There are also many beautiful hikes near Woolgoolga, such as the Falls Walking Track near Woolgoolga Creek picnic area, where you’ll wander past blue quandong trees e route to a pretty waterfall. You can also take a ranger-guided tour and discover the area's wonderful natural secrets.
There are plenty of fantastic options for fuelling up in Woolgoolga, from cute cafes to boutique distilleries. Visit Critters Distillery to sample artisan small batch vodka; Woolgoolga Brewing Co. for craft brews in a family-friendly setting; Beachhouse Cafe for excellent coffee; and Seaview Tavern for top-notch pub grub.
Woolgoolga is an easy 25min drive north of Coffs Harbour and a six-hour drive from Sydney. Bus services run regularly between Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga. You can also catch the train from Sydney to Coffs Harbour, a nine-hour journey.
Qantas has direct flights to Coffs Harbour from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; while Rex flies daily from Sydney to Coffs Harbour Monday to Friday with select scheduled flights over the weekend. Link Airways operates direct flights between Coffs Harbour and Brisbane six days a week [*NB – flight days may vary].
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.