With splendid beaches, magnificent rainforest and a famous curry festival, Woolgoolga on the Coffs Coast is perfect for a beach holiday, bushwalking and spicy adventure. Swimming, snorkelling, surfing and kayaking are all popular, and a ruggedly beautiful headland is great for whale watching.
Woolgoolga Beach curves 1.7km south 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 humpback and other whales during the annual migration between May and November.
The sandy beach is known to locals as Woopi. At the southern end you’ll find free barbecues and a children’s playground in 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.
Just behind Woopi is Woolgoolga Lake, a tranquil waterway 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 Bush Tucker Cafe and art gallery.
Woolgoolga is home of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, an architectural landmark built in 1969 and opened in 1970. The large white temple was built by the town’s Sikh community, which first settled in Woolgoolga during World War II to work on the banana farms. The temple is open to visitors.
The beachside town celebrates its Punjabi heritage in September with Curryfest, a festival of food, music and dancing that attracts thousands of visitors. You can also enjoy delicious Punjabi cuisine any time of the year in restaurants in Woolgoolga, which is 25 minutes’ drive north of Coffs Harbour.
The natural beauty of the hinterland is enticing for picnics and bushwalking in subtropical rainforest. Pack a hamper and head for the Woolgoolga Creek picnic area in the Sherwood Nature Reserve. On the Falls walking track, you’ll wander by blue quandong - blue marble trees - to a pretty waterfall.
Accommodation options in Woolgoolga suit various budgets, from camping and caravanning in beachside holiday parks to beach houses, B&Bs and motels. If you’re a golfer, bring your clubs as the Woolgoolga RSL Golf Club’s seaside 18-hole course is only a short drive north of the charming town.