THE CLARENCE COAST
Stunning natural scenery, clean air and water and the abundance of outdoor attractions makes the Clarence Coast a very special part of Northern New South Wales. 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 of Diggers Camp, Sandon, Tucabia and Pillar Valley.
The road to Wooli curves and dips through the hamlet of Pillar Valley and the unspoilt Yuraygir National Park, past the gleaming expanse of Lake Hiawatha, emerging into the small settlement of Wooli.
Driving 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 and as a holiday destination, Wooli has something for everyone. The wide, stunning beach attracts surfers and swimmers, fisherfolk 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 8 kilometre 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 New South Wales – banksias, paperbarks, several mangrove species, wildflowers (especially impressive from August to October) and wildlife unique to this subtropical 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 since it was first settled where a profitable fishing fleet operated from its river moorings. Recreational fishing is still popular and fishing equipment is available for sale in local businesses.
After you have taken your fill of the 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 New South Wales, unsullied by industry or farming. Baby oysters grow fat in these waters and Wooli oysters appear on restaurant menus 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 a paradise for all ages. Swim, fish, yabby, canoe, birdwatch or sleep in the sun!
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's 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 desire, 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.
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 Water 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, enjoy a zumba class.
Six kilometres from Wooli down a gravel road you'll find the peaceful and eco friendly enclave of Diggers Camp. With just 15 houses, all 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.