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Weekend in Wooli

  • November 2, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 33 Comments
Weekend in Wooli

The north coast of New South Wales is littered with hundreds of great little coastal villages, rivers and pristine beaches. We decided recently to travel around 3 hours south of the Gold Coast to spend a long weekend in Wooli, 50kms south-east of Grafton. We discovered we were going to be in for a treat!

It’s strange because for years and years we had been hearing good things about this coastal strip that takes in Brooms Head, Sandon, Minnie Water and Wooli. Many people we know had camped at one of these places along the coast and had nothing but praise for the region. But I guess with so many great places to stay along the long stretch of coastline we simply never got around to it.

Wooli Wooli River

Weekend in Wooli

Wooli River

The small coastal town of Wooli is flanked by the Wooli Wooli River to the west, the Yuraygir National Park north and south, and the Solitary Islands Marine Park out to sea. The river is recognized as one of Australia’s most pristine rivers. Hence it is one of the best nurseries for the Sydney Rock Oyster that can be purchased in Wooli along with fish, crabs and lobsters freshly harvested by the local fishing fleet.

Weekend in Wooli

Wooli River Jetty

The river can be negotiated for around 20 kilometres by canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard with kangaroos, emus, black-necked storks, brolgas, kingfishers, pelicans, parrots and all manner of wildlife abounding along the banks. Otherwise it is the ideal spot to launch your boat and fish the river or head out through the breakwater into the ocean.

Weekend in Wooli

Wooli River Pelicans

Accommodation in Wooli

We chose very wisely to stay right on the river at the Big4 Solitary Islands Resort in Wooli on a big grassy riverfront caravan site. We had a ringside seat to the life of the river, with waterbirds and fishermen in their boats or canoes trolling the waters.

Weekend in Wooli

Riverfront caravan site at Big4 Solitary Islands Resort

This caravan park was perfectly located next to the Wooli Pub and General Store and a short driving distance away to the village and Wooli Beach. It has heaps of fantastic facilities like hire bikes, free canoes, swimming pool, jumping pillow and mini golf, so would be ideal for families with children. There is also a large camp kitchen with gas BBQs and picnic tables with the riverview bar above, where the adults can hang out (or maybe escape from the kiddies!)

Weekend in Wooli

Canoeing on the Wooli River

Wooli Town

The town is mainly full of holiday homes, but there is second smaller caravan park located between the river and beach. There is also a Bowling Club with a Chinese Restaurant, and a great Coffee Shop. If you’ve had no luck catching a fish, then there is a Fishing Co-op where you can purchase fresh seafood.

Weekend in Wooli

Canoe on the shores of the Wooli River

We set off early one morning along the walking path alongside the river that starts near the boat ramp, rambling through the vegetation on the riverbank until it reaches the river mouth and breakwater. There are some lovely little sandy beaches on the shores of the river where you can have a quick dip to cool off.

Weekend in Wooli

Wooli Breakwater

Once you reach the breakwater you can then stroll back into town along the long stretch of golden sandy beach. On our walk we never encountered one other person for the duration. Where else in the world can you do this?

Weekend in Wooli

Wooli Beach

Minnie Water

It’s worth a 6km drive or cycle to the seaside village of Minnie Water, just north of Wooli. The drive takes you past Lake Hiawatha and the densely vegetated Yuraygir National Park. There’s not much in the village itself, except for holiday homes, a general store and a caravan park on the outskirts of town.

Weekend in Wooli

Minnie Water Beach Sign

We drove up the hill to a small headland to Tree of Knowledge Lookout where we got majestic views over the beach and the natural lagoon offshore surrounded by large rocks. The calm waters of the lagoon is used to launch boats straight off the beach.

Weekend in Wooli

Lookout at Minnie Water

North of the town up an unsealed road there are extensive bushland campgrounds where you can enjoy a secluded bush camping site, open campfires and a real camping adventure. If you drive further along the track you can access the beach (permit required) and drive all the way along the beach to Sandon.

Weekend in Wooli

Minnie Water Lagoon and Boat Ramp

Yuraygir National Park

Yuraygir National Park has an abundance of flora and fauna with over 120 species of wildflowers identified in the area. There are some scenic walking tracks within the park.

Weekend in Wooli

The coastal walk in the Yuraygir National Park

We headed off on a small section of the walk south of Minnie Water from the headland along the coast and through sections of forest until we reached the spectacular beach, known as Back Beach.

Weekend in Wooli

Yuraygir National Park Walk

About halfway along the walk we heard a bird call – a distinctive “kee-ow”, and stopped to observe a flock of large Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos that took flight and flew from tree to tree feasting on Banksia cones.

Weekend in Wooli

The Yellow-Tailed Black Cuckatoo

The new Yuraygir Coastal Walk is part of the largest stretch of protected coastline in New South Wales. It consists of a 65kms signposted walk that takes you through vast heathland plains, crystal clear creeks and lagoons and long sandy beaches from Angourie in the north to Red Rock in the South.

Weekend in Wooli

Back Beach Minnie Water

Grafton Jacarandas

We had one rainy day during our stay at Wooli so decided to take a drive into the city of Grafton to take a peek at the annual purple explosion, known as Jacaranda Season. Jacarandas can be seen all throughout the region, but the epicentre is Grafton’s tree lined streets.

Weekend in Wooli

Grafton City Centre

The inaugural Grafton Jacaranda Festival was about to kick off on the last weekend in October and the town was a sea of purple. Local shops and people alike were adorned in purple in preparation for the festival.

Weekend in Wooli

Beautiful purple flowers of the Jacaranda trees in Grafton Park

Our long weekend in Wooli was a wonderful immersion in some beautiful, quiet coastal nature. The place certainly deserves to be on the list of great northern New South Wales beachside holiday escapes. I would certainly return here again and again!

Lyndall from Seize the Day Projectlovin-life-linky
Deb from DebbishDotCom
Min from Write of the Middle.
Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit
and of course me, Kathy from 50 Shades of Age


By 50 Shades, November 2, 2017 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 33

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

33 Comments
  • Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life
    November 2, 2017

    Your photos of Wooli relaxed me just by looking at them! It all seems so idyllic!

    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

    • Kathy
      November 2, 2017

      It was a very relaxing long weekend in such a picturesque location. There are tons of places like this on the North Coast of New South Wales. #TeamLovinLife

  • Deborah
    November 2, 2017

    Stunning photographs Kathy – you’ve got a great eye! And what a lovely spot. It looks so peaceful and relaxing. (And I’ve never heard of Wooli!)

    • Kathy
      November 2, 2017

      Thank you Deb. I do get a lot of joy out of photography, particularly when the scenery is so stunning. We did have a nice relaxing long weekend. #TeamLovinLife

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    November 2, 2017

    What a beautiful spot, Kathy. I am not a kayaker – too unco-ordinated but loved your photos all the same!

    SSG xxx

    • Kathy
      November 2, 2017

      The kayaking was a lot of fun and a lot easier than it looked. It was a beautiful spot to spend a long weekend. #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo Tracey
    November 2, 2017

    How lucky were you to be near Grafton for jacaranda time? The north coast has some great little towns – I enjoyed following your getaway on instagram as well.

    • Kathy
      November 2, 2017

      Yes the Jacarandas in Grafton were definitely a bonus! I love the North Coast of NSW. As you say there are many little gems dotted along the coastline. #TeamLovinLife

  • Vanessa
    November 2, 2017

    Oh I love little coves and stretches of empty beach!

    • Kathy
      November 2, 2017

      So do I! There were plenty of long stretches of beach here that were mostly deserted. #TeamLovinLife

  • jodie filogomo
    November 2, 2017

    What an ourdoorsy person’s paradise, Kathy!!
    XOOX
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    November 2, 2017

    I had never heard of Wooli or Minnie Waters but they look beautiful and are on my radar now! I’ve never been to Grafton either but have become more aware of it since it’s Lyndall’s [from Seize the Day Project] home town. I also had learnt that it was famous for its Jacaranda trees … my favourite tree!! Lovely photo’s Kathy! #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      November 2, 2017

      We’ve been through Grafton many times on our trips down the North Coast of NSW and strangely have never stopped here or ventured out to Wooli or Minnie Water. We were so glad we did. It is a delightful place to spend some time. #TeamLovinLife

  • Denyse
    November 2, 2017

    Oh wow, that visit to Grafton sure did yield some beautiful pics. I do know of the places you visited but have not been there on any coastal trips north (south for you!). It looks like an awesome and gentle place to be for that type of relaxing holiday. Denyse x

    • Kathy
      November 2, 2017

      Grafton was ablaze in a purple haze with so many Jacarandas blooming all throughout the city streets. I can highly recommend a spring visit to Grafton and out to the coast to Wooli and Minni Water. They are both gorgeous coastal spots. #TeamLovinLife

  • Alvinpah
    November 2, 2017

    It has been great for me to read such great information.Nicely explained.

  • Natalie
    November 3, 2017

    Such a lovely place and your photos captured its beauty. Thanks, Kathy, for sharing.

    • Kathy
      November 3, 2017

      Thank you. Yes it was a picture-perfect location. We very much enjoyed our long weekend in Wooli. #TeamLovinLife

  • Maria | passion fruit, paws and peonies
    November 3, 2017

    It looks so peaceful and wonderfully wild there. A great place to escape and enjoy nature! x

    • Kathy
      November 3, 2017

      I do love to get out and about in the great outdoors amongst nature. This spot was ideal for it. #TeamLovinLife

  • Janet Camilleri aka Middle Aged Mama
    November 3, 2017

    Good to see your caravan is stilling getting a work out! It looks like Stella loved it too :-)

    • Kathy
      November 5, 2017

      Yes we still enjoy having a few weekends away in our caravan. It as so lovely camping right by the Wooli River and Stella had an absolute ball. #TeamLovinLife

  • Pinky Poinker
    November 5, 2017

    You have a gift for discovering very relaxing places. I do adore Jacaranda trees.

    • Kathy
      November 5, 2017

      All the little spots along the North Coast of NSW are relaxing. I love this part of Australia. The Jacarandas were incredible. I love them too! #TeamLovinLife

  • Lyndall @ SeizeThe Day Project
    November 6, 2017

    Loved your post Kathy! You’ve made me feel homesick for my old stomping grounds. Growing up in Grafton, we were lucky enough to spend all our summers at Minnie Water, and it’s hardly changed since then, which only adds to the charm of this unspoilt coastal haven :) #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      November 6, 2017

      Minnie Water was simply delightful. I had no idea that this part of the Northern NSW coast would be so beautiful. We will definitely be going back here. I think you were very lucky to grow up and holiday in this region. #TeamLovinLife

  • budget jan
    November 10, 2017

    What a beautiful stretch of coast. It sounds and looks utterly delightful. Grafton is so lucky to have Jacaranda trees. I remember them from when I was very young. It was great to hear and see about this area.

    • Kathy
      November 10, 2017

      Wooli and Minnie Water were so much nicer than what we expected. We were pleasantly surprised with the superb beaches and the national park. Jacaranda trees are somewhat old-fashioned, but they are a grand old tree with amazing purple flowers. I love it when they bloom in spring.

  • Mary {The World Is A Book}
    November 13, 2017

    What a fun weekend getaway. First, I love the Wooli name and it just sounds fun. Those views are amazing especially that coastal walk. How neat to spot some great Australian animals along the shore too. Those Jacaranda trees and all that purple is just beautiful.

    • Kathy
      November 14, 2017

      Yes we had a lovely long weekend along this section of the New South Wales coast. There are so many just like this, that it would take you years to discover them all.

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