Category Archives for "What to do"

Fishing in Wooli

Let’s get straight to the point: Wooli on the NSW North Coast is a fantastic fishing destination.

12 reasons Wooli is great for fishing trips:
Fishing in the pristine & healthy Wooli Wooli River
Quiet place off the beaten track
Good boat ramps
Accessible river banks
Breakwall & river entrance
Beach gutters
Canoe to a remote fishing spot in the Wooli Wooli River
Fishing tackle shop
Deep-sea fishing operators
No commercial fishing industry
Wide range of accommodation options
Pubs, takeaways, bistros and restaurant

No wonder many fishing enthusiasts plan regular fishing trips to this quiet holiday village in Northern NSW.

If you spend a little time getting to know the area and you pay attention to the tides, water temperatures, rainfall and time of year, you’ll be likely to reap the rewards.

Tinny hire available in Wooli. Talk to the locals or catch up with Stan Young at Wooli Bait & Tackle to get some insider tips.

Protected from the south and the west, Wooli has its own microclimate and is the perfect base for a winter escape.

Fishing in the tidal Wooli Wooli River can be productive all year round, with an excellent supply of bream, whiting, flathead, tailor, mullet and many other species.

The river can be negotiated by small boat or canoe for about 20 km, and the deeper areas are ideal for tinnies or fishing boats up to 16 ft. At low tides, you should be cautious of sandbars.

The area is part of the Solitary Islands Marine Park but there are large areas of the park that can be fished. Check the signs or pick up a copy of the Marine Park zoning map before venturing out.

Wooli Entrance
The breakwall at the river entrance can produce some exceptional catches, especially at night. Expect to catch bream, luderick, mulloway, blackfish, tailor and flathead. Big mangrove jacks can be caught at night in summer months.

Use prawns and both cut and live baits for best results.

Wooli Wooli River entrance

Wooli Racks
The area around the floating oyster racks in the Wooli Wooli River produce good-sized bream, especially through the cooler months, and flathead tend to lie under the edges of the racks. Take care not to touch the oyster racks themselves, which are on commercial leases.

Use prawns, live poddy mullet and larger soft plastic lures in gold, pink and green for best results when the water is clear.

Wooli Forks
The Bookham River arm marks the start of the sanctuary. From here you can only fish the southern end.

Deep Hole
Below the power lines is a deep hole and this is a good place to catch big flathead and trevally, and even the odd mangrove jack on a run-out tide, especially in the warmer months. Whiting can be taken off the adjacent sand flats.

Try live baits such as poddy mullet and larger soft plastic shad-style lures with half-ounce jig heads in black and gold colours.

Wooli Rock Bar
This mark is more a navigational mark than a fishing spot and care should be taken when boating in this area. The rock bar can only be navigated in a boat on the biggest tides and is really only canoe country from here on.

Trevally, mangrove jack and flathead can be caught here during large run-out tides, especially after decent rain. Gentle fishing off the old Wooli river wharf. Use live baits or hard gold stick bait type (bomber-type lures) for best results.

Wooli Wharf
The old fishing co-op wharf in the centre of Wooli is worth a try for bream.

Wooli Beach
The best gutters are up the beach near Wilson Head. The beach is fished mostly for mulloway, bream and tailor.

Wooli beach

Planning a fishing weekend, midweek or longer is easy as Pacific Dawn Beachfront Apartments is the perfect spot to bring your haul back to and rest up for another day of fishing. There is ample onsite parking for your vehicles & boats & you’re just a short drive to the boat ramps.

Happy Fishing!

Original author: Wooli & Minnie Water



Little Fish Espresso Café at Wooli

We are so lucky to have Little Fish Espresso in Wooli, NSW.  Rest assured you can have the best of both worlds with this fantastic café located just a five minute stroll from your Wooli accommodation, Pacific Dawn Luxury Beachfront Apartments.

Little Fish is run by the dynamic duo of Dani & Taro. Dani holds the fort at the front with an ever ready smile brewing up a range of amazing hot and cold beverages. Dani uses Bun Coffee from Byron Bay which is a pleasure to drink (a little hug in a mug!).

Taro, who is a serious chef in the kitchen, puts his love of local produce and immense talent into every dish he creates. Fresh, tasty & wholesome – perfect holiday fare. The café serves an array of breakfast and lunch dishes with the blackboard menu changing daily.

This intimate café has a wonderful warmth to it that comes from the combination of passionate owners who love what they do in our little slice of paradise – Wooli! This family team certainly has the work/life balance thing going on. They may disagree during mid summer when we welcome thousands of tourists to Wooli and Minnie Waters!

Be sure to drop into Little Fish Espresso at 33 Main Street, Wooli from 7am to 2pm Thursday to Monday. (Closed Tuesday & Wednesday) but thankfully open 7 days during peak holiday periods for your caffeine fix!

Don’t take our word for it – see below for some great reviews from Facebook & Trip Advisor:


Great Coffee, delicious carrot cake muffins, delicious food for breakfast, morning coffee and for lunch. This cafe is an unexpected gem in this cute little town. The owner is lovely and her staff are very efficient. If you go to Wooli you must visit this cafe.


This little cafe never disappoints, in fact it exceeds our expectations every time! The food is like a dream come true and the owners are the loveliest people ever. I love everything but especially the daily baked muffins and chicken mornay pies w/ salad.


Excellent coffee and food – we visited Little Fish every morning of our holiday for coffee and croissants and will definitely be back next time we’re in Wooli. The owners are just so lovely too.


Awesome Cafe here in Wooli, Smoothies are to die for as are the pepper steak pies.


Amazing coffee, great food, wonderful service

One of the highlights of going to Wooli for a break away from it all is knowing I don’t have to forego good coffee. In fact it’s better coffee that you get in most trendy city cafes. Dani and Taro have got it spot on – great takeaway food (home made pies, sausage rolls and dream-worthy muffins) – as well as beautiful breakfasts and lunches to have there sitting in the sun. I’m so happy they brought their amazing skills and friendly service to Wooli.


Stunning coffee and outstanding service.

Dani and Taro are just the best when it comes to good coffee and a delicious small selection of great cafe food. Quality is the key but personal service makes it special every time we visit.


Amazingly Delicious

Wow what a great little cafe, friendly service (thanks Dani) and exceptional food. The pies and the pork wraps are wonderful but the BEST home baked custard tarts we have ever tasted were the highlight.

A Unique Family Event in Wooli – Goanna Pulling Championships


This year on Sunday, 30 September, Wooli will play host to the 33rd annual Australian Goanna Pulling Championships.

You may ask what this is all about and Warning Spoiler Alert – there are no actual goannas used during this family friendly festival in Wooli.

The Australian Goanna Pulling Championships is where two combatants face off on all fours on Goanna Mountain for a tug of war style competition. There are weight categories for the men’s and women’s event for the chance to win the prized belt and prize money.

This flagship event is a popular draw card for the sleepy, yet stunning coastal town of Wooli in Northern New South Wales. It attracts upwards of 3,000 visitors to the town every October Long Weekend.

Commencing at 9am the fun packed day includes age & novelty races for all to participate. Stand back and watch in amazement as the woodchoppers demonstrate their precision chopping skills and individual events.

This truly is a unique event that is fun for the whole family. Other events include:

  • Tug of war Brick carrying races
  • North Coast Axeman event
  • Sprint age races
  • Market stalls
  • Food & beverage stalls
  • Carnival rides
  • Live Music

The whole Wooli community turns out for this event and is only made possible with the support of the Wooli Rural Fire Service, Wooli SES and Wooli Volunteer Marine Rescue as well as the wider Clarence Valley region.

For further information, visit



37 Beaches in 3 days in the Wooli Area

Some might think it impossible but we now know better.

Last week, in order to help fill this fabulous new website with useful information, I volunteered to visit every Clarence Valley beach. I would photograph them, scribble down some observations, and who knows, perhaps enjoy a sneaky surf at some out of the way locations.

“Shouldn’t take more than couple of days,” I confidently told wife Jen, who gave me a pitying “You haven’t really thought this through” look… Pity turned into something else when I told her she’d been volunteered as my accomplice for the gig.

Reflecting the ocean

There’s probably between 40 to 50 beaches in the Clarence Valley, but beaches are amorphous things: tides shift around, sand moves from one end to the other. Sometimes it’s hard to know where one beach ends and another begins. Some of the spots on the list we’d been given weren’t even beaches – they were headlands or creek mouths.

Some beaches are easy to classify, others resist being put into neat boxes.

Anyway, myself and my long-suffering, incredibly patient and kind accomplice wife ticked off 36 beaches and coastal hotspots in three days. It was a whirlwind of hastily scribbled notes, dusty back beach tracks, walking up sand dunes, marching purposefully down to far ends of various sandy stretches, and many anxious glances at approaching clouds that might render the next beach less photogenic.

We spent the first morning around the Iluka stretch, and were blown away by some of the quieter places: Woody Head in particular was astonishing, and had a real North Straddie vibe to it.

That arvo, I left Jen at home and went into Yamba to shoot the town beaches. Towards the end of the expedition, I managed to roll my ankle on a small boulder at Convent Beach. Ignoring it, I went and roamed Pippi Beach, which was stubbornly refusing to reveal its best angles to my camera no matter where me and my increasingly painful foot hobbled to.

Redcliff beaches
Later that night, as I rested a bag of frozen peas on my ankle, I congratulated Jen on her promotion to head photographer and note-taker. “I wish I could join you on tomorrow’s hike from Mara Creek to Red Cliff,” I said as I stuffed another pain-relieving chocolate into my gob, “but I’ll drive around and pick you up in the afternoon.”

Jen was more than happy (relieved?) to fly solo in this assignment and capture those special places. After picking her up at Red Cliff’s expansive campground that afternoon, I limped around Brooms Head and the utterly gorgeous Sandon River. It had been a huge day, and by the time we returned home that night, we were beyond buggered. Even a vegieburger (with egg) and pineapple fritter and Ginger beer from Wato’s in Yamba barely revived us.

But if we thought day two was big, day three was a monster. Minnie Water, Diggers Camp and Wooli for starters, all with their own headlands and back beaches needing to be traversed.

But good lord, what a string of pearls these places are! And we experienced them in the most sublime conditions: achingly beautiful ocean, sparkling under near-cloudless skies.

Just when we thought, “Oh, this is the best beach ever!”, we’d head to the next beach and, “hang on, maybe this one is better still?”.

By lunchtime (spent in Diggers Camp’s Boorkoom campground) we were feeling a little punch drunk – reeling from the overload. Just how many special spots can there BE in one Local Government Area? How many more tracks can wind around verdant headlands? How many more back beach vistas can be framed by perfectly placed Pandanus trees? How many more picnic tables and shelters and barbecue facilities can be so freely available? And WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE? Sure, it was a weekday, but apart from the town beaches and the larger campsites, WE HAD SOME OF THE MOST GORGEOUS STRETCHES OF COAST ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH ALL TO OUR FRICKEN SELVES!

Stunning Stony Beach
Honestly, it’s just ridiculous.

Anyway, back to the mission. After doing Wooli, we had just a few final beaches to cover.

We drove back out to the Pacific Highway, then south for a while, then back to the coast for the last two beaches on the list.

I’m not going to tell you the names of these beaches – they’re not secrets, and they’re listed on the site – but for reasons I can’t explain, to name them here feels somehow a betrayal.

One beach was several kilometres long and straight, hard-packed sand stretching off to the south, into the great beyond.

The other beach was a smaller affair, two hundred metres of curve, fringed by she-oaks, soft, pebbly sand, a semi-attached island on its southern flank, a few kids’ swings hanging from trees, a few hardy campers, all kicking back in the late arvo light.

I stopped to take a photo of one of the swings. Nearby was a bloke in his 60s, on his own, leaning on his truck. I was momentarily interrupting his view of the ocean so I wanted to let him know I was respectful of his presence. I nodded g’day. He nodded back.

Secluded Pebbly Beach

I got the photo I wanted, then moved on quickly to let old mate get back to his peace and quiet, but before I got out of his field of vison, I turned and nodded goodbye, and he did the same. They were the quickest of g’days and goodbyes, but they were perfect, easy moments of acknowledgement and recognition.

And it was a great way draw our mad mission to an end, because we’d been saying the quickest of g’days and goodbyes to lots of special beaches over the last three days.

Actually, not so much goodbye, more like we’ll see you again soon.