Off-roading in the Yuraygir National Park
This article was first published by My Clarence Valley
During the school holidays I took my son, Malakai, on a 4WD trip through the Yuraygir National Park. Beginning at the southern end of the park, we made our way north over five days, finishing at Brooms Head.
Day one commenced on the famous 4WD hills of Coffs Harbour where we took on Rover Trail, before heading into the Yuraygir National Park. We spent the first night at the absolutely beautiful Pebbly Beach. Pebbly Beach is 4WD-access-only as you need to drive along the beach and then across a salt water tidal crossing (best done at low tide).
While it’s advisable to bring your own firewood, there is a pile of wood on the way into Pebbly Beach, provided by National Parks for campers. The campground offers a range of beachfront campsites, so take your time to find the best site before settling in by the fire to the sounds of the ocean. If you don’t have a 4WD, you can access the nearby campsite of Station Creek. It’s a few hundred metres back from the ocean in the forest, next to Station Creek, offering its own slice of paradise and serenity.
After spending a couple of days around Station Creek and Pebbly Beach area, Malakai and I made our way up through the Yuraygir National Park towards Wooli, along Coast Range Road.
Hidden in the bush on the way you can stop and check out the Slovenski Monument which was built in 1957 by a forestry worker named Jonas Slovenski (who was famous for working in the bush in the nude and practising tight rope walking!). The monument is constructed from car and truck axles driven into the ground with hundreds of bottles on top surrounded by chicken wire and rendered with cement. It is an amazing piece of history in the area and a testimony to the life of the forestry workers.
The beauty of owning a 4WD is that you can take the scenic routes. On the way into Wooli, there’s the option to take a left-hand turn a few kilometres before the township, onto Diggers Camp Road, where you will find a 4WD-access only track down onto the pristine Wooli Beach. You can drive along the beach all the way to Wooli.
There are a few camping options around Wooli but we decided to head back out of town towards Minnie Waters. We spent the night at Illaroo Campground in the bush, just off the beach.
After a starry night and amazing sunrise, we headed back out along Wooli Road and into the Candole State Forest. The Candole State Forest will take you all the way through to Brooms Head with some challenging 4WDing along the way.
On this trip, we saved the best until last…. When you arrive at Red Cliff Campground just outside of Brooms Head, you’ll be blown away. It’s a stunning place. You can stand atop the cliffs and see for miles around as the wallabies hop around the grass, feeding. At sunrise and sunset, the cliffs light up to form a truly spectacular sight.
For me, 4WDing is an amazing opportunity to explore Australia with my family and son. There’s nothing more exciting then packing everything you need into the car and heading off into the unknown and seeing what you can find.
Going off-road enables you to experience a lot of places that are only accessible by 4WD and can lead you to some incredible sites and camping spots. Not everything always goes to plan when you’re 4WDing (we suffered a few mechanical issues during our Yuraygir trip) but it is all part of the adventure!
For more options of great things to see and do in the Clarence Valley, go to https://www.myclarencevalley.com/ and see ‘Our Stories’.