Friday, 17 July 2015

Yuraygir Coastal Walk - Part 2

Tuesday 7th July - Day 2 

We woke to a crisp, sunny morning, with tranquility reigning on the Woolli River.

A brisk 30 minute street walk, saw us back on the beach ready to tackle the 4km of soft sand, to Wilson' Headland.                          

Looking south from Wilson Headland.

A perfect headland for a snack and a spot of whale watching. Numerous plumes of water broke the calm surface of the sea as the whales spouted. Our excitement mounted when we realised 5 or 6 whales were breaching. Although distant, it was spectacular to watch.

When we finally dropped off this headland we were greeted by a tiny bay with a steep shoreline of smooth, round pebbles and rocks. We were relieved when we rounded the point, to have a 'flat' rock platform to walk on. A short distance on, we were met by another sweeping beach of about 6 kms. The tide was still quite low and the sand firm, so we were able to relax and enjoy the sounds of the waves caressing the shoreline, the song of the abundant birdlife in the sand dunes and the magnificent blue of the sky and sea.

To reach Minnie Water, our destination for the night, we ascended another grassy, leafy headland. Signage here was poor and had we known, we could have continued around the headland to Minnie Waters's general store, park and swimming beach. Instead, we trudged several kilometres through streets of holiday homes to find the caravan park. Once we had settled into our cabin, I elected to find the store and purchase some nibbles to snack on, with our hard earnt glass of wine. 

I had no regrets about volunteering when I discovered Minnie Water's secluded and idyllic beach and shoreline. Perfect spot to rest the feet and soak up the warmth of the winter's sunshine.

LOL when we discovered the only way to have an evening meal was to book the Woolli Hotel curtesy bus to collect us at 6pm. 4 1/2 hours walking. 20 mins driving. 

Wednesday 8th July - Day 3

The weather gods decided to introduce us to Coast to Coast weather and idyllic Minnie Water was no longer so. A somber beach greeted us and after 1 or 2 km walking through bushland, the view was no less ominous.

Pushed along by the strong southerly wind, we made good time along this 10 km stretch of beach. The wind also pushed the rain further north.

It was a steep, sandy climb off the beach on a 4 wheel drive track. For the small community of Sandon, this was its only access. Rob Jarrett, our boatman for crossing the Sandon River, was hooking up his tinnie, as we walked down one of the few streets. On the edge of Sandon we spotted several large roos sunning themselves.

On the opposite shore was the Sandon River camping ground, accessed by dirt road from Brooms Head, our destination for the day.
After a conversation with one of the campers, and appraisal of a rising tide, wind, and more ominous clouds, the decision was made to take the dirt road, over the soft sand beach. Slightly longer, but hopefully quicker, easier on the legs and if we were lucky, the bonus of seeing lots of emus. 

No emus, but wonderful low native vegetation, flowering banksia, and bottle brush. The heavens opened for the last few kilometres, but we were revived with a delicious, homemade pizza, a bottle of wine, cosy comfortable accommodation and Queensland winning the State of Origin football series.

I hope you are not too tired after our long day. I would love to read your comment.


  1. Lovely beach walk! How cool to see the whales. You got some nice sky photos too.

  2. I did some coastal hiking in Maui in April but nothing near to the extent that you did. I hear that hiking in sand is difficult and even more difficult when carrying a large backpack.

    1. I carried just over 13 kg and once it was lifted on, was more comfortable for most of the day than my Wednesday walking pack. Soft sand is a real workout.

  3. Wonderful to see the whales. Did needing to book the hotel bus mean you didn't go? The wind and sand must have been a bit of a pain but the scenery looks spectacular.

    1. No, we booked it for 6 and were back by 8.30 after a wonderful meal. About 10 mins from the caravan park, the driver in true Aussie form, looked at the petrol gauge and said, "Strewth, I'm almost out of petrol!" He had other people to deliver on his return and of course being in the country, the service station shut at 6. I'd love to know if he made it back.

  4. Hi Helen, we love your two blog posts about the Yuraygir Coastal Walk. Fabulous photos, too! We have shared one of your photos on our Facebook page (breaching whale in front of the Solitary Islands). Hope that's OK. ( )
    Glad you had such a good time doing the walk. It's a special part of the world, isn't it?

    1. I can't edit my comment above, but we picked another picture instead to feature on our Facebook page

    2. It certainly is a special part of the world. We were fortunate to be walking south / north as the wind and rain was at our back. It would have been helpful, to have a sign coming off the southern beach directing us around the headland to the Minnie Water store. Delighted that you used my photograph.

  5. We are just back from spending the last week based at Wooli, but had many walks & picnics in & around Yuraygir National Park, it is hard to explain the beauty of the area to those that have not experienced it, I keep posting pics on my Beachcombers Facebook page to show what a haven not only for flora & fauna nature lovers, but artists, photographers, surfers, retirees and families :)

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