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Yuraygir National Park

Important information

Alerts for Yuraygir National Park: closed areas

Details

Updated: 30/09/2014 03:11 PM

“Isolated, unspoilt and impossibly picturesque – Yuraygir National Park is a place that invites exploration.”

Positioned on the NSW north coast between Yamba and Coffs Harbour, Yuraygir National Park boasts the state’s longest stretch of undeveloped coastline.

With 65km of striking cliffs, rocky headlands, isolated beaches and quiet lakes set against a backdrop of forests, heaths and wetlands, this colossal park is a place to experience, not just see.

Discover rare wildlife, remote campgrounds, idyllic picnic spots and charming villages dotted along the coast. Swim, fish or surf to your heart’s content in this aquatic playground. Go whale watching or try the multi-day Yuraygir coastal walk; a four-day hike through striking coastal scenery.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Yuraygir National Park is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:

Treasured heritage
The park’s landscape has been, and remains, the Country of Aboriginal groups. Generations of Yaegl and Gumbaynggirr people camped, fished and held ceremonies here and numerous areas remain of strong spiritual significance to the Aboriginal community. Take the Freshwater Walk and view the park’s most impressive pandanus palms – this important Gumbaynggirr ceremonial plant was used to weave neckbands, dillybags and baskets.

A watery wonderland
The park not only boasts a superb coastline but also features rivers, lakes and estuaries, so swimmers and snorkelers are spoilt for choice. Remember your fishing rod – the waters off the park are excellent for jewfish and groper, and Sandon River is among the state’s most popular fishing spots. If surfing is your thing, you can’t beat the legendary Angourie Surfing Reserve – it hosts what’s arguably Australia’s best right-hand point break. Yuraygir is also a paddler’s paradise, its sheltered waterways provide the ideal setting for canoeing, kayaking and boating.

Important landscapes
When you visit Yuraygir, you’re entering one of the most diverse bioregions in Australia. Wander past age-old coastal landforms, littoral rainforest, eucalypt forest, woodland and wetlands – much of which simply wouldn’t be there without the park’s protection. Pay a visit to Shelley Headland to see the state’s most significant remaining example of grassy clay heath.

Precious and protected
At Yuraygir, you can see some of the country’s most vulnerable native wildlife up close, such as squirrel gliders and eastern grass owls. See if you can spot the unusual rufous bettong, a rarely-seen rabbit-sized marsupial also known as the rufous rat-kangaroo. Or even the shy Queensland blossom-bat, Australia’s smallest fruit bat. Keep an eye out for coastal emus – once so prevalent; they’re sadly now endangered with fewer than 100 left in the park.

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Alerts

closed areas

Removal of Angourie Back Beach staircase
The staircase at the southern end of Angourie Back Beach has been removed due to safety concerns. You cannot access Yuragyir coastal walk from the beach. All walkers should go via the walking track from Mara Creek Picnic Area.
Locations affected: Angourie walking track, Yuraygir coastal walk, Angourie to Brooms Head

Getting there

 Car

From Grafton:

  • Drive south on the Pacific Highway for 10km, then take the Wooli and Minnie Water turnoff.
  • Continue for 25km then, at the T-intersection, turn left to Minnie Water to get to Illaroo camping area, or right to Wooli.
  • From Wooli Road, turn left onto Diggers Camp Road to get to the Boorkoom camping area and Wilsons Headland picnic area.

From Maclean:

  • Take Brooms Head Road through Gulmarrad
  • After 19km, turn left to reach the campgrounds at Lake Arragan, Red Cliff and Grey Cliff
  • Turn right off Brooms Head Road and travel along the Sandon Road for 9km to get to the Sandon River camping area

From Coffs Harbour:

From Coffs Harbour, travel north on the Pacific Highway for 49km, then turn right onto McPhillips Road. Its about 12km from the Highway to Station Creek Campground.

Get driving directions

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 Opening times

Yuraygir National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

 Fees

Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are $7 per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated 'pay and display' machines - please bring correct coins.

 Close to

Yuraygir National Park is close to:

  • Yamba (6km)
  • Maclean (20km)
  • Grafton (39km)
  • Coffs Harbour (42km)

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Yuraygir National Park. Here are some of the highlights:

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • The park’s heathlands provide a spectacular display of wildflowers. Check them out on your choice of walking track, including the Wilsons Headland walk and, of course, the Yuraygir coastal walk.

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Visit in summer to make the most of the park’s countless beaches and waterways. Swim, surf or snorkel – cooling sea breezes provide welcome relief in hot weather.

Autumn(Mar, Apr, May)

  • Autumn is the perfect time of year to go beach fishing along the park’s coastline.

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • Plan a winter trip to go whale watching. The sight of migrating whales swimming north to warmer waters is second-to-none, and there are magnificent viewing points at Red Cliffs lookout and Brooms Head.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 20°C and  26°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 42.5°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 9°C and 20°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is 2.7°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is March, the driest is September.
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 300mm in one day

Safety

  • Carry extra food; rough seas may mean some sections of beach are unpassable, even at low tide.
  • Rubbish and recycling stations are available at each national park campground. Cans, plastic bottles and glass can be recycled. Paper is not collected as part of the Yuraygir recycling program.
  • Organise watercraft for safe river crossings at Sandon, Wooli and Red Rock well ahead of your trip. The safest crossing is on an incoming tide.
  • Rock platforms: check your tide chart to ensure rock platforms are traversed at low tide.
  • Beach walking: vehicles are permitted on some beaches, so be alert and listen for their approach.
  • Notification: advise a responsible person of your departure and expected time of return and check in with this person when you return.
  • Emergencies: mobile phone reception is limited; pay phones are located in all coastal villages, caravan parks and the Sandon River campground.

Contacts

Grafton

Phone: 02 6641 1500
Fax: 02 6641 1599
Email: npws.clarencenorth@environment.nsw.gov.au
Street address: Level 4, 49 Victoria Street, Grafton NSW
Postal address: PO Box 361, Grafton NSW 2460
Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday

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Pebbly Beach, Yuraygir National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary