Wilsons Headland picnic area

Yuraygir National Park

Overview

Wilsons Headland picnic area in Yuraygir National Park is a picturesque picnic spot where you can go swimming, walking, fishing, birdwatching and whale watching.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Yuraygir National Park
Accessibility
Medium
What to
bring
Hat, drinking water, sunscreen

Wilsons Headland picnic area is a picturesque picnic spot, just moments from the ocean. In spring, it’s a great spot to admire the vibrant colours and intricate beauty of the wildflowers, but all year round it’s a magical place.

Throw a rug down on the grass or find a spot at one of the picnic tables to enjoy your picnic feast. Or wander along Wilsons Headland walking track and you’ll find lots of other great picnic spots and lookouts with sweeping coastal views ideal for whale watching.

Take the kids down to the beach to throw a frisbee, or enjoy swimming in the clear waters. Remember to pack your fishing rod if you enjoy fishing to catch some of the local whiting, bream or flathead.  Or just sit back and unwind as you watch beach raptors like brahminy kites and white-bellied sea eagles gliding overhead.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/wilsons-headland-picnic-area/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Wilsons Headland picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Wilsons Headland picnic area is in the central Minnie Water precinct of Yuraygir National Park, near Diggers Camp village. To get there:

  • Drive south-west from Grafton along Pacific Highway
  • After about 12km, turn left at Eight Mile Lane.
  • Follow Eight Mile Lane as it becomes Wooli Road for approximately 29km
  • Turn left at Diggers Camp Road and continue for approximately 7km

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Wilsons Headland picnic area.

Best times to visit

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

Autumn

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

Spring

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

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.

Winter

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.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

20°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

42.5°C

Winter temperature

Average

9°C and 20°C

Lowest recorded

2.7°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

300mm

Facilities

  • You'll need to bring your own drinking and cooking water
  • We encourage you to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

Amenities

Toilets

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Volunteering

Volunteering with NPWS offers is a great way to help protect our national parks and wildlife. These volunteering safety tips will help create a safe working environment for all volunteers.

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

  • Assistance may be required to access this area
  • Wheelchair-accessible toilet

Permitted

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Prohibited

Gathering firewood

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Grafton (38 km)

Grafton is a gracious, historic city in the Clarence Valley farming district. It's situated on the broad Clarence River and surrounded by river flats.

www.visitnsw.com

Wooli (5 km)

Yuraygir National Park protects the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline (60km) in NSW. Coastal hideaways worth exploring include Wooli, Minnie Waters and Brooms Head.

www.visitnsw.com

Yamba (39 km)

Yamba is a bustling holiday resort with a large fishing fleet. It's built around a headland at the mouth of the Clarence River.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Wilsons Headland picnic area is in Yuraygir National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A watery wonderland

Wilsons Headland walk, Yuraygir National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

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.

  • Angourie Bay picnic area After surfing or swimming at the Clarence Coast’s famous Angourie Headland, stop off at the scenic Angourie Bay picnic area for a tasty picnic lunch with the family.
  • Wooli to Red Rock Wooli to Red Rock is part of Yuraygir coastal walk and a moderate hiking route with river crossings, scenic coastal views and great opportunities for birdwatching.

Important landscapes

Remote coastline, Yuraygir National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

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.

  • Angourie to Brooms Head Angourie to Brooms Head, part of Yuraygir coastal walk, is a hiking route offering scenic lookouts and opportunities for beach walking, birdwatching, and seasonal whale watching.
  • Yuraygir coastal walk Hike the multi-day Yuraygir coastal walk on the Clarence Coast. You’ll find loads of places for whale watching, snorkelling and swimming, with overnight stops at beach campgrounds.

Precious and protected

Kangaroo in the grass, Yuraygir National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

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 a rufous bettong, a rarely-seen rabbit-sized marsupial also know as the rufous rat-kangaroo. Or even the shy Queensland blossom-bat, Australia’s smallest fruit bat. The threatened green and golden bell frog is one of the 25 amphibians within Yuraygir – likely to be found around swamps, lagoons and flood plains. Keep an eye out for coastal emus, once so prevalent and now, sadly an endangered species with fewer than 100 left in the park.

  • Wilsons Headland walking track The easy Wilsons Headland walking track is ideal for whale watching along the Clarence Coast. Starting at Boorkoom campground, the hiking track offers scenic coastal views.
  • Yuraygir coastal walk Hike the multi-day Yuraygir coastal walk on the Clarence Coast. You’ll find loads of places for whale watching, snorkelling and swimming, with overnight stops at beach campgrounds.

Treasured culture

Coastal forests, Yuraygir National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

The landscape of Yuraygir National Park 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 most impressive pandanus palms - this important Gumbaynggirr ceremonial plant was used to weave neckbands, dillybags and baskets.

  • Brooms Head to Illaroo Brooms Head to Illaroo, part of Yuraygir coastal walk, is a hiking route with river crossings, beach walking, scenic coastal views and birdwatching opportunities.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

    White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

  • Emu, Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

    The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.

  • Brown-striped frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)

    One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.

Plants

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Wilsons Headland picnic area, Yuraygir National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary / Seen Australia