Wilsons Headland walking track

Yuraygir National Park

Overview

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.

Where
Yuraygir National Park
Accessibility
Medium
Distance
3km one-way
Time suggested
45min - 1hr 15min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Please note
  • Along the walk, there are barrier-free lookout platforms with seats and magnificent beach and ocean views
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to whale watch – the best time of year is between May and October

The easy Wilsons Headland walking track links Boorkoom campground with Wilsons Headland picnic area, and comprises a small section of the Clarence Coast’s Yuraygir coastal walk. This short track winds along the coastline – passing stretches of endless ocean, isolated beaches and secluded coves.

Hike the track from late winter to early summer to be greeted by banks of wonderful wildflowers, or walk during whale watching season to spot migrating humpbacks. It will be no surprise to you that this easy walk is a long-time favourite among locals.

Strategically-placed seats and lookouts allow you to catch your breath and soak up the incredible views – why not take a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of these spots?

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/walking-tracks/wilsons-headland-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Wilsons Headland walking track.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    45min - 1hr 15min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    3km one-way

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Wilsons Headland walking track starts at Boorkoom campground in the Minnie Water precinct of Yuraygir National Park. To get there:

  • From Grafton, drive southwest along Pacific Highway.
  • After about 12km, turn left at Eight Mile Lane.
  • Follow Eight Mile Lane as it becomes Wooli Road (keep right) for another 29km.
  • Turn left at Diggers Camp Road and continue for about 7km

Parking

Parking is available at Boorkoom campground and 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

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.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

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).

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

  • If accessing this track from Boorkoom campground, the first 2km is suitable for wheelchairs, prams and visitors with limited mobility.
  • Some assistance may be required at times as you make your way along the natural surface of the path.
  • Seats and lookouts provide convenient rest stops along the track.
  • If accessing this track from Wilsons Headland picnic area, there is 800m of gravel path. The path is mostly of easy grades but assistance will be necessary along 2 steep sections.

Medium access presents some minor difficulties, such as a grassy surface. You may require a little assistance to get around in some areas.

Prohibited

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 (6 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 (2 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 (40 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 walking track 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)

People on the Wilsons Headland Walk, Yuraygir National Park. Photo: Debra Novak