4WD Touring through Yuraygir National Park
Adventures with offroad explorer, Tyler Thompson.
During the winter school holidays I took my son, Malakai, on a trip through the Yuraygir National Park in our 4WD. Beginning at the southern end of the park, over 5 days we made our way north, finishing at Brooms Head.
The first day began 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 best to bring some firewood of your own, there is a pile of wood provided by the national park for campers on the way into Pebbly Beach. There is a large amount of beach front campsites, so take your time to find one best for you and settle in by the fire as you listen to the ocean.
If you don’t have a 4WD, you can access the nearby campsite of Station Creek. It’s a few hundred meters 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 in the Station Creek and Pebbly Beach area we 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, 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). It’s 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 you can take the scenic route into places. On the way into Wooli you can take a left hand turn a few kms before the township, onto Diggers Camp Road, where you will find a 4WD-access-only track down onto the pristine Wooli Beach. We met up with my Dad and his partner, Carol, for this part of the trip. Taking on the sea breeze you can drive all the way along the beach into the township of Wooli.
There are a few camp options in the Wooli area, 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. The nights can get quite cold during winter so make sure to pack plenty of warm clothing. The beauty of winter though is the cold weather keeps the crowds down, as well as mosquitoes and flies.
After a starry night and amazing sunrise we headed back out along Wooli Road a little way 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.
We saved the best for last on this trip. When you arrive at Red Cliff Campground just outside of Brooms Head you will be truly blown away at this stunning place. As Wallabies hop around the grass paddocks feeding next to you, you can stand atop the cliffs and see for miles around. At sunrise and sunset the cliffs truly light up to form a spectacular sight.
For me, 4WDing is an amazing opportunity to explore Australia with my family and son Malakai. There is nothing more exciting then packing everything you need into the car and heading off into the unknown and seeing what we can find.
Having a 4WD gives you the chance to see a lot of places that are only accessible by 4WD and visiting some incredible sites and camp spots. Not everything always goes to plan when you’re 4WDing. We suffered a few mechanical issues on this trip, but it’s all part of the adventure.
Words and photos: Tyler Thompson