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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Angourie and Yuraygir National Park, NSW.

A couple of years ago we stayed in Yamba for a few days and while we were there we spent a day looking around Angourie and exploring the Angourie Walking Track which is part of the much longer, four day Yuraygir Coastal Walk.The entire Illuka, Yamba, Angourie area is so beautiful that it is high on our list for a return visit.

Green Pool
Blue Pool
To start the day, we parked in the car park at the end of The Crescent in Angourie and went to explore Green Pool and Blue Pool. These pools are the result of quarrying for rock to build the Clarence River breakwalls in the 1890's. A spring flowed into the excavations creating very deep fresh water pools adjacent to the ocean. The pools are popular for swimming and diving into from the high cliff faces. Sometimes swimming is not recommended due to algae blooms.

Walking south towards Angourie Point
From the pools we walked along the beach to the car park at the end of Pacific Street. The headland, Angourie Point, is a popular surfing break.

Walking south towards Angourie Point
Angourie Point
We walked south along the beach and across the base of Angourie Point to the next beach. The beach was covered in driftwood and large pumice stones. From the beach we walked up a beach access to the start of the Angourie Walking Track. This beautiful coastal track is a 10 km return, Medium graded walk.

The beach south of Angourie Point
The views from the track are absolutely stunning. I was so mesmerized by the view that I didn't notice a piece of wood that had been placed across the track, presumably as an anti-erosion device, and I fell very heavily flat on my face. I reached out my hand to save myself and dislocated a finger on some coffee rock at the edge of the track. 

Coastal heathlands on the Angourie Walking Track
We walked to Dirrangan Lookout and sat down for a picnic lunch with unsurpassed views of Yuraygir National Park. We had intended walking to Shelly Head Campground but with my finger swollen and painful we decided to head back to the car.

Shelly Beach with Shelly Headland in the background.
On the return walk we saw dolphins surfing the waves. From June to November, the walk is an excellent place to view whales on their annual migration.

Dolphin magic.
One of the highlights of the walk was watching a pair of Beach Stone-curlews patrolling the beach. They blended in well with the driftwood but were easier to see when they moved along the sand.

Beach Stone-curlews

We are definitely coming back to do this walk again and next time we also hope to camp at the Station Creek Campground to explore the southern end of Yuraygir National Park.


  1. Sounds like a painful fall! I dread experiences like that when I'm out and about.

    That pool looks familiar, I'm embarrassed to say I think I saw an episode of the Biggest Loser filmed there where they had to jump from the cliff.

    Beach Stone Curlews are very rare in NSW, nicely spotted.

    Almost blasphemous of me to say, but I've secretly always prefered NSW beaches to ours for scenery, swimming and recreation. Ours has more mangroves, seagrass, coral and wild habitats though, which I treasure.

  2. I wouldn't like to injure an ankle or leg in some of the remote places we walk as it would be so hard to get out. We carry a PLB (portable location beacon) in case of a serious problem.

    I hardly ever watch TV so I had to think hard what the Biggest Loser even is!

    I think you are pretty brave to get into a NSW vs QLD beach debate; braver than me!

    Seeing the Beach Stone Curlews was really special. I've since read in Birdlife magazine that Beach Stone Curlew sightings should be reported.

  3. Fantastic scenery - many years ago we did a short walk in the rainforest near Yamba, and nearly got carried away by the mosquitoes! Even so, we've always wanted to explore this area properly instead of just passing through like we normally do. Great shot of the Beach Stone Curlew - it's always a thrill to see them!

  4. We also walked in some lovely remnant rainforest near Yamba; no mosquitoes but that can be one of the advantages of walking in the winter. Do stop in for a longer look if you get the chance. Talking about thrills, it's a great pleasure to have you comment on our blogs!