Woolgoolga – (or Woopi) to the locals, is quickly becoming a beachside boutique town. The aboriginals’ called it ‘’WEI-GUL-GA’’, which came from a tree that bore berries and turned purple when ripe. Woopi is also known for the SIKH population, but it’s the hinterland that holds many interesting features and is so close to the coast. From Coffs Harbour head north for 26kms and turn left at the roundabout. This is where you need to reset your speedo. From here it is only a 3km drive before you hit the dirt and start exploring the wonderful world of the Woolgoolga hinterland. At the end of the tar, two choices await you, veer left and follow the road to the end where you will come to the Woolgoolga creek picnic area. Here you can leave your car and take a 2km walk through lush rainforest following the creek to a waterfall. Or you can veer right and continue up along Gentle Annie road into the Wedding bells state forest. Generally it is a well maintained road, best to have your lights on as it is used by bikes, log trucks and other traffic. Staying on Gentle Annie road, passing Bark Hut on your right, it is at the 8.3km mark where you can stop just pass Mary’s waterhole road on your left.
Here, if you walk to the top of the rise, you can visit ‘’Mary’s Waterhole’’. It is believed that pregnant Aboriginal women stopped here to bath in its waters, and their pregnancy would be safeguarded. Continuing westward along Gentle Annie Road, the main road will now turn into Sherwood Road. This trip is all about the views, the sounds of the bush and just how close you are to the ocean. As you head further up the hill you start seeing the coastline to your right as you hug some pretty mean rocks. Turn left at the 12km mark and this will keep you on Sherwood Road. As you climb these ridges, the vegetation changes from rainforest, lantana infested scrub through to some heavily timbered areas waiting to be logged. At the 17.5km mark veer right to keep on Sherwood Road. Just another 2km past here (19.5km), turn left into Waihoo lookout. This is a great spot to stop for a cuppa and get an eagle’s eye on the world below, as here you are around 413 metres above sea level. To the south west you can see Mt Moombil, west over the Nymbodia region and below you the villages of Nana Glen and Glenreagh. Safety here, as there are no fences and the drop is around 100 metres.
Several informal walking trails lead you to different viewing areas where you might see wild flowers, some wildlife and a different view. Continuing back along Sherwood Road it is another 2km before you can turn left into Falls Fire Trail. This is a 1.5km track where 4wd should be engaged in several spots to avoid tearing up the track. At the end, several walking tracks lead you to several viewing areas overlooking the valleys and waterfall. Time can idle away here as you listen and watch the water fall deep into the valley. Returning back to Sherwood Road, turn left and until you see the tower. Here a left turn along Bluff Road will see you end up at another great viewing platform overlooking Glenreagh and west to Nymbodia. Returning back to the tower, turn left and head along the red dust coloured road that is lined with native wattle, wild flowers, gums and grass trees. For the next few kilometres you will slowly head down hill, where in spots you will again need to engage 4wd to edge your way along some fun rocky patches, nothing too hard but a good spot for the passengers to hop out and guide you along and even participate in some road building using the available rocks.
A small creek crossing will soon appear and this is a great spot to let the kids outs and cool off while having lunch. Further along the track turns to an uphill grade where again it may get rocky and your 4wd ability may be tested (also great for your passenger to guide you and taking a pic). The vegetation has changed, and being a sandstone base, plants struggle to find nutrients in the soil. As you wander back down hill a tee intersection appears. 5kms to the left will see you at the village of Glenreagh, great pies and a cooling ale can be found here. Coffs is a casual 30km drive from Glenreagh. Or turning right at the tee intersection, you will have a 21km drive winding through rainforest, farm land and views of the hills where you just on. This will lead you back to the Pacific Highway, just 7km from where you started at the Woolgoolga roundabout.
Woolgoolga is situated just 26kms north of Coffs harbour. Allow 4-5 hours for this trip. Great for the whole family.
This trip can be done all year round. The winters are mild- so pack a jumper. The summers can get hot, water is available at most creek crossings to cool off.
FUEL AND SUPPLIES
Woolgoolga has several supermarkets and fuel is also available. Limited fuel at Glenreagh. The whole trip is around 60km.
Flora and fauna, coastal views, stunning mountain views, wildlife.