Yuraygir National Park

Picnics and barbecues

Yuraygir National Park has some excellent picnic areas, all with tables and most with barbecues. Favourite destinations for picnickers include Angourie Bay and Mara Creek, Shelley Headland, Sandon River, Illaroo, Boorkoom, Station Creek and Pebbly Beach.

Angourie Bay picnic area

Wheelchair access: easy

This area is fully wheelchair accessible

Pack a picnic and gather the kids together for a fabulous day by the beach at Angourie Bay picnic area.

Located adjacent to Angourie Headland, this lovely park-like setting is ideal for a family get-together or post-surf snack. It’s easy to pop back to the beach for more swimming or a walk or you can relax on the grass in the shade with a good book. If you're there during whale watching season be sure to take a look from one of the two lookouts.

This scenic picnic area is a pretty popular place – hardly surprising given its fantastic location. It’s a good idea to bring a picnic blanket in case all the tables are taken.

Activities: surfing, swimming, whale watching, picnicking, playing and socialising

Location:  shown on Angourie map

Getting there: Angourie Bay picnic area is in the Angourie precinct of Yuraygir National Park. To get there from Angourie Headland, follow the Yuraygir coastal walk or drive via the roadway access and follow the signs.

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, non-flush toilets, carpark

Contact: Grafton, Phone: 02 6641 1500

Boorkoom campground

Picture a place at Australia’s edge, where wild rocky shores border quiet beaches. Surf’s up, the fish are biting and eagles soar overhead. Natural lookouts beckon with beguiling ocean views and all that’s missing is you.

With just 10 clifftop campsites atop the northern end of Wilsons Headland, Boorkoom campground offers an exceptionally secluded stay. The headland is a great spot for watching the annual whale migration.

Swim or surf the pristine waters of the north coast or go fishing for whiting, bream or flathead. Walk the 3km Wilsons Headland walk, enjoying its boardwalks and sweeping sea views en route to a lovely picnic area.

Activities: walking, surfing, swimming, whale watching, birdwatching, picnicking, playing and socialising

Location:  shown on Minnie Water map

Getting there: Boorkoom campground is 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 Wolli Road (keep right) for another 29km.
  • Turn left at Diggers Camp Road and continue for about 7km

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, gas/electric barbecues (free), non-flush toilets, trackhead/access point

Camping fees: $10 per adult per night. $5 per child per night.

Contact: Grafton, Phone: 02 6641 1500

Illaroo campground

Wheelchair access: medium

Assistance may be required to access this area

The spacious Illaroo campground is split in two parts – north and south – and offers 60 campsites just a hop, skip and a jump from the beach.

Arrive early to nab a shady caravan site overlooking the Pacific Ocean and coastline. Lovely walks, including the Angophora Grove walk, are nearby and the beach offers an endless array of options – from fishing to swimming to snorkelling. If you’re into canoeing try the nearby and stunning Wooli River and fishing boats can be launched from Minnie Water. In fact, it’s almost too easy to while away your days in this idyllic spot – you’ll never want to leave.

Wooli and Grafton are easily accessible if you find you need supplies while camping in this remote area.

If you’re thinking of camping with a group, be sure to visit the Illaroo group camping area.

Activities: walking, snorkelling, swimming, fishing, picnicking, playing and socialising

Location:  shown on Minnie Water map

Getting there: Illaroo campground is in the Minnie Water precinct of Yuraygir National Park. To get there from Grafton, drive approximately 12km southwest on the Pacific Highway. Turn left at Eight Mile Lane. Follow Eight Mile Lane as it becomes Wolli Rd (keep right) for another 28km and turn left at left at Minnie Water Road. Continue for about 7km and turn left at Sandon Road. The campground will be ahead in just over a kilometre.

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues, gas/electric barbecues (free), fire rings (firewood supplied), non-flush toilets, drinking water, trackhead/access point

Vehicle entry fee: $7 per vehicle per day. Please note vehicle entry fees are not included in your accommodation or camping fees. Purchase at the local office or buy an annual pass on the NPWS website.

Camping fees: General camping area (north and south sections): $10 per adult per night. $5 per child per night. Child rates apply for children aged 5-15 years only. Infants aged 0-4 years are free of charge.

Contact: Grafton, Phone: 02 6641 1500

Lake Arragan and Red Cliff campgrounds

Lake Arragan and Red Cliff campgrounds sit side-by-side on the park’s northern coastline. Between them, there are 65 grassy campsites – many with shade and all just a short walk from the beach.

Choose a campsite at Lake Arragan, a small coastal lagoon system surrounded by paperbarks. This is a great spot for canoeing, swimming, fishing and birdwatching, and if you’re feeling energetic, you can try the 10km coastal walk to Angourie.

Or head south to Red Cliff for panoramic coastal views. Here you can discover isolated beaches or just listen to the surf roll over the rocks while watching kangaroos and birds going about their business.

Activities: walking, paddling, swimming, fishing, picnicking, playing and socialising, surfing

Location:  shown on Angourie map

Getting there: Lake Arragan and Red Cliff campgrounds are in the Angourie precinct of Yuraygir National Park. To get there:

  • Turn right onto Brooms Head Road from the Pacific Highway
  • Continue for about 18km and then follow signs for Lake Arragan or Red Cliff campgrounds, both are located on Brooms Head Road about 3km north of Brooms Head.

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Opening hours: Parking is available at Lake Arragan and Red Cliff campgrounds

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues, non-flush toilets, drinking water, trackhead/access point

Camping fees: $10 per adult per night. $5 per child per night.

Contact: Grafton, Phone: 02 6641 1500

Mara Creek picnic area

Wheelchair access: medium

Mara Creek picnic area is surrounded by natural coastal heath. This is home to a large variety of birds that are particularly active during spring and summer when wildflowers, such as white flannel, Christmas bells and orange and red heath peas, are in bloom. So sit back and enjoy your picnic spread with the binoculars close. Reptiles such as bearded dragons and goannas are also known to wander through the area, so keep an eye out for those too.

Mara Creek picnic area is located in a secluded section of the park, just inland from the coast. Even when the beach crowds flock to the area over summer holidays, this area remains a quiet section of Yuraygir.

Mara Creek picnic area is also the starting point for Angourie walking track, which takes you along the coast to Shelley Headland. Interpretive signs on this walking track offer more information about the area’s natural and cultural heritage. Enjoy a picnic before or after your hike.

Activities: picnics and barbecues, birdwatching

Location:  shown on Angourie map

Getting there: Mara Creek picnic area is in the northern section of Yuraygir National Park. To get there:

  • Turn off Pacific Highway north of Maclean and follow Yamba Road in an easterly direction for 12km
  • Turn right onto Angourie Road and follow for 4km, then turn right onto Lakes Boulevard.
  • After 400m on Lakes Boulevard, turn left into Yuraygir National Park and follow that road for 1km.
  • Turn right for Mara Creek picnic area

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, flush toilets, lookout, trackhead/access point, amenities block

Contact: Grafton, Phone: 02 6641 1500

Sandon River campground

Perched on a sandy peninsular by the Sandon River mouth, Sandon River campground presents you with river on one side and protected ocean on the other. Not only does this mean million-dollar views, but easy access for fishing, swimming and boating.

After you’ve chosen your caravan, trailer or tent site, why not share a barbecue with your neighbours? Use the boat ramp and head out fishing or for a spot of canoeing, or find out about the site’s rich Aboriginal and European cultural heritage from the informative panels around the campground. If you feel like getting your toes wet, head to the beach for a quick dip.

This campground is also a great place to stop over when hiking the multi-day Yuraygir coastal walk.

Activities: walking, paddling, sailing and boating, fishing, picnicking, playing and socialising

Cultural heritage: Permanent European settlement commenced in 1914 by fisherman and oystergrowers. The dwellings are now largely occupied by families for summer holidays in this beautiful location.

Location:  shown on park map

Getting there: Sandon River campground is in the Brooms Head precinct of Yuraygir National Park. To get there from Gulmarrad, near Maclean, follow Brooms Head Road southeast for about 17km. Then turn right on Sandon Road and follow it for about 10km until you reach the campground.   

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues, gas/electric barbecues (free), non-flush toilets, flush toilets, amenities block, public phone, boat ramp, trackhead/access point

Camping fees: $10 per adult per night. $5 per child per night. A minimum fee of two adults per site applies during Easter, all long weekends and all NSW and Queensland school holidays.

Contact: Grafton, Phone: 02 6641 1500

Shelley Head campground

This lovely walk-in campground is a stone’s throw from Shelley Caves and Little Shelley Beach, where you can swim, fish and explore. It’s a perfect spot for adventurous walkers looking for a remote nature getaway as it’s a 7km hike north of Lake Arragan, or a 6km walk south of Angourie along Yuraygir coastal walk.

Spring is a particularly wonderful time to camp here, as the surrounding woods come alive with an array of blooming coastal wildflowers, including Christmas bells, flannel flowers and native orchids in purple, red, yellow and even black.

There’s also plenty of wildlife to see here, from emus and long-nosed bandicoots to sugar gliders, owls, eastern grey kangaroos and red-necked as well as swamp wallabies.

Activities: walking, swimming, fishing, astronomy and star gazing, birdwatching, whale watching, picnics and barbecues

Location:  shown on Angourie map

Getting there: Shelley Head campground is within Yuraygir National Park. To get there via Lake Arragan campground:

  • Take Pacific Highway north from Grafton for about 35km
  • Continue for about 18km and then follow signs for Lake Arragan or Red Cliff campgrounds
  • Shelley Head campground is a 7km walk north from Lake Arragan

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - no motor vehicle access.

Facilities: picnic tables, lookout, trackhead/access point

Fees: Annual pass or daily vehicle entry fee of $7 also required.

Bookings: Bookings are not available for this campground.

Contact: Grafton, Phone: 02 6641 1500

Station Creek campground

Wheelchair access: medium

  • Assistance may be required to access this area.

Station Creek campground is a peaceful campground conveniently situated on Station Creek estuary, offering superb fishing, canoeing and swimming. It’s a gentle 600m stroll to the local beach, following a lovely walking track lined with scribbly gum and corkwood trees.

The campground is particularly popular with families. It offers a safe environment where kids can go swimming while the grown-ups fish or simply relax in the shade, nearby.

Keep your eyes open for the striking brolga around the water’s edge. Also known as the Australian crane, it’s a tall, upright wetland bird with a small head, long beak, slender neck and long legs often seen hunting in shallow waters. If you’re really lucky, you might even spot one of the emus that visit the area now and again throughout the year.

Activities: birdwatching, picnics and barbecues, camping, swimming

Location:  shown on park map

Getting there: Station Creek campground is in the southern precinct of Yuraygir National Park. To get there:

  • From Pacific Highway, take the McPhillips Road turn-off approximately 30km south of Grafton, or 25km north of Coffs Harbour.
  • Follow signage for approximately 13km to the park boundary entrance 

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles. 4WD required in wet weather.

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues, amenities block

Camping fees: $10 per adult per night. $5 per child per night.

Other fees:

Annual pass or daily vehicle entry fee of $7 also required.

Bookings: Bookings are not available for this campground.

Contact: Grafton, Phone: 02 6641 1500

Wilsons Headland picnic area

Wheelchair access: medium

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

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.

Activities: fishing, birdwatching, whale watching, picnics and barbecues

Location:  shown on Minnie Water map

Getting there: 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 access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: amenities block, picnic tables, wood barbecues (bring your own firewood), carpark, non-flush toilets, trackhead/access point