A surfer’s guide to the best of the Northern Beaches
Meet local board rider Dael Wulff. Having grown up by the coast, an inherent love for the water began at an early age for local surfer Dael. It wasn’t until a move to the Coffs Coast 14 years ago that she first tried surfing, however, with it fast becoming a sporting passion.
‘There’s nothing quite like the physical and mental weightlessness you feel when you are out in the surf”.
Dael’s enjoyment of surfing, like many others, comes from the need to be present and in the moment, something she strives to do every day. Luckily there are so many great surfing spots on the Northern Beaches, with a beach suited for every wind direction and swell type, there’s almost always a perfect spot for a surf, whatever the conditions – providing the perfect opportunity for an ‘in the moment’ surf.
Woolgoolga Back Beach
Or Woopi Back Beach, as it’s locally known, is a particular favourite of Dael’s and a locally loved surf spot, especially on a north-westerly with the best surf conditions being a combined offshore wind from the Northwest and a Southeast swell.
Woolgoolga is a great surf spot for beginners to advanced.
Woolgoolga main beach is great for beginners, protected by the headland, it’s a popular spot for the local nippers program too. For those who are keen to give surfing a try – Eco-Accredited Solitary Islands Surf School offers both group and private lessons at Woolgoolga and along the Coffs Coast.
Arrawarra, 10 minutes North of Woolgoolga, is another beautiful spot with generally gentle waves, great for beginners and longboarders. Mojo Surf runs the Spot X Surf Camp here with the opportunity to catch the perfect wave in a surf lesson. There are some cool rockpools, picnic facilities, a playground and through the summer holidays there is a lifeguard on patrol.
How to spend the perfect day in the Northern Beaches
To experience the Northern Beaches as a local, Dael recommends starting the day by catching a wave in Woolgoolga or neighbouring Sandy Beach. There is nothing like starting the day with a fresh dip in the ocean and connecting with nature.
A favourite pitstop for brekkie or an after-surf snack is Tango Juice Bar, in Woolgoolga for sushi or their famed Acai bowl. Or the Sandy Beachouse for the hugely popular ‘beachie wrap’ featuring a mouthwatering combination of perfectly selected local ingredients.
Next Dael recommends heading west to check out some of the many waterfalls in the area. Woolgoolga has its own spectacular waterfall – Woolgoolga Creek Falls, accessible via a relatively easy 3.6km return walk through subtropical rainforest featuring five creek crossings each way, depending on the rain you may be able to skip across some rocks or be prepared for your feet to get a little wet. It makes for a great local adventure!
Having rainforests and state forests as a backdrop to the Coffs Coast means you can be out enjoying trails and spectacular lookouts in the morning and easily back relaxing on the beach, soaking in the beauty of the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk in the afternoon. With so many local beaches to choose from, you can try a new one each day in the Northern beaches alone.
For those wanting to take a dip in the ocean – Woolgoolga main is a popular choice as it is patrolled every day from the start of the September school holidays to the end of the April school holidays. It’s a great spot for surfing, fishing and snorkelling, with tidal rock platforms which are great fun to explore.
Woolgoolga back beach, on the south side of Woolgoolga headland, is Dael’s personal favourite as it is dog friendly, meaning an afternoon with her mates and dog enjoying the beach and surf. This beach is another great spot for fishing, watching kite surfers and whale-watching between June and October.
An afternoon spent relaxing at the beach is the perfect prelude to an evening enjoying some live music and the talents of the booming local creative arts community. A favoured venue by Dael and her friends is the Coffs Harbour Twilight Markets which feature a different artist each week along with a large variety of delicious food options to enjoy on the banks of Park Beach Creek overlooking Park Beach and Muttonbird Island.
Closer to home, Woolgoolga has its own host of live music venues, including the Seaview Tavern on River Street and Woolgoolga Brewing Co. on Willis Street, featuring a range of music events and alfresco dining options.
Where you’ll find Dael
As an active member of local Woolgoolga Boardriding Club, Dael can be found out in the surf pretty much every day that conditions permit. Having surfed in many spots outside of Australia, Dael cannot beat the feeling of surfing the local waves in her hometown. Along with Woolgoolga Back Beach, Dael can regularly be found catching a wave at Emerald Beach – another surfing gem in the Northern Beaches.
To help you choose your next beach destination, we’ve curated a guide featuring ten of the best beaches on the Coffs Coast.
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