SICW: Moonee Beach to Park Beach

This section of the walk is great for families with the Moonee Beach Reserve offer plenty of recreational facilities and leading up over to Green Buff Headland is a littoral rainforest walk along with amazing views of South Solitary Island. Sapphire Beach is a great surfing spot and has a large kids playground. Further on there’s a rainforest walk, rich with birdlife on the way to Korora Beach and the Solitary Island Aquarium.

Moonee Beach, Green Bluff Headland, Sapphire Beach, Korora Beach, Charlesworth Bay, Macauleys Headland, Park Beach

Moonee Reserve estuary offers so much you can easily spend the whole day paddling, kayaking or canoeing in Moonee Creek. Tranquil and tree-lined, the creek offers a way to explore the southern section of the park. Pack a picnic lunch and fishing rods for catching bream and flathead. Bring along your binoculars for birdwatching – the wildlife is plentiful. The kids can swim, lilo, or wade through the shallows, and, if you check the tides, it can be a very easy trip on the gentle current. 

The Moonee Beach Nature Reserve area is of great significance to the local Gumbaynggir people with evidence of their campsites, ceremonial sites and axe-making remaining. It’s a great spot to do some birdwatching, especially in spring. 80 bird species are known, including 10 endangered species like the sooty and pied oyster-catchers. You can hire a kayak or stand up paddleboard to fully enjoy the estuary.  

Follow the signs across the bridge heading to Green Bluff Headland and stroll through the littoral rainforest, coastal she-oak and banksia woodland.  While the tracks are well maintained and easy to follow, wandering through the trees, palms and ferns can feel a world away from the beach you’ve just left behind. Then make our way back out onto the beach and continue our journey down the coast. Enjoy the scenery at Sapphire Beach and take a seat at the South Solitary Island viewing platform. 

The island is about 18 kilometres from Coffs Harbour and is one of only two lighthouse islands in New South Wales. The island’s buildings were constructed in 1880 and the light station was automated in 1975. There are a limited number of annual tours to the island but the only way to get there is by helicopter truly an unforgettable experience. 

Next make your way across White Bluff which is a popular fishing spot off the rocks and head towards Korora Beach.  Before lunch, pop in to the Solitary Islands Aquarium at Chalesworth Bay Beach – a secluded slice of paradise. If you can’t don your snorkel and flippers and dive underwater, then this is the next best thing. The aquarium is interactive and informative with lots of colourful fish, and the staff are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. 

Next door is BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort, the perfect spot for lunch at Casay on the Beach. The food is delicious with stunning views overlooking Diggers Beach.   Next up is the steep stairs that take you over to Macauleys Headland and then your on the straight to Park Beach and time to have a hot shower and rest in  your modern villa at Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park.

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