The Solitary Islands Coastal Walk offers beaches, rainforest, headlands, creek crossings, and seaside towns for a coffee or ice cream. Enjoy the sound of the waves, watch the shore birds gather while larger birds of prey hover overhead, keep a lookout for dolphins and whales in season, and admire the seashells at your feet. There are aboriginal fish traps, shipwrecks, and a heritage timber jetty.
The Solitary Islands Coastal Walk is very adaptable, you can chop it up how you like, and walk anything from a short 2km stroll between two headlands, to the full 60km from Red Rock to Sawtell over four days. You can stay overnight along the way in campsites, or base yourself at one resort. Use this guide to help plan your walk.
Solitary Island Coastal Walk – short walks
Just want to do a short coastal walk along the Solitary Islands coast with the family? Try one of these, or do one of the day walks below
- Red Rock geological tour – exploring the interesting rocks on the headland and
- Woolgoolga Headland and Rockpools – sealife and views
- Look at me now and Dammerals – wildlife, views, history and more
- Muttonbird Island and Jetty – two short walks with lovely views, wildlife, and coffee!
- Boambee Dunes – exploring the dunes and the long beach
Solitary Island Coastal Walk over four days
The full four days is a great choice for those new to multi-day walking and for families, as you can stay and eat along the way and only need a light pack with essentials such as water, lunch and snacks, first aid. Here is our suggested four day walk, follow the links for a GPX track and more details.
17km, 4-5 hours. Highlights include Red Rock, Arrarawarra fish traps, Buster shipwreck. Maybe you’ll see whales?
15km. 4-5 hours. Highlights include Woolgoolga Headland, Look at Me Now and Dammerals History walk, and Moonee Creek crossing. Lots of shorebirds on these beaches, and maybe you’ll spy an osprey soaring on thermals high above Moonee Beach
13km, 3-4 hours. Highlights include a low tide dash around Campbells Headland, the views from Diggers Headland, Jetty. Lookout for surfers!
13km, 3-4 hours. Highlights include beautiful Boambee Creek, and the beaches to Sawtell headland. Celebrate your walk at a restaurant on pretty First Ave!
Solitary Island Coastal Walk for trail runners
For a challenge, see if you can completed the walk in a day, and beat local trail runners Keelan and Dan who hold the Fastest Known Time of 5h45min!
- Along the way, these campsites are convenient for a four day walk: Red Rock, Woolgoolga, Moonee Beach, Park Beach, Sawtell.
- Coffs Coast tourism information can help with choosing other accommodation if campsites are not your thing.
- If you are just doing a short walk, consider an walking out and back to your car to simplify transport logistics.
- If you are walking one way with family or friends, a car shuffle can help with logistics. Consider walking in opposite directions to your friends and swap car keys when you meet up half way. Or perhaps get a non-walking family member or friend to drop you off or pick you up. Parking is available at all the key walk section start and finish points.
- Leave your car at your end point and phone a friendly cabbie on 131 008 to take you to your starting point. Having the car at the finish line means you don’t need to wait when you are tired.
- Solitary Islands Coastal Walking Tours can help with your transport logistics and transfer your luggage.
- Use the TransportNSW website, maybe you can find a convenient local bus. Woopi Connect offer on demand bus transport between Woolgoolga and various other locations north to Corindi and Red Rock. Leave you car at your destination, eg Woolgoolga, and get use the bus to take you to the start of your walk.
Coffee, ice creams and food options
- Red Rock has a general store with ice creams, coffee and some other supplies.
- Corindi has a cafe and a pub if you leave the beach and walk into the village.
- Mullaway has a general store and coffee shop.
- Woolgoolga has many restaurants, pubs and coffee shops, as well as a large Woolworths supermarket a few blocks away from the beach.
- Sandy Beach has a cafe and coffee shop not far from the beach.
- Emerald Beach has a couple of restaurants and a general store.
- Moonee Beach has a Coles supermarket, restaurants, takeaways and pub a few blocks from the beach, at Moonee Market.
- There are mobile coffee carts at Hills Beach, Diggers Beach and the northern end of Park Beach.
- There are restaurants at Opal Cove Resort (Hills Beach), Pacific Bay Resort (Charlesworth Bay) and Aanuka (Diggers Beach).
- One street back from Park Beach, you can find some cafes and a pub. A few blocks inland is a large shopping centre Park Beach Plaza with two supermarkets.
- Jetty has many restaurants, pubs and coffee shops at either the marina or the Jetty shopping strip, as well as an IGA supermarket in the Jetty Village.
- Boambee Creek Reserve has a small kiosk.
- Sawtell has many choices of restaurants, pubs and coffee shops. Celebrate finishing the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk!
Tips for a successful walk (or run)
- Check the weather and tides at BOM before you go.
- The walk is easiest at low tide, as this makes the sand firmer and Moonee Creek crossing easier, as well as the headland at Campbells beach.
- Walk north to south, so that the sun is behind you, and the cooling breeze is on your face.
- The walk is well signposted, look for the blue lighthouse symbol. Download our GPX track and use it with an app such as GaiaGPS or AllTrails to track your progress.
- There is Telstra 4G, Optus 4G and Vodafone 4G coverage on the whole walk, according to the coverage maps of these providers.
- There are toilets and water is available at various points along the walk.
- If you are taking a dog, check which beaches allow dogs, and keep them on a leash so they do not disturb shorebirds.
National Parks website has more information on the 60km Solitary Islands Coastal walk.
Love coastal walking?
Have you walked Solitary Islands Coastal Walk and want more?
Head north and try the 65km four day Yuraygir Coastal Walk from Yamba south to Red Rock.
Or cross Bonville Creek and keep walking south, starting with Sawtell to Tuckers Rocks