The Solitary Islands Coastal Walk runs 60 km from Red Rock to Sawtell, mostly along the beach via Woolgoolga, Moonee Beach and Coffs Harbour. It’s best walked at low tide and from north to south so the sun is behind.
We discovered this walk in the Warwick Tourist Information in 2021 and after two aborted attempts due to COVID border closures we were ready to go. Click here for the map.
Accommodation is a problem at Moonee Beach as the caravan park has a 2 night minimum and the airBnB was not available for our dates. So we stayed 3 nights at Woolgoolga and 2 nights at Coffs Harbour using Forest Coach Lines 372 buses to transfer. It also meant we only needed to carry a light day pack.
Tuesday 15 March 2022: Red Rock to Woolgoolga
Distance: 16.8 km Time: 4:30 (including lunch break at Corindi Beach)
Ascent: 300m Descent: 310m
We left our car at Woolgoolga and took the Woopi Connect shuttle to the start of the walk at Red Rock and walked back on the outgoing tide. At high tide the beach would be under water in places.
Wednesday 16 March 2022: Woolgoolga to Moonee Beach
Distance: 15.6 km Time: 4:30 (including lunch at Emerald Beach)
Ascent: 130m Descent: 130m
We drove to Moonee Beach and caught the bus back to Woolgoolga, starting the walk at 10am so as to arrive at Moonee Creek at low tide (even at low tide the Creek crossing is waist deep). The weather was not so nice today, raining on and off and sometimes heavily.
Thursday 17 March 2022: Moonee Beach to Coffs Harbour
Distance: 12.0 km Time: 3:40 (no cafes, no stops)
Ascent: 300m Descent: 300m
With the weather looking better and rain forecast for the afternoon we left Moonee Beach at 10am, having left the car at Coffs and bussing back to Moonee. This was only about an hour after high tide which made for some difficult walking in soft sand. There’s rocky headlands to go around requiring a few kilometres of urban walking but otherwise nice beaches and bits of coastal forest trails.
Friday 18 March 2020: Coffs Harbour to Sawtell
Distance: 13.5 km Time: 3:30 (including lunch at Coffs Fishermen’s Co-op)
Ascent: 90m Descent: 90m
Today we drove to Sawtell, left the car and caught a taxi back to Coffs. High tide was at 9:30, low at 15:30 so we decided to leave Coffs at midday. It was a lovely day, sunny with a cool breeze and we managed the whole walk without getting our feet, let alone anything else, wet.