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Solitary Islands

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Solitary Islands Marine Park, near Coffs Harbour, covers 71,000 hectares and stretches from Muttonbird Island to the south to Plover Island to the north. It gives protection to marine species and habitats and caters to a range of recreational and commercial activities.

The area supports commercial and recreational fishing, diving, whale and dolphin watching, research, boating, surfing and beach activities. Secluded beaches and rocky headlands, bushwalking, bike riding and four-wheel driving on the beach or forest tracks are all popular activities.

Solitary Islands Marine Park has five islands, several significant rocky outcrops, submerged reefs, estuary and beach zones.

Wooli is a resort town on the New South Wales coast. At Lake Hiawatha the road divides — the northern road heads to Minnie Waters and the southern to Wooli on a narrow peninsula. The Wooli River is to the west and Solitary Island Marine Reserve is to the east. It is all surrounded by Yuraygir National Park, which stretches from Yamba to Red Rock. Thanks to no industry and low development, the area's waters are remarkably clear.

Solitary Island Resort offers a break in a place where there is no rush hour and the noisiest neighbours are the birds. There are cabins, some with private spa, powered caravan sites and non-powered camping sites near the river, pool and waterslide, private boat ramp, 18-hole mini golf, covered barbecue area and canoes and kayaks for hire.

Poolside Villas and Family Cabins have two bedrooms and are air-conditioned. They have a kitchen, verandah, cable television and linen is provided. Park Cabins range from fully equipped ensuite, double or queen bed and a set of single bunks. Caravan and camping sites are extra special at sunset, and you can take your family pet along with you.

There is a café overlooking the river, a Sunday afternoon barbecue at the pub in town, and during school holidays the Kidz Club welcomes 5-12 year olds — a sausage sizzle is provided.

Jetty Dive Centre offers diving, snorkelling and whale watching trips in the Solitary Islands. There is a wonderful blend of tropical and temperate fish and corals found nowhere else, and protected by sanctuary zones. Their charter boat Blue Wing is a 12-metre Cougar Cat with twin diesel engines. It has toilet, shower, large cabin and undercover cockpit. It comfortably carries 18 passengers and has easy-access twin dive ladders.

If you fancy exploring this wonderful area under your own steam, Wooli River Boat Hire offers half and full-day self-drive trips for up to 12 people.

Location

600km north of Sydney.

Cost


Jetty Dive Centre has four hour Double Dive Trips for $95 per person. Lunch is included.

Wooli River Boat Hire four hour self-drive trips are $140. Full day trips are available by appointment.

Virgin Blue has flights to Coffs Harbour with limited seats, which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one-way on the Net. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at June 15, 2006 and are subject to change.

One-way fare from;
  • Sydney, $85
  • Brisbane, $129
  • Melbourne, $159
  • Adelaide, $225
  • Perth, $295

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

For further information



Solitary Island Marine Park Resort
383 North Street
Wooli 2462
Ph: 1800 003 031 02 6649 7519
Fax: (02) 6649 7910
Website: www.solitaryislandsresort.com.au

Jetty Dive
398 Harbour Drive
Coffs Harbour 2450
Ph: (02) 6651 1611
Fax: (02) 6652 5702
Website: www.jettydive.com.au
E-mail: dive@jettydive.com.au

Wooli River Boat Hire and Echo Tours
Riverside Drive
Wooli 2462
Ph: (02) 6649 7814
Website: www.wooliriverboathire.com.au
E-mail: wooliboathire@austarnet.com.au

Tourism NSW
Website: www.visitnsw.com.au

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