Wooyung Nature Reserve is is located on the far north coast of NSW between Pottsville to the north and the locality of Wooyung to the south.
The reserve consists of 87 hectares of coastal land bisected by the Tweed Coast Road. Mooball Creek constitutes the reserve’s western boundary, while the eastern boundary is the mean low water mark of the South Pacific Ocean along approximately 2.5km of Mooball Beach and Wooyung Beach.
The reserve was gazetted as a nature reserve on 1st January 1999, and named as Wooyung Nature Reserve due to its proximity to the township of Wooyung as well as the part inclusion of Wooyung Beach within the boundaries of the reserve.
The name ‘Wooyung’ is a Bundjalung word meaning ‘slow’. https://www.bigvolcano.com.au/stories/wooyung/index.html
I was unable to find accommodation at Murwillumbah after not being able to get to the camp ground at Numinbah so went to the Information Centre who directed me to Wooyung. I booked 2 nights and stayed three and even though the weather was rain, the beach was amazing. You could see for miles and miles either direction with uninterrupted pristine views and mostly I was the only person on the beach.
For thousands of years Wooyung was a party place for Australia’s original inhabitants. Nature supplied a bounteous feast of fish, pippies, roots, nuts and fruit in this spot, so the Aborigines built a Bora Ring in the wetlands and congregated here regularly to perform ceremonies and partake of nature’s bounty.
In 1849 the schooner Swift, en route from Brisbane to Sydney, encountered a fierce cyclone off Cape Byron. The ship capsized and was carried north by the current and finally cast ashore just north of the present New Brighton. After the cyclone abated timber getters John Boyd and Steve King examined the upturned hull. Cutting the hull with their axes, the two pioneers released ship’s Captain Robb and a passenger who had been trapped in an air pocket inside. Captain Robb’s descendants still live in the district. https://www.bigvolcano.com.au/stories/wooyung/index.html
In 1935 men were looking for gold on the beach. Along with the gold were black mineral sands, rutile and zircon, traces of which can be still be seen as crumbly black rocks on Wooyung Beach.
One of the early sandminers, Arthur George Stevens, built himself a little home in 1940 from saplings and sacks on the site of the present motel.
A photo of his home hangs in the office of the present day park reception. The Stevens family ran a Sunday school for local children including their own brood of five. https://www.bigvolcano.com.au/stories/wooyung/index.html
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