It’s a long way to the top, Day 13 – Woody Head

Day 13 Wednesday June 18th 2014 Urunga to Iluka

It’s a bright clear morning as we pass banana and blueberry farms. By 10:00am it’s a pleasant 22 degrees. We investigate the little town of Corindi Beach. At Ulmarra the crops suddenly turn to cane (I don’t know why but this always excites me). We have the wide Clarence River on our left and on our right, fields of cane as high as the eaves of the houses.

At Iluka, which is opposite Yamba at the mouth of the Clarence, we choose to stay at the Woody Head campground in the Bundjalung National Park. The campground is in a sheltered basin overlooking the ocean and surrounded by World Heritage rain forest. We set up on a large level site and have lunch with a wild turkey and a couple of old ducks. There are a lot of people camped here but it is incredibly quiet, except for the screeching of the lorikeets and the pounding of the surf.

Driving into Iluka is a surprise, there is a new estate but mostly the rest of the town is more of an unspoilt beach shack town that appears to have ignored any thought of town planning. There are asbestos shacks, old blocks of holiday flats and the worst looking pub ever and I thought we’d seen some doozies over the years. We thought it was closed down until we saw the chalkboard advertising tonight’s State of Origin match. We’re not even tempted to go in.

Now there’s a surprise
Prawn trawlers at Iluka

Back at camp we enjoy the solitude and the beach. Brush turkeys race about looking busy. A kangaroo and her joey graze on the lawn beside the beach. Sea birds nest on the rocks and we can hear whip birds in the forest. The sunset illuminates threatening storm clouds to the south but in the end we only get a few drops of rain. I return from the beach to find that Woody has lit a fire in our little fireplace. I pour a drink and recover from the shock, this is a first. He’ll be roping and branding cattle by the time we reach the Gulf!

We doze in the warmth of the fire, the camp looks like fairyland with twinkling firelights amongst the trees.

Travelling Kms: 171Kms

Kangaroos graze at Woody Head
Storm clouds over Woody Head

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