Uncover a hidden treasure in our backyard - Minnie Waters
IF Yamba is considered the jewel of the Clarence, perhaps you could call Minnie Water the hidden treasure.
What then does that leave for the gorgeous, and even more secret, village of Sandon just up the beach from Minnie?
Whatever adjective you wish to give Minnie Water, anyone who has spent some time there will testify to its stunning natural beauty, its accessible and relatively safe beaches and its hamlet charm.
Completely surrounded by the Yuraygir National Park, Minnie has a residential population of 200, according to the Clarence Valley Council website.
But you wouldn't know in summer when those in the know, many of them from Grafton and every- where in between, pack up their boards in the car and head for the waves.
Fishermen enjoy great spots from beaches and rocks in the area and boaties can launch their boats directly into the ocean just south of the main beach - a 4WD is needed for this spot.
Surfers are spoilt for choice at Minnie, with "flatrock" to the north offering a reliable reef break in east to south-east swell with an offshore wind.
Flatrock is accessible through the National Parks and Wildlife Service's Illaroo Camping Ground.
But there is also Main Beach and Back Beach to the south to suit different conditions.
Although rainfall has been sparse of late, in wet periods a hidden natural freshwater shower, or waterfall exists in the scrub on Back Beach, making a perfect spot even more sublime.
If that's not a picture of a true surfer's paradise, Digger Camp (Wilson's Headland) and Wooli are just a short drive.
Clarence River Tourism extols the beauty of Minnie when the christmas bells and flannel flowers bloom in the surrounding park- lands. Over 120 species of wildflower have been identified in the area.
There are two short but picturesque walks in the national park - Angophora Grove Walk and Rocky Point Walk. The rock platforms extending seawards to Rocky Point offer hours of entertainment for those who enjoy examining marine life in tidal pools and rock crevices. Sea urchins, star fish, cunjevoi, coral and a variety of sponges and shells may be found in this area.
Minnie Lagoon is a very popular and beautiful spot for swimming, picnics and safe boat launchings. To find this spot, turn into Hiawatha Rd, then left at Pipers Hill following the Waratah Reserve along to the Tree of Knowledge Lookout where there is a steep sealed road down to the lagoon.
If you want to enjoy the tranquil coastal charm of Minnie Water, there is a caravan park at the entrance to the village, holiday units available or the Illaroo camp ground mentioned earlier.