Wooyung Nature Reserve is a secluded coastal reserve close to Byron Bay offering a peaceful retreat away from the crowds. You’ll find a long stretch of deserted golden beach fringed by littoral rainforest and coastal wetlands. And best of all, you’ll probably have it all to yourself.
‘Wooyung’ means ‘slow’ in the local Bundjalung language, reflecting both the significance of this place to Aboriginal people and the tranquility it brings to visitors.
Take a moment to slow down, breathe in the fresh ocean air and watch the ebb and flow of the waves crashing on Mooball Beach. https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/wooyung-nature-reserve
Wooyung Beach is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. The sunrise was amazing with the sky reflected in the water and then in the wash left by the waves as they receded. The colors filled the sky and reflected back in the water and wash..
The site has been mired in controversy since Tweed Council approved the massive development in 1988 without informing the public, eventually attracting the attention of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
In its landmark investigation into north coast land deals, the ICAC found evidence to suggest the original developer, Elm-n-Ash Pty Ltd, and a former Tweed councillor, were involved in corrupt conduct.
The then developer planned to build a canal-style estate on the land similar to Gold Coast ones, but the land was onsold, with the approval for the 500-resort in place.
The land was later sold to another developer, a Gold Coast lifestyle guru who several years ago was jailed for defrauding investors in a failed attempt to develop the Wooyung property, then touted as a resort project called ‘Water at Wooyung’.
He had acquired the site in 2004 with the help of vendor finance, later selling it to Samtay Pty Ltd for an $800,000 loss, according to industry regulator ASIC.
Samtay, which bought it for $5.5 million, struck gold in 2006 when it convinced a court that pegs driven into the ground seven years before meant that 1988 council approvals for a resort-style development, granted amid corruption claims, were still valid.
It then off-loaded the site to the present owners after the then planning minister rejected the grandiose plans, which included an artificial lake and the resort units on three man-made islands surrounded by a golf course on an acid sulphate-contaminated flood plain.
Samtay more than tripled its profits in 2007 with a $17 million sale to Wooyung Properties, owned by a syndicate including hotel ‘pokies king’ Bruce Mathieson and leading race horse breeder Jonathon Muntz.
The company took legal action against Tweed council some years ago for continuing to block similar plans for the property, but discontinued their action without notice before the new 25-lot plan surfaced. https://www.echo.net.au/2014/10/wooyung-developer-wants-luxury-housing-instead-resort/