Woodburn is a small crossroads town that is encounted when traveling from Maclean to Ballina. The turn-off to Evans Head is also at Woodburn. Woodburn is pretty much a strip town that has most essential services. Lismore is a short distance to the west of the town.
Prior to the arrival of European settlers in the 1840s, the Woodburn area - known as Maniworkan to the Indigenous inhabitants - was the home of the Bundjalung people. Woodburn was an important river port until the decline in river transportation along the Richmond led to a decline in the town's own fortunes. Today, the income associated with the town's position on one of Australia's major highways is important to the local economy, as are the fields of sugar cane surrounding the town. The tourist resort of Evans Head is 10 km south-east of Woodburn.