Woolgoolga is a resort town encounted when traveling between Coffs Harbour and Grafton. Woolgoolga is not a big town, but all essential services are on offer for the visitor. Woolgoolga is that classic holiday town that has ‘unwind’ written all over it. This is a nice spot.
What is very different about Woolgoolga was it was the early centre of Sikh migration to Australia. Sikhs had migrated to New South Wales and Queensland prior to the imposition of the prohibition of non-European migration under the White Australia Policy in 1901 and many of them then led a marginalised life on the north coast of New South Wales and in southeastern Queensland. Some Sikhs began to settle in Woolgoolga during World War II, because war-time labour shortages led to a relaxation of the previous prohibition of non-European labour in the banana industry. After the war they were able to acquire leasehold and freehold banana plantations. Woolgoolga has the largest regional Sikh/Punjabi population in Australia, and they are now said to own 90% of the banana farms. When entering Woolgoola from the south the Sikh Temple is a profound entry to the town.
The area has long been a centre of banana growing in New South Wales, but this industry has declined in the face of competition from Queensland and overseas. Timbergetting and sawmilling was established in 1883. A Government Jetty was constructed in 1892 upon which tramways were laid. These led to saw mills in the town which in turn were connected by light railway to the Jesse Simpson Range forest areas.