Brunswick Heads on the North Coast of NSW is the epitome of the sun-drenched fishing and surfing village lost in time. It’s little wonder the town is the idyllic setting for popular Aussie TV series Sea Change. Look out for kids jumping into the river that dissects the town and surfers offshore chasing legendary waves.
Beaches and river
You can explore the river with Byron Bay Eco Cruises and Kayaks or Go Sea Kayaks Byron Bay, both accredited ecotourism operators. The river teems with life while between May and November. Brunswick Heads is a great spot for whale watching. Look from the coast or take a tour with Blue Bay Whale Watching.
Beach and river fishing is popular here – everyone from young kids to old timers can be seen casting a line, and on lucky occasions you’ll even see dolphins swim through town. Diving and snorkelling tours of the marine park are also on offer with Blue Bay Diving, at the Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour.
Eat and drink
There are plenty of dining options, including one of NSW’s top-rated regional restaurants, the two-hat Fleet. For something more casual, Fleet’s chefs also run Mexican cantina La Casita. A meal in the beer garden of the iconic Brunswick Hotel is a must-do, or wander along the main streets to find cafes like Happy Dolphin and The Table View.
Festivals and events
To complete its reputation as NSW’s new favourite coastal haven for families, there’s a calendar of fun local festivals. The annual Fish & Chips Festival in January the biggest event in town. Despite the name, it doesn’t have much to do with food – it’s mainly a wood chopping competition with a carnival and fireworks.
In May more than 1,000 people join the Mullum2Bruns Paddle along the Brunswick River. It’s a great day out that raises funds for local charities. Hunt out some vintage treasures at the Old And Gold Festival in June or pick up local goodies at the Brunswick Heads Monthly Markets, held in the middle of town on the first Saturday of the month.
Getting there and where to stay
Brunswick Heads is an 8hr 30min drive north of Sydney and 1hr 45min south of Brisbane. You can fly into Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, half an hour away. Accommodation includes motels, serviced apartments, and holiday parks with cabins and powered sites by the beach or on the edge of the river.