Brunswick Heads

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 was chosen as the idyllic setting for the 2019 reboot of the popular Aussie TV series SeaChange. Look out for kids jumping into the river that dissects the town and surfers offshore chasing legendary waves.

Canoeing on Brunswick River - Brunswick Heads

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.

Fleet at Brunswick Heads in Byron Bay, North Coast

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.

Ballina Airport

Flying into Ballina Airport

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is located 5km from Ballina’s town centre and 35km from Byron Bay. Use the shuttle bus or taxi services available at the terminal to make the short trip to these coastal destinations. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace.

QantasJetstar and Virgin Australia operate daily direct flights between Sydney and Ballina Byron Airport. Regional Express flies to Sydney two days a week and Fly Pelican flies direct to Newcastle six times a week. Jetstar also operates daily direct flights to Melbourne.

Things to Do and Places to Stay