Evans Head

Where the Evans River meets the Pacific Ocean, Evans Head is the quintessential Australian beach town. Days in this petite Richmond Valley destination revolve around sunshine, sand, surf and seafood. But be sure to head beyond the waves. To the north lie immense wind-sculpted sand dunes in Broadwater National Park, and to the south, almost 40 kilometres of coastal drama through Bundjalung National Park. Needless to say, the area is a paradise for all manner of wildlife.



Watery welcome 

Whether you’re chasing waterfalls, jumping on your board in search of surf or paddling around calm covers, water is a way of life in Evans Head. The mirror-like estuary that divides the town offers smooth sailing for those in kayaks and canoes or on stand-up paddleboards – the serene setting here is also ideal for swimming, with a number of beaches and parks on either bank of the river. It’s a similar story along Jerusalem Creek in Bundjalung National Park, where white-bellied sea eagles, koalas and even emus keep you company while you paddle the shady waterway.  

Jerusalem Creek, Bundjalung National Park

Jerusalem creek, Bundjalung National Park - Photo Credit: Rob Cleary

Evans Head Main Beach
 is protected from gnarly southeast swells that end in big waves along other parts of this coast, the conditions here attracting those still getting familiar with their boards. But when the wind is just right, the breakwall at the river’s mouth can create epic waves.  

Just north, the five-kilometre-long Airforce Beach draws outdoor enthusiasts of a different kind, with 4WD enthusiasts enjoying off-road encounters sharing the beach (uneasily perhaps) with horse riders and avid anglers. The fishing here is legendary, with locals pioneering the Australian prawn industry – head to the Evans Head Fish Co-Op near the marina to pick up ocean-fresh seafood. Pro tip: The fish and chips sold here are worth queuing for.  

Fisherman and a ute on the beach at Airforce Beach, Evans Head

Airforce Beach, Evans Head - Credit: Airforce Beach

When nature calls 

You don’t have to travel far from the sand to find yourself surrounded by national parkland, both Broadwater and Bundjalung delivering scenic walking trails, freshwater lagoons, sprawling wetlands and abundant wildlife; keep an eye out for koalas in the treetops on the Gummigurrah walking track, a 3.3-kilometre circuit in the latter. 

Enjoy unbroken views along the coast from Razorback Lookout and Goanna Headland, which hold a deep spiritual connection to the local Aboriginal community. You can spot humpback and other whales from both vantages during their annual migration, and pods of dolphins frolic in the waves year-round. 

Goanna Headland in Evans Head, Lismore Area

Goanna Headland, Evans Head - Credit: Goanna Headland

Step back in time 

It’s a little-known fact that the Evans Head heritage-listed aerodrome was one of the largest Royal Australian Air Force training bases during World War II, with more than 5,000 personnel based here. History buffs will want to peruse the well-maintained collection of military aircraft in the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Museum (you can even take the driver’s seat in a F-111 fighter bomber) before discovering more WWII memorabilia at the Evans Head Living Museum

Aerial view of Evans Head Living Museum and river, Evans Head

Evans Head Living Museum, Evans Head - Credit: MJ Visual Media

Events & activities 

The area’s immense seafood bounty is celebrated at the Evans Head Fishing Classic, a tournament held every winter school holidays, attracting anglers of all ages and experience levels. Check out the events calendar for more entertainment. 

Micro salad products at Evans Head Farmers Markets, Evans Head

Evans Head Farmers Markets, Evans Head - Credit: Evans Head Farmers Markets

Getting there & where to stay

It’s a scenic eight-hour drive north from Sydney to Evans Head, or a 2.5-hour commute south from Brisbane. If you prefer someone else to navigate, catch the train to the nearby town of Casino and connect via bus, around 13 hours total. Or fly into Ballina Byron Gateway Airport or Lismore Regional Airport, both just 40 minutes away. Evans Head offers places to stay to suit all budgets, from national park campgrounds to beachside holiday parks, motels and a hotel. 


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