Things To Do

Make Tracks Across The Border And Adventure Along The Northern NSW Coast

By Sophie Oddo
19th Oct 2020

Bird's eye view over a turquoise waves and sandy beach.

If you told us a mere 12 months ago we’d be relishing in something called a ‘border bubble’ we would have probably thought you were mad. But, here we are in 2020 rejoicing at the newfound opportunity to head south to our friendly neighbours in northern New South Wales for a sun-soaked beachside holiday. 

So, to celebrate the border bubble and our newfound freedom, we’re rounding up all the very best places to visit along the northern New South Wales Coast with some help from our friends at Reflections Holiday Parks

Ballina

This river and beachside town, is packed with loads of things to do, see and eat. If you’re keen to check out the beaches, Lighthouse Beach or Shelly Beach is great for swimming and relaxing, with sandy open stretches, giant surf breaks and quiet coves. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, make sure to pay a visit to The Belle General which serves up fresh and wholesome breakfast and lunch, The Point for a delicious meal with a waterfront view, and Wharf Bar and Restaurant for a decent seafood feed (hot tip: indulge in the shared seafood platter).

If you want to learn how to surf or get active with some water sports, you can learn to surf with Kool Katz or try your skills at Kayaking. However, if sitting back and taking in the sights is more your style, you can hit up an ocean and river cruise to check out whales, dolphins and other majestic marine life. For effortless accommodation that won’t break the bank, Reflections Holiday Parks Ballina is perfectly situated in the centre of it all, with both fully-equipped cabins and powered sites for avid camp goers. If you’ve got your furry friend in tow, Reflections Holiday Parks Shaws Bay is the perfect getaway for the whole crew with a stunning waterfront location. It’s a win-win for you and your pooch. 

Byron Bay

Perhaps one of the most iconic beach destinations in New South Wales and Australia is Byron Bay. Loved by locals, visitors from around Australia and tourists en masse, it’s easy to see why this beach town is so widely loved. When it comes to tucking into a decent feed and a drink, hit up The Farm Byron Bay for delicious paddock to plate-style eating, The Mez Club for Mediterranean-style cantina and cocktails, The Beach Hotel for the ultimate Sunday sesh and The Balcony Bar and Oyster Co. for a Hamptons-inspired dining experience with a menu full of delicious feeds. If you're after Byron’s best brekkie, make a beeline for The Byron General Store filled with organic and healthy treats, Combi for an elite acai bowl and Treehouse on Belongil for a tranquil dining experience. 

Other must-do experiences include the Stone & Wood Brewery (perfect for any beer enthusiast) while Cape Byron Distillery is the ultimate experience for gin, whisky and liqueur lovers. For those wanting to err on the fitspo side of life, make sure to conquer the lighthouse walk or enjoy a swim and a picnic at the stunning Watego’s beach. After all that exploring, eating and drinking, you’ll need to make sure you can retreat to the perfect accommodation (without spending a fortune). We love to keep things comfortable and affordable at Reflections Holiday Park Clarkes Beach, located an easy 10-minute walk from the hustle and bustle of Byron Bay. This lush paradise also provides direct access to the beach, making it perfect for campers or those wanting to take advantage of their luxe villas.

Lennox Head

Bryon Bay is a popular spot, so if you’d prefer a few fewer people but just as much of Mother Nature’s beauty, then Lennox Head is the sleepy beach town for you, located just 25 minutes from Byron Bay. Pick your dip with stunning Boulder Beach, Seven Mile Beach and Skennars Beach all within close range and boasting crystal clear waters and plenty of soft sand to lounge on. There is an abundance of pristine bodies of water around Lennox, but our pick would be Lake Ainsworth, otherwise known as ‘Coca-Cola Lake’ by the locals where you can swim, kayak, canoe, paddleboard or settle in for a barbeque. 

With all that swimming and exploring, you'll be undoubtedly famished, but the good news is, there’s plenty of cute nooks to dine in. Shelter is one of our favourites, serving up delicious seafood in a homely setting, while Quattro has us drooling over their unbeatable Italian cuisine, in a killer beachside set up. Williams Street is your go-to for all things breakfast, serving up an unbeatable all-day breakfast menu with special mention going to Lennox Gelato Coffee Co who scoop up some of the finest handmade Italian Artisan gelato. Is there any better combo in life than a swim at the beach followed by gelato? When it comes to the best accommodation, you can’t beat Reflections Holiday Parks Lennox Head, with its central location making it an easy stroll from the cafes and conveniences of Lennox Head while still providing the ideal setting for a restorative escape. 

Brunswick Heads

Nestled between Byron Bay and the Tweed Coast is the seaside town of Brunswick Heads. From sprawling old pubs to tiny restaurants and a swag of vintage shops to wander, there’s no shortage of holiday fun here. Foodie hot spots are in abundance here but our favourites would have to be the authentic Mexican Cantina at La Casita, banging baguettes, buttery pastries, crusty sourdoughs and delicious doughnut boxes at Bruns Bakery and juicy burgers at the retro Old Maids Burger Store. And for a boujie dining experience, you can’t go past the widely acclaimed Fleet restaurant.

Once you’ve eaten your way through this coastal town, there’s still plenty to get around and see. Brunswick Picture House hosts live theatre, comedy and cabaret and even has a tranquil garden that serves cakes, coffee and a dam fine Sunday Yum Cha deal. Hotel Brunswick is another iconic destination, boasting original art deco facades and a huge beer garden — perfect for a Sunday session alongside a cold beer and live music. There’s plenty of accommodation to choose from around here, including Reflections Holiday Parks Massy Greene which is loaded with natural wonders to explore with the Brunswick River at its doorstep, close proximity to beaches, creeks, parks and reserves. There's also Reflections Holiday Park Ferry Reserve which is a waterside oasis that boasts direct access the Brunswick River, so you can paddling and splash in the river depths or head out for a fish. Last but not least, Reflections Holiday Parks Terrace Reserve, is perfect for those after convenience with everything here located just an easy walk away. This place is the ultimate seaside sanctuary, perfect for escaping the daily routine and taking a well-deserved break. Plus, there’s something for every kind of traveller and any budget range, all boasting a range of campsites and cabins ranging from standard to deluxe and even premium.

Evans Head

Prepare for total tranquillity where the river meets the sea and explore secret beaches and sandy dunes at northern New South Wales’ Evans Head. If there was ever a town that reminded us of a Home and Away set, this is it. Sparkling bays, salty hair and picturesque afternoons gobbling down chips like the seagull you are. Evans Head has it all. A hot contender for sleepiest beach town within driving distance from the Coast, Evans Head is the perfect locale for your weekend getaway, fit with waterfront camping spots bursting with serenity.

Surrounded by the national park – Broadwater to the north and Bandjalung to the south, there’s plenty of walking trails, freshwater lagoons, sprawling wetlands and thousands of birds. Make sure to tackle the Gummigurrah walking track and catch spectacular coastal views from Razorback Lookout and Goanna Headland. You might even spot humpback whales during their annual migration or pods of dolphins frolicking in the waves. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, Reflections Holiday Parks Evans Head is located centrally yet a million miles away from the hustle and bustle. Located on the crystal-clear waters of Evans River, this place is perfect for kayaking and paddling or you can fish and surf at the nearby Airforce Beach. If you’re on the hunt for a room that's a little luxurious, the Premium Villas are the ultimate indulgence located on the water’s edge and sleep anywhere from two to five people.

Pack your bags and fill up the esky because we can finally make tracks across the border to Northern NSW. With dreamy beaches that’ll make you feel like you’re in Hawaii to ‘Gram-worthy bars and accommodation found just steps from the beach—make sure you book a getaway with Reflections Holiday Parks, stat to avoid the heartbreak of missing out. 

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Reflections Holiday Parks and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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