While there is plenty to visit in our sunny home state of Queensland, we would be crazy not to explore the gorgeous Northern NSW region just a stone’s throw over the border. The weather is slightly cooler and there are plenty of beaches to go around, not to mention more national parks than you could poke a stick at! Here are five of our favourite destinations in Northern NSW.
Often overlooked by many in favour of its better-known neighbour, Byron Bay, Ballina has plenty to offer those in search of a classic coastal town without the crowds. Visit during whale watching season (June – November) for a spectacular show as the humpbacks begin their annual migration from Antarctica to warmer waters for breeding. Jump on a bicycle and explore the glorious coastline via the 25km of cycle paths around the town. Or just pull up a spot on one of the often-empty sandy beaches and watch the world go by.
This sleepy beachside community has more to offer than the wild waves that are favoured by surfers. With 11 beaches to choose from, the over-crowding of Byron will be a distant memory. For those with an eye for good food and wine, there is a burgeoning food scene of ex-city slickers who are chasing a more relaxed lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle. This laidback culture favours local and fresh produce with exceptionally tasty results.
Pronounced “yook-eye”, this small inland township deserves more than a brief look over before you tackle Mt Warning or the Three Sisters. It is a historic town with a thriving arts and crafts community that you can see for yourself along the main street or on the first Saturday of every month at the Uki Craft & Produce Market. Enjoy one of the many active attractions of the area – hiking, bushwalking, swimming, canoeing, fishing, or horse riding. This little inland town has a lot to offer!
You don’t have to travel far over the border before you strike gold – if for you, gold is seafood! Tweed has a reputation for exceptional fresh seafood, and the reputation stands for a reason. The rich volcanic soil also means the spoils of the land rival the spoils of the sea, so make sure you bring an appetite! For those with an adventurous streak, you can scuba dive or snorkel on the nearby Cook Island Aquatic Reserve, frequented by sea turtles, giant gropers, and grey nurse sharks.
This quaint seaside village is the perfect spot for a coastal weekend escape. There are plenty of activities for the whole family. Easy access to both beach and river lends itself to water-based activities, like stand up paddleboarding, swimming, fishing, boating and kayaking and more. For the landlubbers, the largely flat landscape gives room for walking, bike riding and bird watching. After you’re all walked, cycled and swimmed out, why not catch a flick or show at the Brunswick Picture Theatre? This quirky theatre got a new lease on life in 2016 after lying dormant for over 30 years and is a cultural hot spot in the sleepy town. Best of all, Brunswick Heads is only 30 minutes from the Gold Coast Airport – what are you waiting for?