Brunswick Heads is a quaint little seaside town boasting stunning beaches and a spectacular river. Locally referred to as Brunswick or even ‘Bruns’, Brunswick Heads is located on the North Coast of NSW 18 km or about 20 minutes drive north of Byron Bay.
Originally inhabited by Aboriginal people from the tribe known as Dur-ung-bil, which was part of the larger Midjungbal tribe. The Brunswick River (known as Durrumbil) including the surrounding wetlands, saltmarsh and coastline were a significant place for the Bunjalong nation. The area was important for ceremonies and trade.
The Brunswick River was initially chartered by Captain Rous in 1828 but it wasn’t until 20 years later that the town would be inhabited by cedar cutters. After a short period of decline in the 1890’s the town soon picked up and became a very popular destination for holidaymakers. And it remains so today.
A very pretty town with a trio of gorgeous natural attractions, The Brunswick River, Torakina Beach and Park and Brunswick Heads Main Beach. There really is someththing for everyone.
A wonderful place for families with children of all ages, from littlies to teenagers. There are two riverside playgrounds in town including Banner Park located opposite the Brunswick Hotel. Both parks have picnic facilities and public toilets.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining, including hip cafes like The Footbridge, quintessential fish and chips from Starfish and world-class cuisine at Fleet Restaurant. After a great meal you can easily meander through the town, which is very flat so perfectly suited to strollers and wheelchairs.
The town centre offers a range of shopping options including boutique style stores like Fabulous Mrs.Fox and Lazybones and local arts and crafts from Mina Mina Art Gallery. You will also find all the convenience stores like chemists, a health food store, bakery and a well-stocked local IGA supermarket.
Brunswick Heads Accommodation
As one of the first holiday destination in the region, Brunswick Heads offers a variety of places to stay; caravan parks, riverfront cabins, retro motels and holiday rentals to suit all budgets.
Festivals and Events in Brunswick Heads
A fun and active event and a super way to raise money for charity. The Mullum2Bruns Paddle is held annually on the Brunswick River. The paddle begins at Heritage Park in Mullumbimby and finished at the Terrace Park in Brunswick Heads. That’s a distance of around 10km.
Old and Gold Festival
Old and Gold is a collectable and second hand fair held in June each year. It is very popular with locals and visitors and is growing as each year progresses. Apart from hunting for that special piece of treasure you can also enjoy music, environmental demonstrations, horse and carriage rides, amazing food, fundraising bbqs, the Lucky Penny prize wheel at the Memorial Hall entry, Devonshire teas at the CWA, plus some fantastic raffles at the Indoor Collectables Fair. Great family fun all day long.
Byron2Bruns Beach Run
The Byron2Bruns Beach Run is a 10km run from Belongil Creek (just north of Byron Bay) to the Brunswick Surf Life Saving Club in Brunswick Heads, NSW. This is a charity event and the main annual fund raising event for The Brunswick Surf Life Saving Club. Shuttle buses available to the start line and the addition of the new 5km run encourages people with different levels of fitness to get involved. A worthy cause and a wonderful healthy day out in the winter sunshine.
Brunswick Valley Woodchop and Festival of Fish n Chips
The Brunswick Valley Woodchop Festival has a long history going back to 1961. Held in January each year the Festival encompasses the Festival Fish n Chips, traditional carnival, fireworks display and the woodchop program that draws competitors from the USA and New Zealand. This is a beautiful and festive time of the year to visit Brunswick.
Back to Brunswick Hot Rod Run
Get your engine revving for the awesome spectacle of gorgeous cars and laid back fun that is the Back to Brunswick Hot Rod Run. The run has been an annual event in Brunswick for the past 10 years and continues to be enjoyed by participants and spectators alike. The run takes place in mid July and includes two cruise to lunch events, show and shine display, trophies, live music and fireworks.
Twilight Christmas Celebrations
A magical evening of markets by the river and shopping in town held in mid December each year. A wonderful event for young and old where you can soak up some Christmas cheer and spend quality time with family and friends. Buy some local gifts and enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants in Brunswick.
Attractions in Brunswick Heads
Brunswick Heads Main Beach
A great beach for long walks, swimming, surfing and fishing. The beach curves to the south towards Byron Bay and is 10.5 km long.
Fisherman can be seen throwing in a line from the break wall. The river is fished for flathead, whiting and bream, while you are able to catch tailor, bream, whiting and mulloway from the beach.
If you hear a local surfer talking about the ‘Bruns Bar’ they are referring to Main Beach Brunswick Heads. The best waves can be found near the south entrance wall, and on the reef just north of the walls.
Main Beach is patrolled in the summer. For exact dates see Byron Shire Council’s Surf Life Saving information.
The Brunswick SLSC is responsible for patrolling the area on weekends and public holidays from September to April each year. You can find more information about when the beach is patrolled and beach safety guidelines for Main Beach at www.beachsafe.org.au.
Amenities are located near the Surf Club and include ample parking, grassy areas, picnic tables and toilets.
The beach offers an off-leash exercise area for dogs south of the Surf Club. For exact location check Byron Shire Council’s Off-Leash Exercise Areas.
Located on South Beach Road Torakina Beach is an idyllic curve of beach sheltered by the two break walls at the mouth of the Brunswick River. A perfect spot for children to swim and play in the sand, Torakina is much loved by parents. Behind the beach you will find Torakina Parklands, a large grassy expanse dotted with picnic tables. Other amenities include a tap, shower, toilets and car park. Torakina Beach is not patrolled.
Beach Wheelchair Hire
The Brunswick Valley Community Centre manages hire of the beach wheelchair in Brunswick Heads. Loan of the chair must be arranged by telephone at least 24 hours in advance. Call Brunswick Valley Community Centre on 02 6685 1498. On weekends and public holidays call the Brunswick Heads SLSC (Summer season and when on duty) on 02 6685 1273. If no answer phone Craig on 0414 842 783.
A gorgeous historic hotel that stands proudly in the centre of town opposite the beautiful Brunswick River. A treasured favourite of locals and visitors with friendly staff, great food and brilliant live entertainment, the perfect stop for lunch or dinner or a weekend away. Sit back and relax, enjoy all that Hotel Brunswick has to offer.
Brunswick Picture House
A truly unique entertainment venue The Brunswick Picture House was lovingly restored in 2016. It now hosts an array of film, circus, cabaret, music and family-friendly entertainment. A wonderfully creative enterprise it is a must visit next time you are in Brunswick.
There are plenty of ways to experience the stunning Brunswick River. Choose from a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, motorboat or BBQ boat. Or keep it simple and take a cool dip in the crystal clear water or a stroll across the footbridge.
Brunswick Heads Fairy Trail
How sweet and so much fun for the little ones. See if you can find all the hidden fairies, to help you on your way pick up a map from the Visitors Centre.
Brunswick Heads Bowling Club
Located on the edge of town. The club has all the latest facilities you’d expect from a modern social and sporting club and function centre. The clubhouse is situated to enjoy picturesque vista of the excellent greens and natural bush setting.
Brunswick Heads Skate Park
At 465m2, it has a fantastic bowl with a shallow end at 1500mm deep and a deep end of 1800mm and 2400mm radius’s. The park also has banks, ledges and rails. It’s located on the south side of Brunswick Heads on the Old Pacific Highway next to the Bowling Club.
Brunswick Heads Visitors Centre
A self-funded, non-profit volunteer based organisation. Located at 7 Park Street, it provides up to date information for visitors and locals, and the staff are only too happy to help with all your enquiries. Visit them online at www.brunswickheads.org.au.
Facts and Figures
Name origin: Captain Rous named the Brunswick River after Queen Caroline of Brunswick in 1828
Climate: Warm and temperate. Average of 19.8 C
Nearby towns: Mullumbimby, Ocean Shores, New Brighton, Billinudgel
Distance from Byron Bay: 18 km or about 20 minutes drive from Byron Bay.
Nightlife: Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Picture House, Brunswick Heads Bowling Club
Schools, preschools, and day care centres: Brunswick Heads Public School, Lilly Pilly Community Pre-school
Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ’s
Are the beaches in Brunswick Heads patrolled?
The Brunswick SLSC is responsible for patrolling the area from the Belongil Creek mouth in the south to the surf beaches of New Brighton and South Golden Beach to the north on weekends and public holidays from September to April each year. For exact dates you can contact Byron Shire Council.
Where are the Brunswick Heads Markets?
The first Saturday of every month in Memorial Park, 11 Fawcett St.
Where is Torakina Beach?
Once you are in town follow South Beach Rd over the bridge and Torakina car park is directly to your left.
Where is Brunswick Heads in NSW?
It’s located in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
Where is Brunswick Heads in Australia?
It’s a coastal town on the far north coast of NSW in Australia.
Where to eat in Brunswick Heads?
There is a variety of culinary options including The Hotel Brunswick (pub food) Footbridge Café (unique Café style menu), Sticky Fingers (pizza) and the award winning Fleet Restaurant (fine dining).
What is Brunswick Heads known for?
It’s great natural beauty, small town ambiance and family friendly attractions and facilities.
What is Brunswick Heads like?
It’s a very friendly and relaxing town with a lot to offer. Torakina Beach and the Brunswick River are very special natural attractions that are well suited to all ages. Parks, cafes, cute shops and stunning beaches make Brunswick Heads a great place to visit for the day or longer and it is a very popular holiday destination.
What is the origin of the name Brunswick Heads?
Captain Rous named the Brunswick River after Queen Caroline of Brunswick in 1828.
What to do in Brunswick Heads?
A great day out would have to start with a morning swim in the river or the beach followed by a delicious breakfast at one of the Cafes in town. Once completely nourished how about a spot of shopping before lunch at the pub. Now it might be time for a relaxing rest by the sparkling river, some fun with the kids at the park or beach, a spot of fishing or a leisurely kayak down the river. As the sun begins to set why not treat yourself to a world-class meal at Fleet Restaurant or a fun night out at The Brunswick Picture House before retiring to your comfortable bed.
How far is Brunswick Heads from Brisbane?
149.7km or 1 hr and 35 minutes drive from Brisbane.
How far is Brunswick Heads from Byron Bay?
18 km or about 20 minutes drive