Top 10 Best Things to do in Brunswick Heads
Updated: Apr 3
Whether you're staying in the beautiful little town of Brunswick Heads, or exploring around the Byron Bay area, you're sure to wonder at some stage "What are the best things to do in Brunswick Heads?". So we're here to help... Here we go with our top 10 things to do...
1. Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour (including lesson)
Whether you're a first timer or experienced paddle boarder, exploring the beautiful Brunswick River on the Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour is one of the best activities on offer in Brunswick Heads!
The tour is perfect for a wide range of ages and abilities to enjoy together, making it an excellent activity for families, couples, friends and bigger groups.
The tour starts in a very peaceful spot just outside of Brunswick Heads township, making it the perfect place for a paddle, to unplug and be surrounded only by nature.
The team at Byron Stand Up Paddle think of everything to make this an amazing experience, they literally roll out the red carpet for you to enter the water and even write blog posts just like this one to share with you, their customers and visitors to the area to help them enjoy their stay :)
Ok we may be biased because we are Byron Stand Up Paddle and this is what we do... but you don't have to take our word for it... you can read hundreds of 5 STAR reviews from our awesome customers -
"Highlight of our trip!"... "MUST-DO activity"... "Highly recommend!"...
Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour Includes:
2 hour combined introductory lesson and tour (allow 3 hours for the return trip if travelling from Byron)
Paddling adventure on the beautiful Brunswick River, part of the Cape Byron Marine Park
all equipment; big buoyant boards, paddles, leg ropes, long sleeved shirts, floating sunglasses straps, sunscreen
FREE digital photos
FREE water and homemade snacks
Daily Group Tour - $75pp
Private tour option is also available.
Start times vary due to the tides, winds and moon phase.
Send an enquiry to check start times and availability for your preferred day.
Visit the website to Find out more...
2. Brunz Fairy Trail
This town is so sweet that a whole flock of fairies have decided to make it their home as well!
You can find the free trail clues at the visitor information centre or by jumping on their Brunzfairies Facebook page.
It's fantastic to see a community get together for something so lovely. The Police Station has a little fairy police station out the front, the Fire Station has a fire engine with wings in the trees, there are houses hidden in trees and in shop fronts, the post office even has a post box with a toadstool handle that when you open is decked out like a fairy's bedroom.
Great for young ones, and the young at heart!
3. Beaches & Brunswick River
What would be a list of things to do in Brunswick Heads without mentioning the beautiful beaches and the Brunswick River.
What a spot! Torakina Beach is a spectacular little beach spot to the left of the rock wall where the river meets the ocean in Brunswick Heads. It is protected from waves most of the time so it's ideal for leisurely floating, snorkelling or hanging with the kids. There are trees surrounding this little cove to provided some shade.
Christmas Beach is on the other side of the river mouth, which you can see from Torakina Beach. It's quite spectacular to be paddling in crystal clear water while looking out to the mountains. This beach is accessed from the Ocean Shores side of the river and there is a bit of a bush walk to get from the carpark to the beach. Or you could always paddle over from Memorial Park.
River swimming spots
The river close to town is a fabulous spot for some swimming on high tide. Mind you there are rocks and oysters around the edges so getting in and out can be a little tricky. There are steps heading into the water in front of the big pirate ship. There is beach access in front of the ANZAC park and on the other side of the bridge near the Scout hall. A popular pastime for kids on high tide is to jump into the water from the bridge that cars use to cross the river.
Simpson Creek runs under the footbridge and parallel with the road into town. It's a great place for a kayaking adventure. It does get very low on low tide so be sure to always head out when there is more water around.
4. Walking Tracks & Waterfalls
If you're after more of a low impact stroll rather than a hike, here's a couple of great options in Brunswick Heads...
Out to the Rock wall
A nice little wander out to the end of the rock wall is a perfect opportunity to try your luck at spotting some playful dolphins (all year round) or whales (from June to November). You'll have the gorgeous views of Torakina Beach and the river on your left and the open beach with views to Byron on your right.
A meander through town is more than just shops. There's the rock wall to walk along the river's edge and then there's the footbridge where you can spot stingrays and fish swimming below.
If you're looking for waterfalls then you'll need to venture out of Brunswick Heads...
Killen Falls is about a 30 minute drive from Brunswick Heads.
Minyon Falls is about a 45 minute drive from Brunswick Heads.
Mount Jerusalem NP is inland from Brunswick Heads, behind Mullumbimby and has some great hikes and bush walks for the more adventurous with water holes and creeks.
Check out our post Best Things to do in Byron Bay to find out information about the best waterfalls in the area.
A fantastic way to learn Arakwal history and the significance of the area is to book in for guided Aboriginal tour hosted by local Arakwal Bunjalung woman Delta Kay, run by Explore Byron Bay. These tours take place around Cape Byron, Bangalow or Broken Head. Aunty Delta teaches some Bundjalung language as well as shares information about bush tucker and natural medicines.
Vision Walks offer a range of tours around the Byron area including a night vision walk (with night vision goggles!), a koala tour and a platypus walk.
5. Brunswick Picture House & Live Music
The Brunswick Picture House emerged in 2016, with this old theatre finally being given a new lease on life after 30 years of being out of use. It is now a landmark of this little town, adding RAZZLE DAZZLE and sparkle not just by the building itself, but with the eclectic mix of shows and performances they host - circus, cabaret, comedy, cinema and music!
The Hotel Brunswick is a great spot to catch some live music and either chill or get up for a dance! (if COVID regulations allow it). We've been lucky enough to catch The Rubens and Grinspoon here, plus some funky tunes from Electrik Lemonade with their blend of hip hop and soul, and so many more. The beer garden looks across to river and since it's all open air, you can even take the chilling to the next level and lay riverside, under the shade of the pine trees while listening to the afternoon tunes.
Brunswick Heads, like all the towns in the area, is a hub for creatives and you can find all sorts of unique items to decorate yourself or decorate your home, particularly if you love things with antique or up-cycled charm. This little town loves second-hand things, so much so they have a festival dedicated to their love of old things...
Old and Gold Festival will hopefully be on again the first weekend in June. If you love hunting for treasures at garage sales then this is where you need to be! The whole town will be full of garage sales and all things celebrating days gone by. We're talking 100+ garage sales in one place!
Clem's Cargo is a treasure trove of second-hand and antique goodies. A wander through this store is a definite must
Resould was born out of a couples love for practically anything old, with an interest in all aspects of design. These two are passionate about restoring, reusing and recycling and they have given all of their unique pieces a new life by being beautifully revived and reloved, resould.
Fabulous Mrs Fox is one fabulous store indeed! With a fabulously eclectic mix of old and new quirky items. This place is definitely worth a look. The building alone is Insta-worthy with it's front facade and street art lined wall.
Northern Rivers Trail... Want to take your love of all things second-hand and antique even further afield? Here is a Local Trail of second-hand and collectable shops in the Northern Rivers area. This list has been curated over 20 years by Heath's Old Wares and Collectables in Burringbar
Markets! Markets! Markets! Checking out the markets is definitely one of the best things to do in Brunswick Heads...
If fresh local produce is your thing (and why wouldn't it be YUM!), you can find a farmers market somewhere nearby on most days of the week...
Tuesdays - New Brighton Farmers Markets - Times: 8am - 11am (this one is nearest to Brunswick Heads)
Thursdays - Byron Bay Farmers Markets - Times: 7am to 11am
Fridays - Mullumbimby Farmers Markets - Times
Sundays - Ballina Farmers Markets - Times:7am -11am
Then there are the EVERYTHING markets and given what an eclectic mix of artsy and creative folks live in these parts they are definitely worth a look... clothes, homewares, jewellery, foods.
The monthly Brunswick Heads markets are held on the first Saturday of the month in the Memorial Park.
Not here for the first Saturday of the month, no worries. There is a rotation of markets and here is where to find the markets throughout the month.
Byron Bay markets are held on the first Sunday of every month usually at the Butler Street Reserve, but currently along the pathway near Main Beach. During January they're held more regularly along the beachfront pathway.
Channon markets are held on the second Sunday of the month at the Channon, via Lismore.
Bangalow markets are held on the 4th Sunday of the month at the Bangalow showgrounds.
Byron Twighlight Market is on every Saturday 4pm - 9pm through Spring and Summer at the Railway Park.
7. Fishing and Boating
The river is a very popular spot to throw in a line or two. You can fish from the edge along the rock walls in town or you can head out in a boat, be it yours, a friend's or one you hire in town. The river is known for whiting, bream and flathead as well as mud crabs. Closer to the river mouth you may also catch some of the bigger fish.
While I get terribly seasick and this is most definitely NOT my thing, maybe a deep sea fishing charter is YOUR thing... Drop a line to Fozies Fishing Adventures to see if they can hook you up (see what I did there...).
There are so many amazing food options in Brunswick Heads for all kinds of foodies... Get out there and enjoy!
Here's a couple of dinner options that we either love or we've repeatedly heard great things about from our customers on our Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour and we're keen to try ASAP.
Cadeu - European flair provided to beautiful seasonal produce. We didn't know what half the things were on the menu but were blown away with the deliciousness of the chef's selection.
Fleet - delicious seasonal meals served on one long table as a shared dining experience. You'll need to book well in advance for this highly praised restaurant.
La Casita - laid back Mexican goodness brought to you by the same people as Fleet.
Lunch time/ snack time options:
Hoopers has epic burgers for both meat and veggie lovers
Yami - Middle eastern vegetarian yumminess. Easy and delicious takeaway or dine in.
Bruns Bakery is A-MAZING with a cabinet full of deliciousness
In the Pink has yummy gelato a-go-go
The Hotel Brunswick is a beautiful old brick pub across the road from the river. It has an outdoor beer garden area which is perfect for enjoying free live music, particularly on Sundays from 4.30pm. The restaurant includes all pub favourites like steak, schnitzel and burgers, as well as pizza and on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays they get fancy with local fresh seafood offering sashimi and sushi options.
If beer is your thing, there's a local brewery just inland from Brunswick Heads in Mullumbimby - Wandana Brewing Co.
9. Visit Surrounding Towns and Slow Things Down
To the West
A laid-back little town with an eclectic mix of cafes and shops backing on to beautiful rainforest.
Kiva spa is unexpected treat where you can enjoy a massage or relax in the bathhouse facilities which include 4 hot hydrotherapy spa pools, wood-fired sauna, plunge pool and steam room (Hammam) all surrounded by lush tropical gardens. This really is an oasis in town.
Mullumbimby Chocolate Shop - wanting to take your sweet-tooth out for a spin, this is the place to do it.
Mullumbimby Farmers Markets - Every Friday morning out near the showground.
To the South
Byron Bay! The town that draws in celebrities, surfers, hippies, foodies and sun lovers... There is something for everyone in this eclectic town. Check out our blog to find the best things to do in Byron Bay.
The headland at Lennox is perfect for watching the surfers, paragliders, dolphins, and frolicking whales. There's a boardwalk from town that takes you all the way up to the headland, as well as carparks on the headland itself. The headland is an excellent picnic spot for sunrise or sunset.
Lennox Head has some great cafes and boutique shops too. This is also where you will find Lake Ainsworth, a beautiful tea tree stained, fresh water lake that is a popular spot with families and is great for swimming, kayaking and SUP. It's said the tea tree waters do wonders for the skin and hair. The beach is also just across the road if you'd like to swap the relaxing fresh water for a salt water swim and some body surfing. There are great picnic facilities with BBQs to make a day of it. It is worth noting though - the lake can be affected by blue green algae at times, so be sure to check official websites for information before heading in for a dip.
Keen to hire SUP boards? We can drop off and pick off SUPs to you at Lake Ainsworth (if available around our Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tours).
To the North...
Pottsville, or Potty as it is affectionately known, is a beautiful little town with both beaches and river, giving rise to plenty of fishing and surfing around here.
Mooball Creek flows parallel to the ocean and on high-tide it is a perfect spot for wave-free floating and paddling with kids in crystal clear water. If you have a kayak or SUP this is a great place to explore.
Pottsville Environmental Park is a mix of paths and boardwalks and a lovely outing connecting with nature. You'll be surrounded by peeling paperbark trees and the croaks of frogs frolicking in the wetlands.
After a bit more of a beach walk? Taking the beach north, Hastings Point is around 3km away, so around a 30-40 minute walk. There is a little take away/general store here to be able to grab a drink or snack. Cudgera Creek is a stunning little inlet that runs out to the ocean and on high tide is ideal for floating.
Holidays are for adventures, eating delicious food AND relaxing... Be sure to make the time to do some relaxing while visiting Brunswick Heads... aaaaaaah!
Go curl up in the shade of a tree overlooking the river, and have a siesta, read a book or simply take in all the beauty around you. SO simple but OH SO GOOD.
Jump in a tube and float along with the tide on the beautiful Brunswick River, then walk back and do it all again...
You can always take the relaxation to the next level and book a massage or spa treatments too. You deserve it!
If you'd like to combine relaxation, adventure and delicious food in one, our Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature tour is just that - a relaxing adventure with delicious homemade snacks too! SO delicious that they almost get mentioned more than the paddle boarding in our hundreds of reviews...
Whatever you choose to do in Brunswick Heads, we hope you have a wonderful stay and we look forward to meeting you on our Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour or seeing you again next time, whichever the case may be.
Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour
Send an enquiry to check start times and availability for your preferred day.