Day Trip to Brunswick Heads
Quaint Bruswick Heads, or ‘Bruns’ to the locals, is a quiet seaside village of simple pleasures. This relaxed village offers many fishing spots, a great historic pub and several family friendly festivals throughout the year.
Fancy whale watching? Maybe you’d prefer swimming in aqua water? Or, are you an antique lover? No matter what you love doing, Brunswick Heads really has it all. Filled with an array of trendy antique shops, you will be able to peruse stunning boutiques around the area in Brunswick, and who knows… you might find a treasure. If you’re looking to get in touch with nature, Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve will be the perfect place for you to check out.
Popular for whale and dolphin sightings, Brunswick Heads is the best place to spot these magical creatures. If you’re looking for an awesome spot to swim, Simpson Creek is the locals hidden paradise. After your packed day of relaxing and exploring, why not head to the Brunswick Picture House to end your day.
It’s a common misconception that if you want the quintessential beach holiday on the Far North Coast of NSW the best place to head to is Byron Bay. That might have been true a decade or two ago but, sadly, Byron has been loved to death, losing much of its original charm in the process. If you’re looking for a good old-fashioned beach holiday, just like Byron used to be, take a 15-minute drive to the north to Brunswick Heads.
Brunswick Heads has plenty that Byron doesn’t, like a broad river running through the heart of town that’s perfect for fishing, kayaking and toddler-friendly splashing about. And plenty of things that Byron Bay used to have in abundance but has since lost – a genuine, laid-back, come-as-you-are, we’re-all-equal-in-Speedos kind of holiday vibe, where the pub is still the town’s meeting place, the caravan parks have the best views.
Then it’s a slow meander through the aisles of the Brunswick markets, packed full of stallholders showcasing their creative genius and ingenuity. There are always lots of wearable hemp products which give a nod to the hippie culture that influenced Byron Bay for so long, but homewares and pieces to spark your home décor abound too. We love picking up things like a new hand-woven basket to hold our must-have cotton throws from Hale & Mercantile or to use as a plant holder for a lush green kentia palm, or some delicate strands of tiny threaded shells to hang off a doorknob or a length of hand-died fabric to create a new look for our outdoor cane hanging chairs or sofas.
Then it’s on to the farmers’ market stalls and it’s hard at this time of year to go past the selection of beautifully coloured spring fruits and a big pot of honey from one of the regions dedicated beekeepers.
Another favourite is the Byron Bay Olive Company whose superbly marinated morsels, pickled garlic and homemade dips are staples on any of our antipasto platters. And a big bunch of freshly picked blooms to delight our senses is a must. We finish how we started with a visit to Hari Har Chai who’s had a presence at the markets for more many years. Her selection of chai teas is amazing and Kim’s go-to is the Chocolate Chai with subtle hints of licorice and cinnamon. Yum! Many locals also hold garage sales.
We then took our pup to Brunswick Heads Beach, which is an open dog-friendly beach, patrolled by the Brunswick Heads Surf Lifesaving Club during the summer months. North Head Beach offers a good surf break near the mouth of the Brunswick River while Torakina, a small sheltered beach also near the mouth of the Brunswick River, is ideal for small children; when the tide’s out the river becomes a sandy playground.
After the beach we walked the town centre and discovered the town’s unique, creative soul and meet the local artisans at Lucy Vanstone Ceramics, Into the Woods, Mina Mina Gallery (indigenous art), Fabulous Mrs Fox, Lazybones and Peace by Piece (bespoke shoes and leather goods). Brunswick is also renowned for collectables and old wares, and boast 11 Brunswick Heads shops on the Northern Rivers Secondhand Trail, so go shopping and take home some treasure.
We love ourselves a good bakery, but this corner-hugging home of crusty sourdoughs, savouries, and buttery pastries is seriously something else. First established as a bakery waaaaay back in the 1950s, and undergoing a mind-blowing reno late last year, these days Bruns Bakery is an adored local treasure. We reckon charming Bruns Bakery is a sweet stop for a caffeine fix or a cheap grab-and-go lunch, if you’d prefer to eat riverside.
The local weekend markets and market shopping is a way of life for residents of the Byron region. Visiting a local market is a great way to get a taste of the Byron lifestyle. Markets feature local fruits and produce, arts, craft, jewellery, clothing, delicious food, coffee and juices as well as live entertainment and buskers.
First Week of the Month
Brunswick Heads Markets
Byron Bay Markets (plus Christmas market Sunday 18 December)
Lismore Car Boot Market
Second Week of the Month
The Channon Markets
Lennox Head Markets
Third Week of the Month
Lismore Car Boot Market
Uki Buttery Bazaar
Fourth Week of the Month
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