The coast of northern NSW is known for its pristine beaches, temperate climate, lush sub-tropical rainforests and chilled out vibe. There’s plenty to do here, from beach activities to walks, to checking out the local markets and restaurants. There’s also plenty of campgrounds and holiday parks in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Lennox Head, Ballina and Brunswick Heads, many of them located right on the beach or very close to it. Set up camp in this part of the world and you’ll become part of the laid back northern NSW beach lifestyle, with everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
Here are six essential stops to make on your Byron Bay area camping trip, with fantastic homes-away-from-home to match.
1. Walk to the Cape Byron Lighthouse
A walk through the Cape Byron Headland Reserve takes you along spectacular cliffs towards the historic Cape Byron Lighthouse, with stunning views of both the lush Byron Bay hinterland and the pristine waters of the Cape Byron Marine Park. You’ll need to put aside two hours for this walk, but it’s well worth it, with a guided tour of the lighthouse at the end of the walk for you to look forward to, complete with 360 degree views from the very top.
Nearest campground: North Coast Holiday Park Clarke’s Beach
The Byron Bay Community Market is held on the first Sunday of the month and is well worth a visit. The market has over 300 stalls of local produce and homemade food, as well as crafts and other artisan products, and there’s also great live music by local artists. Nearby Bangalow hosts a laid-back monthly market under the laurel trees of the Bangalow showground, and don’t miss the vibrant Lennox Community Market at Lennox Head which is still going strong after more than 30 years.
Nearest campground to the Byron Bay Market: First Sun Holiday Park and Glen Villa Resort
Nearest campground to the Bangalow Market: Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park
3. Explore the Brunswick River by Boat
Brunswick River, part of Cape Byron Marine Park, is a great spot for a leisurely cruise or kayak trip. Set off from Brunswick Heads, a beautiful coastal village at the mouth of the river and either take a guided tour by kayak or sit back and cruise the river in the morning, afternoon or to watch the sunset.
Nearest campgrounds to the Brunswick River: North Coast Holiday Park Ferry Reserve and North Coast Holiday Park Massey Greene
4. Go whale Watching in Byron Bay
Cape Byron is a well-known whale watching spot. During whale season, sightings are particularly common from Captain Cook Lookout, the Byron Bay Lighthouse and the surrounding cliffs of Byron Bay. In Ballina, head to the Lighthouse Hill car park, the viewing platforms at Angel's Beach and Flat Rock. A whale-watching tour is a great way to see whales up close; boats depart from Byron Bay daily.
Nearest campgrounds to whale watching vantage points: Discovery Holiday Park and Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park
5. Explore Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens, Mullumbimby
The peaceful Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens is set in the Byron Hinterland, a private botanical garden filled with subtropical plants, lush vegetation and beautiful crystals. The park is spread over 5 hectares and includes walks, sculptures, daily guided tours and meditations.
Nearest campgrounds to Crystal Castle: Macca’s Camping Ground and Mullumbimby Showground Camping Ground
The gorgeous beaches of Byron and surrounds are really at the heart of what this place is all about. Stay beachside and get ready to surf, swim, walk the shores and laze on the beach whenever the mood takes you, from Broken Head all the way up through Suffolk Beach, to Cape Byron and on to Clarke’s Beach and Main Beach.
Best campgrounds near the beach: Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park and Broken Head Holiday Park