Brunswick Heads, New South Wales

Brunswick Heads is a small town on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia in Byron Shire. At the 2016 census, the town had a population of 1,737 people.[1]

Brunswick Heads
New South Wales
Oyster Farm & Littoral Rainforest at Brunswick Heads
Brunswick Heads
Coordinates28°32′0″S 153°33′0″E
Population1,737 (2016 census)[1]
LGA(s)Byron Shire
State electorate(s)Ballina
Federal Division(s)Richmond


Originally inhabited by people of the Bundjalung nation, the Brunswick River was charted by Captain Rous in 1828. His visit was followed more than 20 years later by cedar cutters whose activities led to the first town in what is now Byron Shire. By the 1880s Brunswick Heads was a busy port and a robust little commercial centre.

The township went into decline after the construction of the railway through Mullumbimby in 1894. In time, however, Brunswick's popularity for family seaside holidays returned, and from the 1920s onwards its fame spread far and wide. Holiday cottages from that period are still in evidence throughout the town.

The early camping grounds along the foreshores later became caravan parks.

Poet and painter Edwin Wilson (b. 1942) started school at Brunswick Heads, as recorded in "The Mullumbimby Kid".


Brunswick Heads is a small coastal holiday village situated at the mouth of the Brunswick River. Nestled within the breakwater there is the safe and peaceful Torakina Beach, while a white sandy surf beach stretches to the south. The north bank of the river hosts a protected rainforest and the southern bank provides a harbour and small marina for fishing boats and small craft. Mount Chincogan and Mount Warning provide a spectacular hinterland backdrop to the river that meanders down from the small town of Mullumbimby ("The Biggest Little Town In Australia").

Despite the surrounding coastal development, Brunswick Heads has retained its traditional seaside village atmosphere. Timber bridges link the riverside to the river and surf beaches.

Brunswick Heads is situated 10 km (15 minutes drive) north of the town of Byron Bay and 30 minutes travelling time from both Coolangatta and Ballina airports, and 40 kilometres south of the Queensland border. Brunswick Heads is across the river from Ocean Shores. The Pacific Highway bypassed Brunswick Heads in 1998.[2]


The small community of Brunswick Heads retains a mix of cafes, restaurants, specialty shops, accommodation and a variety of activities. Brunswick Heads offers a range of leisure activities all year round. Brunswick Heads also hosts a number of small scale community oriented and family friendly festivals and events throughout the year.

The town was the location for the cult 1980s comedy series 'Brunswick Heads Revisited', broadcast across Australia by the ABC.[3][4][5]


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