There’s something about the NSW North Coast that just draws me to it. Maybe it’s the lush green grass, rolling hills and beautiful beaches or maybe it’s just the overall vibe. Some places just make you feel good, you know?!
During our Christmas road trip two years ago we ended up in the beautiful town of Kingscliff in Northern NSW. We stayed there for a night and straight away we fell in love with it. It wasn’t long before we were planning a trip there.
So, where do I start? There are many things I love about Kingscliff. Its laid back, not overly busy, has beautiful beaches and is a great base to explore the surrounding areas.
Day 1: We spent the first day just lazing around the hotel, hanging out at Salt Beach (right in front of the hotel we were staying at) and just settling in to holiday mode. There also just so happened to be a gelato shop right outside our hotel so we grabbed some to go and headed down to the beach for sunset.
Day 2: After a nice little sleep in, we headed off to nearby Dreamtime Beach. They have a beautiful lookout point on a cliff overlooking the ocean. We sat there for a while and watched dolphins and manta rays swimming by. It was magic.
Day 3: I actually made it up early enough to get down to the beach to watch the sun rise. Something unusual for me – i’m a real night owl. It was incredible. The ocean is so calm early in the morning and the sky really turned it on for me. Think deep orange and soft pink hues. To top off a great day we took a drive to Byron Bay which was a little bit hectic seeing as though it was school holidays, but great nonetheless.
While we were there we visited Tallow Beach (nice and quiet), Wategos Beach and Little Wategos Beach (a little busier) and The Pass (beautiful but very crowded). We also took a spur of the moment hike up the Byron Bay Lighthouse Track (wearing a dress and slides – what was I thinking??!) which gave us some spectacular views.
Day 4: We spent most of the day at Cabarita Beach. Honestly, I think this was one of my favourite places of the whole trip. The beaches are stunning, there are pandanus trees everywhere and a beautiful grassy hill overlooking the beach. If you’re feeling up for it, there’s also a nice walk up to a lookout point where you can get a nice little workout as well as a view. I would suggest grabbing some fish and chips, setting up a rug on the hill with a glass of wine and watching the sunset!
Day 5: Another day of exploring. We spent some time in Kingscliff near the beach and went for a dip in Kingy Creek (Cudgen Creek) at the mouth of the river where it leads into the ocean. The water is crystal clear, turquoise blue and there are only gentle rolling waves. It’s a great spot for a relaxing swim and lots of families use it for teaching kids how to paddle board and surf because it’s so calm.
Day 6: We took a drive along the coast to Brunswick Heads and stopped for lunch at the beach. So, we were sitting there having our sandwiches and Jack and I all of a sudden were like …are those women over there wearing tops? No. No they were not. I don’t think it’s actually a nudist beach or anything but there were a few travellers there that went clothing optional anyways much to our surprise. Then, to make it even funnier two old fisherman came wandering down to the beach and saw the gals sun-baking so they set themselves up at the water right in front of them. It didn’t look like a great spot for fishing but they didn’t seem too concerned. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life!
Day 7: For our last day we drove south and found a winding dirt track that was meant to lead to a spectacular beach. So, after winding our way around a mountain and finding a parking spot (they are very limited which means it stays pretty quiet) we set off on a hike to find the beach.
We walked down this tiny little track and stopped along the way at a beautiful grassy cliff to watch the waves crashing against the rocks. A little ways further we saw the beach. The only problem was the how to get down there. Then we noticed it. The almost vertical goat track going straight down.
Well, we’d come this far so we may as well keep going. We scrambled down the hill, sliding in parts, and clinging on to rocks and tree roots as we went. It was a little sketchy but oh so worth it. We had the beach almost to our selves and it was nothing short of spectacular. The hike back up was even more challenging but I’d do it all over again anyway.
My top 5 must see sights:
- Cabarita Beach
- Byron Bay
- Dreamtime Beach, Fingal Head
- Kingscliff and Kingy Creek
- The coastline south of Kingscliff (there are some beautiful hidden gems to discover)
If you’re planning a trip to the NSW North Coast or have ever visited, leave a comment below.