Brunswick Heads is a long established fishing village at the mouth of the Brunswick River. It came into existence in the 1850s when cedar cutters began felling timber and using the beach and entrance to load logs. The river entrance is now trained by two rock walls that define the... Read more
Brunswick Heads is a long established fishing village at the mouth of the Brunswick River. It came into existence in the 1850s when cedar cutters began felling timber and using the beach and entrance to load logs. The river entrance is now trained by two rock walls that define the northern end of the beach. The beach (NSW 11) curves gently to the south toward Byron Bay, terminating after 10.5 km at the mouth of Belongil Creek. A vehicle and pedestrian footbridge cross the Brunswick River to provide access to the beach and surf club (Fig. 4.13). The club is located 400 m south of the entrance wall and has adjoining parking, a large park and picnic area.Brunswick Heads is popular with swimmers and fishers, however both have to be wary. The Brunswick River mouth bar is notorious for upending boats, and the beach has a rip-dominated double bar system, with a prominent rip running out against the southern training wall, in addition to strong tidal currents and breaking waves between the training walls. So stay between the flags and clear of the wall. To safeguard the swimmers and fishermen the Brunswick Heads SLSC was formed in 1933. Its members now average 10 rescues a year. The beach is backed by a series of low, well vegetated foredunes up to 1 km wide, then a back barrier depression occupied by the meandering Simpsons Creek in the north and the Belongil Swamp in the south which drains to Belongil Creek, the southern boundary of the beach. Most of the back beach is part of the Tyagarah Nature Reserve, with one access track through the reserve to the beach on the Black Rock Road.
This is a potentially hazardous beach with rips and a trough running the length of the beach. Swim between the flags, stay on the attached bars, and avoid the rip holes and outer trough.
There are variable beach breaks the entire length, with a chance of better bars and waves near the south entrance wall, and on the reef just north of the walls.
The river is fished for flathead, whiting and bream, with tailor, bream, whiting and mulloway along the beach. The best gutter is against the south training wall, with shifting gutters down the beach. Vehicles are permitted on the beach with a council permit.
In the early days of surfing Brunswick Heads was considered too dangerous, and swimming took place on the north side of the river. Only with the formation of the Surf Club in 1933 and the building of the footbridge across the South Arm in 1936 did the South Beach become the popular spot it remains today. The river training walls were completed in 1962.Read less
SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: nsw011