I was devastated when one of my dearest friends moved away from Sydney to Brunswick Heads.
‘Where?’ I asked.
‘Just north of Byron Bay,’ she said. ‘It shares the same beach.’
‘Oh.’It was sixteen years ago and I’ve recovered from the trauma. In fact, I love that she made the move. I’ve had a really good excuse to visit Bruns at least once a year since and time seems more catch up friendly there.
I’ve even walked to Byron by accident. You see, we started talking our way along Brunswick Beach and ended up in Byron, 13.5 kilometres, later.
The surface of the town has changed a lot in that time. Well, there are more shops, restaurants, cafes and an amazing number of hairdressers (five at last count), but underneath she’s still the same town.
What’s still doing in Brunswick Heads
Hotel Brunswick, with the best beer garden in the universe, is still filled with flowering Poinciana trees. The rattly wooden bridge heading over the clear sandy-bottomed Simpsons Creek, still has kids jumping off it at high tide.The road still leads out to the river mouth and beaches. Alongside the break wall is Torakina, a flatwater beach, where swimmers and babies still splash about. The surfers still walk past and stare down the main beach towards Byron and the lighthouse.The locals still talk about the tides all the time, almost by way of greeting. The fishing folk, surfers, kayakers and the swimmers all want to know what the water is doing. Most things are better at high tide, like swimming at Torakina and kayaking up Simpsons Creek is nearly impossible at low tide, whereas fishing seems to be more popular at the low tide.The carnival with its bingo tent and collection of spinning things still comes to town, every summer.And this collection of thongs along this back fence continues to grow.
Food and Drink in Brunswick Heads
A darling new thing is the Footbridge Café. It’s the only place we went for coffee and breakfast the entire time we were there and we fell in love with Dylan, Bubbles and the rest of the crew. Otherwise, Yami’s felafel, calamari from Starfish, Prawn Star pizza from Sticky Fingers, the daily special from the Fish Co-op or Bernardi’s gelato continued to fill our bellies.
Shopping in Brunswick Heads
A trip wouldn’t be complete without a peek in the Fabulous Mrs Fox, Peace by Piece (where I may have ordered some shoes handmade by Cobbler Amanda Coutts), Lucy Vanstone pottery and the markets on the first Saturday of the month.
Accommodation in Brunswick Heads
The three caravan parks, Massey Greene, Terrace Reserve and Ferry Reserve, all lining the river and creek, have cabins, caravans and campsites. I’m guessing they’re pretty heavily booked these days and will continue to keep the tourist trade low rise and wholesome for many years to come.However, we love Shaunagh and Dickie who own the Chalet Motel and their swimming pool is handy for motel guests when the river is suffering low-tide-itis.
Other bits and bobs to do in Brunswick Heads
If you have a budding fire fighter who likes to loiter outside the Brunswick Heads Fire Station, staring at the fire truck inside, you might just meet Fireman Paul on his morning coffee run and he might just offer to show you around the Brunswick Heads fire trucks. If your budding fire fighter is also interested in Marine Resuce, you can obey the ‘Visitors welcome’ and ‘knock loudly’ signs on the Marine Rescue tower. The lovely people will let you have a look inside at the gazillion radios they have on hand and the lovely view over the beach and break wall.
Do you check out the real estate windows when you’re on holiday? Have you been to Brunswick Heads? And what are favourite things to do in the Byron Shire? I’d love to hear in the comments below x