New Brighton Beach hideaway
Every now and then, it’s great just to have a bit a down time in your own back yard. This is what we did recently, packing up a few things, my father-in-law and our two dogs, and headed off to the beach. The location this time was New Brighton Beach, in Northern NSW, only a stone’s throw from the famous Byron Bay. My brother had found this hidden gem some 18 months earlier, so it was great for us to be able to see it for ourselves. The attraction here was the beach, its proximity to the ‘shack”, and the ‘shack’ itself. Here was a place where you can get comfortable as soon as you arrive. No airs and graces required here. Just a comfy house, with everything you could possibly need, a 10 metre walk to the beach, and a huge, fully fenced back yard for our furry friends. Fully furnished, with three bedrooms that could sleep six, a fully functioning kitchen, and a recently added rear deck.
New Brighton Beach is a small town, with an even smaller population. The closest town is Brunswick Heads, which has marginally more people and a few more shops. Both are quintessential beachside towns that have yet to be overrun by development. It really is great that such places still exist, and reminded me greatly of the time spent in my uncle’s beach house during my childhood.
Our days were spent walking on the beach, punctuated with the odd swim in the surf. It’s also a designated dog beach, meaning our beloved pets are able to run freely on the sand without being shackled to a lead. This creates a fun and easy going vibe amongst locals and visitors alike as we all interact and identify each other by our dogs’ name. Morning walks with my pup saw me talking to Lilly, Rex and a variety of others, without me ever knowing their owners names, such is the way we all roll down there.
The creek that runs through the town and the Brunswick River (and river mouth) provide ample opportunities to try your hand at a spot of fishing. Bait can be bought from the convenience store/post office/ bottle shop at nearby Ocean Shores. It’s also important to remember that recreational fishing in NSW requires a permit. A three day pass costs $7 and you can purchase online at DPI NSW.
Having not been to Byron Bay for a number of years, it seemed like a good opportunity to visit, given it was only approximately 20 minutes by car. Byron continued to present its rainbow of colour with a variety of business people, local and international tourists, backpackers and those who stay in the more upmarket residences of Watego’s Bay co-mingling. We noted this time that a number of new stores have appeared and the opening of the Fundies Wholefoods store within the historic post office building was evidence of the attraction of organic and fresh food in this eclectic community.
We had lunch on the waterfront at Fishhead. Overlooking the main beach (and main carpark), the food was good without being exceptional. It’s a great location to sit and watch the world of Byron Bay pass you by, and of course, looking at the beautiful blue ocean, and across to the lighthouse is a view that could rival many of the world’s major sights.
Car parking in the town is difficult at peak times, but if you go a few blocks outside the main area, there is four hour parking that is unmetered. If being close to the beach is your thing, then the main carpark on the beach front offers plenty of paid parks.
Byron Bay …..