With pockets of beach communities dotted right down the coastline, northern NSW has options aplenty for city siders looking to while away a weekend by the ocean. The most notable of beach towns, Byron Bay, has long been heralded for its relaxed vibe, beachside pubs, and beautiful scenery. But lets face it the crowds caught onto this joint long ago, and its probably not the destination of choice for a quiet coastal weekend.
So where else to head for some coastal frolicking? A little further south, and far enough away from the hustle-bustle of both Byron and Ballina, is the little hub of Lennox Head. Located two hours south of Brisbane by car, the town is best reached via a scenic drive along the coast. Once there, youll be met with a town equipped for any style of chilled weekend, from tinnies and tents to beachfront luxury.
Where to crash
With BBQs, a camp kitchen, Wi-Fi and lakeside views, youre not exactly roughing it at this campsite. Options range from unpowered tent sites, to fully equipped cabins, with prices from $35/ night.
North Coast Holiday Parks | Lennox Head Pacific Parade, Lennox Head NSW 2478 Ph: (02) 6687 7249
Plenty of investors have sunk their teeth into property in Lennox, which means plenty of choices both along the beachfront, as well as further inland where its beautiful and quiet. A house is a great option if youre travelling with family or in a big group and great for afternoons on the veranda drinking a wine and watching the sunset. Ballpark $150/night for an entire place, or around $50/night for solo travellers or couples looking for a room only on Airbnb.
If you want the works, including laundry facilities and heated pool, you can nab an apartment from $200/ night upwards at this 4-star resort.
Lennox Holiday Apartments| 20 – 21 Pacific ParadeLennox HeadNSW|0429 328 556
What to do
The best thing to do in Lennox is to get wet, and youre spoilt for choice. Take advantage of the surf or go for a snorkel, learn to stand-up paddle, or head for a swim in Lake Ainsworth. (Dont let the murky colour put you off the tea tree-infused water is said to soothe all types of ailments). The fishing and boating in nearby estuaries is also a great option, however if youd prefer to remain on land then a beach walk, bike ride along the coast or a drive out to one of the nearby national parks are all drier options.
What to eat
Once youve worked up a hunger, everything on the main esplanade strip is walking distance, so take your pick, grab a paper and sip a cappuccino with the locals.
On the cheap (<$20 per person): If youre starving post-surf and want bang for buck with your tenner, then grab a hot pie and quick coffee from Lennox bakery.
Lennox Bakery | 62 Ballina Street,Lennox Head,New South Wales2478 |(02) 6687 7109
Ritzy end ($50+ per person): If youre searching for top-end local produce and a sophisticated wine list in beautiful surroundings, then make the trek inland to nearby Newrybar to the infamous Harvest Caf. Enjoy a long lunch, and stop off at the deli or antique shop across the road on the way home.
Harvest Newrybar |18-22 Old Pacific Hwy, Newrybar Village NSW 2479 |(02) 6687 2644
So if you need to ditch the city lights for some salty air, then pack your swimmers and walking shoes, and take a scenic drive down the coast (skipping past the Byron hipsters) and catch some downtime in Lennox.