Welcome to the Tweed, Byron & Far North Coast

A woman strumming a guitar at the beach at Byron Bay

Beaches are the main feature of the NSW far north coast. Photo: Max Ravier, Pexels

Escape to the NSW far north coast for a real holiday experience. There’s beaches, rainforests, and charming coastal towns. There’s great restaurants and cafes, food trails, farm-gates markets, breweries and distilleries.

The locals are funny, friendly and quirky. If you’re looking for more adventure, the Gold Coast is right on your doorstep - with all its glitz, glamour and action-packed theme parks. The NSW North Coast gives you the best of everything, which all adds up to one of the best holidays you’ll ever have.


How to get to the NSW North Coast

The NSW North Coast goes from the Tweed Heads (immediately south of the QLD border), to Byron Bay, Ballina and Yamba (2-hours drive south from Tweed Heads).  It is easy to get to from anywhere, so fly, drive, or catch a bus.

  • Fly to Gold Coast airport from anywhere in Australia, then pick up a hire car, catch an airport shuttle or a taxi down the road. The other nearest airport is Ballina/Byron Bay which has fewer flights that cost more.
  • Drive from Sydney (which takes about 10 hours), or from Brisbane, which is 1-1.5 hour drive.
  • Catch a bus to the North Coast. There's also hop-on-hop-off bus options so you can explore the towns along the way.

When you get to the NSW North Coast, I definitely recommend having a car because public transport is limited. Having your own wheels means you can get to beaches, towns and rainforests when you want. You can catch taxis and ubers but the area is spread out so it’ll cost you a pretty penny exploring.

Beaches & water activities

a guy surfing at the beach

Go surfing. Photo: Destination NSW

The NSW Far North Coast beaches are the best free fun you can have. There’s hundreds of kilometres of sand and surf to swim, surf, paddle, picnic and play on. Even better, they are swimmable all year round.

Surfers from all over Australia and overseas flock here. If you’ve never surfed, why not book a lesson at one of the many surf schools. Otherwise visit the creeks and rivers, and maybe hire a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard and float around the calmer waters. When the sun goes down, I highly recommend dining al fresco with some fish and chips on the beach.

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National parks & walks

a couple hiking in the national park in Coffs Harbour

Take a hike in the national parks and rainforests. Photo: Destination NSW

The NSW North Coast has all kinds of national parks, coastal rainforests, and beach trails, and waterfalls for you to explore. Pack a picnic and make a day of exploring the national parks and rainforests.

A few favourite hiking spots can be found not far from Murwillumbah and include Mt Warning (Wollumbin National Park), Nightcap National Park, and the Border Ranges National Park. Along the way, you’ll get to see lots of birds and wildlife. And when you’re not in the national parks, enjoy the many beautiful coastal walks that hug the beaches.

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Pampering & spas

a woman enjoying a massage at a day spa in Byron Bay

Relax and find your zen at one of the day spas. Photo: Tourism Australia 

  • I'm going to share my favourite spa with you... the amazing Kiva Spa (Mullumbimby) is in a rainforest setting and you’d swear you were miles from anywhere. There's spas, steam rooms, plus a great choice of treatments. After a visit to Kiva, I promise you'll leave so relaxed that you pretty much float out the door. 

  • In Byron, you have Rae's on Wategos (its signature treatment is a Silver Rain that includes body exfoliation, vichy shower and aromatherapy massage), or the Spa and Wellness Centre at Byron at Byron Resort, and is set in a rainforest. 

  • Closer to the Gold Coast, you’ll find the Spa at Salt, at Peppers Salt Resort Kingscliff. Get pampered with every face and body treatment imaginable. 

Food & wine trails, tours & markets

A man enjoying a gin tasting flight at cape Byron Distillery

Eat and drink your way around the NSW Northern Rivers. Photo taken at Cape Byron Distillery 

Food is art when it comes to the NSW Northern Rivers. This area is known for its dairy farming, sugar cane, bananas, fruit and vegetables and fishing industry. Taste the local produce at the farmers' markets, farm gates, roadside stalls, cafes and restaurants. 

The area is an up-and-new comer when it comes to creating craft beers, gins, whiskeys and rums, so be sure to add some breweries and distilleries into your itinerary.