Often seen as the smaller and quieter cousin of Byron Bay, and just 20 km to the north, Brunswick Heads has rediscovered its heart after the increasingly busy Pacific Highway was re-routed away from the centre of town in 1998. With a pretty river setting, which provides a commercial fishing boat harbour (and a great place for enjoying fish and chips or buying some seafood to cook at home) and beautiful surf beaches, Brunswick has always had devoted fans who prefer the gentler pace. With funky new cafes, restaurants and shops opening the town is developing a newer, trendier style.
The river is the focus for the town, with the large old deco-style pub taking in the view from across the road, and lots of space for family picnics and play right on the river. A footbridge across the south arm of the river leads to the Flora and Nature Reserve, and is just one of the many fishing spots on both river and beach.
The Brunswick River, which was the focus of the cedar trade for the valley, was discovered by Captain Rous of the Royal Navy in 1828, and named for Queen Caroline of Brunswick. The district was opened up during the 1850’s. Cedar from the area was reputed to be the best ever cut, and the mighty logs were floated down the river and then hauled out into the surf to the schooners waiting offshore. Today, the woodcutting only happens during the famous Fish and Chips festival held each January.
- Population – Approx 1800
- Transport Services – Brunswick Valley Coach & Travel
- Council – Byron Shire
- Community Markets – 1st Saturday each month
- Fish & Chips Festival – January
- Kites & Bikes Festival – March