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It’s been years since I was last in Evans Head in the Northern Rivers region of the far north coast of New South Wales. Once a sleepy little fishing town Evans Head has now evolved into a trendy coastal holiday spot. An Evans Head holiday offers everything that you could ask for, plus more.
What’s so special about Evans Head is its scenic location on the Evans River and beautiful beaches, surrounded by national parks and a nature reserve. At the northern end of Evans Head is the Broadwater National Park, to the south the gorgeous Dirawong Nature Reserve, and the expansive Bundjalung National Park.
Evans Head is located 122 kilometres from Tweed Heads to the north, just south of Ballina, and 708 kilometres from Sydney to the south. There is direct access off the M1 highway at the towns of Woodburn or Broadwater and then around 11 kilometres drive to Evans Head on the coast.
It’s within the Richmond Valley local area in Northern New South Wales and has a population of just under 2,500 people.
For me what’s so special about Evans Head is that it is a world away from other coastal towns on the North Coast. It has retained its charm and laid-back vibe, with old-style beach cottages, a retro pub with a great beer garden, a small shopping precinct and no traffic lights. There is no hurry in Evans Head. Everything moves at a slow pace.
Since my last visit, at least ten years ago, there has been some new development and new additions of cafes and shops. However, Evans Head still is a charming little fishing village that oozes warmth and country hospitality. The locals are friendly and might even invite you out in their fishing boat to throw a line in.
The other thing that’s so special about Evans Head is that it’s a compact little village that kind of revolves around the large caravan park. Everything is within a short walking distance of the caravan park. The river, the beach, the shops, the Bowlo, RSL Club and Pub. All of these natural attractions and amenities are on your doorstep.
Life in Evans Head revolves around the river. It’s no surprise that the town was touted as the first commercial prawning port in Australia. Today prawns and fish are still mainstays of the local economy. The boat harbour and the Fishing Co-op sit on the southern side of the Evans River, where you can purchase freshly caught seafood.
The Evans River is one of the many rivers in Northern New South Wales that is not only used for the fishing industry, but also for irrigating the extensive farmlands in the surrounding region.
The river has lovely little sandy beaches lining the shores on the northern side that are perfect for families with young children. It is also popular for all types of water activities such as kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, boating and jet skiing. At the mouth of the river on the breakwall, is the best spot to toss a line in and try to catch your dinner.
It’s not hard to find a perfect beach in Evans Head. You are spoilt for choice with four pristine beaches:
Evans Head offers some great walks and hikes in town or in the adjoining National Parks and Reserve. The Evans River is fringed by a walking/cycling path that takes you right out onto the breakwall at the river mouth. The same pathway takes you around to the Surf Club and Main Beach.
For beach walkers, there is a choice of Main Beach, the long expanse of Airforce Beach or the secluded Chinaman’s Beach.
This reserve that is contained within the Bundjalung Nation, holds great significance for the traditional custodians. There are many sacred native plants and animals in the reserve that can be viewed from six walking tracks. Some of the tracks have steep rocky climbs and wonderful high points to take in the best coastal scenery.
This map shows all of the walking tracks within Dirawong Reserve.
On the northern end of Dirawong Reserve, there is a walking trail out to Goanna Headland. It starts east of Razorback Lookout and meanders through heathland before opening onto Joggly Point, the ideal place to spot migrating humpbacks from May to September. The path then continues down to Red Hill Beach, squeezed between steep scrub-covered slopes with magnificent ocean vistas.
This national park extends from Evans Head to Broadwater and fringes Airforce Beach. It is renowned for spectacular wildflower displays, the wetlands of Salty Lagoon and towering sand dunes. Take a short walk to Broadwater inland lookout for superb scenic views from Broadwater Headland out to the ocean.
This massive 210-square kilometres national park stretches from Evans to the south to the town of Iluka. Bundjalung National Park has multiple entry points, one of these being from the southern side of the river in Evans Head. The varied habitat of the park is home to over 140 species of fauna and you will see a huge variety of native animals and birdlife. You may also paddle the Evans River in a canoe through the heart of the national park.
Of course, there is the massive caravan park Reflections Evans Head Holiday Park that offers a range of accommodation options, from caravan sites to schmick new cabins. This appears to be the most family-friendly option in town because of its proximity alongside the river and nearby beach.
There is also a wide array of holiday apartments, villas and holiday homes in Evans Head available for short term rental. Because Evans Head is a compact little town, you will never be too far away from the town’s natural attractions. Book your Evans Head accommodation HERE.
Places to eat vary from bakeries, takeaways, cafes, clubs and a pub. My pick of the eateries in Evans Head are:
My Evans Head holiday left me thirsting for more. I could have easily spent another week or two here just relaxing and embracing the laid-back lifestyle of this little coastal town. It is definitely going to be a place I will return to again and again.
Read more about the North Coast of New South Wales HERE
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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