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Evans Head Holiday

  • October 29, 2021
  • By 50 Shades
Evans Head Holiday

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 Holiday

Signage & Lookout at Dirawong Reserve

Where is Evans Head

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.

Evans Head Holiday

Aerial of the Evans River Mouth

What’s Special About Evans Head

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.

Evans Head Holiday

Bridge Across the Evans River

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.

Evans River

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.

Evans Head Holiday

The Boat Harbour on the Evans River

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.

Evans Head Holiday

Lovely Sandy Beach on the Evans River

Evans Head Beaches

It’s not hard to find a perfect beach in Evans Head. You are spoilt for choice with four pristine beaches:

  • Main Beach – nestles in behind the caravan park, with a Surf Club that patrols the beach during school holidays, weekends and public holidays. At the southern end, the beach is protected by the river breakwall that creates a safe spot to swim and also a nice wave break for longboard riders.
    Evans Head Holiday

    Main Beach in Evans Head

  • Airforce Beach – north of Main Beach is this amazing beach that stretches for 25 kilometres. The beach is accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles so you can drive and find your own patch of private beach. Halfway along there are these amazing coffee-coloured rock formations and there is also a small tea tree stained lagoon that spills out into the ocean.
    Evans Head Holiday

    Airforce Beach

  • Chinaman’s Beach – a short driving distance on the southern side of the river is this gem of a beach located within the Dirawong Reserve. If you want seclusion then this is the perfect beach with a boardwalk through the paperbarks to the beach. There is a lookout and also a grassy picnic area with toilets and picnic tables.
    Evans Head Holiday

    Chinaman’s Beach

  • Shark Bay (Sharkies) – a small protected beach on the south side of the river just below Razorback Lookout. It’s a great spot for a swim and also has a picnic area.

Walks & Hikes Around Evans Head

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.

Evans Head Holiday

Pathway along the Evans River

For beach walkers, there is a choice of Main Beach, the long expanse of Airforce Beach or the secluded Chinaman’s Beach.

Dirawong Reserve Coastal Walks

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.

Evans Head Holiday

Pathway in Dirawong Reserve

This map shows all of the walking tracks within Dirawong Reserve.

Dirawong Reserve Coastal Walks Map (courtesy Evans Head Living Museum)

Goanna Headland Walk

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.

Evans Head Holiday

View of Goanna Headland

Broadwater National Park Walks

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.

Evans Head Holiday

Broadwater National Park is fringed by Airforce Beach

Bundjalung National Park Walks

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.

Evans Head Holiday
Gorgeous views from Iluka Bluff Lookout in Bundjalung National Park

Top Ten Things To Do In Evans Head

  1. Hire a tinnie and go fishing on the river or get on a deep-sea fishing charter boat and brave the ocean.
  2. Take in the exquisite views of the river mouth and beaches from Razorback Lookout.
  3. Swim, surf, paddle or sunbake on one of the beaches or alongside the river.
  4. Four-wheel drive along Airforce Beach.
    Evans Head Holiday

    Four-wheel driving on Airforce Beach

  5. Visit Evans Head Living Museum and learn about the history of the town.
  6. Discover the history of the WWII RAAF Base at the Evans Head Heritage Aviation Museum.
  7. Walk or cycle on the river pathways.
  8. Grab some fresh seafood from the Fishing Co-op and have a picnic in one of the parks alongside the river.
    Evans Head Holiday

    Coffee with a view at Sandpit at Evans Head Surf Club

  9. Get your coffee fix from Sandpit at the Surf Club and sit beachside to watch surfers catch the morning waves.
  10. Throw your walking shoes on and set off bushwalking on one of the national park or reserve walking trails.

Where To Eat & Stay In Evans Head

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.

Evans Head Holiday

The riverfront cabins at Evans Head Holiday Park

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:

  • Club Evans RSL – a large and open bistro with a view over the river and nightly specials on the menu. Tip: Chef’s curry was delicious.
  • Evans Head Bowling Club – Chinese food that was reminiscent of my past visits to Evans Head.
    Evans Head Holiday

    Evans Head Bowlo has a Chinese restaurant

  • Japxican – in the main street of Evans. Offers a weird mixture of Japanese and Mexican takeaway meals.
  • Riverfront Kiosk – in the caravan park adjacent to the river. Great for coffee, breakfast or fish & chips for lunch.
    Evans Head Holiday

    Riverfront Kiosk in Evans Head

  • Sandpit Cafe – a great little cafe located at Evans Head-Casino Surf Club. It has good coffee and the best homemade muffins. Sit outside on the timber seating overlooking Main Beach.
  • Wurlitzer Bakery – On Woodburn Street. Mouth-watering freshly baked goodies and good coffee.
  • Hotel Illawong – located in prime corner position opposite the caravan park. Great Pub food with daily specials and an outdoor pet-friendly beer garden.
    Evans Head Holiday

    The retro Illawong Hotel

  • Vespas on Oak – on the opposite corner to the pub. A nice spot for a coffee or a bite of breakfast or lunch.
  • Sandbar at Evans Head-Casino Surf Club – only open Thursday to Sunday. Has views to die for over Main Beach and offers fresh seafood and steak on the menu.
Evans Head Holiday

Sandbar Restaurant at Evans Head Surf Club

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


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By 50 Shades, October 29, 2021 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.
  • 4

50 Shades

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.

  • Jill Harrison
    October 29, 2021

    One of these days when the borders come down, we hope to get over to the East Coast and explore NSW and Qld. Evans Head might have to be put on our list. Stay safe and happy travels.

    • Kathy
      October 29, 2021

      The north coast of New South Wales is brimming with little coastal villages like Evans Head. Although we’ve travelled extensively along this coastline there is still so much more to explore. Let’s hope the borders are coming down soon Jill. xx

  • Christine
    October 30, 2021

    It seems you’re back to doing your blog, Kathy? Good to see.

    • Kathy
      October 30, 2021

      Yes Christine, I finally succumbed! I’m enjoying being back and will be posting the odd article now and again.

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