Back Beach picnic area
Bundjalung National Park
Visit Back Beach picnic area near Iluka and Yamba, to enjoy a tranquil picnic surrounded by coastal forest and the pristine beaches of Bundjalung National Park.
- Picnic areas
- Bundjalung National Park in North Coast
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
- What to
- Hat, sunscreen, snacks, drinking water
- Please note
Back Beach is unpatrolled. Nearby Bluff Beach and Iluka Beach, to the south, are patrolled on some days. Visit Surf Life Saving’s beachsafe website for more information.
Discover secluded Back Beach picnic area on a north coast getaway. Located just minutes from Woody Head campground and 4km from Iluka, it’s one of the quietest spots in Bundjalung National Park.
Spread out the picnic rug or take advantage of the picnic tables. Then relax, surrounded by coastal forest, the silence broken only by the call of figbirds moving through the canopy, or goannas rustling through the underbrush.
You’re likely to have this spot to yourselves, so there’s plenty of space for to kick a ball around the large grassy area.
When you’re ready to work off lunch, take a short stroll to the beach for a swim or surf in the sparkling blue water. Enjoy a game of beach cricket with family and friends, or try your hand at beach fishing. Pristine Back Beach is also the perfect place to set out for long oceanside walks, with only seabirds to break your solitude.
If you’re ready for more action, combine your picnic with a 4WD adventure on nearby Ten Mile Beach. Paddle the Esk River, or head to Iluka Bluff lookout for a spot of dolphin and whale watching.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/back-beach-picnic-area/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Bundjalung National Park in the North Coast region
Bundjalung National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day.Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about the Back Beach picnic area.
Getting there and parking
Back Beach picnic area is in the Iluka area of Bundjalung National Park. To get there:
- From Pacific Highway take the Iluka Road turnoff, and follow for 14km
- Turn left on Back Beach Road, around 200m past Woody Head Road
- Continue 400m to Back Beach picnic area carpark
- Mixture of sealed and unsealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available next to Back Beach picnic area.
Back Beach picnic area is accessible by bike from Woody Head campground and Iluka.
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - medium
Medium access presents some minor difficulties, such as a grassy surface. You may require a little assistance to get around in some areas.
Cycling is permitted on public roads at and around the picnic area.
A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
Camp fires and solid fuel burners
Bring a gas or liquid fuel stove if you intend to cook, as wood and other solid fuel fires are not permitted at Back Beach picnic area.
Camping is not permitted at the picnic area or on Back Beach. You can camp or book accommodation at Woody Head, 2mins drive to the west of the picnic area.
Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Back Beach picnic area is in Bundjalung National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
An ancient landscape
At Bundjalung National Park you can visit Gummigurrah, an area that was used as a winter camping ground by the Bandjalung People. This park is one of a group where the Bandjalang People's native title rights have been recognised and is only the third determination of native title rights in New South Wales. Native title rights come from the Bandjalang People's traditional laws and customs and legally recognise the Bandjalang People's connection to Country. This means that these lands will continue to be places of ceremony, learning and inspiration for generations to come.
Meet the locals
The varied habitat of Bundjalung National Park is home to over 140 species of fauna. Wake to the morning melodies of eastern whip-birds, bower birds and the rare barred cuckoo-shrike. At dawn and dusk, you might find eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies and swamp wallabies congregating around your campsites. Scour the tops of nearby trees and you might also catch a glimpse of a sleeping koala or two.
- Iluka Bluff lookout Stay as long as you like to enjoy the views at Iluka Bluff lookout, near Yamba. Not only is it an excellent whale watching spot, it’s also a great place to picnic.
- Jerusalem Creek walk Keep your eyes peeled for birds nesting along the creek along the Jerusalem Creek walk. Enjoy the hike as a day walk or shorter walk and finish up with a picnic lunch.
Bundjalung protects a variety of environments that feature water, including beaches, rivers, wetlands and lagoons. You'll find different types of plants, animals and birds in each one; look for coast banksia, coast she-oak and coastal wattle on the dunes that back onto the beach. Immerse yourself in this world by canoeing the waterways, rambling in the rock pools and swimming in the ocean.
Plants and animals you may see
White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.
Peron's tree frog (Litoria peroni)
Peron’s tree frog is found right across NSW. These tree-climbing and ground-dwelling Australian animals can quickly change colour, ranging from pale green-grey by day, to a reddish brown with emerald green flecks at night. The male frog has a drill-like call, which has been described as a 'maniacal cackle’.
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.
Lace monitor (Varanus varius)
One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.
Grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)
The grey-headed flying fox is Australia's largest native bat, with a wingspan up to 1m. This threatened species travels up and down south-eastern Australia and plays a vital role in pollinating plants and spreading seeds in our native forests.
Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)
The curious pelican is Australia’s largest flying bird and has the longest bill of any bird in the world. These Australian birds are found throughout Australian waterways and the pelican uses its throat pouch to trawl for fish. Pelicans breed all year round, congregating in large colonies on secluded beaches and islands.