Back Beach picnic area

Bundjalung National Park

Overview

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.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Bundjalung National Park
Accessibility
Medium
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
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 directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

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

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Road quality

  • Mixture of sealed and unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available next to Back Beach picnic area.

By bike

Back Beach picnic area is accessible by bike from Woody Head campground and Iluka.

Facilities

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Back Beach is not patrolled, so please take care in and around the water.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

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.

Permitted

Cycling

Cycling is permitted on public roads at and around the picnic area.

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Prohibited

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

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.

Gathering firewood

Generators

Horses

Pets

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.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Back Beach picnic area is in Bundjalung National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

An ancient landscape

Gummigurrah walking track, Bundjalung National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary/Seen Australia

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.

  • Gummigurrah walking track Situated near Evans Head in Bundjalung National Park, Gummigurrah walking track winds through rainforest and heathlands, offering birdwatching and scenic river views.

Meet the locals

Silver banksia (Banksia marginata), Bundjalung National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary/Seen Australia

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.

Water world

Black Rocks campground, Bundjalung National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary/Seen Australia

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

Animals

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    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. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    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, Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    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. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    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, Daleys Point walking track, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Aerial view of Back Beach showing rocky headlands, sandy beach with dunes, and coastal scrub. Photo: Jessica Robertson/OEH.