Broken Head Nature Reserve

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Overview

Surround yourself with the spectacular beauty of Broken Head Nature Reserve. Experience Aboriginal culture, rainforest walks, whale watching, and fishing from pristine beaches.

Read more about Broken Head Nature Reserve

Had enough of the crowds and looking for somewhere quiet and peaceful? Spend your day in this idyllic spot, where lush rainforest meets sandy beaches and a live history lesson unveils before you.

Pack a picnic, cook up a storm on the barbecue, and enjoy the day swimming and walking on the beach. Play a game of beach cricket, relax with your fishing rod or just sit under a shady tree and laze away the day with a good book. Wander through the rainforest to Three Sisters lookout and emerge to stunning views of a pristine beach fringed with majestic trees.

Look out to the glistening blue waters and try spotting a passing whale, or a sea eagle diving for fish. Take a moment to admire the rocky outcrops in front of you and learn about the Aboriginal story they tell and the ancient culture they represent. With all this on offer, it’s easy to see why Broken Head is treasured by locals and visitors alike.

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/visit-a-park/parks/broken-head-nature-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Broken Head Nature Reserve.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Byron Bay:

    • Drive south on Broken Head Road
    • Approximately 2km south of Suffolk Park , turn left into Broken Head Reserve Road.
    • Continue 3km to the end and you’ll arrive at the picnic area and Broken Head Beach

    From Ballina:

    • Drive north through Lennox Head on Byron Bay Road
    • Continue for approximately 12km
    • Turn right into Broken Head Reserve Road
    • Continue 3km to the end and you’ll arrive at the picnic area and Broken Head Beach

    Parking

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Broken Head Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    Pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful setting at Broken Head picnic area. Enjoy a game of beach cricket or explore the wonders of the tideline.

    Spring

    Enjoy the incredible view from Broken Head headland as humpback whales and their new calves breach and blow as they make their way south.

    Summer

    Get away from the crowds and spend the day picnicking at the beach, walk through the lush rainforest, and enjoy spectacular views from the headland.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    19°C and 27°C

    Highest recorded

    35.1°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    11°C and 20°C

    Lowest recorded

    3.3°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    652mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    $4 per vehicle per hour. The park has pay and display machines - cash and credit cards accepted.

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)
    • Country Parks Pass - For all parks in Country NSW (except Kosciuszko) $45 (1 year) / $75 (2 years)
    • Single Country Park Pass - For entry to a single park in country NSW (except Kosciuszko). $22 (1 year) / $40 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dogs and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Byron Bay (8 km)

    Byron Bay is Australia's easternmost town and 'style capital' of the North Coast. It's a place of outstanding natural beauty, set against lush volcanic hills.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Lennox Head (14 km)

    Lennox Head is a quiet seaside village situated at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach between Ballina and Byron Bay. It's named after the headland that stands sentinel at its southern gateway.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Ballina (26 km)

    Ballina is a bustling holiday town and service centre and home of the Big Prawn. It's situated at the mouth of the Richmond River, close to superb beaches.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Broken Head Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Aboriginal cultural heritage

    Three sisters, Broken Head Nature Reserve. Photo: Barry Collier

    Broken Head Nature Reserve is co-managed by NPWS and the Arakwal People, acknowledging the cultural significance of this land to Aboriginal People. Three Sisters, previously known as Cocked Hat Rocks, is an important cultural site representing a story about a young Aboriginal woman who was caught in a strong current when swimming in this area. When her sister attempted to save her, they both drowned and were transformed into stone. This story was told to warn children not to swim in the strong and dangerous currents here.

    • Three Sisters walking track (Broken Head) Take the family walking through the rainforest on a day-trip to this spectacular lookout. Find out about its Aboriginal heritage, and after, enjoy whale watching and picnicking by the beach.

    Botanical wonders

    Broken Head Nature Reserve. Photo: D Mackey

    Whether you’re a botanist or just a nature-lover, it’s not hard to appreciate the incredible biodiversity at Broken Head. This small reserve protects three endangered plant communities: littoral and lowland rainforest, headland grasses and woodlands. There are 240 different plant species here, 12 of which are threatened in NSW and six in Australia, such as the white lace flower rainforest tree, which you might see standing tall along the entrance road in summer dotted with fluffy white ball flowers.

    • Three Sisters walking track (Broken Head) Take the family walking through the rainforest on a day-trip to this spectacular lookout. Find out about its Aboriginal heritage, and after, enjoy whale watching and picnicking by the beach.

    Rich bird and animal life

    Three Sisters track lookout, Broken Head Nature Reserve. Photo: D Mackey

    Broken Head Nature Reserve is a haven for birdwatchers and animal-lovers. Thanks to the plentiful supply of food on the NSW North Coast, the area is visited by many migratory and nomadic birds, flying-foxes and micro-bats. Three Sisters lookout is a great place for birdwatching and spotting migrating whales in winter and spring. Wandering along the beaches and in the rainforest, you’re sure to meet locals like brush turkeys patrolling the understorey in their search for food. But you might also be lucky enough to spot threatened species like the colourful wompoo fruit-dove, with its spectacular green, purple, and yellow plumage.

    • Broken Head picnic area Indulge in some picnicking, swimming, surfing, and birdwatching, while discovering a secluded paradise where lush rainforest meets the beach.
    • Three Sisters walking track (Broken Head) Take the family walking through the rainforest on a day-trip to this spectacular lookout. Find out about its Aboriginal heritage, and after, enjoy whale watching and picnicking by the beach.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Broken Head Nature Reserve has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.