Dog-friendly and waterside camping in Northern Rivers

Camping spots abound from the coast to the hinterland in the lush, northeast corner of NSW.

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Dog-friendly and waterside camping in Northern Rivers guide


Encompassing the catchments and fertile valleys of the Clarence, Richmond, and Tweed rivers in northeastern NSW, the Northern Rivers region is a subtropical oasis where beaches are backed by rolling farmlands and national parks. It’s warm enough to camp comfortably year-round across the area, though conditions tend to be drier in winter. Regional highlights include surfing—particularly in Byron Bay—hiking in World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests, and exploring the region’s small hinterland towns. But there’s plenty more to do, from horse-riding to hot-air ballooning and boutique shopping to river cruising. 

Where to go

The Tweed

Stretching for about 40 kilometres from Tweed Heads in the north down to Wooyung in the south, and west to the Border Ranges, The Tweed is a verdant coastal farming area dotted with seaside and hinterland campsites. Bask on empty beaches, admire the heritage architecture in tiny towns, tour the region’s farm gates, or take a cruise along the scenic Tweed River.

Brunswick Heads

This once-sleepy fishing town has become nearly as popular as its neighbour to the south, Byron Bay, in recent years. Brunswick Heads hugs the idyllic Brunswick River, popular for swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Sheltered by the southern break wall, Torakina Beach is particularly popular among families. Choose between a number of campgrounds and holiday parks by the riverside, many with cabins and sites for caravans and tents.

Byron Bay to Lennox Head

The legendary surf and wellness hub at Australia’s most easterly point is well equipped for campers, with holiday parks within walking distance of the town centre, campgrounds toward Suffolk Park, 10 minutes south of town, and more at Broken Head. Twenty minutes south of Byron Bay, the quieter coastal town of Lennox Head has holiday parks just steps from the beach and the popular Lake Ainsworth recreation area.

Byron Bay Hinterland

The lush hinterland region west of Byron Bay is dotted with historic villages and pockets of lush subtropical rainforest ripe for hiking and waterfall chasing. The main place to camp is the Rummery Park Campground in Nightcap National Park, with easy access to hiking trails and the spectacular Minyon Falls Lookout. Private campgrounds also dot the area between Byron and Mullumbimby, 30 minutes to the northwest.

Yamba and Iluka

Heading south from Lennox Head, you can camp at Ballina and Evans Head, but the most popular camping spot south of Byron is the Yamba region, on the southern fringe of the Northern Rivers. More than a dozen holiday parks sit between the coastal fishing town of Yamba, on the southern bank of the Clarence River, and Woody Head, in Bundjalung National Park to the north. Between the two lies Iluka, which sits on the northern side of the river mouth. Typical of the NSW North Coast, good surf spots can be found here.

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