When we arrived back at home in Australia I made a list of all the beaches I wanted to go to. The area of the far north coast of NSW were I grew up has some of the best beaches in the world. I wanted to see my favorites, share them with the girls and make new memories. There is beautiful beach, after beautiful beach. Most of which have very few people on them, even on the busiest weekend of Summer you can find a beach with only a handful of people on it. All of the beaches on my list I had been to before, some I recall visiting only a few times in my childhood, others I would go to daily at various times of my life. The beach at the top of my list was Whites Beach (not white’s), at Broken Head.
Located between Byron Bay and Lennox Head, Whites Beach is a mysterious beach, it is isolated and romantic and going to it makes you feel like you are in a novel, on an adventure. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the drive to it is off the main roads. It is a long winding dirt road drive through jungle like rainforest. We were lucky on the morning we went as there was was an early morning tropical rain shower. The heavy rain cleaned all of the ferns and palms that grow along the drive, making everything vivid green. Otherwise, the drive can be one dusty brown mess. The plants looked shiny and lush after the rain, and it made for a much more beautiful experience than when they are covered in dirt road dust. I was exclaiming the whole way, “Oh my goodness this is so beautiful, the ferns are so beautiful”. I was struck by our luck that this was the perfect morning to go to Broken Head. The rain settled the dirt on the road and made everything look clean and fresh. We were able to drive with our windows down, drinking in the rainforest goodness.
There is very little signage along the dirt road, and so unless you are familiar with the geography, and know the order of the beaches, you might miss Whites walking track entrance. There are three beaches along Seven Mile Beach Road, Kings, Whites, Braes (which becomes Seven Mile Beach). They are all lovely in their own way. Kings was known as a nude boys beach, although I am not sure that this history still stands. Braes Beach does not involve the steep hike to reach it, you can park your car fairly near the beach. It is the mermaid beach with beautiful scattered black rocks that form glorious shallow tidal pools. I had the pleasure of being a mermaid in a short film that was made at Braes Beach when I was young! In between the two, there is Whites Beach, my favorite beach at Broken Head.
I love Whites Beach for the beach pebbles, the cave, the pandamas palms, and because it is remote. We really enjoyed the bush walk to it. It is a 1/2 hour round trip hike, that involves a steep decent. This hike is for people without injuries and a good heart. The children walked it with ease, although for safety at some points we held Elle’s hand. It is lush and rocky, and the view is spectacular. There was even wildflowers along the way. I was in heaven.
When you arrive at the bottom of the trail to the beach, there is a great patch of beach pebbles before the sand begins. Perfect for making rock cairns with. Once off the pebbles you are in a wonderland of pristine white sand and huge volcanic rock formations. What I love best of all is the gigantic concave curves in one of the headlands. A beach cave sounds so good right? The imagination is set on fire! I love sitting in the shade of the beach cave and watching the waves role in. We were there at high tide and a tidal lagoon had filled between the large rock masses. We enjoyed this safe pool to swim in, it is after all a remote beach, and we did not want the children to be swept away or to be visited by a shark. Both of which are possibilities at Broken Head beaches.
Maya had a great time exploring. We climbed up to a group of pandamas palms, where a small waterfall was trickling down the rocks. It was warm and slippery and I encourages Maya to slide down the waterfall. Elle spent a lot of time collecting clear mini jellies.
I had a photo shoot to do for Little Creative Factory, and so Elle was wearing their cute swim suit. I don’t need reason to take photos, but it was a buzz to be photographing my little girl modeling swimmers in this stunning location.
We felt incredibly fortunate to have this morning in this spot. We discussed as a family how lucky we all were to have fit uninjured bodies to allow us to visit such a place. I tried my hardest to show gratitude for the experience, to give the girls the understanding that this beauty, this moment was something to treasure.
8 thoughts on “Whites Beach, Broken Head”
5 months til I can go! I have to admit that I have never visited this beach! Normal Broken Head one, of course, but never any of these three. Strange, eh? I will have to seek it out next trip home.
Oh yes Kate, you must check these beaches out next time! I think lots of local people miss out on these ones because they are a drive and a hike, but they are so very very worth it in my mind! I am excited you get to go to Australia again so soon!
Hey I wan to go visit but I wan to be sure I dont miss the correct exit how do you know which ones white?
It’s a beautiful post. Would you please remove the instructions on how to get there?
The traffic has increased incredibly in the past year and it’s due to more postings on where it is and how to find it that the damage to the area is growing.
You can not stop people wanting to experience the beauty, but you can manage it. I appreciate your effort to protect the shire, but it seems to me you might need to expand your method so it can have greater effect. Really listen to that inner voice, and direct it powerfully. I know what it is to want to protect it myself – having been born and raised there, the far north coast runs through my veins, and the change I see each time I return breaks my heart. Writing to small fry blogger asking them to alter their post is not really energy efficient. All it takes is someone with a billion followers on instagram to share it, it is like trying to stop the tide. The change has to be from the roots. Get involved with council. Get the road closed to general public, make it by pass access only – which has stipulations – no make up, sun block, food, etc etc.Make it a protected place, and lift the bar of what “protected” means. Make people respect the opportunity to visit, and in doing so raise environmental awareness. That will limit the numbers of visitors. People will still be able to go, but they will have to really want to, with the right intent and conscious.
Lake Anisworth is another one to protect. It used to be women only, indigenous law. Perhaps it still should be?
Either way, brainstorm an outcome that will have strength and make the change you want to see by thinking bigger.
Wishing you all the best.
I’m not a local I live in Brisbane but I just wanted to say how unfortunate it is that the council have signposted where the track to the beach is. Since they’ve done this recently it has started to come busy yet fortunately Brae’s has not been signposted yet and hardly anyone there. Why they signposted whites I have no idea but it is no longer as secluded as it once was.
Oh, I am sorry to hear that. I am not sure why Council do not operate in a more thoughtful and conservative manner.
Hi Kirsten, I was thinking about you today because I met a new friend who resembles you! So I googled you, and found your fabulous website. Your photography is amazing! I’m still on the North Coast, and now I’m feeling inspired to go to Whites, Braes, and some of the quieter beaches that I haven’t visited in a long time. But not today – we’re having a major flood.