Near, Travel

7 Picturesque Hideaways In Northern NSW

As the temperature starts to rise, so does the desire to grab ‘ya mates, and hit some of the various beautiful watering holes nearby. The northern parts of New South Wales offer supreme peace and quiet, a great place to get away from the big city smoke. National parks, waterfalls and pristine beaches are abundant just a short car ride away! Whether you’re new to the area or just passing by, there is something for everyone in this scenic state. Byron Bay is just the beginning: we’ve uncovered a few hidden gems worth your time.

Before you head out to visit any of these spots head to National Parks NSW and suss out exactly how to reach your destination, permits you may need and facilities available. Let’s keep the landscape Insta-worthy for generations to come, people. Be responsible, respect the nature and take any rubbish with you.

Unicorn Waterhole

Hidden amongst the vast 5000 hectares of Mt Jerusalem National Park is this gem. It’s only approximately fifty minutes drive from Byron Bay, and is a swim stop worth bragging about. A great place to enjoy some inner monologues or meditation, depending on what you’re into. If you’ve travelled without a car don’t fret, there’s a daily run of buses taking you into the lush paradise.

Dorrigo National Park

Further inland from Never Never Creek, you will find the national park of Dorrigo. A sublime spot to go bushwalking, get acquainted with iconic Australian wildlife and to walk along the sky walk. Great place to take in the beaut scenery whilst gazing above the trees.

Dalwood Falls

The most southern inland swimming hole for Byron Bay hinterland waterfall chasers. Dalwood Falls near Alstonville, on Dalwood Road offers both a fresh swim and a challenge for adrenaline seekers who are game enough to cliff jump into the swimming hole. 

Killen Falls

Another hidden gem of the hinterlands, Killen Falls lies in between Bangalow and Tintenbar along Killen Falls Drive. A short bushwalk down to the free-flowing falls is a must do for adventurers of all levels. An absolute must of a getaway.

Minyon Falls

Hands down the largest waterfall in the north, standing at almost 100 metres in height. Minyon Falls is nestled deep within Nightcap National Park and can be viewed from the top of the mountain, or a long walk to the bottom. There’s always something refreshing about feeling minuscule amongst nature. A cascade amidst the wilderness.

Brunswick Heads

So I take it you would prefer to be at the beach to pass this summer of yours by? Given the option of course. Well, look no further than Brunswick Heads, which has both a lovely beach and a river to dip, soak or plunge in. Not to mention a bridge where you’ll join the locals and jump off into the salty bliss. Maybe even go all out and rent a canoe to embark up the riverine, if you so desire.

Mt. Warning

If you’re a hiker, the locals of Northern NSW will tell you to climb Mt. Warning with certainty. Hands down. The majority of the people who live in the area have conquered the mountain at least once. It takes 3-4 hours as a return journey, and involves a steep vertical climb to make it to the summit. Only fit for the enthusiastic hiker, but once at the top, spectacular 360 degree views of the shire await. Perfect for an early hours of the morning walk to make it to the top for sunrise!

Image source: Promised Lands Retreats, National Parks NSW, Brunswick Heads Tourism, Life Meets Girl, Nouw,

Previous ArticleNext Article
Laid back writer from Canberra on a quest to find the unexplored experiences of our world


  1. It is extremely insensitive to encourage people to climb Wollombin (Mt Warning) – the Bundjalung people who are the real “locals” are very much opposed to people climbing it. It is a sacred site to their culture and law.

  2. Please take wollombin (mt warning) off this list. Locals do not want people to climb the mountain, it is a sacred aboriginal mountain and the indigenous people protest against it being climbed. Saying that all the locals have climbed it at least once and would urge tourists to is a complete lie.

  3. Please remove Unicorn Waterhole from this list! I work for National Parks and due to safety issues and health concerns with the water there it is highly advisable that the public does not attempt to access it.

  4. Hi, I would be very interested to visit Unicorn Waterhole. Can you provide more information, how to get to Unicorn Waterhole NSW from Byron Bay…?

  5. The never never shouldnt be on this, due to the influx of torrists on a small swimming hole it is now garunteed if you swim there you will come home with gastro

  6. A little known fact about the Never Never River is it’s abnormally high population of Snakes (Death Adder, Eastern Brown, Red Belly Black and Tigersnake), and Funnelweb spiders. These creatures are attracted by the water especially on hot days. The water is also has an unacceptably high level of Faecal Choliforms.
    Because of these, and numerous other considerations, Bellingen Shire Council has a strict policy of NOT promoting Never Never Creek. This website should have more responsibility than to suggest that tourists visit such a dangerous site.

  7. …a great idea is to take your rubbish with you when you leave, and respect any of these spots. The Never Never is our backyard…

  8. I know you mean well, but please take Bellingen of your list. Our small humble town is becoming so over run by tourism and the swiming holes can not cope with the high influx of people.

  9. Never Never Creek is now so polluted with high faecal coliform counts from too many tourists and no facilities many people get sick swimming there.

    1. Hi, I know you just want people to have a good time but can you please take down this post? I am seeing to many tourists ruining sensitive environments like the ones you have mentioned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend