Kayak Camping in Bundjalung National Park (NSW)

Highlights

  • Beach combing
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Photography

Summary

Bundjalung National Park is located an hour south of Byron Bay on New South Wale’s North Coast. Stretching for 40km along the coastline the National Park boasts secluded beaches, endless sand dunes, wetlands, freshwater lakes and headlands.

Leaving in the early afternoon, 3 mates and I loaded up our trusty Subarus with our kayaks, camping equipment and fishing gear (which we were relying on for dinner). Heading south past Ballina and through Woodburn the drive took just over an hour. Arriving at our stream of choice we unloaded the cars and crammed the hulls our kayaks full with gear. The limited space available made us make some difficult choices. We sacrificed camp chairs, pillows and even our camping mats. However, we figured with over a case of beer on board in our trusty esky we wouldn’t miss our forgone camp luxuries.

The paddle to the river mouth and the site of our secluded beach camp took close to an hour and a half due to bad timing with the incoming tide and the fact that we were barely afloat with all the gear on-board. However, we saw leaping mullet, sting rays, king fishers and soaring sea eagles which all lifted our spirits and made the trip pass more quickly. Once we arrived at our site we quickly unloaded and set up the tent and swag and gathered firewood. After this was done my mates got to work on organising their dinner and wet some lines in the river mouth. Within no time many healthy bream were landed and spirits were high as we watched the sun dip below the horizon. Cooked in foil on the fire’s coals with salt and lemon the fish was apparently delicious (I had brought haloumi, fresh corn and potatoes to roast instead). We stayed up well into the night enjoying our brews by the fire side whilst watching the stars drift across the night’s sky.

In the pre-dawn light we went exploring along foreshore and climbed the coffee rock cliffs. Wales were passing on the horizon on their annual migration north and it made for a pretty special morning. However, all too soon it was time to pack up the site, load up our kayaks and start the journey home. 

Essential Gear

  • Kayak
  • Tent
  • Cooking equipment
  • Head torch
  • Swimmers
  • Food & water
  • Optional: Camera, fishing gear

How to get there

Click here for directions.

Activities

  • Kayaking
  • Beach combing
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Photography
  • Wildlife watching
  • Star gazing

Skill level

The paddle was tricky in sections and required a moderate level of fitness.

Distance Covered/Elevation Gain

The paddle is 5km one way