From the moment you step inside the office at Reflections CP in Evans Head, you're made to feel like one of the family. Owners, Scott And Katie and the their team of 16 staff seem to treat the park as their own and after spending time within the grounds it’s easy to see they all take pride in their work.
It’s a beautiful park situated right on the riverbank at Evans Head within walking distance of the town centre, cafes and other attractions around the area. I say right on the riverbank as some of the campsites are only 65 steps ( yep I counted them twice ) to the waters edge which is so convenient if you fish, kayak or just love the feel of salt water through your toes.
Evans Head is situated just 40 mins south of Ballina on the north coast of NSW, but being off the major highway its a peaceful place where you can find your soul and totally relax. With an estimated 3000 people living within the town and blowing out to nearly 12000 in peak times there’s enough services around to stay put for a week or so. Surprisingly Evans was discovered around 1870 when Captain Thomas Paddon couldn’t sail out of Ballina and he decided to ‘walk and explore’ the south, he discovered the Evans River and named it after his first lieutenant.
With Paddon’s explore along the coast, he found alluvial gold on the beach in small amounts and it wasn’t long before an influx of Chinese were attracted to the area mining the fine gold in the black sand. Paddon took advantage of this and built a hotel at the entrance to the river from cedar logs that had washed up on local beaches. After this and towards the 1950’s the town grew to what it is today.
Captain Thomas Paddon is buried nearby yet years on family member still reside in the area working on the river. Even though Evans Head is regarded as a quiet quaint fishing village - there is enough close to nature activities to keep even the fussiest campers busy. One of the best spots to get an overall view of the town is from Razorback Lookout, across the river from Reflections CP.
The lookout has 180’ views up and down the coast and then back across the town centre. Just nearby is an old anchor that was pulled up off there coast and is believed to be off one of the 89 ships that have sunk trying to cross the local bars in the area. The lookout is also a good starting point to the 6 walking tracks in the Dirawong Reserve that lead you along and around the headlands, ridge top walks and further south onto stunning beaches.
Surrounded by pristine National Parks Evans Head won’t disappoint with nearly 6km of surfing beaches, you might see dozens of different birds and an array of plant life. For a true stunning and pristine beach explore head just a few kilometres south to Chinaman’s beach where it’s reported that nearly 300 Chinese mined here for gold. These days you can walk for miles without seeing another footstep in the sand, the beach is lined with perfect Pandanus Trees and where sea Eagles circle the dunes and ocean swell looking for a feed.
Along the way you’ll see remnants of an old steel fence which was once a tick gate fence line to slow down the movement of ticks from the north to the south, down here on the beach they were concerned with local Kangaroos and wild horses that lived in the area, these days all that is left are a dozen or so steel upright posts firmly implanted in the ground. Fishing is good down here too, where open beach gutters allow migratory fish like Tailor, Mullet and others pass through.
Annually the Evans Head fishing classic is a week long event each July attraction family form near and far to river fish, use their kayaks, along the beaches and offshore fishing. The town swells to plague proportions and welcomes all that come. Funnily enough Evans Head has been claimed to of pioneered the Prawn industry in Australia and the taste is def in the pudding where you can head to the local Co-op for the freshest of seafood caught daily.
Other national parks in the area include Bundjalong and Broadwater where you can explore on walking trails within the parks. Huge sand hills, bora rings, wetland areas and also kayaking on Jerusalem Creek to get back to nature. These parks are home to over 200 species of birds, a host of mammals and nearly 40 different types of reptiles - you're almost guaranteed to see something unique. Heading north from town there is 4wd access onto the beach’s for secluded fishing, solitude sun baking or to test your 4wd skills.
If all of this seem too much to take in, head back to Reflections where within the park they have their own coffee shop and takeaway bar where they serve mouth watering Pizza’s and the perfect coffee overlooking the river. The great thing about this is that mum and dad can grab a cuppa while the kids ride and skate on the skate park nearby or along the riverside pathway. If all this isn’t enough there is a living museum and very informative information centre nearby to explore as well several other museums in town. Evan’s is as busy or as relaxed as you want to make it, but either way do your self a favour, head off the highway and get into Evans Head, it won’t disappoint.