Maggies Beach is located on the NSW Tweed Coast and is known for its beautiful white sands and crystal clear waters. Situated to the south of Norries Head, the beach faces ESE and runs south for approximately 2.5km towards Hastings Point and the Cudgera Creek entrance. It is fairly open and exposed, which causes strong rips and currents, and the northern corner near Norries Head provides some protection from NE winds. There is a park at the northern end that provides good facilities such as BBQs, toilets, showers and a picnic area, and is a great place to take in the surrounding scenery and spend a few hours.
Looking south along Maggies Beach
On top of winning multiple Keep Australia Beautiful NSW and Clean Beach regional awards, Maggies Beach was named NSW's overall cleanest beach in 2011. This is testament to the local communities commitment to the protection of the headland, its beach and dune system, and the fragile littoral rainforest that borders Norries Head.
Amazing views south from Norries Head
Plenty of shady spots for a picnic
Keep an eye out for rips along Maggies Beach
A picturesque, tropical entrance to Maggies Beach with Pandanus Palms
Stay on the tracks to help protect this beautiful part of the Tweed
Norries Head - the northern corner of Maggies Beach
According to historical reports, Norries Head was in fact once an 'island' in that it was surrounded by water, with the waves sweeping between the coast and the mainland in rough storms. These days there's a rock wall that protects the spit and forms the cove which was installed by sand miners who mined the Tweed Coast’s beaches for rutile and other heavy minerals in the 1950s and 1960s.
Scenic place for a picnic - Norries Head
Surrounded by a beautiful lake, protected wetlands, golden sandy beaches and a fragile littoral rainforest, the area around Cabarita Beach and Norries Head is truly a slice of paradise on the Tweed Coast. Known for its natural beauty and laid back beach vibe, Cabarita is home to around 3000 locals and is also a popular destination for holidaymakers. It has undergone a rejuvenation of sorts in recent years with a bustling cafe scene as well as luxury beachfront accommodation options popping up along the beach, although strict rules on development have helped it retain a quiet and relaxed atmosphere which keeps both the locals and tourists happy.
Cabarita, a beautiful spot for a day at the beach
Walk along the boardwalk to the top of Norries Head and you'll be rewarded with sweeping, uninterrupted views of the coastline both north and south that will take your breath away. The lookout is a great spot for picnics as well as those wanting to capture the essence of the area at sunrise and sunset. It's also popular on a hot day where you can seem to catch a slight breeze even on the calmest of days. Norries Head is a great place to watch the annual whale migration between June and October where you may be lucky enough to spot Humpbacks or Southern Right Whales.
Short walks left and right of this sign at Cabarita Beach
Cabarita is a popular surfing beach known for consistent surf and long, powerful rides. A righthander grinds down the point off the headland and is a swell magnet even on flat days. Best in medium to large E-NE swells, the wave breaks around 100m off the beach making for a long paddle across the bar or via the rip in the southern corner. Keep an eye out for sharks at dawn and dusk as Great Whites, Tigers and Bull sharks have been spotted in the area. Cabarita hosts many NSW surfing events during the year and an annual charity event, The Greenback Tailor Fishing Competition, which attracts hundreds of competitors from NSW and QLD.
Sand dunes - dynamic and fragile ecosystems
Cabarita Beach and the Bogangar coastal region has just been named as the latest addition to Australia's list of National Surfing Reserves (February 2018). Brad Farmer, a Tourism Australia Beach Ambassador and part of the board of National Surfing Reserves, who has been instrumental in protecting and promoting Australia's coastline for decades, said "While declaring Surfing Reserves at such beautiful places like Caba are largely symbolic in nature, it acknowledges the past, the present and importantly to future generations, that surfing beaches are a valuable and integral part of our national identity and way of life and need to be respected, preserved and shared”.
Looking east towards Norries Headland
The area around Cabarita and Norries Head is known as an 'endangered ecological community'. This refers to an assemblage of species that occupy the same geographic area and one that is likely to become extinct unless the factors that threaten its survival are carefully managed. The main threats to this area are trackway erosion, weed invasion and wildflower harvesting. A number of endangered wildlife species make their home here including Glossy Black Cockatoos, the Wompoo Fruit Dove and Ospreys.
An interesting sign about the native flora and fauna at Cabarita Beach
Cabarita Beach has plenty of amenities to keep everyone happy including BBQs, picnic areas, kids playground and also a skate park, as well as a variety of cafes and accommodation options within walking distance of the beach. The boardwalk at Norries Head is the perfect place to sit and watch the waves, world and whales go by, and also gives great views west towards the hinterland and mountains.
Follow the signs and help to protect this vulnerable coastal gem
Historical Aboriginal midden site at Cabarita Beach
Middens, remains of meals eaten a very long time ago...
Cabarita Hill littoral rainforest is a small, unique, and critically endangered coastal rainforest remnant located on top of a sand and rocky outcrop. The clifftop position and low windswept canopy make it distinct and the area is of high conservation value and protected under Federal Law. The small size of the rainforest makes it vulnerable to salt scald and wind burn from the harsh coastal environment, in addition to the daily impact that we humans cause.
Looking north along Cabarita Beach
Situated about halfway between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, Cabarita and Maggies Beaches can be found north and south of Norries Headland respectively. These beaches are only 25mins from Byron Bay, 15mins from the Gold Coast or 90mins from Brisbane. If you're on the Tweed Coast Road simply follow the signs to Cabarita and you can't miss it.
Drone flying is (unfortunately) growing in popularity at Norries Head.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Maggies and Cabarita Beaches are popular places to visit on the Tweed Coast and are favoured for their crystal clear waters, amazing views and parklands, all set against the beautiful backdrop of Norries Head.
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