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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve off limits to boozers

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The picture-postcard 'Christmas Beach' on the north bank of the Brunswick River is a popular family picnic spot during the holiday season, will be alcohol-free during the upcoming peak public holidays.
The picture-postcard ‘Christmas Beach’ on the north bank of the Brunswick River is a popular family picnic spot during the holiday season, will be alcohol-free during the upcoming peak public holidays.

The popular beaches of the Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve have been declared an alcohol-free zone for the upcoming public holidays in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour there.

The beach on the north bank of the Brunswick river mouth known locally as ‘Christmas Beach’ has become a busy picnic spot for locals and visitors alike during the peak holiday season.

But authorities have decided to clamp down on booze bingers spoiling the day for young families and tourists using the area.

National Parks and Wildlife Service’s (NPWS) Tweed-Kyogle acting area manager, Jen Atkins, said alcohol would be banned on Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Australia Day in order to promote a family-friendly experience.

‘Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve provides the opportunity for visitors, including those with young children, to enjoy a natural coastal environment on these special days’, Ms Atkins said.

‘We are keen to ensure that visitors who come to experience the reserve for its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere feel safe to do so,’ she said.

‘In the past, alcohol related anti-social behaviour on these days has forced families with small children to leave the reserve.

The reserve is home to critically endangered beach-nesting shorebirds as well as littoral rainforest, an endangered ecological community.

‘We need to avoid a repeat of previous incidents of fires being lit during high-fire-danger periods, smashed bottles being left on the beach, and other rubbish such as plastic bags being left behind which can easily end up in the adjoining Brunswick River.’

The alcohol ban applies to all parts of Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve, including North Head and ‘Christmas Beach’, from 8am to 8pm on Boxing Day and from 8am on New Year’s Eve to 8pm on New Year’s Day. The reserve will also be alcohol free from 8am to 8pm on Australia Day.

NPWS officers, with support from NSW Police, will be on site to enforce the alcohol free zone. People caught breaching the ban will be issued an on-the-spot fine and escorted from the reserve.

For further information on the ban, call the NPWS Tweed Area office on 02 6670 8600.

For further information on Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve visit http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/brunswick-heads-nature-reserve.


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  1. This is one of my most fav swimming, special places. Pity more noisy motor boats are pulling up here with their attention seeking vibes, beer bottles, leaving their rubbish – butts, bottle caps with out a thought..? Really? if you love it, then cherish it. Be peaceful for others to enjoy & please take your rubbish home, this is sacred land people.

  2. Alcohol is not the problem, its idiots who can’t handle their alcohol, overdo it and leave their rubbish around. Banning alcohol is not a solution to that. This ‘family friendly vibe’ thing is rubbish, plenty of parents drink alcohol and take other substances and are still friendly and also families. Sounds like its going to become a fun free zone that bans people who previously avoided the hectic scene in Bruns and Byron and relaxed on New Years Eve on Christmas Beach. Why would a bunch of squares want to do that anyway? If they want to shelter their kids from other people and real life then they should stay in their holiday houses behind their white picket fences. Anti social behaviour is commonly used as a term to justify enforcing new rules that restrict people’s freedom. Drinking on the beach on new years eve sounds pretty social to me and if its really getting messy then take your kids home, don’t stop everyone else from enjoying it. When parties get silly is always well after a child’s bedtime.

  3. This article translates loosely to:
    Christmas Beach is no longer a place for locals to enjoy themselves, we are trying to whitewash it and make it less scary for tourists from Sydney who aren’t used to the culture of Byron Shire. This is a square friendly zone for rich people to enjoy yoga and lattes. Any alcohol must be boutique, artisan and handcrafted.
    Localism has been replaced by TOURISTISM, we have to pay $50 for an exemption just to park our cars in our own town now.

  4. North Wall is a beautiful spot and should be respected. It is dear to the hearts of many in the community with many family memories. I’m curious though…when did it get to be ‘Christmas Beach’? The article credits ‘locals’ as referring to it by that name. Sorry but that is not a name that would be familiar to many in the community and if it weren’t for the photo I would have no idea what beach the article was referring to.


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