The Butcher, The Baker… And yep, we found candles for sale too!
Scotts Head is parked between Nambucca Heads to the north and South West Rocks to the south and is accessed from the Pacific Highway via Scotts Head Road. While there is another coastal drive from the south via Stuarts Point Road, this is the most direct access and is bitumen all the way, so suitable for all vehicles and caravans.
Camping is at Scotts Head Recreation Reserve and Caravan Park, which offers powered and unpowered sites, plus a good old fashioned playground. We stayed in this park and it’s a short walk over the dunes and down a path to access the beach, plus an easy walk to the headland lookout or around to Little Beach.
If you feel the need to stock up on supplies before arriving, Macksville to the north and Kempsey to the south are your best bets, but you’ll get everything you need in Scotts Head.
4WDriving on the beach at Scotts Head necessitates a beach driving permit which can be purchased from the caravan park office. Vehicles are restricted to a maximum speed of 50km/h and keep in mind pedestrians have right of way over motor vehicles at all times.
Scotts Head boasts a population of a little over 1500 and is most well-known for its surfing opportunities and is a haven for surfers and the laid back lifestyle.
Websites and contacts:
Scotts Head may be a small, sleepy hamlet tucked away on the mid north coast of NSW between Nambucca Heads and South West Rocks, but for most it ticks all the boxes looking for a secluded, surfing, fishing and escape-to-nature lifestyle. Oh, and it has its very own butcher, baker and a candlestick maker that delivers their wares for all to light their world.
Don’t expect too much in the way of bright lights, in-town entertainment or fancy eating out joints. Yep, you will find a few nice places for a feed, a small grocery store and as far as entertainment goes… I think I saw a pinball machine in the caravan park!
Scotts Head is a surfing mecca and even has its own viewing platform on the rocky headland on the southern end of Main Beach near the caravan park. This platform not only allows unhindered views of all who hang ten along the ocean breaks, but also is a beaut place to kick back with a glass of your favorite chilled beverage at sunset. Whale watching and dolphin spotting at the right time of the year (generally May to October), star gazing on crystal clear nights and even a secluded refuge to meditate… or hiding from the kids for an hour or two would be on the cards.
Swimming, splashing and frolicking in Main Beach adjacent to the caravan park couldn’t be safer and easier for kids of all ages. The shallow, gently banked sands make for perfect kid-friendly squeaky clean, patrolled (in season) laid back holiday spot for parents not wanting the hustle and bustle of ‘paid for’ entertainment of larger centres. Now that for me was a big plus; while we paid for the caravan park site, paid for food and drinks plus a couple of ice creams as a treat, there isn’t much else to spend money on for entertainment – that saved my wallet big time!
For enthusiastic fisho s, you’ll have a stack of opportunities on either the beaches or rocky headlands to toss or dangle a bit of bait from. As an extra enticement, there’s a boat ramp at the southern end of Main Beach to allow direct access out to the end of the watery side of earth. Warrell Creek also offers fishing, canoeing and water sports if you’ve brought all your own gear.
For the 4WDer and those that want to get away from the beach for just a little while, Mount Yarrahapinni in Way Way State Forest and Yarriabini National Park is an easily accessible starting point just minutes from town via Jimmys Ridge Road. The mountain can be seen from the Pacific Highway and features a few huge antennae’s perched on top. While the 4WDing isn’t too extreme, care should be taken during wet conditions – a bit of slippin’ and slidin’ is likely. We tackled the tracks and found a few beaut spots for lunch along the way to the lookout. At The Pines picnic grounds there are gas BBQ’s, picnic tables plus a beaut patch of lush green grass to have a snooze on… provided the kids don’t decide to use you’re relaxed belly as a trampoline. I managed just 30 seconds of rest until the unexpected belly flop caught me out!
There are marked walking tracks, clean clear water to frolic in, if you can brave the chilly mountain water, plus plenty of animal spotting for those equipped with cameras, binoculars and quiet kids that don’t scare the wild life away. Given my four kids lack volume controls; we only saw birds from a distance and one goanna scurrying up a pine tree after it tried to get up and personal with our vegemite sandwiches. Take that as a warning; the big lizards will stalk and make short work of any picnic lunch left unattended.
While you’re out 4WDing, with the relevant beach driving permit, you can drive on Main Beach north to the river at Nambucca which is close to 11km away. Watch out for the Little Tern nesting area; its well sign posted and fenced off, but do keep away from these birds and their nests.
Back at Scotts Head Recreation Reserve and Caravan Park, where we’d set up the caravan, there are plenty of grassy spots, plus a few shaded areas to park vans under huge fig trees. A handful of cabins and tent camping places plus the clean amenities allow for a relaxed, non-stressful base for a few days holiday. If you enjoy taking your pooch for holidays, this caravan park is dog friendly a sis the beach… just don’t forget the pooper scooper.
While we did do a little driving and site seeing, I found it all too easy to rely on the conveniences of the beach for the kids to play on, the Bowlo to walk to for dinner, the Bakery to wonder over to in the morning for fresh bread and the small grocery to poke into for milk and the like. All up, the fuel tank needle didn’t move too much, we didn’t spend a fortune and we left with exhausted kids who didn’t make it back out the Pacific highway without falling asleep homeward bound. Now that’s my kinda’ short break and I reckon we’ll be back to Scotts Head on a regular basis.