Nestled in between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast is Cabarita Beach, a cool coastal town filled with delicious eateries, cool shops, cocktail bars and stunning coastline.
Known as Caba to the locals, this small town has an idyllic swimming beach where you can pop up your sun shade and set up camp for the day. During winter watch for whales, and in summer watch for professional surfers.
Where is Cabarita Beach?
Located a short 18 minute drive south from Gold Coast airport, or a 35 minute drive north from Byron Bay, Cabarita Beach is a coastal town in the Tweed Shire of New South Wales. Cabarita (or Caba to the locals) is a popular spot for surfers, holiday makers, people wanting to throw out a line for a spot of fishing, and also for anyone wanting to take a break, and enjoy a little bit of nature.
Can you swim at Cabarita Beach?
Yes, absolutely. Cabarita is an ideal spot to swim, with the water remaining shallow for a distance, and Norries Headland creating a protected cove for swimmers and surfers. The beach is patrolled on weekends in summer, to keep swimmers safe as they enjoy the waterways.
Where to stay in Cabarita
The Beach Cabarita Apartments
The perfect family accommodation, with fully-equipped apartments, and a huge heated pool, and spa, it’s an ideal one-stop location for adults and kids to have a great getaway. Located right on the beach, guests can walk straight onto the sand, and even spot whales from the oceanfront rooms. We’ve stayed at The Beach Cabarita Apartments (as guests of the resort) and thought it was a perfect spot for a holiday – we can’t wait to go back.
A luxe accommodation option, Halcyon House feels special from the moment you walk in. With a bar and restaurant, a pool to take a dip in and the beach at your door step, you really don’t have to leave. Personally I’ve never managed a stay, just popping in for drinks and dinner, and we even had my Mum’s 60th in the beautiful private room. It’s a must-visit, either for a stay or a cocktail in the bar.
Making camping a little bit fancy, The Hideaway is a boutique glamping accommodation option on the beach. This eco-friendly campground gives you the comfort of a real bed, with the chill vibe of a camping experience. There’s also a communal lounge, kitchen, and amenity block, and free WiFi for all guests.
What to do IN Cabarita Beach
Watch Humpback Whales swim on by
At the start of every winter, the oceans of Northern New South Wales are filled with whales making their way up the coast to warmer waters. It’s called Humpback Highway, they head north and put on a show as they swim along, breaching and spouting water. At the end of winter, they head back south again. For some reason, they really hug the coast in Cabarita as they swim on by, with whales easily visible from the beach – often within 50m of the shoreline. The best spot to watch them is Norries Headland. During our recent stay at Cabarita, we saw as many as 12 in the water at the one time.
Take a walk up to Norries Headland
A trip to Cabarita isn’t complete unless you take a walk up to the iconic Norries Headland. Pack a rug, and take a walk up to the headland, perfect for watching the sunrise, or trying to spot whales (in winter) or even dolphins.
Enjoy $10 Happy Hour at No.35
A cute little kitchen and bar on the main strip of Cabarita, No.35 has a Happy Hour offer on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 5 til 6pm, where snacks are $10, and so are their palomas. It’s a great way to start the night, and either continue on for dinner, or head down to The Burrow for some live music.
Learn to surf at Salty Girls Surf School
With holiday clinics, group lessons and private lessons, Salty Girls Surf School specialises in teaching girls and women how to surf on local Tweed beaches, including Cabarita Beach.
Grab breakfast at Caba Social
On my recent stay in Cabarita, I popped across to Caba Social for a solo breakfast where I ate the best eggs benedict of my life, scattered with a little Dukkah. It’s a local’s favourite, so grabbing a table on a weekend can be a sport in itself, so maybe opt for a brekky to go, and head to one of the tables near the beach and watch the surfers while you eat.
Visit Mist Gallery
Located across the road from The Beach Resort, Mist Gallery is a more recent addition to the Caba’ neighbourhood, regularly celebrating local and invited artists to exhibit their artworks. Always changing, it’s worth a pop-in each visit so you can see what’s happening on the local art scene and maybe pick up a piece to take back home.
Unwind at Halcyon Spa
As I am writing this, I realise that I have bought so many gift vouchers for friends and family to have massages and facials at Halcyon Spa, but never popped in to treat myself. The resounding feedback from everyone’s visits has been that it’s stunning inside and that the services are blissful. They have beautiful treatment rooms, a peaceful relaxation area, and a dome-shaped steam room.
Listen to live music at The Burrow
A local fave, The Burrow has great cocktails including some made from locally made Husk, live music on the weekends, and delicious eats, like tacos and nachos. You can even order pizzas from their store next door, and then in for a cocktail while it cooks.
Discover healthier fish and chips at The Stunned Mullet
My kids love fish and chips, but I don’t love how heavy it feels eating it. We’ve loved The Stunned Mullet for almost a decade now, because they have healthy options and delicious salads to go with your fish. Everyone in the family is happy that way!
Have a drink at Paper Daisy Bar
One of, if not ‘the’, coolest spots on the coast to stop for a cocktail or three, Paper Daisy is a stunningly decorated restaurant and bar, with cool blue and white tones. Designer Anna Spiro has designed the space to perfection, with nods to her signature style from the hotel rooms, to the restaurant walls, making it a totally Instagrammable experience. Located close to the beach, It’s a great place to spend a warm Saturday afternoon.
Pop into The Adventure Club Toys
We happily drive 20 minutes from home for this cool toy store, as it has the best toys on the coast – especially if you like wooden toys, and lovingly made bits and pieces. They’ve now opened up a space for kids workshops, so if your kids are into sensory experiences and good times, check them out