Often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of Australia, Dreamtime Beach in Fingal Head is absolutely stunning and definitely worth a visit on any NSW road trip!
Dreamtime Beach is popular with beachgoers and surfers who want to get away from the crowded beaches along The Gold Coast.
Despite being so close to The Gold Coast beaches, it honestly feels like you’re a world away when you’re at Dreamtime Beach, in a secluded little paradise!
When we visited there were only a couple of people on the beach so we basically had the place to ourselves to enjoy!
Where Is Dreamtime Beach?
Dreamtime Beach is located in Northern NSW, on the Tweed Coast of the Northern Rivers region.
It is less than a 15 minute drive south of the New South Wales/Queensland border, and the majority of the Gold Coast Beaches are all within a half an hour drive of Dreamtime Beach.
Dreamtime Beach lies between Fingal Head Beach and Kingscliff Beach, just on the southern side of Fingal Head.
How To Get To Dreamtime Beach
Without a doubt the easiest way to get to Dreamtime Beach is to drive. Park your car at the very end of Lighthouse Parade, where you’ll see a space for several cars to park. Parking is free here.
From there you’ll see a walking track – this leads to Dreamtime Beach and Fingal Head Lighthouse.
Follow the walking track for less than 200 metres or so, and you’ll see a sign on your right for Dreamtime Beach.
It’s a lovely shaded bush walk through coastal rainforest and there’s some nice local wildlife here – we saw a couple of kookaburras in the trees!
It is possible to get to Dreamtime Beach by public transport from The Gold Coast, however travelling by car is much easier and quicker.
Travelling by public transport will take 4 times longer than if you were to drive by car! Plus the buses aren’t frequent so you really need to be organised and plan your journey well!
If travelling by public transport from The Gold Coast, you’ll need to catch two buses, both around a 15 minute bus journey.
Catch the 601 bus from Tweed Heads to Sexton Hill Drive in Banora Point (direction Kingscliff), from which you can then catch the 606 bus to Fingal Head. The 606 bus only departs once a day in the afternoon, on Mondays to Fridays only!
From there you’ll want to walk the 5 minutes to the end of Lighthouse Parade, where the walking track to Dreamtime Beach starts.
Is Dreamtime Beach Patrolled?
Dreamtime Beach is not patrolled by lifeguards. It does have rough surf conditions, with pretty big waves, strong currents and rip tides common here, so swimming is not recommended.
What To Do At Dreamtime Beach
Dreamtime Beach is a hidden gem and even though swimming isn’t recommended there are several things you can do here!
Dreamtime Beach often attracts keen surfers as it has epic swell, so bring your surfboard if you’re a fan of surfing!
The northern part of the beach usually offers the best surf as it’s protected from the north-easterly summer winds, but be careful if the swells get big. I wouldn’t advise surfing here unless you are a confident surfer!
Another popular thing to do at Dreamtime Beach is to stroll up and down the beach. Dreamtime Beach is 5km long so you can pick a section to walk along!
Afterwards you can park your towel on the sand and rest your legs whilst you soak up the sun’s rays and enjoy the views!
Also if you have a 4WD and a valid beach driving permit you can drive your 4WD on Dreamtime Beach.
My favourite thing to do at Dreamtime Beach is actually to go to the Fingal Head lookout where you can get an epic view of Dreamtime Beach!
To reach the viewpoint, carry on walking along the track you came, then turn right at the junction to get to Fingal Head. It’s only a further 200 metres or so walking on the bush path.
Walk on the dirt trail straight past the Fingal Head Lighthouse and then you’ll see the lookout on the right. The view of the long-stretching golden sands of Dreamtime Beach are just stunning from here.
When you’re up here on the headland, if you walk around to the ocean side you may be able to see the Dreamtime Natural Pool!
Go in for a dip if you fancy – it’s definitely too small for a swim but it’s nice, similar to the Noosa Fairy Pools.
If you’re here during the winter months keep an eye out on the ocean for the incredible humpback whales on their annual migration!
Fingal Head – the actual headland, not the town, is a great place to spend a couple of hours! Here you’ll find the Fingal Head Lookout, Fingal Head Lighthouse and Fingal Head Causeway.
Fingal Head Lighthouse is the smallest lighthouse in NSW – it’s pretty cute!
From here you can do the Fingal Head Loop Walk, which will take you by the lookout and the Dreamtime Ocean Pool, as well as to see the incredible Fingal Head Causeway!
Very similar in appearance to The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland with the hexagonal black columns rising from the sea, the Fingal Head Causeway is without a doubt one of NSW’s most spectacular natural sights.
I find it incredible that a place so magnificent as this is relatively unknown by even many Australians!
Formed by volcanic lava from the nearby extinct Mount Warning volcano that reached the sea and then cooled, the hexagonal basalt rock columns that we see today were created. This was a whopping 23 million years ago!
The volcanic lava basalt columns actually continue underwater all the way to the nearby Cook Island!
The grassy headland here is a great place for a picnic to enjoy the stunning views!
You’ll also see the picturesque Fingal Beach located the opposite side of the headland near to the Fingal Head Causeway.
Where To Stay Near Dreamtime Beach
Coolangatta – one of the stunning Gold Coast beach towns, is just a 15 minute drive north of Dreamtime Beach and is a great place to stay. Coolangatta (QLD) is located on the QLD/NSW border, along with Tweed Heads (NSW).
Remember for half of the year there is a 1 hour time difference between Queensland and New South Wales, as NSW uses Daylight Savings but QLD doesn’t, so during the Australian summer NSW is one hour ahead of QLD.
You’ll find several accommodation options in Coolangatta, here are some of my favourite ones:
A trendy 1950’s boutique hotel full of wall art situated right opposite the beach which also has its own rooftop bar where you can enjoy the beach views, and an award-winning restaurant.
200 metres from the beach, The Sebel features an outdoor swimming pool, as well as a fitness centre, restaurant and bar.
Situated 100 metres from the beach, this hotel has an outdoor pool with a water slide, perfect for the young ones!
This cheap and cheerful hostel features a restaurant, bar and nightclub, as well as a shared kitchen and luggage storage facilities.
Alternatively, if you’re after a Holiday Park stay at the Big 4 Tweed Billabong Holiday Park. Featuring an outdoor pool, it’s a great place to stay if you’re travelling with children. There’s also a tour desk on-site.