Ocean Shores is situated in the beautiful Brunswick Valley, on the far north coast of New South Wales. Just fifteen minutes from Australia’s most easterly point, Byron Bay; and only thirty minutes from the New South Wales and Queensland border towns of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta. Ocean Shores enjoys a warm, sub-tropical climate. Average summer temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius are accompanied by cool sea breezes and winters are characteristically mild and warm. The average winter temperature is 21 degrees (C). An average annual rainfall of 1700mm provides perfect conditions for plant growth resulting in lush, green lawns and healthy gardens.
The Brunswick River is a feature of the Ocean Shores/Brunswick Heads area. The river provides leisure activities such as fishing, safe swimming and boating as well as being a source of income for oyster growers. It also provides access to the ocean for the local fleet of trawlers and fishing boats based at Brunswick Heads.
Ocean Shores boasts pristine surfing beaches, which are patrolled by Australian Surf Life Savers during the summer holiday months. These beaches are situated at New Brighton and South Golden Beach; just minutes from the Ocean Shores Shopping Centre and within walking distance of many of the homes in Ocean Shores.
Geographically, Ocean Shores features a mixture of flat, residential blocks (many of which are within walking distance to the beach) and elevated blocks which boast stunning views of the coastline, the river and the breathtaking hinterland escarpment.
Many homes in Ocean Shores enjoy coastal views to Byron Bay Lighthouse headland in the south to Hastings Point headland in the north. Other views of the Brunswick River and the rolling hills of the Brunswick Valley are also enjoyed by residents of Ocean Shores.
Shores is an integral part of the Brunswick Valley. The townships
within the valley are closely intertwined with each providing a unique
aspect of life and all supporting each other in relation to services and
Other towns and villages of the Brunswick Valley:
The population of Ocean Shores/New Brighton/South Golden Beach as reflected in 2001 Australian Bureau of Statistics data was 4 952 persons. This figure is part of a Shire-wide figure of 27 565 persons living within the boundaries of the Byron Shire in 2001.
Recent discussions with local Council representatives have confirmed an accepted estimate of an increase in the population of Ocean Shores/New Brighton/South Golden Beach since 2001 to be at 31%. This represents an estimated current population of 6 141. Actual figures will be confirmed later this year with the forthcoming National census.
Between 1991 and 1996 the population of Ocean Shores alone experienced a growth rate of 21%. This meant that it outgrew the population of Mullumbimby to become the second largest urban area in the Byron Shire.
In 1996, 78% of households in Ocean Shores/New Brighton were families, 18% were lone person households and 4% were group households.
Also in 1996, 83.6% of dwellings in Ocean Shores/New Brighton were freestanding houses (which is the highest proportion compared to other towns within the Shire)
Semi-detached row or terrace houses, townhouses etc. accounted for a further 6.5 % of dwellings; flats, units or apartments accounted for 7.7% of dwellings and only 0.2% of dwellings were caravans. (Dwellings not stated accounted for the remaining 2%)(Population Statistics taken from the 1998 Byron Shire Council Document "Community Profile" )
Ocean Shores is serviced by three regionally-based airports situated in Coolangatta, Ballina and Lismore. Coolangatta Airport is 40 minutes north of Ocean Shores and at present, the Sydney-Coolangatta route is the fifth busiest route in Australia and the Melbourne-Coolangatta route is the eighth busiest. With approximately 1.2 million people through the airport annually, the future for tourism in the Ocean Shores region continues to look bright.
In addition to this, the Gold Coast Airport Limited opened a new international terminal at Coolangatta in September 2000. This terminal has several flights per week arriving from New Zealand and recently accepted regular flights from New Caledonia. With such services available there is great potential for international tourism to flourish in Ocean Shores and the surrounding Brunswick Valley. (Statistics taken from "Tourism News" October 2000 – publication of Northern Rivers Tourism – Official Regional Tourism Body for the Northern Rivers Tropical NSW Region.)
The Ballina Airport is situated 30 minutes south of Ocean Shores. It provides Travel and Ground Handling Services to both the Ansett Group and Qantas Group of airlines. In 2000 air services entering Ballina Airport grew from 25 flights per week to 63. This is an indication of the growth currently being experienced within the region.
The Lismore Airport is situated 45 minutes from Ocean Shores. It receives 4 Hazelton Airlines flights per day from Sydney. These flights are in 38 seater aircrafts and are run at times which are well-suited to a wide variety of travellers.
Not only is air travel well-catered for in the Ocean Shores area, bus services are also available. Brunswick Valley Coach and Travel, based just 4 km away at Brunswick Heads has a regular bus service from Ocean Shores to the neighbouring towns of Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Billinudgel, Byron Bay and Bangalow. It also provides daily transport to Brisbane, Sydney and larger regional centres such as Lismore, Grafton and Tweed Heads.
Rail links are also available with Countrylink providing services from the Murwillumbah Station, situated just 30 minutes north of Ocean Shores. Rail travellers returning from Sydney can alight from the train at Mullumbimby which is only 10 minutes from Ocean Shores.
The Brunswick Valley is inter-connected by a large network of roads. The Pacific Highway runs through the area and is soon to be upgraded to a dual carriage-way between Tweed Heads and Ocean Shores with well-planned, subsidiary road networks exiting the highway for easy access to Ocean Shores. Recent Environmental Impact Studies into the new highway system place estimated travelling times between Tweed Heads and Ocean Shores (on completion of the new highway) at only 20 minutes. This places Ocean Shores in the prime position of being a close weekend getaway destination for residents of the Gold Coast
The other arterial road in the area is the Bangalow Road which is a state government road connecting the Brunswick Valley to the regional centre of Lismore.
A network of small roads weaves through the hinterland connecting the small villages, towns and rural areas. Road access takes locals and visitors to quiet, private beach locations and to spectacular mountain gorges, valley views, mountain streams and tropical rainforests situated in the upper catchment area of the Brunswick River.
Ocean Shores is serviced by all major telephone companies, including Telstra, Optus and Kooee.
Television reception covers four major networks; TEN Northern NSW, Prime (Local Seven Network), NBN (local Nine Network) and the ABC. Pay TV is also well established in the Ocean Shores area.
Radio coverage is received from networks such as the ABC (based in Lismore), Radio 2LM – Lismore, Radio 2MW – Tweed Heads, ZZZ FM – Lismore, Bay FM – Byron Bay and a variety of other radio networks based on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.
The Ocean Shores hinterland areas boast beautiful rural, coastal and river valley views. Mountain streams and lush rainforests make the hinterland areas popular destinations for both locals and visitors. Minyon Falls in the Nightcap National Park is a spectacular sight with the mountain stream gushing over a one hundred metre cliff face. The view of the surrounding escarpment and natural bush setting can be enjoyed all year round.
Historic sites (including timber-getters camp sites) and adventurous mountain trails make nature-based and educational tourism a potential drawcard for the area. To date the attractiveness of this type of tourism is only just being realised, thus enormous potential exists to develop nature-based tourism options.
At present there are a number of small, private accommodation centres dotted throughout the hills. Most are in the form of "Bed & Breakfast" establishments where visitors enjoy a slower pace, breathtaking views and a chance to relax and revitalise. Visitors from Sydney and Melbourne access Ocean Shores beaches from their mountain hide-aways which often sparks interest in the investment potential of the area.
Figures for the Byron Shire reflect a significant increase in visitors over the past ten years. Figures from Tourism NSW show that tourist expenditure in the Byron Shire increased from $48m in 1987/88 to $124m in 1996/97. Over the same period visitor nights grew from 813 000 to 1.9 million. Since 1997 steady growth in tourism has been established with a significant increase occurring in the last three years. This has resulted in the Ocean Shores/Brunswick Heads area becoming a popular destination for Gold Coast, Lismore/Grafton and south east Queensland visitors who enjoy weekend getaways and extended stay coastal holidays. A number of restaurants and cafes have emerged in Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores/New Brighton, all of which are very popular with both locals and visitors. In fact, many visitors travel from the Gold Coast just to dine at the local restaurants.
Ocean Shores is serviced by a variety of professionals who live and work in the area.
The Ocean Shores Medical Centre has three full-time Doctors and a full time Dentist working six days per week. Emergency Medical Services are available seven days per week at the Mullumbimby Hospital (10 mins from Ocean Shores) and through the Ambulance service also based in Mullumbimby.
Other professionals available in Ocean Shores include Physiotherapists, Accountants, Solicitors, Financial Planners, a specialist Advertising Firm and a Pathology Clinic.
Banking Services are available at the local branch of the Summerland Credit Union, situated in Ocean Shores and also through the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, a Westpac Agency, the ANZ Bank and one branch of the Southern Cross Credit Unionbanks located in Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby. . In addition to this eftpos machines and ATM’s are accessible at most retail outlets in Ocean Shores.
Ocean Shores is well serviced by a local shopping centre which houses specialty shops, Bi Lo Fresh Supermarket, Clint’s Crazy Bargains, a local Pharmacy and a number of restaurants and takeaway cafes. The local tavern, Country Club and New Brighton Store provide liquor outlets and superb dining.
Real Estate Agent Eagle Realty , Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Hardware, Butcher, Bakery, Clothing, Book, Curtain and Shoe Stores are all situated in Ocean Shores. Basically, all goods and services required can be accessed at Ocean Shores.
Local trades are also well represented with people associated with all types of trades living in Ocean Shores and working in the Brunswick Valley.