About Lennox Head, NSW

Lennox Head is a classic Australian beachside town in northern New South Wales, Australia.  Just 15 minutes south of the more famous Byron Bay, Lennox Head is fast becoming a popular tourist destination in its own right. There’s lots to see and do in the Northern Rivers region. 

Lennox Head is one of Australia’s National Surfing Reserves. Lennox Point has a World-renowned right-hand point break at Lennox Point that experts will love.  For beginners, there a choice of local surfing schools available. If you’re not a surfer, you can still enjoy the show and the stunning views from Pat Morten Lookout.
See more about Lennox Head surfing here. 

Seven Mile Beach is the main beach at Lennox Head with 4WD access at the northern end. See more about local beaches here. 

First Peoples

Lennox Head is located on Bundjalung land, approximately between the Clarence and Logan Rivers and first settled by three brothers, Yarbirri, Marmoon and Birrung. According to oral tradition, Yarbirri thrust a spear into the sand and fresh water ran.
The Njangbal dialect group is thought to have occupied the area now known as Lennox Head and Ballina. John Ainsworth, one of Lennox Heads’ first settlers, records that in 1847 approximately 500 Aboriginal people lived in the region.

Prior to european presence in this area, which didn’t happen until the cedar cutters arrived in the 1840’s, tribes of the Bundjalung people lived a life rich in cultural practices. 

Food from the rainforests, wetlands and the sea was plentiful.  An estimated 4-500 indigenous people lived in the Lennox Head area, and in excess of 5000 in the Bundjalung nation (which extended from the Clarence River at Iluka to the Logan River in SE QLD).

Lennox Head Bora Ring, one of only eleven in NSW used to initiate boys aged 12-14 into the tribe, is a reminder of the ceremonial sphere of Aboriginal life. The larger circle was the site for public parts of the ceremony and a smaller circle reserved for secret rites. It is said that Aboriginal people destroyed the smaller circles to protect ritual secrets. A network of Bora Rings attests to the existence of complex environmental, social and cultural relationships between groups within the Bundjalung Nation. The Lennox Head Bora Ring is just off Gibbon Street. 

History

In 1828 Captain Henry James Rous, on the survey ship HMAS Rainbow, named Lennox Head after his friend, Charles, Duke of Lennox and Richmond. From 1842, freed convicts who logged the then abundant cedar trees, established small colonies in Ballina and Upper North Creek.

Others commenced to farm the area after the 1861 Robertson Land Bill allowed free selection of crown land which, in Lennox, could be purchased for as little as 4 shillings an acre. By the 1900s Lennox boasted a school, an Anglican church, a public hall and a post office.
When public bathing was legalised, the beach grew in popularity. Development of the Village followed the Lennox Head Estate land auction of 1922.

 Williams’ Reserve

Henry Williams arrived in NSW in 1827 as a convict, sentenced to 14 years for receiving stolen money. After gaining his certificate of freedom in 1853 he travelled to Ballina and his son Charles acquired a large amount of land at Upper North Creek. In 1959 the family’s
land was unwillingly forfeited to the local council for £1,184 ($34,281 today) and became known as Williams’ Reserve. Proposed by some as a caravan park, residents began using it as a sports field. Today it encompasses the community centre and skateboard park. Surrounding land is a fragile ecological area with endangered littoral forests.

Geology

The headland was created in the Cenozoic Era as part of one of the lava flows from the Tweed Volcano, a Shield Volcano, centred on what is now Mt Warning. The basaltic lava spread south and east from the volcano in a succession of flows which covered to varying depths an older landform uplifted from the ocean bed in the Mesozoic Era.