You don’t have to go far from Byron Bay to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Lake Ainsworth, more commonly known in the area as ‘Tea Tree Lake’, is an amazing fresh water lake located in Lennox Head which is about 25 minutes drive south of Byron Bay. It is here that locals will make a pilgrimage to settle their minds and to escape the hustle and bustle.
There are a few ‘tea tree lakes’ scattered around Byron Bay and Ballina Shire including at Tyagarah Nature Reserve. However, Lake Ainsworth is one of the most amazing and well known.
Lake Ainsworth History
The lake was named after James Ainsworth (1843-1924), a farmer who was one of the very first settlers to the area. In those times the lake was an unrivalled source of fresh water but also a natural playground for the locals of the area. And it remains that way today. It’s a great place for swimmers, paddle boarders and floaters alike.
Tea Tree Lake Benefits
So how does this Tea Tree lake “heal” you exactly? When Tea Tree plants grow beside a lake, as they do at Lake Ainsworth, their supernatural oil drips down into the water, creating something similar to a ‘medical bath’. It colours the water so it looks like a cup of tea with an oily film on top. You might think it doesn’t look very appetising but the water is totally fresh. And the tea tree oil will work wonders on your skin. After a good long soaking you’ll come out of the lake feeling fresh and revitalised!
The Bundjalung People
The Bundjalung, Australian Aborigines Northern Coast of NSW, were the first to use the Tea Tree plant for medical reasons. They would take some leaves from the tea tree plant and crush them up. Once crushed they would rub them into bites, grazes, burns and other skin irritations. They would also use it as an insect repellent. These days Tea Tree oil is used to treat acne, cold sores, dandruff and many more ailments. Just stroll down the streets of Byron Bay and you will smell the thick yet refreshing smell of tea tree.
How to get there
Head out of Byron Bay on Jonson St following the road until it veers to the left and briefly becomes Browning St. Take Bangalow Road at the roundabout (3rd exit). Keep following Bangalow Road until the road splits and take Broken Head Road. Broken Head Road becomes Byron Bay Road. Keep your eyes peeled so you don’t miss Byron St. Follow Byron St until you get to the coast and turn left along Pacific Parade. You’ll soon find the lake! Alternatively take the M1!
Lake Ainsworth is located to the Northern end of Lennox Main Beach and is easily accessible. There’s also a caravan park located right on it’s shores if you fancy staying there for a night or two.
Don’t have a car? That’s ok, there are plenty of things to do at The Arts Factory Lodge which will help you rejuvenate, relax and unwind on a budget.