About Lennox Head
History tells that Joseph Banks on Captain Cook's (then only a lieutenant) Endeavour noticed a group of aboriginals walking along Seven Mile Beach and from his diaries;
'... not one was once observed to stop and look toward the ship; they pursued their way in all appearance entirely unmoved by the neighbourhood of so remarkable an object as a ship must necessarily be to people who have never seen one.'
The presence of an Aboriginal ceremonial ring or 'bora' at the western end of the town suggests that the area played an important part in Aboriginal traditional life. The 'bora' is unusually large measuring over 30 metres across.
Lennox Head is part of the Bundjalung nation. According to Bundjalung Aboriginal Dreamtime, 3 brothers settled on what is now known as Seven Mile Beach and one of them, Yarbirri, produced a flow of fresh water by thrusting his spear into the sand. At low tide there is said to be a stain marking the spot from where the water flowed.
It has been estimated that around 4-500 Aborigines were living in the area prior to the arrival of European settlers. Unfortunately, this wasn't peaceful.
The name Lennox Head was originally given in 1828 to a headland further south where the Ballina Lighthouse now stands by Captain Rous of HMS Rainbow in honour of Charles, Duke of Lennox and Richmond who was a prominent figure in British politics in the early 19th century. He named the Richmond River and the headland to its north after his brother's friend, Charles Duke of Richmond and Duke of Lennox. The river has retained this name, however the headland further north from the river became known as Lennox Head, and retains this name today.
The white settlement of North Creek began in 1842 when a small group of men moved across the Clarence and established a colony at Ballina and in the Upper North Creek area. Among the first in the Upper North Creek (Lennox Head) area were Stephen King, Thomas Ainsworth, Henry Williams and John Coleman. These men had been transported to NSW for the felonies of theft, and arrived in the area independently of each other. They were timber-getters and were seeking the giant cedar tress growing in the area. Cedar trees logged along North Creek were floated downstream to sawmills at Shaws Bay.
After the Robertson Land Bill was implemented in 1861 many farmers also moved to the area and selected land on North Creek. Some of the first to take up land were James Ainsworth, John Skennar, James Ross, James Hodgkinson and John Henderson.
All these men selected land that was near or fronted North Creek, because at that time, the creek provided the only access route to Ballina.
Other early settler families included the Kennedy, Williams, and Sharpe families. Many of these names will be very familiar to current residents of Lennox .
A stand of Norfolk Pines planted on this hill still stands today, and is a significant landmark. Four of the pines are believed to be over 120 years old - having been planted in the late 1800's by Albert Hodgkinson, son of James Hodgkinson, the first settler at Lennox Head (1866).
His father purchased the land for Albert in 1869 when Albert was 14 years old.
Others soon followed, timber getters, dairy farmers and growers of sugar cane.
The village proper of Lennox Head was gazetted in 1922 and much of the area was subdivided into blocks suitable for weekend and holiday accommodation. Lennox Head has continued to grow - from only 149 people in 1943 to over 6000 residents today.
A major attraction for the holiday settlement was Lake Ainsworth as it provided a safe swimming and recreation area for families.
This is still true today but with the extra attractions of the action sports of surfing, sailboarding, kitesailing and hang gliding. Of course there are many relaxing activities as well, from sipping a cafe latte in one of the many friendly cafes to early morning beach walking, whale and dolphin watching to just relaxing in a hammock and not worrying about the rest of the world.
Thankfully, the village has never become over developed due its proximity to Ballina which is the main shopping and service centre for the area.