Tag Archives: Road Trip

Gold Coast to Byron Bay Road Trip – Tomewin Mountain Magic

Driving to Byron Bay from the Gold Coast goes together like bacon and eggs but it’s truly amazing how many paths can get you there. This itinerary leads you through the majestic Gold Coast Hinterland via the Currumbin Valley and Tomewin before winding down to Murwillumbah and returning to the coast at Byron Bay. We’ll cover some of the top spots to include, but as this region is a treasure trove of natural wonders and places to stop we think you may need to visit more than once to truly experience all there is to see and do.

Leave the highway and get on to Currumbin Creek Road at the southern end of the Gold Coast. In a matter of minutes you will be in the hinterland winding your way up into the mountains. One thing that will hit you along this entire journey is the brilliant green formed by both lush rainforest and fertile farming land which leaves little question as to why this region is known as “The Green Cauldron”. Scattered along this way are some truly beautiful opportunities to stop, breathe and cool down. Babbling creeks running with crystal clean water, quaint coffee and gift shops and BBQ and picnic areas abound. Watch for the signs to our top picks:

Nicholls Scrub National Park – Great for families with birdlife including geese and ducks for feeding.

Currumbin Rock Pools – Pack your swimmers and BBQ goodies for these natural pools loved by locals for cooling off over the summer months.

Follow the signs onto Tomewin Mountain Road to begin your climb up and over the next valley. The air becomes fresher as you climb and get closer to the NSW border and it is here you will find an icon of mountain life and the most scenic place to buy fruit anywhere – Freeman’s Fruit Stall. Run by the 4th generation of the Freeman family you can pick up fresh organic produce for the road, grown in the fertile volcanic mountain soil.  The Arthur Freeman Lookout on the QLD side of the border and Elliot Gruner Lookout on the NSW side of the border let you see the entire scope of this ancient landscape from the Gold Coast down to the Tweed and offer views that are truly awe inspiring.

freemans-fruit-stall

Pass through the historic town of Tomewin, and take a pitstop at the Red Rattlers Gallery. This gorgeous cafe and gallery is filled with local arts and crafts and is built in two vintage 1928 rail carriages affectionately known as “red rattlers”. Stop for coffee or browse for gifts to take home. Then it’s full steam ahead as the road descends from the mountains and enters the pioneer sugar cane and banana growing town of Murwillumbah. The heart of the Tweed Valley, its unique blend of eateries and galleries is mixed with old fashioned country charm. You could easily spend a few hours browsing and soaking up the atmosphere or just lazing beside the river with a view of Mt Warning in the distance. The Rainforest Information Centre is home to a unique panoramic display expertly painted by local artists that offers visitors a 360 degree simulation of the view from the top of Mt Warning.

Leaving Murwillumbah you’ll head towards Byron Bay via Moobal and the Burringbar Range. This was the original highway but is now a scenic drive that takes you back to the true essence of the Northern Rivers and away from the freeway. The Moo Moo Café in Moobal is very hard to miss with its cow print exterior and is a cute spot to make one last stop before your destination.

Arrive in Byron Bay with a sense of satisfaction that you’ve just unlocked some of South East QLD and Northern NSW’s hidden secrets. Then make the most of this great journey with a stress free stay so close to beach you can hear the waves. But there’s no hurry AND you can always take the scenic road home!

Road Trip from Brisbane to Byron Bay – The Road Less Travelled

Are you the kind of person that loves the journey as much as the destination? Then why not make your next adventure a road trip to Byron Bay from Brisbane – but with a difference! Unleash your inner explorer by veering away from the coast road and travel along the lesser travelled Mt Lindsay Highway and onto Lions Road and Rainforest Way before continuing through to Byron Bay.

If you have never discovered this amazing and unique part of Northern NSW then you haven’t truly discovered everything this colourful and pristine region has to offer. Come with us as we guide you through this adventure and share just some of the highlights and “must see” places to stay or stop along the way.

Which Way from Brisbane to Byron Bay?

Program your GPS and head off the M2 Ipswich/Toowoomba Motorway through Logan and onto the Mt Lindsay Highway. As you enjoy the picturesque rural landscape you’ll find yourself passing some of the many horse studs, wineries and cattle properties along the way. You’ll already be starting to get the feeling that this is a new experience from the coast road. Your first leg should take you around 55 minutes.

Beaudesert

beaudesert

Picture credit: Scenic Rim Escapes

As you enter rural and rustic Beaudesert you get an immediate sense of its agricultural history. Part of South East Queensland’s “scenic rim”, this town is a springboard for exploring a host of nature, food and art trails. You may also be interested to learn that Beaudesert is one of the most popular places in Australia for hot air ballooning. Stop for a break or put together a picnic for the coming drive. As a starting point to find out more about what’s available to see and do here you can visit the Beaudesert Tourism or Scenic Rim Escapes websites.

http://www.beaudeserttourism.com.au/
http://scenicrimescapes.com.au/

Nature and History Surround You

Leaving Beaudesert behind the journey South continues along the Mt Lindsay Highway and the kaleidoscope of colours is breathtaking as the terrain changes to incorporate rugged valleys and rock formations. As you begin to climb the McPherson Range the winding road will lead you through areas of eucalypt forest, lush rainforest and mountain heath all with their own unique beauty and wildlife.

Tip: There are many charming picnic areas and lookouts dotted along this road so keep an open eye and be prepared to stop so you can revive and truly take in the beauty of this area. Our top pick is Captain Logan’s Lookout in the historic village of Rathdowney.

While you are there make sure you include a stop off at the adorable Information Centre and Historical Museum, open every day of the year (except Christmas Day). Take advantage of their local knowledge, pick up maps and unearth the history of the region. Rathdowney is also host to the unique Heritage Festival and Bush Poetry Competition held in March.

historical-museum

National Parks

At this point of the journey it should be becoming clear why you’re travelling along what’s known at the Rainforest Way. With the Mt Barney and Border Ranges National Park on either side you now have access to some of the most pristine wilderness in Australia. We recommend you check out both the QLD and NSW National Parks websites for advice on the many recreation and camping areas nestled around the two parks and for any warnings or bush fire advice.

Mt Barney National Park: http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mount-barney/
Border Ranges National Park: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/border-ranges-national-park/travel-info

 

The Lions Road and Border Loop Railway

Follow the signs from Rathdowney and snake your way along to experience two marvels of engineering and human endeavour. The Lions Road is a scenic shortcut through the Richmond Gap built in the early 70’s. In a massive community effort led by the Lion’s clubs of Kyogle and Beaudesert they created this amazing stretch of road that will take you through some unforgettable scenery. It is here that you will cross the Border from Queensland into New South Wales and come upon one of the most extraordinary lookouts that is a favourite of train buffs from around the globe. Here nestled amongst the forest is the vantage point for viewing the Border Loop Railway. As you look down upon the railway line winding around and through the mountain twice, you cannot help but marvel at the skill and dedication of the 1500 men who worked to build this essential link to connect Brisbane the rest of the nation for both goods and passenger trains. Take the short bush walk (suitable for all levels) or have a BBQ and smell the forest air as you look down along the valley toward your next stop Kyogle.

Tip: To find out train times call 132 232 for the best chance of seeing the track in action.

Kyogle

A bustling and vibrant country town with a friendly atmosphere, Kyogle (which is the indigenous word for place of the Bush Turkey) is a great spot to grab a bite to eat spend some time and explore its many outlying villages. A must see here is the The Roxy Galley a home some stunning works from talented local artists with changing feature exhibitions. If your timing is right you may also include gathering some fresh local produce the Famers Markets held every Saturday morning 8am to 12 noon.

http://www.visitkyogle.com.au/

Nimbin

It’s an enjoyable and scenic 40 minute drive from Kyogle to the iconic and world-famous village of Nimbin. With its colourful alternative atmosphere, and bustling community it is an essential part of any visit to the Northern Rivers region, especially when your ultimate destination is Byron Bay. Feel the pace slow to what’s known locally as “Nimbin time” and be immersed in the laid back counter culture. Allow yourself time to browse and shop for souvenirs as there are many artisan shops, stalls and handmade trinkets available all with a uniquely Nimbin feel. Taste the flavours of the region in one of the many cafes, or put together a range of local and organic delights available along the main street.

http://www.visitnimbin.com.au/

TIP: Watch out for the many honesty boxes and roadside stalls selling freshly grown local and often organic produce. Delicious!

nimbin

Your Byron Bay Destination Awaits

As you descend from the mountains and enter the township of Byron Bay you can enjoy the wave of elation and sea breeze that will meet you. Most importantly you can look forward to the many awaiting adventures along with the diverse range of eateries, entertainment and natural beauty on offer here in “the bay”. And if you’ve chosen to stay with us here at the Suffolk Beach Holiday Park you can relax knowing you have the perfect beachside accommodation with everything you need. If you haven’t booked your stay yet – then what are you waiting for!

Click here and start planning to hit the road.

South East Queensland to Byron Bay Road Trip

Last month we took you on a road trip from Sydney to Byron Bay along The Legendary Pacific Coast. This month we reverse directions and discover what’s on offer from Brisbane to Byron Bay – the perfect escape for a weekend getaway. Click here to visit our Beachfront Accommodation page or click here to visit our Accommodation Specials page! 

Historic Town of Murwillumbah

With its picturesque streets, federation buildings, magnificent shady trees and meandering river, Murwillumbah has all the charm and character of a quintessential country town. Spend a morning looking for antiques, browsing home ware stores, visiting the Tweed River Art Gallery and of course – enjoying some great eating. For an authentic 50’s diner experience, check out the Austral Cafe with its vintage booth seats, traditional roast lunches and great coffee and cakes.

Go Green!

Murwillumbah is located beneath the awe-inspiring Mt Warning, which is part of the Wollumbin National Park and the Gondwana rainforests. The park is accessed 12km south-west of Murwillumbah off Kyogle Road. Captain Cook named Mount Warning, but to the Aboriginal community it is a sacred place known as Wollumbin. Enjoy a picnic or walk the Lyrebird Track which winds through the lush subtropical rainforest.

Border Rangers National Park is also accessible from Murwillumbah. Follow the Kyogle Road west to Lillian Rock and turn right onto Williams Road. From Kyogle, travel 15km north along the Summerland Way to Wiangaree and then turn right onto Lynchs Creek Road. Experience spectacular views across the Wollumbin National Park, Mt Warning and the Gondwana rainforests as well as rainforest walks, picnic areas and campgrounds. Travel around the national park by taking the Tweed Range Scenic Drive.

Beautiful & Historic Village Market

Only a short drive from Mount Warning through the countryside of green hills and along the gentle flowing river is the wonderful hinterland village of Uki. On the 3rd Sunday of the month the town comes alive with the Uki Buttery Bazaar markets, which is a kaleidoscope of food, music, fashion, art and hand-made goods! When you’re finished browsing, the town is well worth a visit. A true regional treasure.

Beach & Creek Swimming

For beach lovers, there are so many great spots to enjoy along the way from Brisbane to Byron Bay. Four of our favourites are Snapper Rocks Coolangatta, Norrie’s Head Cabarita Beach, Pottsville and Brunswick Heads.

Snapper Rocks is a very popular surfing beach with classic, long, easy right-hander waves making it popular with locals and visitors alike. If you are looking for less crowds then head further south to Norrie’s Head Cabarita Beach. Located on the coast road, the small township of Cabarita fronts onto a long open stretch of beach which is ideal for swimming, fishing, boating, canoeing and surfing. If you’re looking for calm waters for the kids, then take a break at Pottsville and enjoy a splash in the Mooball Creek. Finally make a stop at the tranquil coastal town of Brunswick Heads, 20 minutes north of Byron Bay. Not only will you enjoy a great surfing beach and a beautiful riverbank, Brunswick Heads also has the added bonus of the iconic Brunswick Heads Hotel with a large outdoor beer garden, great pub food and live music.

Cuddle A Koala!

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a must visit destination on the Gold Coast and offers visitors the chance to cuddle a koala, pat a kangaroo and is home to the original wild Lorikeet feeding. Set amongst 27 hectares of rainforest, this place is a delightful way to spend the day.

Soak Up Some Art

Set high on a rural hilltop, the Tweed River Art Gallery and cafe offers breathtaking views across the Tweed River. A variety of exhibitions are presented in six spaces and range from contemporary to historical works. The gallery’s extensive collection of Australian portraits, prints and other works are always on display. Open Wednesday to Sunday with easy access and parking – admission is free.

Where ever your adventure takes you, don’t forget to STOP, REVIVE and SURVIVE! There are many ‘Driver Reviver’ stops along the way offering motorists free tea, coffee and biscuits. Remember the most important thing is to get yourself and your loved ones there safely!

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

South East QLD

The Hidden Gems Of The Byron Hinterland

Don’t for one second think that the Byron Bay beaches are the only attraction in the Northern Rivers region. Behind the coastal strip is a fascinating mix of cultural and geographically attractions and Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park is your gateway to the hinterland’s green rolling hills, world heritage national parks and charming villages. It really is the best of both worlds!

Firstly, Minyon Falls which is located within the Nightcap National Park, is a scenic 30 minute drive from Byron Bay. Part of the volcanic escarpment, the top of the cliffs are forested with ancient rainforest and abundant wildlife including koalas, goannas, whipbirds and Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos. Definitely worth a visit on a hot day as the temperature is always cooler than on the coastal strip and a great place to be on a wet day when the falls are at their majestic best.

While we are in this region, why not take a diversion to the The Channon Markets, a mere 45 minute drive out of  Byron and 20 minutes from Minyon Falls. One of the longest running markets in the area (35 years!) it is held on the second Sunday of every month and still upholds its founding mantra “Make It, Bake It, Grow It”. The stallholders are as colourful and unique as the objects they sell. You are sure to run into a busker (or ten) as you lazily make your way around the stalls or sit down under a tree to enjoy the delicious organic and locally grown food choices.

Protesters Falls, just outside The Channon, is historically significant as the scene of a long and ultimately successful protest against the logging industry in the 1970′s. Just 14km from The Channon village, it is well worth a visit. You can appreciate the vigour with which the protesters clashed with the loggers when you see the natural beauty of this ancient area. There’s a track which wanders through old growth timber and rainforest and gives you a close up appreciation of the area’s natural assets. Especially worth a visit if it has been raining, as the falls cascade to wonderful pools and waterholes. Take a moment to thank those who fought for this absorbing landscape.

Bangalow is one of the area’s prettiest villages with its main street architecture virtually intact and untouched since settlement and development in the 1880′s. Visually enhanced as a tourist destination, whilst maintaining its old world charm, Bangalow offers the diner a wide range of cafes and restaurants as well as funky boutique shops. One of the local fashion leaders, ‘Lazybones’ has a shop here as does the upmarket lifestyle store ‘Island Luxe’. Standouts include an original art deco cake shop and a traditional old time butcher. One of the oldest buildings is the Bangalow Uniting Church built in the early 1900′s and still active.

If you are hankering after locally grown organic produce and really want to savour alfresco dining in a charming, historic cottage with a shabby chic appeal, cross the Pacific Highway and head over to Newrybar, 15 mins from Byron. Open every day for breakfast and lunch and Thursdays, Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner, Harvest Cafe will satisfy your modern palate and your love of history.

Again, just across the Pacific Highway, is the quaintly named Possum Creek Road and off this road is the equally intriguing Friday Hut Road.  Here, you will find a treasure of a restaurant, Lilianna’s. Located in the lovingly restored and maintained Old Possum Creek School, Lilianna’s holds true to its belief in honouring the past whilst devising innovative menus using the best local and ‘in season’ produce. An added bonus is the local Koala population occupying the surrounding trees.

Ok, we have given you a few of the amazing attractions and hidden delights of the Byron hinterland. Now, we will take you to two locations which, while being further afield from Byron Bay, are equally worth the visit. Firstly, Uki, a small village situated near Mt Warning. Legend has it that the early timber getters used to make the finest cedar for export to the United Kingdom as ‘UK1′, hence Uki. Still dominated by its one pub, Uki now attracts day trippers and tree changers. Beautifully green, tropical fruit is now the #1 agricultural activity and you will find lots of stalls along the road offering fresh fruit using the ‘honour box’ system. New settlers have retained the original homes and shops and reinvigorated the town with new businesses. A must-see, historically authentic small town.

70km west of Byron Bay is the infamous town of Nimbin. Once a farming district, whose main claim to fame was being home to the world tug-o-war champions, Nimbin’s renaissance was the Aquarius Festival in 1973. A peaceful takeover by hippies was completed with multiple occupancy communities and the landscape was changed forever. The main street is dominated by street art, a hippie museum, alternative shops and colourful locals. As amusement, Nimbin, cannot be surpassed.

If you want all the fun of a Byron Bay holiday, but without all the hustle and bustle, then stay at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park, with all the hidden gems of the Byron hinterland at your door!

$1 Mondays!*

Stay in any of our beachfront accommodation, including our legendary safari style camping tents, ensuite cabins and powered caravan, camper trailer and tent sites for only $1 a night on Mondays.*Offer ends 31st August 2013. Min stay 4 nights. Excludes public / school holidays and major festivals. Subject to availability. For more accommodation specials click here.

To book any of our beachfront accommodation call our friendly team on 02 6685 3353 or click here to send us an email.