Byron Bay is a magnificent holiday destination with its stunning beaches, cafe culture, arts and music scenes, superb eateries and nightlife. But it’s the multitude of attractions that are laying just outside of Byron Bay itself that will add a whole new depth to your holiday experience. Making Byron Bay your base and taking some of these amazing day trips is the perfect way to embrace and explore the best of both the coast and the hinterland. So let’s go…
1. Brunswick Heads.
This gorgeous little seaside town is only a 30 minute drive from Byron Bay and offers lots to see and do. Hire a boat or canoe and paddle on the ‘Bruns’ river, visit the historic Hotel Brunswick on a Sunday afternoon for their great live music and laid-back atmosphere, go bike riding, take a dip at Torakina Beach or simply enjoy some shopping with a great variety of boutiques, home wares, vintage stores and more. Brunswick Heads hosts many events throughout the year but one of its most popular would have to be the “Old and Gold Festival”, happening on Saturday 7th June 2014. If you enjoy a rummage for a vintage bargain, join the thousands who flock here to scour the hundreds of simultaneous garage sales, organised stalls and pop up market places that celebrate upcycling, recycling and repurposing. There is something uniquely special about the way folks of all ages from all walks of life come together to enjoy the thrill of finding a treasure.
2. Bangalow and the Bangalow Markets.
A short 15 minute drive inland will not only spoil you with unforgettable views over Byron Bay and its coast line, it will also lead you to the quaint village of Bangalow. You’ll love exploring Bangalow’s main street which is filled with bubbling cafe’s, clothing stores, antique furniture, toy stores, book shops, chic boutiques and a historic pub. There really is a shop here for everyone! Visit on the 4th Sunday of the month and you’ll find the town buzzing as the iconic Bangalow Markets fill the showgrounds bursting with mouth-watering food, local wares, massages, tarot card readings, organic produce and so much more. If you love shopping then you would be hard pressed to return empty handed. This is a great day out for everyone but especially if you have children. The buskers, vibrant colours and homemade ice-cream will keep kids entertained for hours without having to spend a fortune.
3. Minyon Falls and Mullumbimby.
Mullumbimby’s catch cry is the ‘Biggest Little Town in Australia’ and it certainly pulses with the heartbeat of the hinterland. Located 25 minutes inland from Byron Bay, Mullumbimby is a pretty place to stop for lunch, coffee or to pick up some picnic supplies if you’re heading onto Minyon Falls or going for a drive along the picturesque Upper Wilsons Creek Rd. “Mullum” (as it’s called by locals) is home to many little gems that you may not spot on a quick drive through. Blissful day spas, vintage and rustic furniture stores and attractions like the Crystal Castle are all hidden off the main street or short drives from the main township. If you’re longing to connect with nature and the lush tropical rainforest then continue on from Mullumbimby into the hills through Goonengary and then follow the signs to the majestic Minyon Falls in the World Heritage Nightcap National Park. The beauty of this glorious rainforest waterfall can be experienced by almost everyone and is wheelchair friendly with boardwalks leading you to a viewing platform at the top of the 97m high waterfall. If you’re keen on bush walking then take the Minyon Falls Loop Walk, which winds through ancient rainforest to the beautiful rock pool at the base of the falls (approx 2 hour walk). You’ll finish the day feeling renewed, reconnected and ready for bed!
4. Protestors Falls and The Channon Markets.
Get a little rural and combine culture and nature by heading 40 minutes inland to the tiny hamlet of The Channon. A quiet place with a welcoming Tavern, The Channon’s population multiplies on the 2nd Sunday of each month when their one-of-a-kind market springs to life. The feeling of community and spirit is something you really have to experience to understand. Everyone is warmly welcomed and the good vibes flow freely, as do the wholesome organic food stalls, hippie clothes, vintage bric-a-brac and live music. These markets really are like no other and a must see while you’re in the region. 14 km from The Channon, along Terania Creek Road, is the famous Protestors Falls which was named after 1970 protests and blockades that lead to the protection of many NSW rainforests. The falls are nestled in some of the most magnificent rainforest and Bangalow palm groves you could ever encounter. The best times to visit are when there has been recent rainfall and the 1.4 km walk from the picnic area will take you around 40 minutes along the creek to the foot of the falls. The water looks so clean and inviting, however visitors are asked not to swim here as this is the home of the endangered Fleay’s Barred Frog and any interference can cause them harm.
Image courtesy of www.thechannon.com.au
5. Mt Warning and Nimbin.
Standing 1156m above sea level, this ancient mountain is the highest point in the region and the first place to see the sunrise on mainland Australia. Climbing Mt Warning is a day of adventuring that you will never forget! It takes approximately an hour to drive to the base of Mt Warning from Byron Bay and then another 4-5 hours for the return climb, so it’s important to come prepared with drinking water, snacks and comfortable shoes. Encounter wildlife and 4 different kinds of forest as you climb your way to the top, which will leave you speechless with 360 degree panoramic views of the region. Once you’ve made it back to your car we suggest taking the Uki to Kyogle Road and turning off to visit a town that really needs no introduction – the world-famous Nimbin. This little township, with a huge reputation, has quirky and interesting shops, art galleries and eateries. The whole town is like a giant living breathing artwork and you will be sure to find your own little piece of Nimbin to take home with you.
We’ve only touched on some of the many places waiting for you to explore! With our affordable and comfortable accommodation, let the adventure begin!