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My Byron Bay Bucket List

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Byron Bay is many things to many people. A place where you can forget that rest of the world exists and allow yourself to let go. A place for people who want to look back on their lives and say “I am so glad I did that” rather than “I wish I had the courage to….”. So right now, as you read this, take a moment to decide what you want your future self to be saying as we give you our version of the must-do Byron Bay Bucket List, and if you come and stay with us here at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park we’ll do all that we can to make sure you can tick off all of these and perhaps a few more of your own…

Learn To Surf and Catch a Wave

This is a big one for so many people and while you could learn to surf in many locations around the globe, there is nowhere on earth more suited to the beginner surfer than Byron Bay. Safely protected by the ‘Bay’, the waves are generally clean and glassy and the perfect size for learners. With surf culture and salt water in the veins of locals, there is a swag of surf schools ready and waiting to take you and a group of your best friends from the sand to the swell and make it fun. Byron Bay Surf SchoolStyle Surfing and Black Dog Surf Schools are just a few of the biggest names all with great reputations. Find an opening and get paddling because all year round our gorgeous subtropical climate and warm waters are surf ready.

TIP: If you graduate and head out on your own make sure to stick to surfer’s code and respect for other surfers. There are many signs around the beaches to help you out on this or ask one of the locals and stay safe. Take it easy and ALWAYS have others with you.

Watch the Sunrise from Minyon Falls

If you’re an early riser or a ‘party all-nighter’ your chances of catching a Byron Bay sunrise are pretty good. However an even greater miracle is waiting for you in the lush forest of the Byron hinterland. Minyon Falls in the Nightcap National Park is a vertical drop waterfall that plummets 100m to its base. Be prepared to feel 100 feet tall and so tiny and humble – all in one split second – as the sun starts to peep over the lip of the valley below at sunrise. This is a magic place that will touch you forever.

Tip: You’ll need to be up early to make the 45 minute drive to the falls before sunrise. But for first timers we recommend you give yourself at least 1 hour to travel in safety. Dirt roads will greet you toward the end of your journey so please DO NOT speed. Alternatively seek out a guided tour with folks such as Byron Bay Adventure Tours or Vision Walks who will take you there and back again!

Soaring Balloon Flight 

Soar up and away and be truly awed by the diversity and colours of Byron Bay. No other experience in Byron Bay will allow you to see the coast and the hinterland, the forest and the beach all at once with the peace of floating on a cloud. Include a champagne breakfast with someone incredible and you have the kind of pinnacle moment that could not only be ticked off your bucket list but could be one of the most romantic of your life. Ballooning in Byron is an experience like no other.

TIP: Plan ahead and be prepared to be a little flexible if the weather conditions are not quite right.

Kayaking with Dolphins

Imagine the excitement and the cool spray of the ocean against your face as you paddle out across one of the most iconic Bays in the world. Suddenly you see a fin break the surface. Don’t panic! You’re about to encounter one of Byron Bay’s happiest residents – not Tommy Franklin, a dolphin. Wildlife encounters always rate highly on a must-do list, but dolphins are genuinely keen to encounter us too. A kayak adventure on the water will bring you close up to the pod and often a whole swathe of other marine life. Cape Byron Marine Reserve is a protected haven for turtles, rays and of course during May to October the giants of the deep – the humpback whales. Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay and Cape Byron Kayaks offer guided paddles that the whole family can enjoy.

TIP: Sun safety is a must, even on cloudy days as you’ll get a double dose of the rays from above and the reflection off the water.

Byron Bay can be the place you let your wildest dreams come to life. A little stay is all it takes to make the difficult days we all have that little bit easier to get through. Find out how a getaway at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park could spark your inspiration to live a life that’s full to the brim with experiences!

On the Food Trail in Byron Bay and the Hinterland

The Barossa and Hunter Valley, Margaret River and Tasmania have long been renowned as the ultimate Australian foodie destinations, but the gloriously fertile volcanic soils and a resurgence in organic and slow cooked foods have now lifted Byron Bay and the hinterland of the Northern Rivers high on the list of “must-taste” holiday spots.

Blessed with scenic beauty, quaint cottage industries and a swag of ex-city chefs, Byron Bay and the surrounding hinterland has a unique blend of venues, food events and gourmet delights just begging to be sourced, sampled and taken home. Read on and savour our guide to the ripest and juiciest local food in the Byron region!

 

Local Farmers’ Market

The first point of call for any foodie interested in tasting the best and freshest of a region is to hit the local farmers’ market, and the Byron region is no exception. Be prepared to load up as the range and quality you’ll find is second to none. Prime organic fruits and veggies, cheeses, olives, nuts, lovingly made condiments and expertly distilled liqueurs all with the essence of the region can be gathered here.

• Byron Bay Farmers’ Market – Every Thursday, Butler Street Reserve, 8-11am
• New Brighton Farmers’ Market – Every Tuesday, New Brighton Oval, 8-11am
• Bangalow Farmers’ Market – Every Saturday, Bangalow Hotel Car Park, 8-11am
• Lismore Farmers’ Market – Every Saturday, Lismore Showground, 8-11am

 

Harvest Cafe & Deli, Newrybar

Imagine the smells of freshly baked pastries and sourdough bread, local coffee and sumptuous seasonal foods, all nestled in the midst of a picturesque historic village, and you have Harvest. History, passion for food and sustainable living are all part of the Harvest experience. Breakfast, lunch or dinner your yearnings for organic and locally produced food (most of which is grown in their own gorgeous gardens), will be satisfied here. Located in the darling little village of Newrybar, Harvest is less than a 15 minute drive from the Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park and you must not leave the shire without visiting this local gem. If you’re planning on visiting Harvest Cafe on the weekend, during summer or on a public holiday, we highly recommend you call and reserve a table to avoid disappointment. Phone: (02) 6687 2644.

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Sample Food Festival

September brings spring and the much-loved ‘Sample Food Festival’. Now in its 4th year, the Sample Food Festival is a colourful celebration of all things food and is held in the historical Bangalow showgrounds. Attracting top chefs from around the country and the best of the region’s gourmet producers, chefs and restaurateurs this is your chance to indulge, taste, try and simply delight in the heady pleasures of eating great food with good friends. Tasting plates and stalls are all in abundance, along with special dinner events, cooking workshops and much more. The 2014 Sample Food Festival is on Saturday September 13th, the perfect excuse to slip away for a weekend in Byron Bay. Our glamping safari style tents would make the perfect foodies retreat to bring back your gathered goodies and relax with a platter and drink beside the sea.Click here for more information.

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Say Cheese Please

If relaxing with platters and cheese plates is your idea of holiday heaven then you must seek out the cheese makers of the Northern Rivers. Byron Bay Cheese Co’s ‘Nashua Washed Rind’ and ‘Brooklet Brie’ are 2 stunning varieties; and for lovers of all things blue Nimbin Valley Dairy produce decadent and piquant blue goats cheese that will blow your mind. Both are stocked in a number of delis around Bryon Bay and at the Byron Bay Farmers’ Market.

 

Top of the Class

Or if making your own cheese features on your bucket list, why not include a cheese making course as part of your stay. ‘Cheeses Loves You’ in Burringbar offers a range of courses in cheese making, as does Peppertree Kitchen in Lismore which offers cheese making plus other gourmet cooking classes in their custom made cooking school above their delightful kitchen shop and tea house.

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Espresso Yourself

The local subtropical climate and rich red soils have leant themselves perfectly for coffee growing, which has led to an industry of award-winning coffee producers. Many of Byron Bay’s cafes proudly support this industry and serve freshly brewed local coffee. Byron Bay Coffee Company is a well-known brand but Zentveld’s, Newrybar Coffee, Ewingsdale Coffee and Mountain Top Coffee from Nimbin are just a few of the other outstanding players who all brew a great cup! If tea is your thing then Byron Bay Tea Company teas combine the finest teas and herbal blends for that perfect relaxing ‘ahhh…’ moment that comes from a cup at the end of a day of exploring. Find them stocked at many stores around the region including ‘Baz and Shaz Fruit and Veg’ right here in Suffolk Park. Or take in the sights, sounds and smells of tea cultivating and manufacturing at the Madura Tea Plantation, Murwillumbah. You can book a one hour tour of Australia’s only sub-tropical tea plantation every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am. Bookings are essential – call (02) 6670 6000.

 

Sweet, savoury, organic and delicious the food trail which meanders from Byron through the hinterland and around the Northern Rivers is a smorgasbord of delights. Along with our suggestions, exploration will be the essential ingredient to getting the most from your foodie escapade and we haven’t even mentioned the amazing array of eateries. Why not book a foodie getaway today and come taste the flavours of Byron Bay. Mmmmmm….

 

On Four Wheels or Two – The Best Byron Bay Bike Trails and Local Drives

Rolling down the windows, feeling the breeze and soaking up the landscape as it glides by, or stretching your legs and lungs as you ride along on a bike – free-wheeling on holidays is something we all love to do. We’ve selected some of the best scenic drives and enjoyable bike tracks and sewn them together with some handy local advice to keep you on the right track. So let’s hit the road from our starting point at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park and see what we can find…..

Suffolk Park to Byron Bay: Cycle for Fun and Scenery

You may not have forgotten how to ride a bike but it may have been a while since you last tried. If this is the case then starting out slow with a relaxing almost totally flat and smooth run from Suffolk Park into Byron Bay is a great place to start and get you ‘back on your bike’, so to speak. Running along the beachfront at Suffolk Park, with ocean views of Tallow Beach, is a purpose-made bike path that leads you through the nature reserve, across Tallow Creek and all the way into the heart of Byron Bay. Take your time to enjoy the scenery or push a little faster and really get your heart pumping – it’s entirely up to you.

Another popular bike ride from Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park is to Seven Mile Beach. To get there, follow these directions or ask one of our friendly team when you arrive:

    • Head south on Alcorn St toward McGregor St
    • Turn right at McGregor St
    • Head south on Taylor Lake Rd toward Beach Rd (Taylor Lake Rd turns slightly left and becomes Beach Rd)
    • Head east on Broken Head Reserve Rd
    • Head south on Broken Head Reserve Rd towards Seven Mile Beach Rd
    • Continue onto Seven Mile Beach Rd
    • Turn left and stay on Seven Mile Beach Rd

Haven’t got a bike with you? No problems, there are a number of places in and around Byron Bay that offer bike hire, including Byron Bay Surf and Bike Hire, which has a number of options for the whole family.

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Villages and Hamlets: Scenic Drive to Bangalow, Clunes and Eltham 

Galleries, clothing boutiques, retro treasures, fresh produce and delicious food await you along this drive or ride through Byron Bay’s hinterland. From Suffolk Park, venture north turning left onto Bangalow Rd just after the Byron Bay Golf Club. As you wind up the hill, be sure to look out for the unbelievable view of Byron Bay from the top of St Helena Hill. It is truly breathtaking and one of the best panoramic views in Byron Bay. Continue over the plateau and descend to find the hinterland town of Bangalow – a hub of arts, fantastic shopping and great dining.

If you’re an experience road rider or you are driving, from Bangalow continue west to the hilltop hamlet of Clunes. Visit the old style butchery, grab some locally grown coffee at the General Store or browse the “The Romantic Old Shack” for vintage wares, arts and crafts. By this time if you’re feeling peckish or parched then set your sights on the Eltham Friendly Inn. Turn off the main road just outside of Clunes and follow the signs to ‘Eltham’. This well-loved locals’ watering-hole is not only the focal point of the hamlet but it also gives a whole new meaning to the term “pub grub”. Wood fired, slow cooked delights, seafood and luscious desserts are all on the menu, and on weekends enjoy some great live music and entertainment.

But the pub is not all that Eltham is renowned for. If you’re looking for wholesome meals made from the best local produce, then you’ll be delighted by a visit to the Eltham Valley Pantry. Full of character, the Eltham Valley Pantry is a renovated 100 year old farmhouse that serves delicious homemade dishes including salads, soups, slow-cooked meals and their famous pecan pie – magic with a pot of locally brewed tea and the weekend paper.

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Eagles View: Coolamon Scenic Drive & Mullumbimby

From Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park, head back through town to the main highway and follow the hill rise to the top of St Helena. Here, you’ll be greeted with a view that is simply breathtaking, from the Byron Bay Lighthouse to the south, followed by a stunning vista of endless beaches to the north and lush green hinterland and Mt Warning to the west.

From the lookout, follow Coolamon Scenic Drive along the ridge. It’s easy driving or riding as you pass through the community of Coorabell, and wind your way down into the town of Mullumbimby (or take a small detour and stop off at the Crystal Castle and Shambala Gardens – a unique attraction specialising in crystals and one of Australia’s largest sub-tropical gardens).

Once you hit Mullumbimby there is plenty to keep you occupied, including The Poinciana Cafe, Kiva Spa, the Famers Markets (every Friday) and the community markets (every 3rd Saturday of the month). You can then easily find your way back to the highway forming a giant loop that will bring you back to Byron Bay.

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Shopping, Fashion and Bespoke Industry: Cycle around the Arts and Industry Estate

Byron Bay’s community is brimming full of talented and creative artisans, and this local ‘cottage industry’ has found a unique gathering place in the Arts and Industry Estate. You can easily cycle to the fringe of town and spend a day or more discovering factory outlets, surf shops, surfboard makers, art galleries, fashion and jewellery showrooms and colourful home wares. If you love taking home something from your travels which deviates from the standard fridge magnet or place-name t-shirt, then the Arts and Industry Estate is definitely worth the effort.

To get there, simply follow the bike path from Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park into town, then head back towards the highway and across the railway tracks. The bike track is smooth, flat and well-travelled so meeting locals and fellow travellers is highly likely, making it a fun and entertaining escapade.

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Secret Beaches of the Byron Bay Region

Secluded stretches of long uninterrupted beach, turquoise water lapping and seabirds gliding quietly overhead – how can you experience a paradise like this? Let us take you on a tour of the best out-of-the-way beaches of Byron Bay and beyond.

Cosy Corner Byron Bay

Byron Bay’s very own secret beach is Cosy Corner, which you can get to on foot if you’ve chosen to stay at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park or drive in and pay $6 for parking. Set at the very northern end of Tallow Beach, below the Cape Bryon headland is this protected little pocket. Send the board riders a little further down the beach for some of the best waves in Byron, while everyone else can relax sheltered from the northerlies winds.

Cosy Corner Byron Bay

Picture: Puredrift

 

White’s Beach Broken Head

Voted #1 on the Australian Travellers 100 Incredible Travel Secrets of Australia, we could not have a feature of our secret beaches without including White’s Beach at Broken Head. To get there, take the national park turnoff at Broken Head and continue until you reach a sign for White’s Beach. You’ll need to walk through a forest track to get down onto the beach, but what meets you there will take your breath away. A little oasis where you can connect to the land, the sea and your own spirit, and even though the secret is out you’ll still find it almost totally secluded most of the time.

Whites Beach Byron Bay

Picture: Byron Bay Productions

 

Tallow Beach Byron Bay

Tallow Beach is a long stretch of beach stretching from Broken Head in the South and up to Cosy Corner in the North and is surrounded by Arakwal National Park – it’s where the sea meets the bush. It’s a quieter beach to relax than the main Byron Bay beaches, with kilometers of squeaky white sand, making it a great place to meditate or take a lesuirely walk. It’s also a marvellous place to go whale watching. Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park is located here too, right behind the dunes of Tallow Beach!

Tallow Beach Byron Bay

 

Harry’s Hill Beach Brunswick Heads

Protected, calm and with a view of the hinterland and Mt Chincogan behind, Harry’s Hill Beach is tucked into the inlet of the river at Brunswick Heads. Many people would be familiar with the southern side of Brunswick Heads, being only a 15 minute drive from Byron Bay, and if you’ve been fortunate enough to have visited there, you may well have stared longingly across the river to this little piece of paradise. How do you get there? Well – you could take the long way around by driving through Ocean Shores and New Brighton along North Head Road and into the North Head Nature Reserve or you could drive into Brunswick Heads and hire a canoe or boat and paddle across the river to this secret swimming spot. Take a picnic lunch or a fishing rod with you or simply kick-back and watch the clouds sail over-head. Heaven.

Brunswick Nature Reserve

 

Torakina Beach Brunswick Heads

For families, Brunswick Heads provides the very safe and gentle water of Torakina Beach. This unusual beach is a small inlet that sits between the Brunswick River and the rock wall. It’s gentle waves and soft sand are perfect for the little ones (and for adults a great place to unwind and escape the every day). Follow the road all the way through town and over the bridge, to the first car park. Then follow the track down to the beach.

Torakina Beach Brunswick Heads

 

New Brighton Beach

Extending for over 13.6 km of white sand and Pacific Ocean, New Brighton Beach is one long expanse of coastline where you will never complain about not having enough room to breathe. This is a great place to enjoy long limbering beach walks and somewhere quiet to feel the sun on your face as you do your morning yoga. Love beach fishing? Then you must not go home without casting in here. New Brighton is an easy 25 minute drive north from Bryon Bay along the Pacific Motorway exiting at Ocean Shores and following the signs through to New Brighton. You will not be disappointed.

New Brighton Beach

 

Boulders Beach Skennar’s Head

As the name suggests this beach is covered in boulders, rather than sand. The top of Boulders Beach is a great area for whale watching during the cooler months, while below you can go exploring among the rocks and rock pools or just sit and let the sound of the waves against the rocks wash away any stress. With its lush grassy hill, this is a great place for a late afternoon sunset picnic. To get there follow the coast road from Byron to Ballina. After you’ve gone past Lennox Head, keep watch for the signs as it’s easy to drive right by.

Skennards Head

Byron Bay’s beaches are some of the best in the world and with a little extra effort you can find some idyllic and secluded spots where nothing can be heard but the sounds of the sea and the breeze on your face. So set up base camp at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park and come exploring the beautiful secret beaches of our region. Because secrets like this are just too good to keep!

Byron Bay Lighthouse – Everything You Need To Know!

It’s one of Byron Bay’s most iconic images, a must-do tourist attraction and a great whale watching spot, but the Byron Bay Lighthouse is also a working wonder and the brightest lighthouse of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Be ‘illuminated’ by our celebration, tribute and guide to visiting Australia’s most eastern, and arguably, most beautiful lighthouse.

Byron Bay Lighthouse

Whale Watching

The Byron Bay Lighthouse is a marvellous place for seeing the humpback whales on their annual migration, so it’s no coincidence that one of the original lighthouse precinct buildings is also home to the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre. The official whale watching season is May to late October and the Cape Byron headland is the place to view these majestic creatures as they surface, breach and glide on past. Humpback whales like to travel close to the shoreline, and from late winter onwards it’s not uncommon to watch baby humpback calves and their mothers playing in the water – a memory you will keep to the end of your days!

Tip: Also keep an eye out for turtles and dolphins, which can be spotted playing in the waves around the base of the Cape Byron Headland.

Going Loopy

When you’re staying in Byron Bay you can’t leave without having done at least one leg, if the not the entire Cape Byron Loop Walk. With the Byron Bay Lighthouse at its peak, meander your way around this 3.7km of walking tracks, boardwalks, resting points and beach paths that all have one thing in common – postcard views of the coastline around the bay. The Pass Cafe is a great place to kick-start your walk with a light breakfast and a coffee (or two) before you hit the track. On your return, reward yourself with a swim at The Pass beach – one of Byron’s most beautiful beaches.

Tip: On your walk, keep a look out for wallabies, bush turkeys and a vast variety of sea birds that all call the Cape Byron Headland home.

Step Inside

You’re welcome to visit the lighthouse 364 days of the year and if you’ve ever been curious about how it feels to be a lighthouse keeper then why not find out! For a small gold coin donation you can be taken on an insider’s tour of the lighthouse and wind your way up the spiral staircase to enjoy the 360 degree views from the top. Operating between 10am and 3pm, tours leave every 20 minutes each day (except Christmas Day) from the Cape Byron Information Centre located a few meters from the lighthouse itself. You’ll also find a kiosk serving great local coffee and snacks along with public facilities and information boards about Cape Byron and the lighthouse. To get there, drive up along Lighthouse Road or go by foot using the Cape Byron Loop Walk.

Tip: If you’re planning on driving, please be aware there is a $7 parking fee.

Once a Danger Now Safe

Look above the cedar doorway of the Byron Bay Lighthouse and you’ll see the Latin phrase Olim periculum-nunc salus which translated means “Once a danger now safe” and is a permanent testament to the important task the lighthouse has performed since the beginning of the 20th century. This phrase is also carved onto Cape Byron’s sister lighthouse The Norah Head Lighthouse on the NSW Central Coast. Popular with onlookers from the first lighting on 1st December 1901, there are now over 500,000 visitors each year to the Cape Byron Lighthouse precinct.

5 Interesting Facts about Byron Bay Lighthouse

    • The lighthouse lens is 2 meters in diameter, weighs 8 tonnes and contains 760 pieces of prismatic glass
    • The light flashes every 15 seconds and continually revolves even throughout the day when the light itself is out
    • Standing tall, the lighthouse is 23 meters to the top of the lantern
    • The very last lighthouse keeper was retired in 1989 when the lighthouse became fully automated
    • A herd of mountain goats once inhabited the cliffs around the lighthouse, but were relocated in the 1990’s to protect the fragile coastal cliffs (except for the infamous ‘Wategoat’ – a lone female goat who has been on the run ever since.)

If you’re longing to visit Byron Bay and its iconic Byron Bay Lighthouse then the accommodation options here at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park are a great starting point for your exploration and we’re always on hand to give you any extra information you may need. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

5 Amazing Day Trips from Byron Bay

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.

Bangalow Markets

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!

Mullumbimby

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.

TheChannon
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!

Top 10 Tips for Camping With Kids

In Australia most of us have memories of childhood camping trips and adventures in the great outdoors. For some it’s long weeks of bare feet, sun and sand at the beach and sleeping under the stars, for other it might be the memory of riding bikes, making some new friends and eating ice cream and marshmallows. But some things are for sure, they nearly all involve the simple pleasure of being together as a family and being surrounded by those you love. Because the truth is kids mostly remember the feelings more so than the details and what seems ordinary to adults can be wondrous, exciting and amazing to a child.

So if you’ve never had the opportunity to take your kids camping (or your last attempt was disastrous and left you vowing never, never again) let our guide to camping with kids inspire you to set off on your own camping adventure and create some new family memories.

1. Choosing Your Location

Before you trek off, stop and consider how experienced you and your kids are at camping. Decide ahead of time what facilities you want and what luxuries you are prepared to do without. If you’ve never been camping before or don’t own any camping gear it may be wise to ease into things and choose a holiday park that has tents that are ready to go. Here at the Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park we have a range of safari-styled tents that allow you to simply arrive and start camping – in style. A little more adventurous? Pitch a tent, bring a van or unhitch your caravan. Our facilities include a gourmet kitchen, clean BBQ’s, toilets, showers, FREE Wi-Fi, laundry, ice, snacks and much more. The beach is on your doorstep plus there’s an excellent children’s playground just down the road, along with a family-friendly pub, shops, takeaways and eateries.

2. Make a List and Check it Twice (with the Kids)

This technique doesn’t just work for Santa, it makes sense and can be a fun way to get everyone involved in preparing and thinking about your family holiday. It’s the small things that are often more important and they make a HUGE difference to your comfort and happiness once you arrive. Getting kids to have their own backpack also helps them think about what they need.

Some must-haves include:

  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Esky for cold food
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Torches for everyone
  • Marshmallows + healthy snacks
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Multiple changes of clothes (kids have a habit of getting wet and filthy in the blink of an eye)
  • Warm clothes (it can always get cold)
  • Plastic zip lock bags for wet clothes and various collected “treasures” from the beach
  • Closed-in shoes – for bush walking, bike riding etc.
  • Thongs
  • Bikes
  • Card games
  • Lots of towels
  • Beach toys

3. Fun, Healthy Food

Little bodies playing all day need good fuel to keep them going. Camping is the perfect time to make healthy food fun and easy. Try simple recipes that the kids can be involved in preparing like damper, spuds cooked in foil, baked beans, fresh fruit salad, a trail mix of seeds, nuts and dried fruit and veggie ‘snack packs’ of cut up carrot, cucumber, celery and cherry tomatoes. As with everything, moderation is the key – so make sure you do include some fun treats like marshmallows or pancakes.

4. Helpers Hats On

Kids are great helpers and love to feel they are part of the whole experience. Choosing a campsite, sweeping the tent site, washing up pots and carrying the torch are just some of the jobs that you can get kids to do. Not only does this keep them out of mischief it helps build essential life skills. Feeling part of the family decisions also lets them experience responsibility with your guiding hands for reassurance. Many hands make light work so it will also remind them gently that Mum and Dad are here to have some fun and relax too.

5. I’m bored!

If camping and the outdoors is brand new to your kids and they are pining for their iPods or devices, then be patient. The whinging and whining will pass especially if they see you getting in and trying new things. Swimming, fishing, bike riding, bird watching and bush walking are the obvious camping things to do, but think outside the box and invent your own list of outdoor games and fun. Set up a treasure hunt with clues, invent stories about the pirates and dinosaurs that used to live at your camp site (this will spark a wave of imagination and a host of games), bring a small pack of pencils and a blank sketch book and encourage your “little artists” to draw what they see and hear around them, explore rock pools and creeks, go bug catching, build sand castles, fly kites on the beach, get up early and watch the sunrise over the ocean…the list is endless.

6. Keep it Clean, Keep it Green

Keeping your campsite clean and organised will not only help things go smoothly, it will also teach your children the importance of protecting our environment. Have clearly designated rubbish bags or recycling buckets and have regular clean ups where the family work together. Discuss the animals and plants that call the area home and how they would feel if you left rubbish about and destroyed their home. Being a good camper involves caring about the world we live in.

7. Rain Rain Go Away

So you’ve planned your family camping getaway for months, the time has finally arrived and low and behold down comes the rain. All is not lost. If you’re well prepared with spare clothes let the kids go out and get wet. The feeling of summer rain, giggling and running free will stay with them always. Clothes, hair and towels can all be dried. If you’ve chosen to stay at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park you will be grateful, as having undercover eating areas, washing machines and the “real world” just minutes away can keep your sanity intact and with so much to do in Byron Bay the family is guaranteed to still have a great time. Click here to read our guide on things to do in Byron Bay. 

8. Take Baby Camping

Many mums are put off by camping while babies are small, but if you are well prepared it can actually be a very rewarding experience for mum, dad and bub alike. The peace and quiet of nature can often sooth restless babies and when the food source is mum you can travel light. Choosing a campsite not too far from town with good facilities can also help if anything goes astray.

9. Don’t be Afraid of Dirt

Dirt is part and parcel with any camping adventure, but it needn’t mean a constant state of panic for mum if you remember that dirt means FUN! Relax a little while you are away even if you love having your children and home spotlessly and germ free. Allowing kids a healthy dose of outside play including dirt, sand, sunshine and fresh air is good for them and helps kids build a resistance to bugs and illnesses.

10. Record Your Experience

When you return home, the gear is packed away and the washing is all done, take some time to relive the fun with your kids by creating a camping book or journal. Include pictures you have taken, maps, stories and mementos. Also make a list of things you realised you needed but forgot, some fun facts you learnt and start planning your next trip! With school-age kids it’s important to book early as many holiday parks fill up quickly over the school holidays.

Looking for accommodation these school holidays? Plan ahead and book your accommodation NOW. Places fill fast and we want you here for all the fun! Please note – we are fully booked over the Easter long weekend.

Top Tips for a Byron Bay Family “Glamping” Getaway

You want to take the family on a Byron Bay holiday with all the sights, sounds and feelings of being close to nature? You want to relax, take your time and soak up the culture of being free and to take each day as it rolls? You want to be comfortable and indulge in some of life’s little luxuries without all the hard work of setting up a campsite? Then you want to go GLAMPING – and with our helpful tips you’ll get back to nature without sacrificing any of your creature comforts!

1. Less Is More (work that is)

When it comes to glamping in Byron Bay, the less you have to do the better. Book ready-to-go accommodation such as our safari tents or self-contained cabins. These good glamping options can provide you with kitchen facilities, bathrooms, bedding with linen and more! All you need to do is bring the family! Click here to view all our beachfront accommodation options.

2. Location Is Everything

Whether you love the beach, the hinterland or the forest, location is everything and Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park is located a handy 5 minutes from the centre of Byron Bay and only a short drive from the Byron Hinterland. Bush walking, biking, fishing, swimming and surfing all heighten the glamping experience and by having them close at hand, you and your family will be encouraged to get active together, creating lifelong memories.

nimbin

3. Get The Right Gear

There are so many amazing glamping accessories to be found and you really ought to set aside some time prior to your holiday for a fun shopping trip. From those found at traditional outdoor and adventure stores to stylish vintage glamour pieces. Gone are the days when spending time in the great outdoors meant going without the comforts of home. Some essentials to look for include picnic wear and baskets, luxurious small rugs and throws and classic retro cases and glass wear.

Great Fishing

4. Going Gourmet

Fine food and wine compliment every glamping experience and you’re spoilt for choice when staying in Byron Bay. There is no shortage of excellent fresh local produce and cuisine available all year round which you can buy pre-prepared, or try gathering a delicious bounty of ingredients from the local farmers markets. We can also recommend stopping off at some of these locations to find exactly what it is you’ve been craving – for authentic Asian foods including superb yum cha and dumplings you can’t go past Red Ginger on Jonson Street. Those of you who love deli delights will need to include a visit to Citrus, the ultimate delicatessen also on Jonson Street. Locals and tourists alike all love the Green Garage in Tennyson Street for all things fresh and local.

farmers-market

5. The Special Touches

Every holiday can be made even more special by having a few surprises and delights arranged for ahead of time. In Byron Bay the choice of options is incredible. An adventure tour or experience is easy to arrange online before you come. We can recommend some amazing options for you like Byron Bay Adventure Tours who operate a range of tours to suit all ages, Byron Bay Ballooning for a lofty look at the natural beauty of this area or arrange for a Gourmet Byron Bay Hamper to be delivered directly to your glampsite.

at-the-markets

6. Remember To Have Fun

Style, accessories, food and luxury are all important parts of glamping but not at the expense of having fun and enjoying your beautiful family time. Glamping is about brining all the elements of comfort together to create the best of all worlds combined into one. If you can’t find marinated goats curd then relax – it’s better to get some Greek fetta from the supermarket than to turn into “Glampzilla”.

7. Capture The Moments

Happy snaps are a staple of all family holidays, but with awe-inspiring Byron Bay scenery you will want to let your inner photographer run wild and free. Fully inspired, relaxed and armed with a plethora of magazine-worthy images, it’s now time to add your family Byron Bay glamping interlude to your blog, Facebook, Instagram or other fav social media site. Share your glamorous time away including your glamping ideas, creativity and newly honed ‘mobile’ interior design skills with family and friends!

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.