Byron Bay is often crowned Australia’s shining jewel. It offers beautiful landscapes and chilled vibes that can only be found in this little seaside town. Why on earth would we want to leave this little slide of paradise then? The answer to that, in its simplest form, is because it is awesome. Read on to find out just how awesome.
When visiting Byron Bay, people tend to stay very centralised. Due to the sheer enjoyment of their time spent in town it is rare that you find those visiting actually venturing outwards and exploring the region further. This is exactly what we challenge you to do. We challenge you to get out of the hustle and bustle of town and to go and explore what has truly influenced the local region and community. To find the influencers that have shaped Byron Bay into what it is today. Go out and meet some of the locals and explore some of the lesser known towns. You’ll be sure to find why such a small corner of Australia can demand such large scale attention on the international stage.
Bangalow is a quaint little one-street country town that is located just off the Pacific Highway. Just a short 15 minute drive, the second you get there you will understand why it was worth every ounce of effort to pull yourself away from Byron Bay and explore the outer regions of the area.
Bangalow truly does have everything, with the town being littered with boutique shops offering a range of goodies at reasonable prices for any holiday gifts you might be looking for. Moreover, if boutique shops aren’t really your style, note that the Bangalow Markets are on every fourth Sunday of the month and are located at the local Showgrounds. With over 300 stalls you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy.
Finally, Bangalow is well known for (and takes great pride) in the dining options that they provide. The Bangalow Hotel is one of the region’s most popular local hangs with an incredible menu offering a range of food and drink options that are bound to please. Whether you’re just catching up for a few beers with a mate or you are looking to entertain and make an impression, the Bangalow Hotel is the place for you.
While we’re on the topic of amazing dining options in Bangalow, we couldn’t pass off the opportunity to also introduce you to Town Restaurant & Cafe. You’ll be forgiven for mistaking Town as ‘just a cafe’ due to their beautifully brewed coffee and delicate pastries in the morning. Don’t be fooled though! Town Restaurant & Cafe offers one of the biggest nights out in Bungalow by offering their nicely gauged 7 course degustation menu during dinner services. Make sure to check out their social media for all the fine print. You won’t regret it!
Don’t let Newrybar let you think it is just another one street hamlet found tucked away in the Byron Hinterland, it is so much more than that. It is a small hamlet that houses some of the best food and shopping the entire region has to offer. Largely shaped by a collective of merchants, Newrybar offers fine dining, a bakery, a deli, historic architecture and some awesome vintage (and not so vintage) shopping options to help you build up that authentic Byron look.
Via Byron Beach Abodes
If you’re looking for food you simply cannot go past Harvest Restaurant. Harvest is a local collective where you can sit down for some of the best fine dining you will ever experience before scooting next door to their deli and bakery to pick up some goodies for some sunset nibbles (we recommend pairing this with some champagne) or a wholesome breakfast the next day. Everything about Harvest exudes Byron and from the moment you walk through the door you will understand why this is one of our top recommendations.
Via Aloha Byron Bay
If you feel like a little walk to help you burn off what you just ate and drank at Harvest, we heavily recommend having a look at a few of the local shops. It appears that Newrybar is really into their collectives as our next recommendation, much like Harvest, is exactly that. Newrybar Merchants is a collection of local artists, authors and designers that offer the highest of quality products. Even when we place ourselves on ban from shopping we can’t help but have a quick stroll through to see all the latest and greatest product. Just visiting is an experience in itself and one we are confident that you are bound to enjoy.
Mullumbimby is so much more than a funny name that is weirdly pleasing to say. Known fondly by the locals as ‘Mullum’ it is a beautiful scenic town situated at the foot of Mount Chincogan right beside Brunswick River. The town promotes itself as the ‘Biggest Little Town in Australia’ and rightfully so! It has a plethora of shops that offer some of the best retail therapy in the region and is proudly known as our happy hippy town. Considering we’re in the Byron region, I think we can all admit that that is a pretty awesome claim to fame seeing as though there is so much competition.
Via First National Byron Bay
For the perfect way to start your Friday, visit the Mullumbimby Friday Farmers’ Markets. They are on every Friday regardless of weather from 7 to 11 am and offer some of the best and freshest produce the region has to offer. Do you have work on Friday? Don’t worry about it. Are you meeting up with you Mother in law for brunch? There will be plenty more to come. Do you have a flight to catch that day? Looks like you’re going to have to reschedule. All we know is you need to get yourself to Mullum’s Friday Farmers’ Market!
It’s not every day you get to stand between two of the largest crystals on Earth. Just a short drive into the Byron Hinterland will have you doing exactly that though. A visit to Crystal Castle is always a must for those first time (or even returning) visitors to Byron Bay. Explore an ancient amethyst cave or find yourself lost in their labyrinth before then joining their daily Peace Experience between 12:30 and 3 pm. Everything about Crystal Castle screams (in a peaceful way) Mullum. This is what venturing outside of Byron is all about. Enjoy!
Federal, much like the above three options, is another beautiful little hamlet that you can find hidden away in Byron’s picturesque hinterland. If the drive out there isn’t enough to entice you into visiting, perhaps the food and hiking will be. Federal is an absolute jewel and has become a magnet for day-trippers en-route to either Nimbin or Minyon Falls. If you’re heading out that way (or even if you’re not) you simply must take the stop.
Via New York Times
Doma Japanese Cafe would have to be our favourite restaurant in the Byron region. I think we can all agree that is pretty massive seeing as though we have discussed in quite a bit of detail about how much we love all the other restaurants we have mentioned. Doma really does give an incredibly unique and relaxed environment with the best quality Japanese food you have ever eaten. Doma is so good that New York Times reviewer, Besha Rodell, quotes it as “International in its scope, wonderfully casual, but blessed with quality and creativity worthy of fine dining.”
Doma has no website so you will have to jump on their social media or call them to see what is going on. The food alone is more than enough for a visit out to Federal. Our mouth is currently salivating just thinking about it.