Byron & Brunswick Heads
Bangalow is a delightful nineteenth-century streetscape of tall, verandah-clad buildings housing a wonderful array of shops selling oriental carpets and rugs, Tibetan artwork, Japanese kimonos and silk clothing, exotic homewares, books and art. The village also has a variety of cafes and restaurants, so you can stroll the shops and then replenish your energy with lunch or dinner.
Bangalow has a child and dog-friendly park down by the river, where you can walk under huge shady trees and the children can paddle in Byron Creek. Generations of Bangalow kids learned to swim here, and it’s still a tranquil and peaceful escape from the bustle of Byron Bay.
The Bangalow Community Market, held on the fourth Sunday of each month at the Bangalow showground, is a showcase of local produce, including clothes, jewellery, skin care products, fresh food, plants and trees, and all manner of art and craft work. You can park in the primary school and while away several hours under the camphor laurel trees, have lunch or coffee, treat yourself to a massage and do all your shopping.
Every Saturday morning from 8-11am the Bangalow Farmers Market is set up in the carpark behind the Bangalow Hotel. Here you’ll find wonderfully fresh salads, herbs, tomatoes, fruit, vegetables and plants, as well as eggs, beef, bread, coffee, sauces, pickles, oils and jams, all produced locally.
In May, the thrills and spills of the Billycart Derby enthall visitors and locals in what’s become a major annual event. In November, the Bangalow Show takes over the showground and reminds visitors of what agricultural shows used to be about: animals in the ring, cookery competitions, contests and fireworks.Add to my itineraryView on map
Just north of Byron Bay, about a 20-minute drive up the Pacific Highway, is one of the gems of the region – enjoy life’s simple pleasures at Brunswick Heads. The town is one of those places that has survived development, and the super stardom of its more famous neighbour, Byron Bay, to maintain the old-fashioned charm of a river and seaside town reminiscent of the 1950s.
Kayaking on the stunning Brunswick River is recommended and explore the villsage shops and eateries with over 24 options and an assortment of fashion, homeware and vintage shops.
The beer garden at Hotel Brunswick is a great place to sit looking out onto the river and enjoy the serenity.
Brunswick Heads is home to the Kites & Bikes Festival in March and the Fish’n’Chips Festival in January each year.Add to my itinerary
Federal is a small village with a general store and art gallery about 25 minutes drive from Bangalow. Follow the Coolamon Scenic Drive and Coorabell Road and come back to Bangalow along Binna Burra Road.
Federal is surrounded by macadamia farms and the lush country for which the Northern Rivers Rainbow Region is famous. Take a little longer and stay in one of the gorgeous guesthouses that dot this countryside, seriously chill out under the gigantic fig trees and treat yourself and the family to a special experience. Out here, away from the bustle, you’ll be sure to make lifelong friends and be coming back for more.Add to my itineraryView on map
About twenty kilometres north of Byron Bay via the Pacific Highway is Mullumbimby situated on the Brunswick River. Mullumbimby is known as “The Biggest Little Town in Australia” and for a small town it certainly has a lot to offer.
On the road into Mullumbimby you are greeted by the spectacular Mt. Chincogan. The town has a variety of cafes, colourful shops, interesting buildings, attractive parks, a swimming pool and a museum.
On the third saturday of each month a market is held in Summers Park on the corner of Stuart and Myocum Streets between 9am – 2pm. Local produce, hand made crafts and clothing, jewellery, plants and fresh food are for sale. Wander through this small but bustling market under the shady trees.
In the middle of Summers Park stands the old Mullumbimby post office (1907) which houses the local museum. Open on Market Saturdays and every Friday between 11am and 3pm, the BVHS Museum is worth exploring if you want to find out about the local history of the area.
At the other end of town on Mill Street is Heritage Park. It has been planted with over 300 species of rainforest trees and plants that are indigenous to the area. A winding path leads you through the park and along the edge of the Brunswick River. The park is equipped with picnic settings, a children’s playground, log seating, an information shelter shed and a riverbank fishing seat.
A drive up into the hinterland around Mullumbimby reveals lush rainforest and spectacular views. Discover the magic of Mullumbimby for yourself.Add to my itineraryView on map
Just a short drive north of Ocean Shores, New Brighton offers some great food options.
Find fresh vegetables, fruit, meats, bakery, dairy produce, nuts and a good cup of locally grown coffee at the New Brighton Farmers Market. Free market hamper are draw 8.30am and 10am on the first Tuesday of the month. Tickets are available from each stall you shop from and you have to be there to win. Every Tuesday 8am – 11am, rain or shine at New Brighton Oval. A market not to be missed!Add to my itineraryView on map
Keep going just a few kilometres north of Brunswick Heads on the Pacific Highway and you’ll come to the Ocean Shores turnoff. Here you will find a world-class golf course, the Oean Shores Tavern, a country club, a small shopping centre and great beaches. There’s a lookout from where you can see the fabulous view back south to Cape Byron, and west to Mt Warning.
Ocean Shores is famous for birds, and the flying foxes, or fruit bats, that live in large and noisy colonies. The bats make a spectacular sight at sunset as they head out to feed on the lush rainforest trees. Birds such as cranes, herons, swamp hens, kites and goshawks are all in abundance.Add to my itineraryView on map