Beyond Byron - The Majestic Byron Bay Hinterland
Byron Bay’s hinterland is full of magical secrets. Offering a lovely escape from the busyness of town, the hinterland offers rolling green hills, epic vistas, lush rainforest and waterfalls, quaint little villages, and lovely little hinterland communities, making it a wonderful place to explore. Here are some of its most special places.
A charming village just 30 minutes from Byron, Federal is home to a population of only 700 people. The Coolamon Scenic Drive will get you there, winding through the most magnificent lush green countryside with 360-degree views back out along the coast. It’s a spectacular journey. We love Federal for Doma, a cute little Japanese/Australian cafe that does amazing food, and recommend you try their hand rolls (the tempura halloumi and the sweet potato ones being our favourites). Everything they do is out of this world. They have a cute garden courtyard and on Sundays, you can sometimes find live music as well. After lunch at Doma, grab a coffee from Moonshine, a local, family-owned roaster that does a delicious brew. When you are ready for dessert, visit Ben at his cute little Italian ice cream cart down the road - Benilato - for his 4th generation Italian gelato. Lastly, if there is time, make an appointment to visit Sonia from Jatana Interiors at her studio around the corner. Her antique tiles are some of the most beautiful you will find.
Waterfalls in Byron Bay HinterlandYou haven’t spent time in the Byron Bay hinterland until you’ve chased a few waterfalls. And far out, there are plenty to choose from. Our pick of the bunch would have to be Protestors Falls, tucked away in the World Heritage Listed Nightcap National Park (aptly named after the long-haired hippies in the late 70s who kept loggers away from the rainforest by protesting around the falls). They are about an hour’s drive from Byron, and then a short 30-minute walk into the falls. Minyon Falls (also in the Nightcap National Park) is another, much closer option, not far from Federal. Killen Falls are popular as well.
NewrybarNewrybar is a gorgeous little one-street hinterland town that is home to some delicious eating and drinking care of a wonderful place called Harvest. This beautiful restaurant-cum-deli-cum-bakery is an absolute must-visit. The team at Harvest are incredibly passionate about supporting local farmers and whatever they can’t source locally, they grow themselves in their own kitchen garden. Everything they do is outstanding. While in Newrybar, it is also worth popping across the road to the Newrybar Merchants where you will find incredible homewares and gifts.
ClunesClunes is a teeny tiny village that is definitely worth a visit. There’s not much there apart from a cute general store, but the Clunes Store is not just any general store. There you will find a boutique wine cellar, a bustling café (serving delicious Allpress coffee), a post office and a whole lot of heart. The general store first opened its doors in 1891, with the current owners taking over 10 years ago and turning the business into something that wholeheartedly embraces community. Proudly local, their aim is to provide the community with the very best fresh produce, local artisan products, boutique wines and craft beers they can find. It makes for a gorgeous stop on your trip around the hinterland.
ElthamThere’s really only one main reason to visit the hinterland town of Eltham and that is for its small country pub, The Eltham. Built way back in 1902 when the town was a bustling railway village, this 118-year-old beauty is jam-packed full of history and remains a favourite meeting place for locals of the Northern Rivers. Earlier this year, after a heartfelt renovation, the pub reopened together with 5 beautiful motel rooms, each with a story. We recommend going for a drink on a Sunday afternoon to really soak in the buzzy local vibes.
We guarantee this will only mark the beginning of your hinterland adventuring, but we have no doubt these ideas will get you off to a very good start.