Sydney to Brisbane Part 4: Byron Bay and Hinterland
WHERE TO STAY: Shocking weather met us on the way to Bryon Bay, so we changed our plans a little and instead of putting up the trailer in torrential tropical rain, we booked into a cabin at the campsite we were planning to stay at on Clarks Beach. [A little treat from Mum and Dad..Thanks x] This has to be the nicest cabin we have stayed in, with a lovely big balcony and beautifully decorated inside. Clarks beach is the perfect place to stay if you are in Byron as its right next to the beach, set in bushland, but only a short walk into the bustling town of Bryon and is close to the walks around the headland.
PLACES TO VISIT: En route to Byron we diverted off the main road and into a quirky little village called Newyrbar, a must visit for anyone in the area and had coffee at Harvest a little Deli and cafe with a balcony overlooking the valley. We popped our heads into the handful of shops too, the Merchants is amazing with each room beautifully displaying different homewares and crafts. Harvest also has a restaurant which I have heard great things about too.
The beach is a must when at Byron and its always more fun on the beach with kids, we met up with our friends Belinda and Adam and their two children and had a fun afternoon playing duck duck goose (I have included a link incase you don’t know the game and want to play) and splashing about in the waves.
WHERE TO EAT: On our second day in Byron we spent the morning looking around the shops dodging puddles and bursts of heavy rain. There are some amazing fresh healthy produce cafes and shops …a health foodies heaven. We had lunch at the trendy little Bay Leaf Cafe sitting in one of their window seats watching the world go by and listening to the chilled out tunes. I loved the World of Wanderlust’s blog 7 Byron Bay Cafes you’ll love for ideas of where to eat…thanks guys. Another evening we fancied fish and chips and had takeout grilled barramundi and sweet potato fries from Fishheads, it is in a great location to be able to watch the sunset on the beach, soak up the atmosphere with all the drums playing and I love all their healthier options but it wasn’t the best fish and chips we have had in Australia.
LOCAL PRODUCE WE LOVE: Since arriving in Australia in 2011, we naturally have become even bigger coffee fans and finding a good blend to have in the camper trailer when out bush is so important to us. Our favourite so far in the last 5 months has to be from the Byron Bay Coffee Company, we wish we had bought more. I also picked up some lovely hair products from ReFresh, their lemon myrtle conditioner is gorgeous and I love how all their products are inspired by Australian botanicals. I haven’t tried the Chai yet.
WALKS: THE HINTERLAND: Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park is a short drive from the coast and after all the rain we had, wow the waterfall was impressive, it descends more than 100 metres over the huge rhyolite cliffs which were once part of the Tweed Volcano. We did the 4km hike from Minyons Grass picnic area to the base of the falls. The last section we had to navigate over a few fallen trees and then its a bit of a scramble over rocks to reach the base of the falls. There were also hundreds of leeches, so we didn’t stop for too long, before making the ascent back out for lunch in the picnic area. The fungi put on a great display again for us too.
From Nightcap National Park we headed to Rocky Creek Dam and did the easy 1.5km Platypus walk passing alongside the overflowing dam, along the board walk to platypus hunt and then across the Lilly ponds. This time we think we heard a platypus, but still no sighting. There are slightly longer walks if you can cross the dam, but with so much water, we wouldn’t have stayed on our feet.
WALKS: BYRON BAY:
The walk to the lighthouse and the most Easterly point of Australia is a must, from Clarks beach we walked along the sand and up the step onto the top of the pass for great views of the surfers, before taking the inland bush track which popped out at Wategoe’s Beach. We also took the steps down to Little Wategoes beach before heading to the most easterly point to get the photo. It’s was then more steps up to the lighthouse, where the heavens opened and so perfect timing to explore inside. We then walked back the way we came, or you can take the inland bush track.
The surf in Byron looked fantastic to learn on and our friends also highly recommend a sea kayaking trip….again not enough time to do everything and next stop the Gold Coast.