Tag Archives: Hinterland

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.

The Hidden Gems Of The Byron Hinterland

Don’t for one second think that the Byron Bay beaches are the only attraction in the Northern Rivers region. Behind the coastal strip is a fascinating mix of cultural and geographically attractions and Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park is your gateway to the hinterland’s green rolling hills, world heritage national parks and charming villages. It really is the best of both worlds!

Firstly, Minyon Falls which is located within the Nightcap National Park, is a scenic 30 minute drive from Byron Bay. Part of the volcanic escarpment, the top of the cliffs are forested with ancient rainforest and abundant wildlife including koalas, goannas, whipbirds and Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos. Definitely worth a visit on a hot day as the temperature is always cooler than on the coastal strip and a great place to be on a wet day when the falls are at their majestic best.

While we are in this region, why not take a diversion to the The Channon Markets, a mere 45 minute drive out of  Byron and 20 minutes from Minyon Falls. One of the longest running markets in the area (35 years!) it is held on the second Sunday of every month and still upholds its founding mantra “Make It, Bake It, Grow It”. The stallholders are as colourful and unique as the objects they sell. You are sure to run into a busker (or ten) as you lazily make your way around the stalls or sit down under a tree to enjoy the delicious organic and locally grown food choices.

Protesters Falls, just outside The Channon, is historically significant as the scene of a long and ultimately successful protest against the logging industry in the 1970′s. Just 14km from The Channon village, it is well worth a visit. You can appreciate the vigour with which the protesters clashed with the loggers when you see the natural beauty of this ancient area. There’s a track which wanders through old growth timber and rainforest and gives you a close up appreciation of the area’s natural assets. Especially worth a visit if it has been raining, as the falls cascade to wonderful pools and waterholes. Take a moment to thank those who fought for this absorbing landscape.

Bangalow is one of the area’s prettiest villages with its main street architecture virtually intact and untouched since settlement and development in the 1880′s. Visually enhanced as a tourist destination, whilst maintaining its old world charm, Bangalow offers the diner a wide range of cafes and restaurants as well as funky boutique shops. One of the local fashion leaders, ‘Lazybones’ has a shop here as does the upmarket lifestyle store ‘Island Luxe’. Standouts include an original art deco cake shop and a traditional old time butcher. One of the oldest buildings is the Bangalow Uniting Church built in the early 1900′s and still active.

If you are hankering after locally grown organic produce and really want to savour alfresco dining in a charming, historic cottage with a shabby chic appeal, cross the Pacific Highway and head over to Newrybar, 15 mins from Byron. Open every day for breakfast and lunch and Thursdays, Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner, Harvest Cafe will satisfy your modern palate and your love of history.

Again, just across the Pacific Highway, is the quaintly named Possum Creek Road and off this road is the equally intriguing Friday Hut Road.  Here, you will find a treasure of a restaurant, Lilianna’s. Located in the lovingly restored and maintained Old Possum Creek School, Lilianna’s holds true to its belief in honouring the past whilst devising innovative menus using the best local and ‘in season’ produce. An added bonus is the local Koala population occupying the surrounding trees.

Ok, we have given you a few of the amazing attractions and hidden delights of the Byron hinterland. Now, we will take you to two locations which, while being further afield from Byron Bay, are equally worth the visit. Firstly, Uki, a small village situated near Mt Warning. Legend has it that the early timber getters used to make the finest cedar for export to the United Kingdom as ‘UK1′, hence Uki. Still dominated by its one pub, Uki now attracts day trippers and tree changers. Beautifully green, tropical fruit is now the #1 agricultural activity and you will find lots of stalls along the road offering fresh fruit using the ‘honour box’ system. New settlers have retained the original homes and shops and reinvigorated the town with new businesses. A must-see, historically authentic small town.

70km west of Byron Bay is the infamous town of Nimbin. Once a farming district, whose main claim to fame was being home to the world tug-o-war champions, Nimbin’s renaissance was the Aquarius Festival in 1973. A peaceful takeover by hippies was completed with multiple occupancy communities and the landscape was changed forever. The main street is dominated by street art, a hippie museum, alternative shops and colourful locals. As amusement, Nimbin, cannot be surpassed.

If you want all the fun of a Byron Bay holiday, but without all the hustle and bustle, then stay at Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park, with all the hidden gems of the Byron hinterland at your door!