Get back to nature in the hinterland
Head out of town and head for the hills! Venture along the hinterland discovery drive, following the Tourist Drive 28 signs up to the Alstonville plateau and check out the boutique stores and cafes along Main Street. You’re sure to find a treasure.
A short drive from Main Street, visit Summerland House Farm, a working macadamia and avocado property set in the hills of the Alstonville plateau. While you are here take advantage of the regions’ rich volcanic soils and stock up on fresh produce at the Regional Grocer.
Escape to Victoria Park Nature Reserve, one of the last remnants of the Big Scrub, the rainforest prominent to the natural landscape of the Northern Rivers region. Stroll around the boardwalk loop and enjoy the cool, lush sub-tropical rainforest.
Continue along Wardell Road towards the historic town of Wardell. Get out and stretch your legs and grab one of the BEST pies you’ll ever eat (whether you are hungry or not!!) from the Wardell Pie Shop then head to the riverfront boardwalk. You can fish off the jetty alongside the landmark bridge built to replace the ferries and barges used to transport cedar and sugar cane in the 1800s.
From Wardell take the back road (River Drive) towards South Ballina and catch the Burns Point Vehicle Ferry across the Richmond River to Ballina. That’s after you’ve explored South Ballina!
After your ferry journey, take your photo with the Big Prawn. The Big Prawn stands nine metres high and is one of Australia’s iconic big things and see how creative you can get with your pics.
Pick up some fresh seafood for dinner from the Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op or Northern Rivers Seafood on River Street in West Ballina, located a short distance from the Big Prawn on the opposite side of the road.
Head to the river, watch the sunset and enjoy!
Drive north to the Historic Village of Newrybar, a quaint little hamlet nestled in the hinterland above Lennox Head. Newrybar is home to Australia’s oldest bakery (making the most devine pastries and sourdough artisan breads), the award-winning Harvest Café and a glorious deli, both serving delicious coffee.
Check out the quirky antique store across the road and the old home that has been converted into a trendy collective of local artisans that showcase their wares at the Newrybar Merchants. Try leaving without buying something – warning you it will be hard!!
While in the area, take a detour and visit the Cape Byron Distillery on St Helena Road above Byron Bay. This is the areas first distillery of gin, set on a macadamia farm surrounded by sub-tropical rainforest. They offer tours and tastings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you love Gin don’t miss this – from the moment you arrive and they greet you with a welcome G& T!! ohhh happy days. Everything else is just a bonus.
Head back along the Hinterland Way and visit the historic town of Bangalow (that’s another blog article in itself, so much to see, taste and enjoy in this town), then head west along Lismore Road and take a scenic drive towards Tintenbar along Friday Hut Road to Killen Falls. Take a short walk to see the waterfall, the viewing platform sits above the falls.
You mightn’t have time today but just down the road is the Teven Valley Golf Course, if you like a round, you’ll love this place. The nine-hole course is surrounded by nature, you feel like you are playing amongst the tree tops. The property is boarded by a pretty creek and I am not joking, we saw a platypus in the creek!!
That was a great way to top off a magic day in the hinterland!