Stretching inland from Australia’s most easterly point, Byron Bay’s hinterland is filled with gorgeous villages, stunning scenery and a tranquillity that washes urban stresses from every visitor.
The rolling hills are home to countless examples of breathtaking nature and villages worth falling in love with. From day-long hikes in inspiring scenery to lazy mornings with a coffee and a view, there’s plenty worth exploring in the land behind Byron Bay.
Let’s visit the best of Byron Bay’s hinterland.
Breathtaking Hinterland Nature
Standing above the hinterland and visible from Byron Bay’s Main Beach is the unique summit of Wollumbin Mount Warning. With a trailhead that’s an hour’s drive from Elements of Byron, hike up to this hinterland high point within two hours. All efforts are repaid by the panoramic views that reach from the ocean in the east to lush rolling fields in the west.
Close to the village of Federal is another natural gem: Minyon Falls. These 100m waterfalls have a viewing platform that’s easily accessible via an unsealed but well-maintained road. Alternatively, enjoy a range of bush walks that take in the creek, rainforest and escarpment landscapes. Discover walks to both mountain summit and waterfall pool (and more!) in our guide to the best walks in Byron Bay.
Even without visiting one of these natural landmarks, a simple drive through the Byron Bay hinterland reveals layer upon layer of views worthy of any painter’s easel. This lush, green landscape is a mix of farmland and forest, woven with creeks and lakes that will have you stopping often to capture the views.
Villages to Fall in Love With
Beyond the nature, there are a series of focal points for a hinterland adventure.
First comes Bangalow, a village focused around a single street and just a 14-minute drive from Elements of Byron. From choice cafes (Woods, Town and Our Corner Kitchen are all great) to boutique home and clothing shops (ROWIE, Bisque Traders, and Island Luxe), there’s plenty to keep you wandering slowly along Byron Street. Don’t forget to visit The Clay Barn before you leave Bangalow, where you can get your hands dirty making a unique souvenir against a stunning hinterland backdrop.
In Newrybar—another 7 minutes’ drive beyond Bangalow—find Harvest Restaurant and Deli, who beautifully celebrate local, wild and seasonal produce. Across the road is Newrybar Merchants, where local artisans share a curated space filled with one-off homewares and designs.
Heading north, Federal’s major highlights are culinary. Doma Cafe elegantly fuses Japanese and Australian cuisines while Moonshine Coffee produce some of the region’s finest coffee beans (café open 7 days until1:30pm daily).
Just 12 minutes’ drive from Newrybar, you’ll find Frida’s Field in Nashua. The home of a family of food lovers who worship the seasons in the creation of their menus. This is a definite long lunch destination. Revel in nature at this icon of contemporary country dining. Be sure to book ahead as their lunch spots fill up quick.
Another 15 minutes up the road, the Eltham Hotel is a genuine, 118 year old iconic Aussie pub recently revamped by its new owners. You know what a really good Aussie pub has? Amazing pub grub. Think sprawling verandahs, long stretches of bar top and one hell of a chicken parmy.
And for a longer hinterland adventure, head down to Clunes and enjoy a day out in a village whose centre point, the Clunes Store & Cafe, epitomises the village’s old-world experience.
Keeping Close to Byron Bay
If an adventure into the hills isn’t for you, enjoy some hinterland highlights within a short drive of Byron Bay.
Cape Byron Distillery is 11 minutes’ drive from the centre of Byron Bay and is home to the award-winning Brookie’s Byron Gin. Take a tour of the farm, discover the botanicals that create their distinctive spirits then enjoy a cocktail on the veranda with a hinterland view.
Even closer to town, (and strictly speaking not in Byron Bay’s hinterland) The Farm is a favourite stop-off for all. Enjoy a meal in the restaurant, a picnic on the grass or go and meet the wildlife with a coffee in hand and get a taste of the Hinterland without leaving Byron Bay.
Want more inspiration for things to do in Byron Bay? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Byron Bay.