New South Wales’ vibrant Northern Rivers region is a tapestry of charming communities, stunning natural landscapes, and cultural richness. Well-known for its superb beaches such as A-list enclave Byron Bay, the region offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure—both along the coast and beyond. Here we shine a light on the best places to visit, eat, and unwind, so you can make the most of your northern exposure.
Get back to nature at Dorrigo National Park
An hour west of Coffs Harbour, at the heart of the region, lies lovely Dorrigo National Park. A World Heritage-listed rainforest, Dorrigo invites visitors to step into an ancient world of lush canopies and cascading Crystal Falls waterfalls, meandering skywalks, and timeless serenity.
Wander and nibble at The Farm, Byron Bay
In contrast to the quiet majesty of Dorrigo, The Farm at Byron Bay is a testament to the region's thriving agrarian roots and communal ethos. This working farm doubles as a culinary destination, where paddock-to-plate isn't a concept, but a practice. Families gather to witness the cycle of life in the fields and enjoy the harvests at the on-site restaurant, a celebration of the region's rich produce.
Pick a piece at Tropical Fruit World, Duranbah
Tropical Fruit World showcases the region's agricultural diversity, offering a succulent journey through orchards laden with exotic fruits. It's not just a tour; it's an interactive experience blending education with the simple pleasure of picking and tasting fruits straight from the tree.
Grab a slice at Ciao, Mate, Bangalow
The Northern Rivers boasts a vibrant dining scene. In Bangalow, Ciao, Mate presents Italian cuisine with a dash of Australian flair, creating a fusion that reflects the innovative spirit of the area. The restaurant is a favourite for those who appreciate a welcoming atmosphere and inventive, seasonal dishes.
Mark your calendar for Byron Bay Bluesfest, March 28-April 1
If you find yourself in the region in late March, don’t miss the Byron Bay Bluesfest, an annual music festival that transforms the area into a hub of activity, good tunes, and even better vibes. The festival attracts international artists and music lovers from far and wide, creating a vibrant atmosphere that resonates through the entire region.
With their array of local crafts, organic produce, and bohemian artisan wares, the Bangalow Markets offer a glimpse into the heart and soul of the town and broader region. These markets are a meeting place for the faces, stories, and talents of the area, and you’ll no doubt find a sweet souvenir of your travels while you’re there.
Wategos Beach, Byron Bay
While there’s no shortage of lovely stretches of coast to lay your towel down, the serene Wategos Beach in Byron is a jewel in the region's crown. This sheltered haven is perfect for swimming, picnicking, and simply basking in the area's natural splendour.
The Northern Rivers isn't just a destination; it's a journey through diverse landscapes, a taste of boundless creativity, and a glimpse into the heart of a community that prides itself on a deep connection to land, sea, and each other. Don’t forget to secure your tickets in Cars for Cancer lottery No. 115 for your chance to get Off-Road In STYLE… to the Northern Rivers, and beyond!