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Foodie Adventures in the Northern Rivers

Harvest Cafe, NewrybarCREDIT: Destination NSW

Sample exceptional Northern Rivers produce at the likes of Harvest Newrybar in the Byron Bay hinterland.

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Foodie Adventures in
the Northern Rivers

Harvest Cafe, Newrybar CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sample exceptional Northern Rivers produce at the likes of Harvest Newrybar in the Byron Bay hinterland.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

The far North Coast holiday town of Byron Bay is well known for its vibrant dining scene, but there are many more culinary gems waiting to be discovered in the lush hinterland to the west and the coastal farming region to the north. Taste some of the area’s top offerings on this five-day Northern Rivers foodie adventure.

Day 1: Newrybar, Bangalow and Byron Bay 

Pick up a hire car at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and begin your culinary journey at the Macadamia Castle, a multifaceted attraction in Knockrow, about 15 minutes north of the coastal town of Ballina. Take a stroll around the animal park, enjoy a macadamia-laden meal at the café and stock up on snacks at the nut bar before moving on towards the picturesque town of Newrybar in the Byron Bay hinterland. This one-street town is particularly popular with foodies thanks to Harvest Newrybar, the renowned restaurant, bakery and deli known for showcasing underutilised native ingredients on its ever-changing menu. After enjoying an unforgettable lunch, it’s off to neighbouring Bangalow, another pretty hinterland town packed with boutiques and cafés; try Woods for an afternoon caffeine hit.  

From Bangalow, it’s just 15 minutes’ drive to Byron Bay. En route, stop by Cape Byron Distillery, birthplace of Brookie’s Gin, for a rainforest tour and tasting, or maybe a tour and tasting at Stone & Wood Brewery in Byron Bay’s Arts and Industry Estate, just north of the town centre. Retire in rainforest luxury at the Byron at Byron, refurbished in 2020, or at beachfront Raes on Wategos, both of which have smart onsite restaurants showcasing local produce.  

Day 2: Pottsville 

Catch the sunrise from Australia’s most easterly point at Cape Byron Lighthouse. Head up at your own pace on the Cape Byron Walking Track or sign up for the magical Toast the Sun experience, a three-course ‘floating’ breakfast overlooking the ocean. Another dreamy way to start your day is going kayaking with the dolphins with Cape Byron Kayaks or Go Sea Kayak, before joining a Farm Tour delivered by Table Under a Tree and connecting you with small artisan producers, with a delectable lunch included. Or head north to The Tweed area to visit the excellent Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre at Murwillumbah. Enjoy a country lunch in the shadow of Wollumbin (Mount Warning) at Mavis’s Kitchen. Then spend the afternoon in the cute village of Uki, before making your way to the sleepy coastal town of Pottsville. Reserve a table at lauded Pipit Restaurant for dinner before bedding down at stylish boutique hotel Halcyon House in Cabarita, 10 minutes’ drive north. Or head back up into the lush hinterland for a peaceful sleep in one of the luxury chalets at ecOasis Resort, just 30 minutes to the west.

Stone & Wood Brewing Company, Byron Bay CREDIT: Destination NSW

Samples of beer for tasting at Stone & Wood Brewing Company, Byron Bay.

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Stone & Wood Brewing Company, Byron Bay CREDIT: Destination NSW

Samples of beer for tasting at Stone & Wood Brewing Company, Byron Bay.

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Mavis's Kitchen, Uki CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying food and wine at Mavis's Kitchen, Uki.

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Mavis's Kitchen, Uki CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying food and wine at Mavis's Kitchen, Uki.

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Day 3: Cudgen & Cabarita 

Make a short detour back south to pick up some local cheeses at Tweed Valley Whey Farmhouse Cheeses in Burringbar, where you’ll find handmade camembert, brie, feta, halloumi and more. Also in the tiny town of Burringbar are two great foodie offerings: Elwood Cafe, perfect for coffee or brunch, and Mercado Juarez, which sells mind-blowing takeaway tacos on Friday evenings.  

Save some room for lunch at Farm & Co., the Cudgen café delivering delicious and wholesome food in a verdant setting. Then, check in — or return to — Halcyon House for cocktails by the pool. There’s no need to head out for dinner, for in-house restaurant Paper Daisy is one of the region’s top tables.

Day 4: Cabarita & Kingscliff 

Allow the experts at Mount Warning Tours to introduce you to more of the region’s delights on its full-day Tweed Valley Food and Farm Tour. Alternatively, take a look at what Tasting Plate Tours has to offer: get into the spirit with The Distiller, which includes a visit to Husk Distillers, renowned for its purple-hued Ink Gin. Or be Tempted in the Tweed — a delicious tour of iconic local restaurants. Dinner at Fins in Fins in Kingscliff, one of the North Coast’s most longstanding seafood restaurants, is hard to beat. Wind down at Peppers Salt Resort & Spa, a coastal haven you won’t want to leave.  

Day 5: Tweed region 

On Wednesdays, Tweed Eco Cruises, based in Tweed Heads, runs its Aboriginal-led Pot to Plate Adventure, a part-history, part-cultural, part-food tour led by Bundjalung Nation descendant Luther Cora. Head into the heart of mud crab territory, then onto the local oyster leases, before enjoying a decadent seafood lunch. You can also try tasty morsels of a different kind at Tropical Fruit World.  The 80-hectare property in Duranbah features vibrant fruit markets and a café, or jump aboard its award-winning farm tour and explore the plantation. Put a spin on this itinerary by starting the day at Tropical Fruit World and then finishing up with a hands-on Catch a Crab Tour (also departing from Tweed Heads), which includes pumping for yabbies and trapping live crabs. Add lunch and enjoy the fruits of your fun-filled labour. 

Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach CREDIT: Destination NSW

Paper Daisy waitress serving food in boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach.

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Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach CREDIT: Destination NSW

Paper Daisy waitress serving food in boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach.

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Catch A Crab, West Tweed Heads CREDIT: Destination NSW

People enjoying a Catch A Crab tour along the Tweed River, West Tweed Heads.

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Catch A Crab, West Tweed Heads CREDIT: Destination NSW

People enjoying a Catch A Crab tour along the Tweed River, West Tweed Heads.

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