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Great Southern Nights Guide: Northern NSW

Surfing, Cabarita BeachCredit: Destination NSW

Surfers catching a morning wave at Cabarita Beach.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Great Southern Nights Guide: Northern NSW

Surfing, Cabarita Beach Credit: Destination NSW

Surfers catching a morning wave at Cabarita Beach.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #feelnsw #newsouthwales

A star-studded line up is gearing up to embrace the sun-soaked Northern Rivers region as part of New South Wales’ 17-night music festival, Great Southern Nights, which is back in 2024 from 8-24 March. Live music will provide the cherry on top of an ocean-sprayed minibreak, so why not make a long weekend of it and hit the road on the ultimate musical GSN coastal road trip.

Great Southern Nights Gigs

The Beach Hotel is one of Byron Bay’s must visit locations; catch electric hip hop duo Hermitude (9 Mar) and bop the night away or catch Xavier Rudd at The Green Room (9 Mar). Take your music appreciation tour northwards to the Tweed to rock out to Bliss N Eso at the waterfront Kingscliff Beach Hotel (23 Mar), then take a drive down south to Lismore where you'll see Jesswar (23 Mar) and Kate Miller-Heidke (13 Mar). You can also catch Ball Park Music (15 Mar), Gordi (8 Mar), JK-47 (23 Mar), and Jon Stevens (8 Mar).

Great Southern Nights 2024 - Bliss N Eso Credit: Morse Code

Great Southern Nights 2024 - Bliss N Eso

#feelnsw

Great Southern Nights 2024 - Bliss N Eso Credit: Morse Code

Great Southern Nights 2024 - Bliss N Eso

#feelnsw

Great Southern Nights 2023 Taster Series Credit: Morse Code

Great Southern Nights 2023 Taster Series

#feelnsw

Great Southern Nights 2023 Taster Series Credit: Morse Code

Great Southern Nights 2023 Taster Series

#feelnsw

Eat and Drink

Top Shop, Byron Bay

This former 1950s milk bar serves acai bowls, smoothies, burgers and more from its corner shop space. Perch yourself on the grassy knoll while you tuck into your mid-morning snack. 

Light Years, Byron Bay

Originating in Byron Bay in 2017, the Light Years brand was born from a desire to bring a fun, modern Asian dining experience to the East Coast. Offering delicious share style food, unique cocktails, and friendly wait staff, Light Years Byron Bay very quickly became a beachside favourite.

Fins Restaurant and Bar, Kingscliff

Internationally renowned traveling celebrity chef Steven Snow is the owner/chef of Fins, Australia’s most awarded regional restaurant. His flagship fine diner Fins has been a ‘hatted’ restaurant for 22 years

Bang Bang, Byron Bay

Bringing charged-up flavours to the table, this corner eatery pulses with energy come sundown. From chow mein to Korean popcorn chicken and roti canai, the menu criss-crosses from East to Southeast Asia and back again, throwing down the most popular classics of the region alongside a cocktail list equally attuned to good times.

Paper Daisy, Cabarita Beach

This breezy diner in celebrated Halcyon House is within earshot of waves on Cabarita Beach. The menu is local, focused and finely executed. The bar is open to external guests from 3pm, so be sure to arrive with plenty of time to enjoy a pre-dinner primer.

Taverna, Kingscliff

Be transported to the picturesque Greek Islands at Taverna, and soak in the inviting ambiance of bright white walls and waterfront views overlooking Kingscliff Beach. Feast on contemporary takes of traditional dishes inspired by the co-owner and chef’s yiayia (grandmother), and feast on wholesome ingredients plucked fresh from Taverna’s very own kitchen garden.

Three Blue Ducks at The Farm, Byron Hinterland

The Byron outpost of Three Blue Ducks is set on a strollable 30-hectare farm where you can meet a farm animal or two (the pigs are always a hit) and watch your meal being prepared in the open kitchen. This spot is much-loved by families for the opportunity to let small ones loose but is just as adept at providing a refined but enjoyably low-key dining experience.

Top Shop, Byron Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Young people enjoying a coffee at the Top Shop Cafe in Byron Bay

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Top Shop, Byron Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Young people enjoying a coffee at the Top Shop Cafe in Byron Bay

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach Credit: Destination NSW

Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach Credit: Destination NSW

Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Play

It's time to go dolphin spotting

Cape Byron Kayaks runs guided tours through the Cape Byron Marine Park every morning and they see dolphins on 90% of their trips. (And if you don’t, you can go again for free.) You’ll also see sea turtles and humpback whales (during the winter months), get a unique perspective on the Cape Byron Lighthouse, and pull into a secluded beach for a Tim Tam feast. 

Ride into the sunset

Saddle up for a gentle ride from the forest to the beach with Zephyr Horses. Feel the salt spray revitalise your senses as you trot along the shoreline, or take a ride to the pub, saloon-style.

Explore a fishing and surfing village

In Brunswick Heads the most popular activities are those centred around the water. Explore the Brunswick River on a kayak with Byron Bay Eco Cruises, or snap on a snorkel and go diving with Blue Bay Diving to explore below the surface of this holiday hotspot. Or if you feel like sitting back and taking in the views, book a trip with award winning eco-certified Brunswick River Cruises.

Husk Distillery, Tweed Shire

An excursion to the under-the-radar Tweed reveals sunlit cane fields, riverside landscapes and towns built upon stilts, and should culminate in a visit to Husk Distillery’s cellar door. Designate someone else to drive, sip the refreshing rum made from local cane sugar and book a table or spread out under an umbrella on the lawn and enjoy a lazy country afternoon.

Explore

Beach hop across the NSW North Coast

As well as world-famous Byron Bay, the adjacent Tweed and Ballina shires are well-endowed with their fair share of glittering coastal gems lapping the shore. Northwards, in the Tweed, you’ll find the winner of Australia’s best beach in 2020, Cabarita Beach, as well as plenty of river-to-ocean creeks that are perfectly agreeable to paddleboarding, kids, and lolling in crystal waters. Southwards, Ballina and Lennox Head are fringed with vast beaches to surf and swim, as well as Lake Ainsworth, a tea tree-stained lake perfect for paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing.

Cape Byron Lighthouse

The most easterly point in Australia doesn’t disappoint with its oceanic vistas that are often interrupted by whales or pods of dolphins. Join the throng of joggers with a morning run with a view or take a more meditative pace and wander mindfully all the way to the very edge of Australia

Cape Byron Kayaks, Byron Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Experience all the fun and adventure of a Cape Byron Kayaks guided tour in Cape Byron Marine Park. Feel the exhilaration as you paddle your kayak with the dolphins, turtles, and whales that frequent the enticing waters of Byron Bay.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Cape Byron Kayaks, Byron Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Experience all the fun and adventure of a Cape Byron Kayaks guided tour in Cape Byron Marine Park. Feel the exhilaration as you paddle your kayak with the dolphins, turtles, and whales that frequent the enticing waters of Byron Bay.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach Credit: Destination NSW

Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach Credit: Destination NSW

Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Stay 

Hotel Marvell

Opening in mid 2023, Hotel Marvell is the first five-star property in the centre of Byron Bay. It’s also the first with a rooftop pool and bar, which is one of the best places in town to watch the sunset. There are 18 rooms and six suites, styled with raw concrete, natural fabrics and gold fittings, perfectly suited to the local bohemian luxe aesthetic. 

Swell Hotel

Another new opening in 2023, the Swell perfectly captures Byron’s retro luxe charm, with just 16 rooms designed around a palette of earthy tones and natural elements. It’s an adult’s only retreat, so expect some quiet time to rest and recharge around the ozone pool or rejuvenate with a session in the infrared sauna and ice bath. 

Cape Byron Retreat

It’s less than five minutes from the centre of town but this adults’ only retreat feels a world away. There are just nine villas and apartments surrounded by gorgeous gardens, a sparkling swimming pool, outdoor hot tubs, a yoga pavilion and indulgent spa. Check in and tune out. 

Sun Ranch

Arrive at this 70s-inspired ranch close to Bangalow and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped onto the set of a spaghetti Western. Earthy tones, vintage furniture, funky fabrics and cowboy touches are found across its 55 acres, which includes a five-room guesthouse called The Rambler, six freestanding two-bedroom barns, and quirky communal spaces like The Badminton Club and The Lair. 

The Brooklet

Perched on a lush green hillside just outside the village of Newrybar, The Brooklet is an impossibly glamorous country retreat. Stay in one of the six opulent one-and two-bedroom villas or book The Bails, the original dairy that’s been turned into a luxe three-bedroom house with a private pool. Swim in the 25m magnesium pool, hang out in The Barn, play croquet on the lawn or work out in the gym.

...

For more information on Great Southern Nights and to purchase tickets go to greatsouthernnights.com.au. Start planning your Great Southern Nights road trip and learn more about New South Wales’ diverse destinations and experiences at sydney.com and visitnsw.com.

Share your Feel New moments with #FeelNSW and #FeelNewSydney.

Hotel Marvell Credit: Hotel Marvell

Hotel Marvell

#feelnsw

Hotel Marvell Credit: Hotel Marvell

Hotel Marvell

#feelnsw

Sun Ranch Credit: Sun Ranch

Sun Ranch

#feelnsw

Sun Ranch Credit: Sun Ranch

Sun Ranch

#feelnsw

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