Easter planning: ten reasons to cross the divide this Easter

Easter planning: ten reasons to cross the divide this Easter

1920 1080 Table Under a Tree

Consider this a siren call for a visit to the Hinterland! Yes, that beautiful swathe of farming country, rolling hills and small villages that sits west of the Pacific Highway. The other part of the Byron region.

Now I’m a beach person who could happily spend hours at the beach regardless of the season so I understand the temptation, when you’re in Byron, to stay in Byron – or Bruns or Lennox if that’s your beachside holiday base. But there’s a whole other aspect of the region to explore, if you can just manage to pull yourself away from the blue and head for the green.

Not convinced? Here’s ten reasons to take a chance on a trip into the hills.

  1. For those who love a farmer’s market, the great news is that you’ll find them on the weekend. Both Bangalow and Lismore have Saturday morning markets, which fit into a long-weekend much more easily. They’re both great with fantastic stalls. Grab breakfast and a supply of beautiful produce.
  2. Speaking of breakfasts, some of my favourite picks for breakfast in the region are in the hills. You can head for the more well-known ones like Doma in Federal or Harvest in Newrybar, but one of my favourite breakfasts in the area is Flock in Lismore. Run by two former Brisbanites, Flock is the real deal. Generous in spirit, portion and flavour. And the great news is that they’re due to open an offshoot in Mullumbimby any day now, so you’ve got options on where to go.
  3. Roadside stalls are such a fun thing. It’s like the old fashioned lucky dip from when you were a kid. You never know what you’ll find! They’re dotted all through the hills (there’s some great ones between Mullum and Goonengerry and also around Fernleigh and Brooklet). Make sure you’ve got some coins with you for the honesty boxes.
  4. Having mentioned Mullum a couple of times already, wandering around this quirky little town is loads of fun. There’s great shops – check out Made in Mullum for starters, and Kiva gets rave reviews for a spa experience – and given it’s Easter, you’ll be able to get your chocolate fix from either Pure Melt or the Mullumbimby Chocolate Shop. And the food is on the money. If you’re there through the day, check out The Patch, Rock and Roll or Pink Lotus. If you’re there at night, go no further than Milk and Honey and then thank me later.
  5. If you’re in a wandering frame of mind, you can also wander Bangalow! More stylish than quirky, it is another great browsing or shopping destination. Art, clothing and even the CWA grace the main street. Food is plentiful and runs the full gamut from hatted (Town) to old-school burgers (Bang) and everything in-between.
  6. And if wandering the streets makes you feel twitchy, try wandering nature instead! The Hinterland has loads of bush walks to suit any level of fitness and commitment! Minyon Falls is just plain spectacular and there’s plenty of other options in and around Nightcap National Park. Get outside and breathe the fresh air.
  7. For a less strenuous taste of the outdoors, you can do something a bit quirky like explore a pecan orchard. Our friends at Barefoot Farm produce the other nut of the region so go pay them a visit and then debate the relative merits of pecans and macadamias. Which camp do you fall into? Of course, the orchard doubles as the home to Eltham Valley Pantry, so there’s lunch sorted! You can even stop by Eltham Pub for a cool drink on your way back to town – it is a great spot for a drink, and seriously, how many pubs have you come across that have their own renewable energy target? They deserve your drinking dollar.
  8. The Hinterland and surrounds will surprise you, and that’s a great thing. Whether it’s finding a beautiful waterfall in Whian Whian, stumbling on a herbal tea dispensary in Burringbar or trying a Filipino restaurant in Lismore (who would have thought!), exploring is life-affirming.
  9. The Hinterland is just plain beautiful. Lush and green – it’ll make you want to be a farmer!
  10. The Hinterland is where your food comes from, by and large. If you’re reading this website, I’m guessing you have at least a passing interest is food, and this region is a food bowl like no other. From dairy to nuts to produce to pork, beef and more. To taste the food is one, to see where it comes from is another.

Now are you convinced? Surely you are! Whatever you decide to do on your holiday this Easter, just make sure you’re supporting real people making real food at real places.