Since my parents moved to Byron Bay in Northern NSW, the region surrounding has quickly become one of my favourites to explore. Whether it's countryside road trips, quirky little towns or natural attractions that tickle your fancy - the hinterland of Byron & Ballina has got it all. If you're looking for a simple and affordable day trip, below are my three favorite little towns that make for fantastic day-trips when you find yourself twiddling your thumbs for something new in Northern NSW.
A sea of green as far as the eye can see. Photo by Author (@chloeoliviad)
Located between Lismore & Ballina, Alstonville is a small little country town with a population of around 5,000. The town is always top of my list to visit when in the Northern Rivers region for the fact of how peaceful and naturally beautiful it really is.
A day off for me in the town always consists of heading to the local bakery in the morning and a quick walk around the historic little town, before heading to one of the waterfalls or reserves in the area.
There are two waterfalls you can swim in Alstonville and they are Tosha & Dalwood Falls
. Unfortunately, the town doesn't have an information centre with directions but if you are to ask any local who knows how to get there, they will always be more than happy to help. Thank you to the two girls, if you ever read this, for showing me the way as you were right, I felt like I stepped into paradise!
Tosha Falls. Photo by Author (@chloeoliviad)
It's not where you'd expect a waterfall to be, to say the least, but Tosha Falls is a tropical paradise. The town's sewerage treatment plant is actually the best carpark for Tosha, but don't let that deter you away. Once at the base of the falls after a short walk, you will forget where you've even come from & completely immerse yourself in the rainforest you find yourself in!
isn't exactly just another town you pass by on a highway, it has grown into a town with its own culture influenced from the varieties of people who visit and call this place home. It is known for being quite an eclectic place, it does host the infamous Mardigrass
each year, which the biggest attraction is a giant joint being passed through the town!
The town of Nimbin. Photo thanks to WikiMedia
There is much more to Nimbin though than initially meets the eye. If you take a wander around the main street and hub, you'll find a plethora of artisanal crafts and items to browse from. Music and expression are very popular in Nimbin too so there is always something going on in the small town, whether it be an open mic or live music!
Nimbin is located around an hour west of Ballina and you will pass through Lismore on your way out to the town. For the trip out, you will be passed by small little towns all the way but also delighted by rolling hills of green and farms lining your route - so be sure to take in your surroundings & enjoy the journey, not just the destination!
Last but definitely not least is the small town of Uki. You can reach the town off the Old Pacific Motorway. It is one of the towns you'll likely stop in/drive through on your way out to Nimbin or one of the many National Parks in the area. Hence where Uki gets its tagline: "Where the Mountains Touch the Sky
View of Mount Warning from the entrance of Mount Jerusalem National Park
The town may be small but it offers a lot of activities to warrant a week away, rather than just a day-trip! But if that's all the time you find you're able to get when here, here are the must-dos when in Uki;
The famous Mount Warning National Park
& Mount Jerusalem National Park
are nearby if you feel like spending a couple hours amongst World-Heritage listed rainforest. Mt Jerusalem is a protected park for a lot of endangered bird species in the area, so definitely keep an eye out for the wildlife that call this area home as you may see something completely new!
The Jewel of Uki, a must-see store in the beautiful little town.
The local shops of Uki is something to not be missed. One of my favourites is 'The Jewel of Uki'
, quite a clever name for such a gorgeous store. My first time, I remember taking in all the beautiful variety of gemstones, jewellery, clothing, plants and so much more. Plus you are able to learn a lot from the lovely owner about the nature of these objects and the significance it all has with the National Park Heritage of the area.
Some of the many gems and crystals to browse from at 'The Jewel of Uki'
Lastly, your time in Uki, whether it be fast-paced or taking it slow, is going to cause a bit of an appetite! My choice will always be a pub, especially one with a good view. Look no further than a lunch at the Mount Warning Hotel