Only a decade-or-so ago, Bangalow on the North Coast of NSW was a tiny farming community unknown to all but its locals. These days, the town is famous as a cute hamlet of Bangalow palm trees, 100-year-old Federation buildings, boutique stores and gourmet treats, just a 15min drive from Byron Bay.
Eat and drink
There’s a lot going in in Bangalow, meaning it’s an ideal day trip from Byron or a delicious destination to base your whole holiday around. You can taste locally grown coffee and browse for gourmet treats. Fertile volcanic soil in the area produces macadamia nuts, fruit and vegetables, coffee, dairy goods and meat.
The main street is full of cafes and restaurants. Grab breakfast at Butcher Baker, where all bread, pastries and sweets are baked on-site, or Woods, the sister venue of Byron’s trendy Folk cafe. One Green Acre collaborates with local farmers and producers to create seasonal menus and The Italian Diner is a classic country trattoria.
Shopping and markets
There are plenty of chic boutique shops and galleries to explore too. Shoppers will love stores like Island Luxe for interior design, Johansen’s bohemian fashion and the eclectic collection at Wax Jumba Emporium. Our Corner Store is an effortlessly cool take on the classic corner store, stocked with simple and beautiful pieces.
Find the best produce and handmade goods at The Bangalow Market, held every fourth Sunday the town’s tree-lined showgrounds. The annual Sample Food Festival is now a major attraction for foodies and features local food heroes as well as famous Australian chefs like ARIA’s Matt Moran.
Things to do in Bangalow
Bangalow also offers great live music. Check out the annual Bangalow Music Festival, one of Australia's leading chamber music festivals that attracts acclaimed classical musicians from around the world. Catch a local musician (or one of the area’s rock star residents) at the Bangalow Bowling Club or the Bangalow Hotel.
Just off the main street, get into nature at Bangalow Parklands, where you can walk through forest to a swimming weir built in 1924 (and rebuilt a few years ago): it’s the ideal place to cool down in Summer. If waterfalls are your thing, take the 30min drive to spectacular Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park.
Getting there and where to stay
Bangalow is an 8hr 20min drive north of Sydney and just under two hours south of Brisbane. You can fly into the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, a 20min drive away. Accommodation ranges from luxurious homes, chic villas and peaceful retreats in the hinterland to historic guesthouses on the banks of Byron Creek.