The small town of Mullumbimby just a 15min drive inland from Byron Bay is the perfect base to explore the stunning hinterland of the North Coast of NSW. Nestled beside the Brunswick River and beneath the escarpments of the Great Dividing Range, it’s emerging as quirky and colourful rural escape.

Things to do in Mullumbimby

Mullumbimby is so close to nature that you can go bushwalking right within the town limits. You can also visit the Brunswick Valley Heritage Park, a botanical haven for hundreds of rainforest plant species, some of which are endangered. Take the heritage park's trail to the Brunswick River for a picnic by the water.

For a guided meditative tour, visit the gorgeous Shambhala Gardens at Crystal Castle. You'll find giant crystals, a labyrinth and various reflective experiences in amongst five hectares of gardens and rainforest. The hills around Mullumbimby are alive with all sorts of cosmic escapes.

Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens Byron Bay Hinterland in Mullumbimby, Byron Bay

Eat & drink

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, drop into one of the rustic cafes and eclectic, hole-in-the-wall restaurants like the much lauded Flock Mullumbimby, or new local favourite, Punch and Daisy. Iconic watering holes like The Middle Pub and Empire Cafe are a great place to meet locals.

You’ll also get to see them at the weekly Mullumbimby Farmers Market, a popular community event that features the best local produce, as well as singers and performers. Held every Friday, it’s a great place to grab breakfast and good coffee, then stock up on some sweet treats to take home.

Mullum Music Festival - Byron Bay Area

Music festivals

The annual Mullum Music Festival is huge a drawcard. It attracts some of the country’s most under-rated music acts in what youth radio station Triple J calls the “cutest and most unique festival in Australia”. The festival is gaining in popularity with each year, but still manages to feel like a local secret. 

And don’t forget Byron Bluesfest held each Easter. It’s one of the country’s largest music festivals with more than 200 performances across seven stages over five days. It’s held in Tyagarah, just 15min from Mullumbimby, making this quirky town the ideal base for the festival. 

Getting there

Mullumbimby is an 8hr 30min drive north of Sydney and just under two hours south of Brisbane. You can fly into Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, a 35min drive away. There’s a growing list of accommodation offerings in Mullumbimby, from budget pub rooms and motels to holiday houses and wellness retreats.

Ballina Airport

Flying into Ballina Airport

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is located 5km from Ballina’s town centre and 35km from Byron Bay. Use the shuttle bus or taxi services available at the terminal to make the short trip to these coastal destinations. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace.

QantasJetstar and Virgin Australia operate daily direct flights between Sydney and Ballina Byron Airport. Regional Express flies to Sydney two days a week and Fly Pelican flies direct to Newcastle six times a week. Jetstar also operates daily direct flights to Melbourne.

Things to Do and Places to Stay