Always better yesterday

Always better yesterday.  The cruel jibe from locals, to every grommet on a surfing adventure, arriving at a new location.  @Regran_ed from @thepassbeachhouse – Late arvo lines. You should have been here yesterday.

About Byron Bay, NSW, 2481


Byron Bay surf style

Cape Byron and its famous lighthouse is as far east as you can walk in mainland Australia.

Your next step will see you swimming with the surfers 200 metres below, unless that is, you are indulging in a tandem hang gliding session!

The pinup poster child of the region, nonstop growth in tourism infrastructure has made it possible for Byron Bay accommodation and tour operators to provide “surf to rainforest” experiences to suit all budgets.

There are numerous types of lodgings to choose from including luxury resorts, luxury homes, family resorts, B&Bs, motels, hotels, backpacker hostels, guesthouses, holiday homes, and over a dozen caravan and camping parks.

Cafes, bistros and restaurants abound. The retail therapy is mind boggling, with many unique retail outlets supporting the artisans and crafts people of the district.

For shopaholics, a visit to the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate is a must, showcasing the creative, unique and stylish fashions, arts and crafts inspried by the natural environment.


Cape Byron State Conservation Area

Attractions include the popular Cape Byron State Conservation Area and Lighthouse precinct reserve on the headland, for a selfie at sunrise, and Julian Rocks Marine Reserve for scuba diving and snorkelling with dolphins and sharks.

The scenery here is awesome!  So are the waves.  But when you get water logged, sun burnt and bored with whales and dolphins, the cool shade of the “Big Scrub” remnant rainforests and nature reserves are waiting to be discovered.

Check out the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Byron Bay for more information, accommodation options, local tours & attractions, and getting there.

Wilderness Retreats and forest bathing


Lyrebird walk, Wollumbin National Park

Much is being made of “forest bathing” lately.  Haven’t heard of it yet?

It’s a slower, shorter version of a “digital detox”.  Here’s an ABC story for an introduction:  Japanese nature therapy: A beginner’s guide to forest bathing“.

Here in the Northern Rivers and Gold Coast hinterland, there are a number of private wilderness retreats and back-country accommodation that could fit the bill.

They’re often located adjacent to national parks and reserves, and many are an hour or more drive from a larger town or village, accessible via unsealed gravel roads through forest or picturesque agricultural land.

As a result, you’ll probably be out of mobile phone range, and internet coverage may be limited, so it also makes these properties ideal for a “digital detox”, or a longer multi-day break where you can be unplugged from technology and work.

You’ll feel like you’re a million miles from civilisation and whatever stresses you out.

Also check out our Eco Lodges, Nature Retreats, and Rainforest Accommodation directory, for more options.

Byron Shire Council circa 1966

#ThrowbackThursday Looks a bit different now! And the old chambers is now a backpackers hostel.
Instagram @Regran_ed from @thebayseafoodmarket – Byron Shire Council circa ‘66. 📷: Bob Gream . . . See also Big Volcano Visitor Guide Backpacker and Hostels at


School holidays activities Big Volcano Activities & Attractions Directory

Looking for Holiday activities, attractions, and things to see and do in the Ballina, Byron Bay, Tweed Valley, Gold Coast hinterland region of New South Wales and Queensland, Australia?

Photo courtesy Casino Mini Railway, Casino

Whether it’s sport and recreation, natural attractions, or things to see and do, our extensive Big Volcano Activities & Attractions Directory, has local directories listing all known tours, attractions and places to go.

You’ll find a different place to visit every day!  Some are free, others have excellent family tickets, others offer special holiday tickets.  Our directories also include personally selected tours and attractions in the region, as well as an extensive telephone directory of all known local opportunities.

See the Big Volcano Tourist Attractions directory in particular, for the more popular local attractions, and to book direct via their web site or online.

Our national parks, state forests and natural and scenic tourist attractions are also popular during the school holidays, especially on the weekends, so you might prefer to schedule a visit to these during the week, and soak up the country atmosphere at nearby towns and villages on the way back to your Big Volcano accommodation.

Photo by Big Volcano:  Wollumbin (Mt Warning) National Park, Lyrebird walk.

Kingscliff ranked among top 10 seachange towns in Australia

Kingscliff is officially on the map after being ranked number four in a list of top 10 seachange towns, ahead of Byron Bay located to the south, and Port Douglas in Far North Queensland.

Kingscliff_090816_640 Photo: © courtesy Tweed Shire Council

Another local Northern Rivers community, Lennox Head, located between Byron Bay and Ballina, came in at number seven.

‘Trading Places –the Best Australian Seachange Towns 2016’ features in Melbourne-based national online newspaper The New Daily.

The results were:
1. Noosa Heads, Queensland (43.25 points)
2. Terrigal, New South Wales (42.25)
3. Warrnambool, Victoria (41)
4. Kingscliff, New South Wales (40.5)
5. Byron Bay, New South Wales (40)
6. Port Douglas, Queensland (40)
7. Lennox Head, New South Wales (39)
8. Busselton, Western Australia (38.75)
9. Albany, Western Australia (38.5)
10. Geraldton, Western Australia (38.5)

Two expert consultants – a town planner and an urban geographer – weighed up the merits of large regional hubs or hidden coastal gems across Australia located close to a capital city.

(Big Volcano ed. note: We’re not quite sure how Port Douglas made it in that case, being more than 1700 klm from the state capital – Brisbane.  Maybe they were thinking of Cairns.)

Anyway, they whittled down the options using 11 criteria, including beach quality, house prices, infrastructure, climate and job prospects.

Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne, was not surprised by Kingscliff’s appeal as a seachange destination.  “Kingscliff is much-loved by locals, who are passionate about preserving the natural environment as well as the laid-back and friendly nature of the town,” she said.

According to the article: “Residents describe the town as having the ‘best of both worlds’: a peaceful, picturesque community that’s just a 15-minute drive to Gold Coast Airport, and a 90-minute trip to Brisbane.”

“It boasts several stunning beaches cradled between headlands, and luscious rainforests on its doorstep.

“Foodies take note: the main street offers tantalising cafes and restaurants, and the Kingscliff markets brim with gourmet food and fresh local produce, as well as crafts, art and fashion.”

To view the article and watch a video on how the selections were made, go to

Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom

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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Map, Big Volcano towns : Kingscliff, Byron Bay, Ballina and Lennox Head.