By Lee Atkinson
The beautiful beaches may draw visitors to Byron Bay, but most people soon discover that the hinterland is also worth exploring. With its green rolling hills, fertile farmlands, historic towns and rainforest, it offers a scenic and cultural contrast to Byron's beach lifestyle. Cruise the maze of country roads and you'll soon discover numerous eco-friendly, alternative lifestyle communities and tiny, picturesque villages. The hinterland is home to some of the state's best fine dining experiences and shopping, as well as World Heritage-listed tracts of ancient, untouched rainforest.
HOW TO GET THERE
The nine-hour drive from Sydney north to Byron Bay up the Pacific Highway is a much-loved summer holiday road trip for Sydneysiders. You can also easily fly into Ballina Byron Airport from the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. Byron Bay is a two-hour drive south of Brisbane and just one hour south of the Gold Coast, both of which also have international airports. The best way to explore the hinterland is with a car, which you can hire from any of the airports or Byron Bay's town centre.
- Drive the scenic backroads though the Byron Bay hinterland's rainforests and historic villages
- Watch the sun rise from the plug of an ancient volcano, Mount Warning
- Pick up a quirky handmade souvenir at one of the local markets