Get Your Summer Six-pack Ready: Our Top Spots on the Northern Rivers in 2023
2023 is the year of new adventures, so why not add the Northern Rivers to your bucket list? Boasting some of the most spectacular landscapes, stunning beaches and an amazing food and wine scene, the Northern Rivers are a must in your adventure list. Here are our top six spots on the Northern Rivers to visit in 2023.
We can’t start this list without mentioning beautiful Byron Bay. Our hometown, famous for not only its star-studded community but for its incredible beaches, breathtaking natural landscapes and mouth-watering delicacies. There is an endless list of incredible opportunities and fun experiences on offer in this gorgeous coastal town. Starting with our very own Behind the Barrel tour, where we’ll take you on a tour of the Northern River’s best breweries and distilleries. You can also choose to customise your tour to include activities like surf lessons, a pub crawl or virtual golf!
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the natural wonderland of Byron’s landscapes, there is an endless of magical adventures that you will treasure forever. From kayaking with dolphins and snorkelling amongst the rich sea life to exploring the magic of the hinterland in a glow-worm experience, there’s something for everyone.
Looking to wine and dine? No problem! Byron is famous for its delicious gourmet food and wine scene, homegrown and cultivated locally from fresh produce. Don’t leave without visiting iconic restaurant spots like the Balcony Bar & Oyster Co, and Ember Byron Bay, and spend an afternoon sipping on cocktails and slurping up oysters.
Known as the hippie hub of Australia or alternative lifestyle capital, Nimbin is a town bursting with life and bright personality. Surrounded by World Heritage-listed rainforests and an abundance of native wildlife, this beautiful place is perfect for those looking to take life a little easy, and surround themselves with the peaceful tranquillity of nature. Boasting colourful murals atop heritage buildings, hosting a plethora of alternative therapies, sustainability workshops, local artists and bustling cafes.
Make sure you take the time to check out the Nimbin market and Farmer’s market full of gorgeous art, fun pieces and delicious goodies! After visiting the market, head over to the Nimbin Craft Gallery to discover some of the talented local artists and their stunning pieces. From paintings to pottery and jewellery, there is something here for everyone!
Not to forget the breathtaking landscapes, don’t forget to spend a day (or two!), exploring the lush rainforests teeming with wildlife, or venture out to Nimbin Rocks, to experience the astounding beauty of nature.
Lismore sits at the heart of the Northern Rivers region and is where you’ll find a vibrant arts and music scene nestled amongst the lush hinterland landscape. Looking to explore the rich cultural history and arts of the region? Head over to Lismore Regional Gallery to immerse yourself in the region’s local talent, or spend an afternoon visiting Lismore Library, housed in a stunning three-storey heritage building.
Venture into the lush wilderness, full of diverse wildlife at the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, or visit Friends of the Koala to learn all about local animal rescue and wildlife conservation.
Start your trip to Ballina with a splash! Home of all things aquatic, this beautiful town is teeming with ocean experiences for the adventurous at heart. Catch a wave, and brush up on your surfing skills in a private surf coaching session with Ballina Surf School, or witness the spectacular ocean giants in a once-in-a-lifetime whale-watching experience with Out Of The Blue adventures! Embark on a sunset river cruise on the Richmond River, and take in the stunning natural scenery with a glass of bubbles in hand! Journey through astounding mangrove forests, and immerse yourself amongst a diverse array of flora and fauna, alongside the chance to spot dolphins!
For the adventure inclined, a half-day guided hike with Byron Bay Coastal Walks may be perfect for you! Nestled between Ballina and Lennox Heads, this incredible 13km guided walk will take you traversing across rivers, wetlands, secluded beaches and coastal dunes. Witness spectacular landscapes and breathtaking headlands, whilst you soar sixty metres above the waves in complete and peaceful solidarity,
With stunning beaches, clear ocean waters and tropical rainforests, Lennox Head is a delight for the wild at heart, and adventurous. Spend the day exploring the Byron Bay area like a local with Behind the Bay Tours. Break free from the typical tourist routes, and embark on an adventure to little-known spots loved by locals! Take a dip and spot turtles at Killen Falls, take in breathtaking views of Lake Ainsworth, and discover the unique healing properties of Tea Tree Lake. The tour ends with a guided bushwalk through Broken Head Nature Reserve, visiting hidden viewpoints, beaches and cliff-jumping sites along the way.
Or if you’d prefer a water-bound adventure, jump onboard Out of the Blue Adventures’ Julian Rocks Byron Bay: Coastal Discovery Cruise. Step aboard their purpose-built vessel offering 360-degree views of the surrounding natural landscape, teeming with wildlife. This cruise will take you on an oceanic adventure from Ballina to Byron Bay where you can encounter a plethora of natural wonders along the way including visits from dolphins and turtles as you travel north through Cape Byron Marine Park. Discover the natural beauty of sheer cliffs, secluded beaches and rocky islands, whilst listening to live commentary by one of their amazing Marine Biologists who will teach you about wildlife, local points of interest and the history of the area.
The heart of the Northern River’s food and wine scene, Kingscliff is a must-visit spot for foodies. If dining outdoors on beautiful beaches, by a creek or at a stunning mountain location appeals to you, then Blue Ginger Picnic’s outdoor dining experience is for you! Settle into one of their gorgeous picnic locations, and take in the view as you wine and dine a delicious assortment of local and seasonal delicacies atop hand-woven rugs and plush cushions.
Or if you’d prefer a more behind-the-scenes look at how local produce is grown and harvested, then don’t forget to check out Tropical Food World’s Full Farm Tour. Perfect for families, tour their 200-acre commercial fruit plantation, and learn how tropical fruits are grown, harvested and planted (and of course, how they taste!) Immerse yourself in a fully guided plantation safari, tasting show, wild-life spotting cruise, fauna park and bush tucker experience. Of course, there are plenty of goodies up for grabs at the on-site cafe including fruit, ice cream, juices and plenty more!