The children had the freedom to walk around the property following the dog, they played like children should play in the gardens collecting stick, making “huts” and running around barefoot. We were able to relax as a family on the large verandah, watching the sun set over the fields, while the kids played Scrabble and other board games that were provided.
We enjoyed strolling down through the paddocks, past the pecan orchid to the river, with “Arnie” the trusty dog guiding us thru, the cows came to greet us while we watched the picturesque scenery. At dusk we could take a few pickings from the veggie patch and a pawpaw that was ready to eat…to accompany our evening meal. Truly experiencing “eating off the land”.
In the morning we would stroll up to the meditation / yoga studio for a peaceful self-guided meditation and yoga session, while the children had a little go and then ran through the trees and orchids played fetch with the dog…leaving mummy to just be. At dusk we joined our hosts in a yoga session and watch the sun set.
The following day our friends visited for a drink and we were able to host them in our beautiful villa, then walk up to the pool side via the macadamia orchid, collecting a couple of fresh nuts ready to crack by the poolside. The children weren’t scared of the cooler weather and headed straight in, cloths and all.
The villa was absolutely impeccable, the cleanest accommodation I’ve ever been to, with a fully equipped kitchen, a very well laid out villa and plenty of space…we felt like we were home.
The afternoons were filled with fun tennis rallys between the boys and the girls and the parents versus the children. And just to expel a bit more energy for the day, we all had a go at the gym.
The Byron Hinterland Villas is such a well-placed and central place to stay. You can do as much or as little as you want. The Byron Hinterland is filled with a foodie’s hit list…Eltham Pub for a woodfired pizza – the kids will love the fish and turtle shaped pizzas, Che Bon – French Restaurant in Tintinbah, The Farm just out of Bangalow – you could spend the entire day here checking out the different providores…the kids will love the playground here, the icecream stand and all the animals, Doma Japanese in Federal – the best sushi I’ve ever had and a very relaxed yet busy vibe…the kids will love chasing the chickens around the tables and of course the 5 star “Harvest” restaurant group in the quant little town of Newrybar. We also squeezed in a local Chinese dinner in Bangalow – as we do with every Australian town we visit – simple but good!
And if its markets you’re after….you’re gonna love “The Channon” markets with its country feel and packed with goodies, things to do and see…and from there it’s a short drive to Nimbin (but remember to tell the kids not to breath in…just breath out!).
If its whales and dolphins you’re after, then head straight to the Byron Lighthouse and enjoy an icecream (but best to park down the bottom if you don’t want to be stung by the parking bee) or if it’s an out of the way, quiet beach you’re after with a dash of dolphin spotting, then head straight to Broken Head Beach…but don’t tell anyone because it has to be Byron’s best kept secret!….
Need supplies and don’t want to travel far then the Clunes General Store will be the place. Otherwise you can find your local supermarket FoodWorks at Bangalow or Aldi in Byron. And did I hear you say shopping… Bangalow has it all…jewellery locally made, hippy shops, cloths and homewares….no need to head to busy Byron to get stuck in traffic. But if you feel the need to drive into Byron, stop by the Library – good internet, lots of books, DVDs and a Gallery.
Oh, did I hear you say you’d like to venture a little further – again this is why Clunes is the centre of the universe. Short trips can be had to the “off the grid” sustainable town of Mullumbimby. While you are in Mullumbimby and if you enjoy the spiritual side of life like me, then you must head to Crystal Castle and the Shambhala Gardens – they are truly spectacular with crystal boulders everywhere, a labyrinth based on the Chartres Cathedral near Paris (which was built around 1200AD), you can place a note on the message tree and don’t forget to check out the latest addition… the Enchanted Cave from Uruguay weighing in at 20 Tonnes with meditations held inside the cave – the kids will LOVE the tactile nature of this place, all the different things they can do and learn…don’t miss it. And if the entry fee is too steep…do what the locals do and turn up 30 mins before it closes for free entry! But if it’s a coffee by the river that you are after, then head to Ballina, or maybe you’d prefer some pub grub at the Hotel Brunswick @ Brunswick Heads.
And on your way heading north back to the airport, make sure you stop by the gorgeous town of Uki for their great shops especially their fair trade shop, cafes – try the Uki café for raw organic meals with the occasional community movie night which is lots of fun for the whole family and there’s a great little hand-made wood products shop to check out too…or the local wholesale crystal wholesaler just out of town on Smiths Creek Road. Continue another 13 kilometres to Murwillumbah, a buzzing town with an outstanding Art Gallery housing Margaret Olley’s works and have re-created her Paddington home – all 21,000 objects. From here it’s a 30 kilometre drive to the airport.
Once you are on that plane home….think about when you’ll be back! You’ll always feel welcome in Clunes at the Byron Hinterland Villas!
The Byron Hinterland Villas is an outstanding accommodation, the owners were lovely and we were made to feel very welcome
AK, Sydney. 3/9/16 Stayed in Villa 2.