Sure, there’s no place like home, but there’s really nothing quite like switching on your out of office and setting off on a regional escape. Blessed with stunning coastline, lush hinterland and a buzzing dining scene, the NSW north coast has something for everyone. We’ve put together a list of the best places to visit on the NSW north coast to unwind and go slow this summer.
Who said you can’t go slow and live the good life? We’ve partnered with climate-positive wine producer, Round Theory, to help you along on your journey this summer. Whether you’re hosting a farm-to-table picnic or a coastal camping adventure, you can do it sustainably with Round Theory.
Immerse yourself in Bellingen
While this hinterland town just off the Coffs Coast is technically inland, it should not be overlooked on our list of the best places to visit on the NSW north coast. Spend your days chasing waterfalls in Dorrigo National Park, or simply strolling the town’s eclectic main street till you find a spot to perch. With everything from the historic town pub The Fed, the sought-after Bellingen Gelato, or the Bellingen Community Markets – this inland gem is the perfect place to get a taste of everything the free-spirited north coast has to offer.
Round Theory Tip: Touted ‘The Promised Lands’, this rockpool riverbed nestled in Bellingen’s hinterland is one not to miss. Fill your picnic basket with some nibbles, and a cool off with a bottle of Round Theory’s Sauv Blanc – the perfect way to soak up the afternoon among the turquoise waterholes Bellingen has to offer.
Stop off at Bangalow
Bangalow is a hidden gem in the Byron Shire that is both humble and wholesome in so many ways. While not so secret anymore, Bangalow is our go-to stop off for it’s charming local pub and cafes, as well as a thriving arts and music scene. If waterfalls are your thing, take the 30min drive to spectacular Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park.
Stay nearby at The Perch: a gram-worthy, adults-only private house offering a dose of rustic luxury set high above Possum Creek Valley in the Hinterland. With a lookout stretching from Bangalow to the shores of Byron with a chic rustic interior with a fireplace to match – we can vouch that The Perch will steal your heart.
Soak it up in Byron Bay
Whether it be for a day-trip or an overnighter, the coastlines and buzz of Byron Bay are worthy of bucket list status. A vibrant dining scene paired with picturesque beaches, Byron Bay earns its spot on the list of the best places to visit on the NSW north coast. There’s something for everyone – from the avid-bruncher, surfer, or music lover. Stroll barefoot along the shores of The Pass by day, visit one of the many farm-to-table restaurants, or spend the afternoon on your picnic rug at Wategos; all before heading to the Beach Hotel for some live tunes.
When it’s time to rest, there are plenty of accommodation options – from beachside campsites to luxe private hotels. However we suggest looking no further than The Sunseeker, a consciously curated retro-throwback motel with a suite of eco-luxe rooms and bungalows. Sustainable design methods, interior styling and a host of local collaborations combine to create a luxurious, yet mindful stay you won’t forget.
Breeze on down to Brunswick
Touted Byron Bay’s younger self, we can certainly vouch that this humble town, only a short drive from the Shire, has aged well. While weekend crowds are a quarter of the size of its popular, tourist-laden counterpart, Brunswick plays host to some hidden treasures tucked within this small, coastal town. As you roll in, we recommend kicking off your stay by checking into charming & cosy (yet totally chic) Chalet Motel, with a 60s interior and complimentary bike and skateboard on arrival.
For dinner, make your way over to La Casita a post-siesta snack. This warm, relaxed ‘little house’ is a local take on authentic Mexican cuisine. The team has an impressive network of local, mindful producers sourcing incredible produce from the region. They are also fully licensed, shaking up cocktails and sourcing a diverse range of agave spirits, natural wines and beer.
Go-slow in Cabarita
A short commute from the renowned Kingsliff, Cabarita has become one of the most popular sun and surf spots on the Tweed coast. Now home to a thriving foodie scene, endless picnic reserves, farm-to-table dining experiences (Farm & Co. – is a must), or the award-winning Paper Daisy, some of the best things in this life are only a stroll away in Cabarita.
Check in to The Hideaway for a boutique glamping by the sea, or Halcyon House (a luxe 1960s surf-motel reimagined). We recommend starting your morning off with a freshly squeezed juice or wholesome breaky from Nectar Juice House – a personal favourite – and booking in a pottery session with the legends from Stone Studio.
Visit the quaint town of Burringbar
Your final destination is none other than Burringbar – a quaint and peaceful town, boasting the essence of a life in the countryside. With towering native trees and a lookout across the Tweed Valley, book your stay at Heartwood Cabin, with its very own outdoor bath (the most romantic spot for a vino) and wildlife scene.
Only a short drive into town, make sure you stop off at local dairy farm Tweed Valley Whey Farmhouse Cheese, and stunning Mooball National Park with riverbeds and hiking trails a-plenty – so there’ll be no excuse not to pack your hiking boots! With irresistible eats and brews from local cafes on the main street, Burringbar is the home away from home you didn’t know you needed.
This article is sponsored by Round Theory and proudly endorsed by This Weekend. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make our content possible. Remember to always drink responsibly.
Ready to live the good life?
Ready to live a life that’s good for you & the planet? Round Theory has been consciously crafted from the ground up with a simple goal in mind, to make great wines that have a positive impact on our planet. Each bottle of Round Theory is not only grown and sourced sustainably, but they’re making sure that at least double the amount of carbon is offset with each bottle, making it climate positive.