Our much anticipated venture up the NSW East Coast to Byron Bay has been and gone, which was by far, the most incredible and soul cleansing experience I’ve ever had. The adventures we went on and the one of a kind experiences we all had were out of this world. I’m talking crystal clear fresh water creeks, pristine water falls, lush rain forests, stunning beaches and crystals the size of palm trees! We’ve all put our hands up to say it was the best trip we’ve been on and none of us were ready to come home!
We spent a total of 8 days away, which believe it or not is our longest stint away from home, ever. I’ve always been a “getaway” kind of gal, with a love for weekend escapes and getting back home as I would get home sick so easily, but having the caravan has been able to give me that luxury of taking home with me where ever I go. Plus it also makes going away super affordable rather than spending $300+ a night in a resort. We paid $300 for 5 nights in Byron Bay, plus $45 in Repton and $50 in Nambucca Heads, all were powered sites! We were so happy with that. Then all our adventure costs were at a minimum because our bucket list was mostly sight seeing and visiting beaches. The day that I’ve said was the best, was day four, when we went to The Farm, Killen Falls and Tea Tree Creek. That day was breath taking with so many unforgettable experiences and that whole day we spent a total of $9 on two coffees – which we could have very well just made back at camp before we left!
So lets take a trip down memory road, and Ill share with you all our adventures and the brands that came along for the journey, so you too can be inspired to get out into the wilderness and explore on a budget friendly experience!
The Byron Bay Adventure Bucket List
- The Crystal Castle
- The Farm
- Folk Cafe
- The Pass
- Wategos Beach
- Woods Bangalow
- Tea Tree Lake
- Killen Fallen
- Belongil Creek
- Dorrigo National Park
- Never Never Creek
This is a bucket list I made up in my notes on my phone over a period of time. I’d see something on instgram or a friend would recommend something to me and I’d jot it down in my notes. We ticked off almost every bucket list item, except three (had already been to one previously anyway) which was only because I became sick while away with a horrid case of gastro and was bed ridden.
My top recommendations to visit off this list are:
- Never Never Creek, The Promised Land. This creek is a short drive out of Bellingen and when you arrive you’ll be amazed! There is a small reserve to the right, then you take a stroll down the track and to the creek where you’ll find a pebbly creek with a small river rapid. It is a very shady spot which is excellent, especially with kids. The water is running and crystal clear, you can literally see right to the bottom of the creek and we even drank the water. You can wander further up the creek to a more open spot with shallower ankle deep water for the young ones too. It was an absolutely magical place and if you’re in the area, this is a must see! We had the whole creek to ourselves which made it even more peaceful. Pack a picnic, blanket, towels and the camera!
- Killen Falls, Byron Bay Hinterland. A 10 minute treck down to the waterhole and falls that is absolutely breath taking on so many levels. You’ll arrive to the creek and walk up a rocky path towards the waterfall and upon arrival, just be in pure awe of the beauty in front of you. I literally stood there for a good couple of minutes just gazing and taking it all in before I could move. We got down to our swimmers and went over to be showered by the waterfall which was an incredible experience. I’ve been to a few waterfalls and been under their water but this one was something else. You were able to get right under the water and have it fall right on top of you like a shower. This one was my all time favourite experience of the whole trip. There were even turtles swimming in the waterhole, which we also swam around with. The boys built rock statues in the cave, then we went and had a paddle in the creek, until we seen a red belly black snake on the opposite side – which terrified me and was enough to pack up and leave haha!
- Tea Tree Lake, Lennox Head. They’re not wrong when they say rejuvenate yourself and your skin in this lake. Kurt thought we were having him on, telling him to go swimming in this brown water, but we explained to him why the water is this colour because of the tea tree oils from the nearby trees, and that it is so good for your skin. We got in and lathered our body in the water and when we hopped out and dried off, you could feel how smooth your skin was in an instant. It was incredible! It’s also a really beautiful shady spot with so much beauty surrounding it. We later walked across the road to Lennox Head Surf Club and went for a short walk along the beach to give Kyle his beach fix, as he’d been saying “beach” all trip long haha!
- Waterfall Way, Bellingen/Dorrigo National Park. This drive was heading towards Dorrigo and was the most beautiful and magical drive id ever encountered. Once you start heading up the moutains, its like a shift in worlds takes place and you’re instantly surrounded by clouds, rain forests, waterfalls right on the edge on the road! I kid you not! We were right next to waterfalls as we drove along. The skywalk in Dorrigo National Park was also incredible, we were so high up in the mountain already, and with this skywalk, we were able to actually feel the clouds blow over us. You could feel the cold change in the air as you seen the fog of the cloud blow over you. It was unbelievable. Crystal Showers Waterfall was a 30minute walk down to the waterfall which had a beautiful suspension bridge with an amazing view of the waterfall. You’re then able to walk down and behind the waterfall, where we also found a baby bat sleeping up in one of the rocks! There’s a little pathway where you can get down to and walk over to the waterfall which was also pretty incredible! Bellingen is a unique cosy little town which is well worth checking out. I would love to live in Bello!
- The Crystal Castle. We went here on my birthday, and it was our most expensive experience as you do need to pay to visit the Crystal Castle. I remember as a little girl, watching the ads on tv about the Crystal Castle and always wanting to go. Well, my boys made it happen for me. If you’re into stunning sights, crystals, meditation, self healing, you do need to put this on your bucket list too! There are many experiences to have here including taking part in their group meditations which I really wish I could have done, but with falling so sick I just couldn’t have. There are many stops along the walk where you can take part in an experience which involves you setting intentions for yourself, releasing prayers, being mindful and connecting with your higher self. It was a fantastic place to visit, I just wish I could have been well enough to take part in more of the things on offer.
- Wategos Beach, Byron Bay. A stunning beach with so many Pandanus Palms, rocks, and sand. When we arrived there were about 20 dolphins not too far in the distance swimming around. They spent a couple of hours here doing it which just made visiting this beach all the more special.
- The Farm, Byron Bay. I loved this place, but at the same time I was dissapointed. Some of the animals weren’t there as we’d hoped for and it wasn’t an interactive experience with the animals like we’d thought either. The sunflower field wasn’t in bloom until we left for home (thanking my lucky stars that we found a sunflower field by chance on the way home!), but the most memorable part was the macadamia and peacan fields. We spent so much time in this field finding nuts and cracking them open on the nut crackers. There was also a very special “Gratitude Bench” to sit at and reflect on which I thought was a beautiful addition to the field.
Brands who joined our journey
For our Byron Bay adventure, I was lucky enough to team up with some amazing brands and have them be apart of our unforgettable journey. A massive highlight for me, and I’m still completely buzzing about it, was having Tree of Life jump on board and deck me out in some of their most beautiful pieces, as well as the caravan with their unique and gorgeous homewares. A huge thank you to Tree of Life for being apart of the journey and for all the love you’ve given me over time. You Tree Tribe Girls are one of a kind.
Inkah Collective: Crystals, Bell Garland, Crystal Suncatcher, Bracelets, Necklaces, Medicine Bag.
Tree Of Life: Clothing, Garlands, Cushions, Keep Sake Box.
Milk and Moss: Blanket and Towel.
Luco Organics: Earth Mama Tee, Shampoo and Conditioner, Lip Balm, Beard Balm.
The Crooked Arrow: Boho Cushions, Shell Cross.
Nox and Lei: Boys Peace Feather tshirts, boys feather roundie towels.
Tribal Dreaming: Boho/Tribal Jewellry for the boys and myself.
Lion and Lamb Kids: Boh0 Roundie Cushion, Tie Dye Wraps.
Cinta Child: Crochet Baby Blankets.
Marlow The Label: Clothing for Women.
Bow and Feather: Boho Timber Chopping Board.
Noc Noc Wooden Toys: Boho Blocks.
Places we stayed
We stayed at three seperate places on the trip. We decided to break the trip up with a stop at Repton on the way up, then head to Byron Bay two days later. On the way home we spent one night in Nambucca Heads to break up the drive home.
- Bellinger River Holiday Park, Repton. Gorgeous peaceful spot on the river, however you’re right near a train line which is really noisy at night time and woke us all a fair bit. You can’t swim in the river as its full of bull sharks, the pool area was minimal but enough for a quick stop over. Camp kitchen was great, lots of shady sites, we would stay there again but no more than two nights as we need more for the kids.
- Discovery Parks, Byron Bay. We were so excited to stay here based on recommendations. The new water park for the kids was really good and entertained them for so long, however our actual camp site was a dirt patch with little to no grass so we were basically living in dirt for a week. We had an ensuite site and it was in desperate need of an update. It felt very slapped together and had a funky smell to it. The whole park felt out dated and dirty other than the water park area which has been newly done with gardens, jumping pillows etc. So many people were coming and going so quickly, it really had a back packers vibe. We personally wouldn’t stay again until some upgrades are completed and the sites are more than dirt. Next time we’d love to stay at Big 4 in Byron!
- Big 4, Nambucca Heads. This was my favourite stop! A very neat and tidy park with clean amenities and a calm vibe to the place. The pool area was fantastic with waterslides and pools, there is a park, jumping pillow. It just felt very well taken care of and maintained. A quick 40 second walk at the back of your site leads you straight onto the beach, which was incredible to listen to at night. We will 100% be back to stay here again. We will also be looking into changing our car insurance etc over to the NRMA to take advantage of the NRMA Big 4 discounts and plan to stay at more Big 4 parks where we can.
Another part to our trip, which has made the whole experience that bit extra special, is as you’ve probably seen, I’ve been noting down our trip in my book called Life’s a Road Trip by Axel and Ash. It is such a personal, uplifting book to keep record of the little bits and pieces, but to also make sure you’re appreciating along the way. I’ve filled in our first trip and added extra photos and some boho scribbles and scrap booking just to bring it all together and show my own personal style in the book. My hopes are to hand this book down to the generations in my family and inspire my great great grandchildren, and beyond – to travel and live freely where you can.
Some other personal highlights for me would also be catching up with my childhood best friend Emma. It was a surreal catch up seeing a girl you grew up with now become a lady and kicking goals with a successful life. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. I also really loved seeing my Aunty, Uncle and cousins on the way home and taking a tour through my old home town Casino. And added bonus to taking a spontaneous visit to Casino was coming across the acres of sunflower fields. I was able to tick off another bucket list item!
I hope this has given you some insight into the good and bad parts of our holiday! Though saying that, I should add that the boys were tricky and testing at times – but that’s just kids, right?! Haha! I hope to inspire you, personally, to try something different and believe me when I say that getting in touch with nature will move you. It’s not just sight seeing, its so much more than that. It will literally touch your soul and cleanse your mind if you let it. Just be present with the moment and let it do it’s magic on you. Write yourself a bucket list based on experiences you can have with nature just like I have. Keep it achievable and as low cost as possible. It will feel even better to know you have cleansed your soul with no cost!