7 Reasons Why You Need To Experience Byron Bay’s Charming Hinterland Gem

7 Reasons Why You Need To Experience Byron Bay’s Charming Hinterland Gem

Byron Bay’s best kept secret.

By Kiri Johnston | 5th June 2019

Stylers Kiri and Tracy spent an adventurous 24-hours in the Byron Bay hinterland region. Their exclusive tour by a group of friendly and talented locals saw them experience the flavours of the region, award-winning restaurants and sensational shopping. But what really stole their hearts was the charming lil’ town of Newrybar.

Last month, we were kindly invited down to Byron Bay on a trip to experience all things local. With a jam-packed schedule, there was no time to stuff around, we had business to do! Eat, shop, sleep, wake up and repeat!

ELEMENTS OF BYRON

We start our stay by checking into the world-class resort which is home to nearly 200 timber eco-friendly private villas, fitted out with deep bathtubs, fireplaces and luxurious soft furnishings to make you feel right at home. Located only a short stroll from the beach and surrounded completely by lush nature, it’s easy to unwind and feel relaxed instantly here. Outside, their incredible lagoon pool features private cabanas and hanging day beds, alongside an adults-only pool with a swim-up bar, poolside cocktail service and Mexican cuisine bites. It’s absolute luxury.

 

HARVEST NEWRYBAR

After checking in at Elements, we were greeted by Tristan Grier, owner of Harvest, along with his business partners Kassia Grier and Brooke Hudson. Tristan picked us up in his 4WD and we head up to Newrybar, as he tells us all about the epic night we were in for! Next, we take a tour of the Queenslander-style property which includes a restaurant, bakery and deli. Harvest’s deli is filled to the brim with quick and easy meals, barista made coffee and sweet treats, ready-to-go hampers, and stocked with a huge range of locally made products for purchase. Their infamous bakery has a 116-year-old wood-fired oven, (which was once the town’s communal kitchen), and let me tell you, the pastries that come out of there are out of this world!

Although Harvest is known for serving up traditional country-style lunches and breakfasts, each Wednesday they host a ‘Wild Harvest Night’, where they launch their weekly menu alongside a special guest chef. We were lucky enough to be treated with a special appearance from renowned chef Ben Shewry (Melbourne’s Attica restaurant), who joined Harvest’s Head Chef Alastair Waddell and wild food researcher Peter Hardwick. It’s safe to say, we were in for a treat!

We watched the chefs prep and plate up entrees – which was like watching Masterchef in real life – the focus and enthusiasm from the chefs was unreal! We enjoyed many extravagant dishes including iconic Aussie treats like Vegemite scrolls, plus delicacies such as yeasty bread with ngerdi (green ants), flavoursome potatoes cooked in kelp (a crowd favourite), spanner crab, fish cooked on tree bark, followed by fingerlime and sugarbag with wild Brazilian cherry and bunya for dessert. Each dish was carefully paired with a selection of fine wines and honey mead. We were also thrilled to have experienced the debut of Aurum Mead, which is made locally by Frenchman, Louis Costa – the most humble and passionate mead maker in all the land!

The restaurant was filled with special visitors, local business owners and regulars that dine in weekly. The energy was electric with people from all different tables chatting and laughing the night away. We enjoyed five hours and about eight courses of fresh gourmet goodness. It was a truly unforgettable evening!

 

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FORAGING TOUR

The next morning, we had a one-time-only foraging tour on the agenda that was put on just for us! We were especially excited to learn more about what our great land has to offer.

We learnt that each dish at Harvest features exotic herbs and plants handpicked by local forager Peter Hardwick, who works alongside the chefs to bring fresh ingredients to a menu that’s full of local curiosities. Although we can’t give away any details on where we explored, we got to try some edible plants that certainly inspired us to be more creative in our own kitchens!

When Pete isn’t busy picking, he’s in his work shed creating and brewing his very own blends of oils, fermented dressings and kombucha vinegars for Harvest’s deli section; our favourite was the mushroom kelp vinegar… As you can imagine, he’s a very busy man!

 

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BARRIO EATERY & BAR

Located in Byron’s relatively new Habitat precinct, the Argentinian flavours of this restaurant were next level! We shared plates amongst the eight of us, so got to try everything on the menu - literally! From chickpea bread, to blackened eggplant, to cuttlefish and charcoal chicken, we left with very full tummies. To compliment these dishes, we enjoyed Bucha kombucha on tap, Aperol Spritz and bubbles, because... Why not! Spanish for ‘neighbourhood eatery and bar’ Barrio has a laid-back yet buzzing vibe and relaxed decor which is the ideal spot for a weekend long lunch with friends and family.

 

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DRIFTLAB

We were also shown around the town of Newrybar at their other businesses by the owners. Stocked with fashion and accessory local and international labels such as LILYA, SugarHigh LoveStoned, One Teaspoon, Rollas, Zulu & Zephyr, Rue Stiic, Levi’s, Outland Denim and more, this store has something for every type of man and woman! These aren’t brands you can find anywhere, they are a selection of unique pieces that are curated specifically for the store.

The owners support creatives from near and far and carefully selected to reflect the unique point of view, inspiration and charm behind the brand. Drift lab take into consideration sustainability of products, fabrics, cuts and fits that breathe with us and feel good on our skin.

Embodying the environment and culture of Byron Bay, the diverse mix yet laid-back vibe perfectly suits the main street of the bustling hamlet of Newrybar, a little slower and more relaxed than it’s other store in Byron Bay’s town centre.

 

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NEWRYBAR MERCHANTS

If we could move in to this charming 1980’s dwelling that houses the store, we’d happily live here! Each room is like a piece of art, you could spend hours upon hours just wandering through the store admiring each and every item. Emma, one half of Lunar kindly showed us around the store and told us about the creatives behind each brand.

A treasure chest of homewares and lifestyle products from everyday essentials, it’s easy not to fall in love with most items in this store. The collective of local curators is made up of The Society Inc by Sibella Court, Shannon Fricke Heart & Home, Tigmi Trading, Beautiflora, Imprint House by Natalie Walton, Uscha, Lunar, The Toy Room, Small Wonder and The Merchant General. Plus many other small brands that you’ll just have to pop in and see for yourself!

 

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LUTHER & CO

Named after the owners beloved German Shepherd and CEO Luther, the store has a unique mix of antiques, collectables and locally made quality products, featuring bespoke furniture from Laneway Design.

Fellow resident doggo Louie and Luther like to hang out in the store (and The Bark Bar) and greet each human that comes to visit, whilst human owner Wendy sells all the pretty things. If you’re dog crazy like we are, you’ll love this store especially!

On your next trip to northern NSW, make sure you stop into Newrybar to check out all of the treasures it has to offer! We hope you love it as much as we enjoyed it.

 

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Article by Kiri Johnston

With a passion for animals of all kinds, the self-confessed crazy animal lady has a dream of opening her own animal sanctuary one day. She’s always down for a good time, doesn’t mind a bev or two and loves to embrace nature. You’ll find her on the hunt for new delicious plant-based cafes, buying a new outfit from Aussie designers, planning her next overseas adventure or just hanging out with her friends, fam and fur babies (preferably at the beach!)