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The far north of New South Wales is a wonderland of rolling hills with lush green fields, volcanic-soil rich farmlands, spectacular rainforest, national parks and volcanic mountains. The region is known as Rainbow Country, with its colourful and alternative feel to the various towns. Magical Mullumbimby is one such town, located at the foot of Mount Chincogan beside the Brunswick River.
This scenic little town is fondly referred to by the locals as ‘Mullum’ with it’s very welcoming sign at the entrance into the town indicating that it is ‘the biggest little town in Australia’. The name Mullumbimby means ‘small round hill’ and was given by local indigenous people alluding to the most prominent natural feature of the town, the striking Mount Chincogan, which towers 260m above the town.
Mullumbimby is just 20 minutes drive north from Byron Bay or 10 minutes drive west of Brunswick Heads. It is only a 40 minute drive south of the Queensland state border, hence it’s a comfortable driving distance. I have often taken this drive of a weekend, instead of visiting the busier seaside town of Byron Bay.
It truly is worth a Sunday drive for the verdant countryside that surrounds the town alone. Or otherwise rent a cottage or house amongst the pretty hills near Mullumbimby for a total chillout weekend. It will give you a feel of what Byron Bay was like back in the olden days, before it became a mega tourist destination.
Interesting fact about Mullumbimby: It was referred to in the Netflix series “Ozark”, as being a place in Australia that the Byrde family plan to escape to, where the drug cartel will never find them!
During my visits to Mullumbimby, I enjoy just strolling along the palm-fringed main street browsing the many varied shops selling things like pre-loved clothing, hippy clothing, giftware, housewares, antiques, books, organic food, bamboo clothing and the not to be missed – Mullumbimby Chocolate Shop.
The Middle Pub has a great bistro with $15 main meals and a great fun Friday night with ‘Krappyokee’ in the main bar, featuring a lineup of interesting locals. The local cafes serve up some nice organic coffee blends and healthy food choices, so make sure you stop and sit for a while.
If yoga or meditation is your scene, there are about six yoga studios in Mullumbimby and a Nia Dance Studio called We Move, that you must try. There are also a few wellness spas for those looking for some relaxation and pampering.
Mullumbimby also has a great market with some unique hand-made local goods and organic foods available, at the museum every third Saturday.
The main attraction in the area is Crystal Castle located just a few kilometres outside of Mullumbimby. It features a lot of crystals from all over the world and a great selection of jewellery. There is also a Buddha walk and a Rainforest Walk. The gardens are very pretty, and well worth a stroll around, with an amazing bamboo grove.
Mullumbimby accommodation includes cottages, guesthouses, hotels and motels in town, while an extensive choice of B&Bs and guesthouses can be found throughout the small settlements scattered along the country roads which wind between Mullum and Byron. Book your Mullumbimby accommodation HERE
Although Mullumbimby appears to have been associated with a certain mind enhancing drug, called ‘Mullumbimby Madness’ and a hippy culture back in the seventies, those days are in the past. There is definitely an alternate vibe about the town, evidenced by some of the local characters and some of the shops. However this all adds to the charm of this magical big-little town.
Is there are small country town that you love to visit?
This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who love to promote a Lovin’ Life mindset.
The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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