What’s Up Byron?
This amazing rainforest in the Byron Bay Hinterland is the ultimate tonic
Looking out over the lush backdrop from the tasting deck of the Cape Byron Distillery, you would never imagine that only 30 years ago this was the setting of a rundown dairy farm.
The Cape Byron Distillery is nestled amongst the Byron Bay hinterland on the Brook family farm where they have planted over 35,000 trees, completely regenerating the land.
There is no better way to spend an afternoon than strolling around the subtropical rainforest and discovering how the abundance of wild, native botanicals infuse the gin with such a deliciously unique flavour. A truly magical experience from the source to the still.
The dream was brought to life by co-founders Eddie Brook and master distiller Jim McEwan whose thirst for knowledge and passion for their product has produced an award-winning gin with a true sense of place.
Start off on your merry way with a refreshing Brookie’s & Tonic, garnished with their signature native finger lime and aniseed myrtle. Guided by the best “Spiritual Advisors”, learn all about the art of the distillation process and how this distinctive flavour unique to the region is brought to life all while enjoying the liquid and pinpointing the taste points for yourself.
Luckily for the Brooks, the inspiration for this distillery came right from their doorstep. The stunning Northern Rivers region is a natural pantry for creating a world-class craft spirit. Each season brings a new landscape of flavour ready to be foraged from the heart of the rainforest. In Spring, native raspberries and fruits come to life, Summertime sees the harvest of the Davidson Plum which is the backbone of Brookie’s Slow Gin and then with Autumn/Winter comes a plethora of key botanicals namely Ginger, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Lemon Myrtle all used to create their seasonally crafted cocktails.
Round off the tour relaxing on the deck overlooking the hinterland sipping on a tasty ‘Rainforest Martini’ and of course it would be rude not to take a bottle home with you!
The cellar door is open for tours and gin tastings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11:00am and 3:30pm and bookings are essential. Reservations can be made via the Cape Byron Distillery website.Read more
The 22nd annual Byron Writers Festival returns to the bay this weekend, August 3rd-5th with an explosive line-up of literary masterminds. Be inspired by a plethora of insightful readings, workshops and writing sessions which are set to take place over the three days beachside in beautiful Byron Bay. 140 writers and thinkers will gather to ponder the power of compelling stories and the written word in shaping who we are. The diverse programme spans a mix of genres with something for everybody including music, art, environment, philosophy, health, politics, human rights through to memoir and fiction.
Highlights of the festival include sessions such as “Women like us” with comedians Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs, “Reading in the age of Netflix” and “Telling stories for science”.
We recommend attending ‘Live Storytelling: Stories of Place” on Saturday at 8pm which showcases five Byron Shire locals and a 10-minute tale drawn from their lives. Featuring Dr. Mary Gardner, Arakwal woman Delta Kay, Mayor Simon Richardson, SCU VC Adam Shoemaker. The event is curated by professional storyteller, Jenni Cargill-Strong and supported by Brookfarm.
If you’re visiting Byron Bay this weekend we welcome you and hope you have a fantastic Writers Festival experience!Read more
Beyond the beaches, paddling into the blue is one of the best ways to explore the pristine waters and enchanting coastline that Byron Bay has to offer. The Cape Byron Marine Park stretches from Brunswick Heads in the North to Lennox Head in the South and is a sanctuary to an abundance of protected wildlife. Cruising around the reef, you can expect to be greeted by native marine mammals as you take in the sights of the most Easterly point of Australia.
Here are our top five reasons why you should escape to Byron Bay this winter and experience a midweek Dolphin Kayaking tour.
1. A Marine Playground
Cape Byron Kayaks run tours all year around with a 90% guarantee of dolphin sightings and luckily in the Winter time, you can also spot the magnificent humpback whales making a splash as they migrate north to calve their young. It is an incredible experience to witness these animals in their native habitat. Loggerhead and green sea turtles can also be spotted coming up for air.
2. Beat the crowds
Let’s face it; the whole idea of a “getaway” is to escape the crowds. During the winter months, smaller group sizes means less traffic in the water. So with less tourists in the offseason and the locals at work midweek, there is ample space to enjoy the ocean with minimum disturbance. In addition to an excellent guide to group ratio, you are guaranteed to get the most out of your sea kayak adventure. And of course, this means more Tim Tams to go around at the Little Wategos beach pitstop!
3. Have a whale of a time!
”And as you look out to sea, there is New Zealand on the horizon! Just kidding, it’s Julian Rocks.” Just one of many turtle-y awesome dad jokes the guides crack all afternoon. The crew are all experienced watermen and women with a fully qualified sense of humour. Their knowledge of the local area, friendly and professional manner and overall enthusiasm make the tour all the more enjoyable and memorable.. They’ll have you laughing all the way to the shore as you surf (or capsize) your last wave in!
4. The weekend is a state of mind!
Life is too short to live for the weekend. Monday to Friday can feel like a grind so get out there and enjoy the spectacular nature Byron Bay has to offer. Break up the week by incorporating a fun activity like Sea Kayaking on a Tuesday afternoon. We can safely say it will be one of the highlights of your winter escape. And it will leave your friends and family back home green with envy!
5. Cheaper rates around town
Book a Winter Warmer escape with us you can enjoy our midweek special rates without all the crowds! That means more money to spend on all the amazing activities around town. Our friendly local staff at reception will happily suggest things to do like Cape Byron Kayaks so you can make the most of your getaway.
The writer was a guest of Cape Byron KayaksRead more
Falls is a multi day camping event kicking off at the end of December in Lorne, Victoria + Marion Bay, Tasmania +Byron Bay, New South Wales. The festival brings tunes from around the globe to your frontal lobes. Bands that make you dance. Art that gets you involved, with friends that make you laugh.
The Festival was created in 1993 from a campfire idea. It was on the home of Falls, the very farm at Lorne in Victoria where it is still held each year.Read more
The Sample Food Festival showcases qualities that create the mark of local distinction and excellence for Northern NSW food. 200 exhibitors to browse including 25 of our regions top restaurants serving a $5 and a $10 tasting plate. On festival day, highlights include:
- A Byron Farmers Market breakfast from 8am
- Celebrity guests
- Cooking demonstrations
- Cheese making class
- Live music
- Children’s entertainment and product launches