Northern Rivers, NSW

A short holiday was more than necessary, so we booked accommodation, loaded up the 4 Wheel Drive and took off for a ‘mini-break’!

Our destination was south east, instead of our more usual trips north to visit the family.

The holiday was supposed to be a lazy few days to take our minds off everything, but of course I still need to take photos… I found a website called Shot Hot Spot that shows images people have taken and posted on Flickr etc, to give an idea of what can be seen there. Pretty good way to find photogenic views! So, armed with a few locations marked on my map, we had somewhere to aim for!

First stop was at Norries Headland on the coast. The landscape and flora is very similar to Stradbroke Island. Except that there are more surfers trying to catch a wave.

Views from Norries Headland

Views from Norries Headland

Views from Norries Headland

Our next stop was just down the road a bit at Hastings Point. Coffee with a view:
Hastings Point

We hopped back in the car a drove a little bit further around the Point for more rugged beaches:

Hastings Point

Hastings Point

We by-passed Byron Bay altogether, except to make our way through the town and its chaotic traffic and pedestrians who seem to like risking their lives by just walking onto the road without checking if there might be a car coming…

So we didn’t stop until we got to Lennox Headland. As we got there, a man was just getting ready to go for a paraglide, so we had to watch that. He ended up drawing quite the crowd! I’ll do it one day, I’m sure! But for now…I’ll just watch the others:

Paraglider at Lennox Headland

Paraglider at Lennox Headland

We walked up the headland and then down the other side to the beach. It’s quite beautiful with a few lookouts along the way.

Views from Lennox Headland

From the beach, you could see Shag Rock – it looks a lot like a smaller version of the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains – except there’s only two here:

Shag Rock and Boulder Beach

The rocks making up the cliff looks like it was cemented there:

Shag Rock and Boulder Beach

I had intended to check out Skennars Head as well, but thought it would just be more of the same, so we drove past and onto the lighthouse at East Ballina. The lighthouse there is almost 150 years old and very cute:

Lighthouse Point at East Ballina

It was early afternoon and we were hungry, so we stopped at Shaws Bay for fish and chips. They were quite expensive for a takeaway, and not very nice. The view was nice though:
Shaws Bay

Since it was about 3pm by the time we left, we thought we’d head on to our accommodation, using all the back roads we could find. The landscape in the northern rivers area of NSW is really very beautiful. There are quite a few orchards around and we bought some pecans and avocadoes, as well as mandarins.

We arrived at Havans Eco-Retreat at around 4pm and were warmly welcomed by Brigitte and her husband. We were shown to our room and immediately got the fire going in the pot-belly stove. Mmmmmm! Brigitte made us some fantastic coffee while I went around taking a few pictures.

I loved the doors and windows, which Dale told me were from their various travels, that had been incorporated into their buildings:

Havans Eco-Retreat

Havans Eco-Retreat

Havans Eco-Retreat

Havans Eco-Retreat

After coffee we headed down to the bridge over the creek at the end of their property. Brigitte sees a Platypus here regularly. We tried our luck, but didn’t manage to see one. It is still a beautiful little spot though:

Havans Eco-Retreat - searching for Platypus in Terania Creek

We had ordered dinner with our accommodation, so we didn’t have to go in search of food. The retreat is quite a way from the nearest town, and the last section of the road is gravel. It was fine because it was dry, but I can imagine it becoming quite slippery in the wet!

Dinner was really yummy! Brigitte made us Beef Bourguignon with vegies and a salad. It was very filling as well as delicious. Dessert was strawberries with chocolate mousse and though we were full from dinner, we managed to squeeze it in. Worth it!!

It was too cold to do anything outside, so we went back to our room and watched a movie and read books. There were shelves of books and movies to choose from. Or you can spend time looking at Brigitte’s paintings adorning the walls.

We had an early night, though, since we planned on heading out to Protesters Falls at Nightcap National Park in the morning, so I could photograph them in good light, before coming back for our breakfast.

The falls are just a bit further up the road. We passed a few other houses that seemed to be patchwork and multi-coloured. It’s a gorgeous place to be out here! There was a tree with elkhorns and staghorns etc growing on it that I had to photograph:

Tree on Teranaia Creek Road, en-route to Nightcap National Park

Then the walk to the falls. It wasn’t terribly long, but the darkness required me to use my tripod for almost every photo so that was a bit of mucking around. Took a few good photos though:

Protesters Falls walk at Nightcap National Park

Protesters Falls walk at Nightcap National Park

Protesters Falls walk at Nightcap National Park

Protesters Falls walk at Nightcap National Park

Protesters Falls walk at Nightcap National Park

We headed back to Havan’s for breakfast. More coffee and freshly squeezed juice and croissants just out of the oven with butter and home-made jam. Yummy! Brigitte took a photo of us enjoying brekky on her verandah:

Breakfast at Havans Eco-Retreat

I had to photograph some of Brigitte’s bronze sculptures. They’re really interesting!

Some of Brigitte's bronze sculptures at Havan's Eco-Retreat

Some of Brigitte's bronze sculptures at Havan's Eco-Retreat

Then it was time to pack up our stuff. We said goodbye to Brigitte and Dale and headed off towards Nimbin.

We just drove around for a while, driving down roads just to see where they went. It really is beautiful out here! There was a lookout over the valley near Nimbin, so had to stop for that:

Views over the valley near Nimbin

After driving around some more, we headed to Nimbin for lunch. We had been to Nimbin before. My traveling companion had been many times, years ago, and really liked it. I only recall going there once before and not liking it very much. I don’t find people coming up to me to sell me drugs charming. It seems to have changed a lot – it reminds me of Kuranda more than anything else, with all the colourful murals and tourist-traps. Except for the drug sellers – I don’t recall them in Kuranda…

I didn’t even feel the urge to photograph Nimbin. Except the museum. The museum was very colourful, but dark. Worth photographing though:

Nimbin Museum, Nimbin

Nimbin Museum, Nimbin

Nimbin Museum, Nimbin

Nimbin Museum, Nimbin

Nimbin Museum, Nimbin

Nimbin Museum, Nimbin

We drove out of town a little to enable me to photograph Nimbin Rocks.

Nimbin Rocks, off Stoney Chute Road, Nimbin

Then it was off towards Mount Warning. There’s a bridge just off the highway where people have been building cairns. I wanted to stop to photograph the red flowers on the trees by the bridge. We’d seen these trees quite a few times but this was the first time we’d gotten up close:

The bridge over Korrumbyn Creek, en route to Mt Warning National Park

We drove up to the national park and walked along the Lyrebird track for a few minutes before deciding we were too tired and had seen it all before this morning anyway. The tall trees deserved a photo though:

Lyrebird Walk in Mount Warning National Park

We stopped for a coffee and slice of pecan pie at the Rainforest Cafe on the way back to the main road. The setting was right by the creek and very lovely.

As we drove down the range towards home, I wanted to get a photo of Mt Warning with the setting sun. Easier said than done though:

Late afternoon over Currumbin Valley

That was the end of our little trip to Northern Rivers. We didn’t get to every place I wanted to see, but it’s not so far….

Reworked and larger sized pictures from this day are here. Click on the first picture and then move through them at full screen size.

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