/ 16 min read

Beyond Byron

Beyond Byron
Swimmers at the river mouth in Brunswick Heads, NSW. Photograph Davina Bambrick.
Annabelle Hickson
Annabelle Hickson Tenterfield, NSW
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May we present the first of our curated Galah travel guides, made for our beloved subscribers. Here Megan Morton leads us beyond Byron Bay, to the best food and most interesting things to do in the Northern Rivers.

The purpose of this unashamedly food-focused guide is to take us beyond Byron Bay. While there are lots of gems in Byron Bay proper, (hello Pixie, hello Belongil Beach Italian, yes always to drinks at Luna Wine Store and of course a reservation any night at Bar Heather), if you want to spread your wings beyond The Bay to experience the most interesting cafes, restaurants, things to do and places to stay in the Northern Rivers, this is the guide for you.

And in a bid to make your life easier, we've marked all the recommendations on this google map. Now, over to our intrepid Galah Guide Megan Morton.

Words Megan Morton

with additional reporting/testing/revelry by Chelsey Malivanek, Annabelle Hickson and Belinda Jeffery

Last year I packed up my home and family in Sydney and moved to a farmhouse in the Northern Rivers. I grew up on a banana farm so while it’s not a homecoming, I would call it a glorious post-pandemic outcome.

We were looking for that monumental feeling of “proper” change. What we didn’t factor in was love. Renewed love of country. Love of community. Love of land care. Love of watching nature. Love of neighbours (during floods). Love of precious resources. Love of my clients. Love for my family. It’s been a true circuit-breaker.

The Northern Rivers is a fruit and food basket, from the shopping I can do at roadside stalls on my way home to the iconic Mullum Markets where you can get food, music and do your grocery shop. Overlay that with the flat breads at the Eltham Hotel, the Japanese at Federal Doma Cafe, the woodfired pizza pop-up at Clunes, the fresh Pirlo’s samosas day at Bexhill General Store, the fresh Iluka fish at Swifty's in Lismore. The list goes on. And on.

Here are a few of my favourite things.

Where to eat

Bastion Lane


A working post office that serves truly excellent coffee? Bastion Lane, in the small hinterland town of Uki, 15 minutes south of Murwillumbah, is exactly this. The coffee in this glorious 1909 heritage-listed building is downright some of the best you can drink. And to be able to do so while sitting alongside sacks of coffee beans (to be roasted out the back), watching the comings and goings of Uki, population 700, and their mail deliveries is an entirely delightful experience. It’s almost only coffee here, which is fine because 10 doors down is Uki Pies, serving almost only pastry (see next listing). And if you like to hang out in weirdo bookshops post-coffee, The kooky Fortuna Bookshop is a short walk away to bookend the journey. Also worth a visit is A Tinker’s Cuss, a smithing collective where knives are made (and sharpened) out the back.

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Uki Pies


The online reviews are almost suspiciously bot-like. “Best. Pie. Ever”, “in all the world I have never …” and “flaky beyond belief”, but the one that originally piqued our interest was “deep fried sausage and 3 potato cakes please”. Uki Pies is deserving of all of this succinct and guttural online praise.

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