A Place Called Bangalow: Unlocking the Secrets of this Hinterland Hideout

Established around 1880, and with its name derived from the original Banjalang Aboriginal word “Bangalla” meaning 'a low hill' or 'a kind of palm tree’ - Bangalow - a small, charming town surrounded by an area known for its permaculture and organic farming, is understandably located in the gentle green rolling hills of the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia, in the Byron Shire.

Perched upon its hilltops, wrapped in fruit and macadamia orchards, groves of Bangalow palms - and offering hiking trails leading to waterfalls, plus lookouts offering glimpses of the Pacific Ocean - this picturesque town takes everything great about its coastal sister of Byron Bay and distills it into a laid-back country setting and vibe. 

Noted for its artistic alternative community, the historic shopfronts lining both sides of its main strip – Byron Street – not only look good, but they cheekily beckon visitors of all tastes and styles to take a closer look inside and discover the originalities they offer, catering to each taste and style.

Tended to by creative locals, this relaxed yet chic village is unique in its own way – and brimming with contemporary cafes, galleries, and boutiques, it somehow blends rich history and modern-day allure perfectly.

Looking for a home away from home here, and a place to unwind? Locay has it sorted, with a few select and top-end accommodation options for you to choose from. We’ve also spotlighted some intriguing shops and food stops to pop into - plus, pinpointed the place where the locals showcase the farm fresh produce the region has offer, and where you can truly connect with Bangalow’s strong sense of community - for those who want to really experience the buzzing culture here, and meet-and-greet the town’s nature-loving, tight-knit locals. Worth a trip!

The 99 Acres Retreat

North Coast New South Wales

Located on 99 acres of private land atop a hill in the famous Byron Bay hinterland, this breathtaking beauty of a property offers guests boutique luxury accommodation where peace and privacy are paramount.

Not far from Byron Bay Golf Course, close to Cape Byron Lighthouse, and just a leisurely eight minute stroll to the historic Bangalow village, guests can enjoy a serene and picturesque getaway whilst still being close to all the key points of interest.

Guests can choose five modern guest rooms within the main villa or four individual and stylishly designed villas, each providing panoramic views of the surrounding area and verdant countryside.

An outdoor swimming pool, self-catering options and exquisite furnishings sourced from around the region offer a comfortable and relaxing setting, and ensure your every need is covered within this exquisite 4-star accommodation.  

A stylish escape from the norm, and a refreshing and beautiful place to recharge and from which to explore the nature of Byron and the character-filled town of Bangalow and its contemporary shops with heritage façades.

Bangalow Slow

Northern Rivers

Experience the essence of the hinterland escape that is Bangalow at Bangalow Slow – a newly renovated, modern four bedroom holiday home just a stone's throw from the town’s charming main street and a short 15-minute drive to Byron Bay's stunning beaches.

The perfect gateway from which to explore the enchanting Northern Rivers region, this gorgeous property is bathed in natural light and features an open-plan layout adorned with modern luxe décor, crisp white interiors, rich timber accents, and natural fibres throughout.

The main level welcomes you with spacious living, dining, and a well-appointed kitchen, with the lounge also offering a welcoming fireplace for cosying up in front of on the couch in the cooler months. In the media room, entertainment reigns supreme with a curated collection of board games, a spacious flat-screen TV, and streaming services galore, creating the perfect setting for memorable movie nights.

Upstairs, three bedrooms await, including two with queen beds and one with a triple bunk (double on the bottom, single on top), all complemented by built-in wardrobes, and stylish family bathroom with a freestanding bath and separate shower completing the level.

Outside, discover multiple inviting spaces - from sunlit spots for morning coffee to a poolside BBQ area and fire pit offering an evening ambiance where guests can toast marshmallows and enjoy a chat with a hot chocolate under the stars. The outdoor entertaining area also boasts a full kitchen with a sink and double fridge, a 10-seater dining table, a cozy lounge area, and a relaxing hanging chair by the poolside, ideal for unwinding with a good book while you enjoy your Byron Bay getway.

Bangalow Guest House

Northern Rivers

Located among landscaped gardens on the banks of Byron Creek, this elegant 1900s heritage property is country-chic done right, and charms guests with its graceful allure.

Featuring four beautifully appointed rooms in the main house and four private cottages, each inch of this historic, century-old home has been furnished to a high standard, and all rooms include heating, air conditioning, DVD player and en suite bathroom with bathrobes, among other amentities.

Guests can choose to take a leisurely stroll across the lush lawns and gardens, or just relax comfortably indoors, enjoying the serene atmosphere visible through the large windows and French doors that open from the sophisticated living and kitchen areas and onto the gabled deck surrounding the main house.

This little piece of luxury also offers guests spa services, a terrace, and a garden which comes with its own private picnic area – plus coffee/tea services in the common area, and express check-in, of course. 

Just steps from Bangalow Historical Museum & Tea Rooms, within a short 5-minute stroll of the town’s renowned Bangalow Markets, and not far from Macadamia Castle and Byron Bay Golf Course, this 4.5-star abode is also perfectly located.

The day starts off with a generous complimentary continental breakfast, served daily – and if you’ve had your share of exploring the lush surrounds of the hinterland or the cute rural outpost of Bangalow town, then indulge in the pampering on offer here, which can include deep-tissue massages, body wraps and mani/pedis. 

Sun Ranch

North Coast New South Wales

Taking inspiration from the ultra chic Californian ranch houses of the '70s this cool getaway encompassing a 55-acre coastal estate is nostalgia incorporated.

Offbeat, laid back, and luxury all in one, this place brings guests back to the good old days – when relaxation and whether to have a beer or a classic cocktail were your biggest worries.

Located perfectly in the serene hinterland of Byron Bay, you’ll have privacy amidst the Coopers Shoot area, yet it’s just 15 minutes to the heart of Byron Bay and two minutes to the iconic village of Bangalow.

Step inside and curated interiors beckon, which harmonizing '70s chic and Spanish influences with recycled timber ranch architecture, and creating inviting gathering spaces – designed to a tee by Byron-born Julia Ashwood (co-owner of the nearby Eltham Hotel) and Sunshine Coast-born Jamie Blakey (founder of fashion brand One Teaspoon).

Guests have the option to stay in a main lodge guest room with direct pool access, or they can opt to book one of six two-bedroom, off-grid barns nestled atop a nearby hill for a more private group experience.

More than just a place to stay, ranch breakfasts are generous, combining a smorgasbord of local cheeses, eggs, charcuterie, pickles, smoked fish and fruit, and local produce packs are also available for purchase, including handmade pasta, organic meat and market vegetables for those who just can’t get enough.

If that wasn’t enough, The Pool Club – perched upon a hillside – features a serene basalt pool for relaxation, comfortable daybeds for lounging, and ample dining space, and its magnificent on-site restaurant The Field House also provides an unforgettable culinary journey, highlighted by the Fire Feast and outdoor dining options accommodating up to 50 guests.

It’s already hosted remarkable gatherings and is ideal for exclusive events or private bookings, but with its onsite activities and luxury living options for couples, families, or small gatherings, there’s something for everyone.

Plus, it’s off the beaten path, so you’ll love it.

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The first thing you’ll note when you arrive into this postcard-perfect setting is the traditional streetscape of federation buildings, which together exude a warm ambience and the charm of a bygone era – but despite the look, each old-fashioned storefront has its own distinctive offering and chic secrets within – and we’ve picked out a few extra special ones to stop into on your getaway.

Island Luxe

Take a journey into the white-and-wood wonderland of Island Luxe. Here, one-of-a-kind leather goods handmade in Greece, Italian leather shoes, gorgeous jackets, bags, handcrafted artisanal objects and jewellery, fragrances, and (of course) a carefully curated collection of luxury international and local designers greet you – and give you heart palpitations with the price tags to match.

It’s all worth it though (literally) – because this is the place where fashion stylists shop for themselves. Clothes carry a simple colour palette, sporting lots of leather and linen, and an emphasis on cut and silhouette, and its collection of travel-inspired homewares and antiques sourced from around the world is incredibly unique – so if you shop here, you’ll stand out.

Established after eight years in the conceptual phase travelling the world for inspiration and sourcing the classy assortment on offer, the beautiful bohemian-style store was born in an old, original building in 2007, which, due to its natural architectural features, became the perfect space to strip back to its bare minimum. It’s pure white stucco walls now provide the perfect blank canvas to highlight the artisan-made pieces, and each carefully chosen object has its own beauty to admire – and invest in, if you dare.

Either way, the free-spirited lifestyle shines though – and it’s a true delight to step into.

Our Corner Store

Carefully and lovingly tended to by best friends Miranda Plummer and Kate Dodd, Our Corner Store stocks sophisticated timeless classics with a modern twist and is the place to get well-made lifestyle goods, fashion, and gifts that are both beautiful and a part of daily life.

It’s got the feel of a traditional general store and looks like a stylish lounge room, with the philosophy of simple, natural living all around and an individual story behind all products.

With a side verandah for all outdoor goodies, a warm welcome as you enter, and a curated collection of items that immediately make you feel at home, Our Corner Store is loved by all in this tiny town and is one-of-a-kind. The owners’ aim to find goods that are a little bit of fun, quality, and made by people that both inspire them and make them laugh is evident all around too – and makes it a joy to explore.


Hidden away down a side street just off the main stretch, and situated perfectly amongst Bangalow's arts precinct, the cute little café outpost of Woods – known for its large rustic and sun-filled courtyard – is the perfect hangout for family, friends, or a relaxing solo café sit-in during the hot Byron Shire summers. On chilly autumn/winter days, stop in for a cosy morning coffee break and sip on your choice of a curated selection of coffee blends from Moonshine – the local brand, freshly roasted in Byron Bay's hinterland.

A vegetarian and plant-based cafe brought to life by owners Josh and Casey Cordoba in April 2019 after they returned to Australia from living abroad in London and Bali – this beauty caters to ethically sourced, seasonal eating and is good to go for breakfast, brunch, and lunch to savour some wholesome, healthy food made from the produce of local farmers and suppliers. From delightful teas to nutritious juices and superfood smoothies; or cheesy scones, scrumptious muffins, and its famous toasted Woods banana bread – there’s plenty to choose from, and it’s all organic and crafted to enhance immunity and nurture the soul.

A true local meeting point, the vibe here is chilled, and the regular summer music events at the Town Hall opposite Woods are just an added bonus.

Ciao, Mate!

Good things come in small packages – and this quaint, old-school Italian joint in Bangalow village proves it. Led by acclaimed zero-waste chef Matt Stone, this hatted neighbourhood restaurant focuses on local, sustainable ingredients, and has a quirky little character all of its own, offering a selection of starters, wood fired sourdough pizza, pastas, and Australian and Italian natural wines and beer.

Slide into a leather booth at Ciao, Mate! and settle into its nostalgic ambience with warm lighting for one of its pizzas – with combinations like pepperoni with tomato, oregano, parmigiano, and smoked hot honey (with sides) – or opt for a table in the cosy covered courtyard out back and dine alfresco on balmy summer nights. You can start off your feast with some snacks like anchovy toast, charcuterie and flatbreads before diving into your mains… But on second thoughts – just order one of everything on the short and regularly changing menu. Each delicacy on order is delicious, and there for a reason.

Dedicated to working with some of the Northern Rivers' best producers to bring its customers fresh produce and support local businesses while they're at it, you’ll relish a wholesome meal amidst chatty regulars enjoying a cocktail at the bar or a family meal. Just a tip – book ahead – this place is popular with both locals, and tourists, so it’s packed most nights of the week.


To see everything this bustling town has to offer, all in one place – Bangalow Market is one event you really shouldn’t miss.

Held on the fourth Sunday of every month under the comforting shelter of 11 majestic camphor laurel trees, their sprawling branches offer a cool respite, accompanied by the soothing rustle of leaves, creating a whimsical woodland ambience for attendees. It’s here that artists, entertainers, artisans, bakers, growers, therapists, street food vendors, and more gather for a vibrant experience, and there are usually over 300 stalls to explore and pop into.

Grab a coffee and a pastry while you peruse the organic produce and exquisite artisan-made products on offer, and enjoy live entertainment performed by talented local musicians. The perfect, leisurely Sunday escape from the busy urban pace as you come together with both old friends and new.

Daniela Aroche
Sydney, Australia

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