With heritage buildings lining the wide main street (Byron Street), and sophisticated dining and shopping, Bangalow is a perfect destination for a hinterland drive. Best of all, underlying the classy shopfronts this small village is rich in rural history and community spirit.
Over the years, Bangalow has serviced the surrounding cedar cutting, dairy and agricultural industries.These days, visitors can enjoy browsing the shops for fine art and antiques, unique homewares and chic fashion, while also enjoying Bangalow’s small-town charm.
Bangalow is 13km west of Byron Bay. For the most scenic route, drive south from the Byron Bay CBD along Broken Head Road, then take the Bangalow Road turn. The drive will take you through rolling green hills, and on the way home you can appreciate views right back to the ocean. Alternatively, head south on the Pacific Highway and take the Bangalow exit.
Whether it’s sampling the local coffee as you wander the main street, or dining in one of Bangalow’s contemporary cafés or restaurants, the connoisseur in you won’t be disappointed. With such an abundance of local produce surrounding them, Bangalow’s restaurants tend to make this their focus. For a moment of escapism, step into the exotic world of Red Ginger Asian Food and Home for casual yum cha, and pick up a few Asian groceries while you’re there. Dining is centred on Byron Street – begin at Fishheads@Bangalow at the roundabout and eat your way down the street from there!
Bangalow Markets and Events
Held on the 4th Sunday of the month under the shade of majestic camphor laurel trees, the popular Bangalow Markets offer a wonderful opportunity to experience the local community. Wander casually and enjoy the colourful array of arts and crafts, food, buskers, natural therapies and the like. The markets are located in the centre of town in the showgrounds.
Sample the region’s produce at the Bangalow Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday morning behind the Bangalow Hotel.
Bangalow’s wholesome town carnivals are popular for locals around the region and a treat for visitors.In May thetown’s sloping main street is converted to a racetrack for the Bangalow Billy Cart Derby. The day includes junior and senior billy cart racing, a street parade, displays and food stalls.More than a century old, and still maintaining an agricultural focus, the three-day Bangalow Show is held each year in November.The community spirit of Bangalow is manifest in the town’s Christmas Eve Street Carnival;again, this is the town’s own celebration – not a tourist event – but visitors young and old are welcome to join in the fun.
Celebrating its 10th year in 2011, the Bangalow Music Festival is a world-class chamber music event, offering an enchanting weekend of music in the intimate setting of the Bangalow A&I Hall. The programs are rich in collaboration between professional chamber ensembles, emerging young artists, Australian composers and outstanding soloists. Over the years the festival has welcomed many distinguished artists, including IlyaKnovalov (Concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic), the Australian String Quartet, Tankstream Quartet, Tel-Aviv Trio, Marshall Maguire, SlavaGrigoryan, and – instigators of the event – the Southern Cross Soloists.
Things to Do in Bangalow:
Well worth a visit, Bangalow Historical Society’s ‘Heritage House’ Museum and Tea Rooms is located at the corner of Ashton and Deacon Streets. As well as an extensive collection of local history information and items, the museum conducts a regular program of feature displays. The tea rooms offer a homely selection of food and quality coffee, including Devonshire tea, high tea, and lunch. Heritage House is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 3pm. Entry is by donation.
Bangalow Weir park & playground
Just behind Heritage House, the Bangalow Weir is an idyllic location for a picnic and for children to play. The weir was built in the 1920s to create a public swimming pool, and was a vital part of community life for many years; these days, water quality issues mean the pool is no longer used, but there is a move to preserve the weir because of its heritage. A creek runs its way around the playground area, with a footbridge crossing it, and large trees and lush grass provide a cool escape in summer and a sunny spot in winter.
Just 3km from Bangalow and 10 minutes from Byron Bay, Byron Country Cottages provide a peaceful getaway with expansive views over the Byron hinterland. Their six 1, 2, or 3 bedroom self-contained cottages cater for couples through to families and small groups.