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Byron Bay Hinterland
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The hills beyond Byron Bay offer views, wilderness and a rich-farming history. Everything takes longer here, so slow down, bask in the beauty of the landscape and be surprised by its secrets. Information & images kindly supplied by the Byron Hinterland Hideaways Group. If you're looking for accommodation in the towns and villages around Byron Bay, browse through our Byron Hinterland accommodation guide.
From Big Scrub to Cappuccino Country
The landscape of the hinterland has changed dramatically in the last 200 hundred years. Once covered with giant rainforest trees, today there are remnants of the 'Big Scrub' in the Nightcap National Park and on farm properties. There are also re-growth forests such as Nobles Scrub Reserve at Eureka that have been restored in an effort to create the original forest canopy and provide a haven for rainforest animals.
In 1881, when the farmers occupied their plots of land, the felling of the giant cedar trees and rosewoods turned most of the Big Scrub into pastureland for cows. The high rainfall and red volcanic soil made farming easier than in most parts of Australia. The dairy industry transformed the land, people settled and villages were formed. Pig production was a way to use the surplus skim milk and soon the pig industry was thriving. There are still pig farms situated on the plains of Myocum.
Sub-tropical crops thrived in the mild climate and by 1911 banana plantations were popular. You can see the bananas growing on the steep northeast slopes on the way to Mullumbimby.
Avocados, soft fruits, lemon myrtle, blueberries, custard apples and lychees- a regular fruit salad of crops thrive in the area. One of the dominant crops is macadamias. The long rows of tall trees with dark foliage take up to 12 years to mature and produce Australia's indigenous nut.
The most recent agricultural shift has been the upsurge of coffee growers. Rows of coffee plants provide the cafes with a special local brew for their cappuccino.
There is a memorial stone tribute to the Pioneers of 1881, overgrown with pink blossoms that can be viewed from Eureka Road.