Sunny and warm winter days reaching 27 degrees made for a very comfortable three days in which to enjoy the music, art and food. The North Byron Parklands festival site has so many different vantage points to explore - we ended up walking over 45kms!
My eldest daughter and I enjoyed seeing the headline acts each night, the energetic emerging artists each day, the Wil Anderson & friends Comedy Club, The Global Village and the excellent variety of food. For me, I'm still humming 'Cattle and Cane', making Robert Forster in the GW McLennan Tent my personal highlight of Splendour 2016.
My personal highlight, Robert Forster in the GW McLennan Tent
Here's a selection of images from the Splendour in the Grass 2016 - looking forward to seeing you all again next year!
Held upstairs at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club, the Mullum Uke Club sees enthusiasts from around the region get together and celebrate the ukulele.
Mullumbimby resident Stu, known as Stukulele, formed the club back in 2011. Along with his passion for all things music, Stu has extensive experience teaching children and adults ukulele. He wanted a place for his students to play together, and the Mullum Uke Club was born. The monthly meet-ups proved to be incredibly popular, with a regular attendance of between 70 and 200 people.
Meetings take place on the last Thursday of each month. Ukulele players of all levels and ages come together to sing and play songs from a themed monthly songbook, which can be downloaded from the Mullum Uke Club’s newsletter. The songbook contains 20 well-known songs suitable for beginners and seasoned players alike. Players are welcomed to suggest songs, too.
Those who intend to play will need to bring their own ukulele, and if possible, a tuner. If you don’t have one, you’re welcome to come along, watch, and sing. Kids of all ages and adults just starting out are encouraged to play – the number one objective of the Mullum Uke Club is to have fun.
This month, the Mullum Uke Club is turning 5! Players will celebrate with the Songs of the Silver Screen songbook. Plus, singer-songwriter Leigh Carriage will be attending the birthday meet-up on July 28 at 6:30pm. Entry is $12.50 for adults, and $2.50 for children under 10.
Byron Bay is one of Australia’s best destinations to spot the majestic humpback whale on its annual migration from cold Antarctic waters to warmer breeding grounds off the coast of Queensland.
Every year between May and November, an estimated average of 17,000 whales migrate north past the east coast of Australia. Humpback whales are believed to use landmarks to navigate their migration route, causing them to swim close to the coastline. As the country’s most easterly point, Byron Bay is spoilt with up-close views of these incredible creatures.
The International Whale Census Day, held on the last Sunday of June, sees dedicated volunteer whale enthusiasts and visitors count the humpbacks as they pass Cape Byron. In 2016, the count was expected to reach 25,000. However, humpbacks remain listed as vulnerable in New South Wales.
The best vantage point for whale watching on land is the Cape Byron Lighthouse, which stands over the Cape Byron Marine Park. Built over 200 years ago, the lighthouse is accessible by car or by foot, and offers unparalleled panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Whale Watching Byron Bay can get you even closer to the humpbacks with a number of ocean tours available in Byron Bay. Witness the whales breaching off the coast with a 2.5-hour Whale Watching Cruise. The tour, which departs everyday June through November, accommodates a maximum of 12 people. In addition to whales, customers often see turtles, dolphins, and ocean birds.
Cape Byron Kayaks tours taken during whale season are an exciting way to glimpse the humpbacks from the water. There’s nothing quite like seeing such a huge animal so close up!
Adventure to the stunning Killen Falls, take a drive through the hinterland’s rolling hills, indulge in lunch at Doma Cafe, and take in the breathtaking beauty of Minyon Falls. This day trip showcases some of the best the Byron Shire has to offer.
Located a short 30-minute drive from Byron Bay, Killen Falls is an incredible waterfall and swimming hole surrounded by dense, green rainforest, and eroded rocks. The 10m waterfall, a part of Emigrant Creek, can be accessed by a short walking track. Be aware, this track is pretty rocky and slippery with a steep decline, so may not be suitable for young children. The track will lead you right to the base of the roaring falls – it’s spectacular.
What makes Killen Falls so special is the cave-like rocks that surround the water; you can even walk and sit behind the waterfall without getting wet!
Drive Through Byron’s Hinterland
After Killen Falls, drive north into Federal. The scenic half-hour drive winds through back roads, under towering trees, and past picture-perfect views. Byron is well-known for it’s world-class beaches, and the countryside is just as beautiful.
Lunch at Doma Cafe
Situated in the quiet village of Federal, Doma Cafe is a well-known lunch-spot loved by locals and visitors alike. A unique blend of cafe classics and Japanese specialties makes for some of the most unique (and delicious) dishes in the area. Think halloumi burgers topped with Japanese hash brown, and huge sushi cones too pretty to eat. In addition, there’s a variety of cakes and great coffee.
All of this is served in a laidback ‘back yard’ environment, complete with dogs and chickens!
After lunch, head to Minyon Falls. Situated a 30-minute drive from Doma Cafe, Minyon Falls is a showcase of nature’s beauty in the Nightcap National Park. The waterfall cascades over 100m of rhyolite cliffs, which once were a part of the huge Tweed Volcano. The tops of these cliffs are dotted with towering Australian eucalyptus trees, including blackbutt and scribbly gum. The waterfall rains into a natural pool, ideal for swimming in in the warmer months.
Minyon Falls can be viewed from the Minyon Falls Lookout, or on the 7.5km Minyon Falls loop walking track, which is quite difficult and takes about 4 hours to complete.
After the second waterfall of the day, head home to Byron Bay, which is about an hours drive east.