Where do the Northern Rivers’ bohemians, eccentrics and yummy mummies go after a day at the beach? While fish and chips are always an incredible seaside delight (particularly from Fishmongers at Byron Bay), you might be surprised to discover this laid-back part of Australia is also home to some of the most exclusive, effortless and enjoyable fine dining on the east coast.
The Northern Rivers’s hottest restaurant has a decidedly down-to-earth vibe. Just outside of Byron Bay, The Farm is an extraordinary experiment by the boys from Sydney’s famous Three Blue Ducks. In a rustic dining hall amidst a sprawling, fully functioning farm, you can enjoy a superb menu that’s largely comprised of meat that’s been reared and produce that’s been grown right on the grounds.
This modern establishment shows that the best things come in small packages. Diners at Fleet all sit at the one table to enjoy a mouthwatering seafood-inspired menu. Most of the produce is from local growers, so the menu changes daily based on what’s available – but it’s never disappointing.
You could blink and miss Newrybar as you shoot along the highway, but Harvest Bakery’s reputation ensures the tiny town isn’t ignored. For a simply treat, you can’t go past the loaves, pies and pastries that are cooked to perfection in the wood-burning oven at the bottom of the garden. In the restaurant, your tastebuds will be treated to well crafted dishes made from foraged native and wild Australian ingredients.
Hidden away in an old art-deco department store, The Loft has been a fine dining mainstay in Lismore for many years. The European-inspired menu offers inventive surprises, such as the classiest “loaded fries” ever – which are lathered in parmesan, salted ricotta, white balsamic and vine tomato quarters.
Another amazing spot run by escapees from Sydney’s dining scene, 100 Mile Table is a local, sustainable and seasonally focussed cafe. The menu stretches from East to West and features such dishes as chicken and ginger congee and sour yellow curry of fish alongside classic Italian dishes and house-made focaccia.
The good people of Mullumbimby have long savoured the fare from Milk and Honey, and it’s only gotten better with visionary Timmy Brebner at the helm. Wood-fired pizzas are the speciality, and unusual combinations like cured beef tongue with pancetta and olives will quickly become personal favourites.
There’s not much at Brunswick Heads that’s reminiscent of the Middle East, aside from this outstanding Israeli eatery. It’s simply furnished but that’s only because they put all their efforts and energy into the food. The Egyptian-style broad beans on hummus is a local favourite.
Located in the newly established and very sophisticated Casuarina township, this Italian-focused restaurant sets a high standard. Osteria proves that sustainability can be classy, and community can be chic.
It’s off the beaten track, but well worth the drive for the stunning views over the Tweed Coast alone. In a region that excels in kitchen garden dining, Potager is a standout – and is particularly exciting mid-week when the chefs let their hair down and experiment.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.