Discover Ballina - Hinterland Tourist Drive 28

Hinterland Drive

  • Hinterland Drive Tourist Drive 28

Plan your Ballina Coast and Hinterland escape…
  • Hinterland Drive Tourist Drive 28
  • Hinterland Drive

Embark on a picturesque drive through the charming Ballina & Byron Hinterland, exploring quaint towns, lush nature reserves, and captivating landmarks. Fill your basket with fresh local produce from one of the many roadside produce stalls along the way and if National Parks with rainforest and waterfalls appeal to you, then this scenic drive offers so much to see and do.

Click here to print or download a copy of the HINTERLAND TOURIST DRIVE 28 GUIDE

Tourist Drive 28 map diagram

Allow at least six hours to experience the array of attractions along this 70km tourist drive however a full day is suggested. The official attractions are indicated by the white on brown tourist drive signage, other attractions with the # symbol are Visitor Centre recommendations.

Upstream on the Richmond River, the river village of Wardell boasts historic timber buildings including Mayley House (1910) and other 20th century constructions. Grab a freshly baked bulging top pie from the local pie store, wander over to the jetty and admire the historic Wardell Lift Span Bridge.

The 13km drive between Wardell & Victoria Park, takes in spectacular rural vistas as it rises to the top of the Alstonville Plateau along Wardell Road.

Escape to Victoria Park Nature Reserve, one of the last remnants of the Big Scrub, the rainforest prominent to the natural landscape of the Northern Rivers region. Stretch the legs by walking the short 300m boardwalk to see over 150 species of trees including White Booyongs, Red Beans, Morton Bay Figs and the extremely rare jointed Baloghia.

Learn about our regional produce at Summerland Farm, a working macadamia and avocado plantation set in the hills of the Alstonville Plateau. Here you'll find a regional food showcase, Cafe, Nursery, Gift Shop and Museum. If you are visiting the area, Summerland Farm is a ‘must do’ experience and a memorable, inspiring organisation. The licenced café is known for their High Teas! The property is a 3km journey from Alstonville's Main Street via Wardell Road.

is an Aladdin’s cave for curio hunters and culture buffs, with its historic buildings, classic Australian federation architecture, fashion shops and cafes. Throughout the surrounding plateau are subtropical parks and gardens with the iconic Tibouchina blossoms showing their brilliant display of violet purple flowers in late summer and autumn. The drive between Tintenbar through Teven to Alstonville is 9kms.

From Tintenbar, detouring off Tourist Drive 28 to the north along Fernleigh Road, stopping at the roadside stalls to stock up on farm fresh produce, will allow you to discover #Red Door Ceramic Studio and roads through macadamia plantations through to #Brooklet (home of Duck Creek Macadamias). Head back south along Friday Hut Road to discover #Killen Falls and back to Tintenbar. Grab a coffee from the Tintebar General Store and continue on your journey to the Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Hinterland Drive Killen Falls

Get up close and personal with Australian wildlife and reptiles at Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and enjoy the live interactive shows and enjoy the opportunity to touch and hold the animals. Sample the range of fresh hot roasted macadamia nuts and be sure to check out their delicious food at the onsite cafe. The Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is 3.5kms south of Newrybar along the Hinterland Way. 

Take the time to explore the popular historic village of Newrybar, filled with old world charm, antiques and artisan shopping. It's a quaint hamlet village nestled in the hinterland above Lennox Head and home to Australia’s oldest bakery that incorporates a well-known eatery and deli. Newrybar is 6kms south of Bangalow along the Hinterland Way.

Continue along Hinterland Way for 6kms until you reach the Bangalow exit. A detour off the official Tourist Drive will take you to the township of #Bangalow. Here you can enjoy some retail therapy and sample the delicious local produce at one of the award winning eateries. Bangalow is one of those country gems. A picturesque, largely nineteenth-century streetscape of tall verandahed buildings, shady trees and quiet parks.

Return to the Hinterland Way heading north following the signs to Minyon Falls & Crystal Castle, turn left on to Coolamon Scenic Drive and enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree view encapsulating the Byron Lighthouse, Mt Chincogan, Mt Warning and green pastures from Scarabelloti's Lookout.

To get to Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens, follow the signs for 8.3kms along Coolamon Scenic Drive. Walk amongst the gods in the stunning gardens and rainforest. Touch the World Peace Stupa, find yourself in an ancient labyrinth, and indulge in delicious coffee and food while enjoying the magnificent views over the hinterland. The Crystal Castle is a must visit for those seeking a health and wellbeing experience. 

#Minyon Falls (16kms from Crytsal Castle) is a plunge waterfall descending more than 100 metres over the huge rhyolite cliffs which were once part of the Tweed Volcano. The large viewing platform, offering views down to the base of the falls, is easily accessible from the carpark. There are picnic tables to sit and enjoy the surroundings and a range of short to medium tracks for the experienced walker so you can access the base of the waterfall. Please note this is a 27km detour from the official Tourist Drive but well worth the time. 

Approximately 7.5km from Crystal Castle you will discover Mullumbimby, Australia’s ‘biggest little town’. The town lies at the foot of Mt Chincogan in the Brunswick Valley. Take in the street vibe and experience the music from one of the many buskers. 

This is the end point of your hinterland discovery via the signposted Tourist Drive 28. Head back towards the Pacific Motorway and take the Byron Bay exit to commence Tourist Drive 30 south towards Lennox Head and Ballina.

Image: Killen Falls

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