It was time for a Gold Coast-Byron Bay Road trip. We had been North on our last few trips so it was time to get a bit of our “chill” going on by visiting the chillout capital of the world, except maybe for Nimbin, but that’s chillout on a whole different level ( if you arn’t aware of the chillout-ness of Nimbin, google it)
This involves hitting the Highway. Not the scenic M1 ( my ironic tone is hard to convey in the written word) between the Gold Coast and Brisbane, but the much more interesting southen end of the M1, the Pacific Highway.
I really enjoy this stretch of road, and it can stretch alright, all the way to Sydney a distance of approximatly 900km. But today we are only tackling the first few km of it.
A familiar task for any classic car owner, fuelling up. However, this stop is well worth the effort.
The Moo Moo Roadhouse, what a freaken lovely little place. See, its not just a gas station, and its not just a great cafe. It’s those things and so much more.
Getting their is easy. From the Pacific Highway take Exit 38 towards Cudgera Creek, take Tweed Valley Way for just over 10km and you’re there. This road is much nicer than the Pacific Highway, even though its a scenic highway, you can’t beat the Tweed valley country-side for chill-out views.
On arrival at the small town its a little confusing. Signs say “Mooball” (assuming this is where ‘Moo Moo cafe’ comes from), but the google directions, and all references refer to the location as “Burringbar NSW”.
It has a quirky, compact, specialised little museum attached. Its an auto orientated style collection thats changed regularly. The focus is mainly on the motorcycle, but at the time of our visit a vintage fire engine took centre stage.
Plenty of other old mechanical items from chain saws, tools to motorcycles in various stages of repair were on display. Several of the motorcycles could even be purchased, if enough cash could be bought along. The yellow /red cigar shaped device is a record breaking speed machine, alas it’s a shadow of it’s former-self now resting in the current location without an engine or transmission.
I guess this happens to all once-were-great machines in time. After the crowds have finished cheering, the fuel smells of the racetrack have evaporated and the hot, pinging exhausts have all cooled our attentions can be quickly drawn away to the next new thing.
However, it’s good to see a machine that once drew the gaze of thousands of eyes, and no doubt gave many a spectator an adrenalin high still taking centre stage.
The Moo Moo cafe is most definitely known for it’s wonderful food firstly though. Food that is worth the scenic drive, and should be part of any Gold Coast-Byron Bay Road Trip.
Good sized meals, and a lovely outdoor dining area. What could be better, oh yeah ! and machinery on display !
So, with Charlie, and us all fuelled up we headed off south, towards Byron Bay.
But, as usual on our trips, we got sidetracked. There are plenty of little sideroads and places to explore in the Tweed Valley. However, this is actually the point to our travels. A good trip is a scenic, slow one.
Back on the Pacific Highway we came across hand-painted yellow signs with “markets” then further on “today” , then “Bangalow”.
Well, this was too interesting to pass so we took the advice of the mystical hand painted signs and turned off towards Bangalow. This is actually the same turn off as Byron bay. Byron is on the left of the Pacific Highway, Banglow is on the Right. It’s a small detour to find such a lovely, and historic little town.
We found the markets, and they were going off ! Its a big Market held on the fourth sunday of each month. It would be one of the largest and most popular in the area.
The market is very well worth a visit , and wandering around Bangalow is something that can’t be missed. The town isn’t untouched by the modern world, but the modern world saw enough in the beauty of Banglow to protect it and incorporate it.
A short trip under the Pacific Highway (Underpass, not a typo) and we continue our Gold Coast-Byron Bay Road Trip.
Byron is not the opposite to Bangalow, but it’s definitely a different world. Its very busy, even on a cooler, slightly overcast day their is no shortage of visitors making the best of the offerings.
Being honest, Byron isn’t really me. It’s too touristy, too fabricated. I live on the Gold Coast, so I know fabricated.
But let me explain. The Gold Coast is well known for its theme parks, its busy night life, the huge malls. Excessive everything. It’s not hidden. That’s how it is.
Byron on the other hand sort of attempts to be the “chillout zone” spot. The place you go to relax and be at one with something. The reality is that it’s not that. It’s incredibly commercial. Parking is restricted, and charged at premium rates. Even at the famous lighthouse their is a parking attendant stationed at the top of the road collecting $8.00 per car.
We got our photo of Charlie at the lighthouse by saying we didn’t want to park, so just did the loop. Sarah hopped out and took a cheeky photo or two as I slowed around the turning area.
We loved the trip to Byron, as we often find, the journey is as good, and sometimes better than the destination. The Moo Moo Cafe was a great find, as was Bangalow, and the markets.
We left Byron and slowly headed up the Pacific Highway towards home. It was a great day out . We would definitely explore the area again. But perhaps not a Gold Coast-Byron Bay Road trip for a little while.
We loved : Moo Moo Cafe , Bangalow and the markets
We wondered: If the way Byron is portrayed could be a little closer to reality.