If you’re travelling from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay, don’t forget to go for A visit to Mullumbimby
Having had the privilege of living in Mullumbimby for the last 10 years, I have seen quite a few positive changes in this small country town of 3600 inhabitants. ‘Time’ is definitely of the essence to truly appreciate and get a sense of Mullumbimby’s vibrancy, which shines through its colourful community. A community formed of alternative thinkers, activists, families who settle here for Australia’s largest Steiner school – Shearwater, and the true locals who have been here for several generations.
Once you exit the highway and drive along the long road that leads into Mullumbimby, you encounter the magnificent Mount Chicogan that watches over the town. Apparently “Mullumbimby” means ‘small round hill’, a name given to the district by the local Aboriginal people – Dur-ung-bil people who inhabited the area before the Europeans settlers. The round hill is probably in reference to Mount Chicogan, or is its neighbouring hills – Wilsons Creek. You can also enter Mullumbimby via the beautiful scenic road of Myocum Road from Byron Bay, an absolutely stunning drive through cow meadows and rolling hills.
When the Europeans arrived in Mullumbimby in the 1850s, it became a timber trade town and then later it primarily transformed into a farming community for beef and dairy, along with bananas and sugar canes. Today it is a town that has maintained the authenticity of a rural town with elements of modernity with its hip cafés and shops. For one Mullumbimby is quite spoilt for choice with regards to food with over 20 (yes!) cafés and restaurants catering to all tastes, from Asian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, quality pub food, one of the best pizzas in the area, healthy organic food to a chocolate café. As for shopping, Mullumbimby has everything you need without having to venture out to the bigger surrounding towns, for those who love vintage, second hand or handmade you will certainly find something of interest with its quirky shops to browse through.
Byron Bay is automatically the place people think of when considering a retreat or some sort of healing modality. However, we invite you to go for A visit to Mullumbimby because it has just as much to offer between Kahuna body work therapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists, naturopaths, colonic therapists, energy healers, mediums, psychics, massage therapists, … without the hustle and bustle of Byron Bay’s tourists. Its alternativeness can also be seen through its six centrally located yoga studios, its wood fire sauna and steam room at KIVA spa, its bamboo clothes store, its retreat centres, its unique markets, … and the innumerable posters for healing and self development workshops, courses and therapists plastered on the wall outside SANTOS – the famous organic food store in town. Santos is also a popular meeting place for locals situated in one of Mullumbimby’s most majestic buildings, the old NSW bank, the ideal place to sip your morning juice or kombucha while watching passers by.
For the crystal lovers Mullumbimby is home to Crystal Castle – the attraction that is most sought after by the tourists. But even for those who are novice to the crystal realm, it is well worth a visit as you soak up its incredible beauty, with breathtaking views, landscape gardens and gigantic crystals.
Furthermore, Mullumbimby is the headquarters of ‘UPLIFT’, an inspiring global movement, a community of people that bring together the pioneers in science, spirituality, health, indigenous wisdom, business, sustainability and creativity. Their intention is to support the shift in global consciousness by creating a dynamic space of collaboration – what a programme!
The community is mainly composed of families, so it readily caters to children with lots of fun events for all ages and it even has its own circus – the fantastic ‘Spaghetti Circus’. Kids also often enjoy the farmers market during the school holidays held every Friday morning, ambiance assured with local buckers and yummy food. There is also the craft market on every 3rd Saturday of the month, an eclectic social gathering with craftspeople, woodworkers, potters, …
In the way of festivals, there are two dates that incontestably need to be marked in our calendars. In November, there is the ‘Mullumbimby Music Festival’, a rapidly growing event that sparks life in the streets of this beautiful town with colourful dancing, street theatre and of course excellent quality musicians – fantastic family outings. The other event is in April, the ‘Byron Spirit Festival’, which contrary to its name is held in Mullumbimby. It’s a yoga festival that draws in some innovating speakers and teachers that cover topics such as tantra, sound healing, cacao ceremonies, chanting, … Combined with the ‘crème de la crème’ in yoga, dancing, singing and music classes.
In essence, when the Mullumbimby community unites, if it be to celebrate or fund-raise a world event or debate about the latest renewable energies or sustainable living, the people of Mullumbimby give true meaning to the word ‘community’.
A visit to Mullumbimby was written by Corinne Woodward.