If you're visiting Byron Bay and its beautiful surrounds over the next few weeks, no doubt you will be searching for little hidden gems to discover outside of the tourist haunts in Byron Bay itself.
I am lucky enough to live in South Ballina, a little over 30 minutes south of Byron Bay. South Ballina is on the other side of the river to the main town (and the Big Prawn!) amongst shrub, cane fields, river, ocean and not a lot else.
I have very recently converted the front of my house into an art studio / gallery and it is now open to all passers by who wish to have a look through a vast array of black and white contemporary drawings, paintings and hand-pulled screen prints, many of which are not online.
There is a vast array of great fishing, walking, surf and exploring here so you can make a day of it, or even camp for the night. There are four-wheel drive access tracks in South Ballina and also Patches beach so you can drive along the beach for the sunset, a picnic or even make your way south to Evans head.
A little further down the road in Empire Vale we have Australias smallest post office, not much bigger than a garden shed. Funny little fact for you and by far the cutest post office you ever would see!
While your on this side of the river, you may as well visit the sleepy town of Wardell and get yourself a Wardell Pie. By far the best pies in the Northern Rivers.
So come on, get yourself out of Byron Bay and do some exploring! If you do drop in, I'll be sure to let you in on my favourite hidden gems around the area.