The NSW North­ern Rivers town the lo­cals call Mul­lum has a strong cre­ative com­mu­nity at its heart.

TUCKED BE­NEATH THE con­i­cal peak of Mount Chinco­gan, Mullumbimby — or Mul­lum, as the lo­cals re­fer to it — is fringed with rain­for­est in the bu­colic Brunswick Val­ley. “When I moved from the city, I was mes­merised by the land­scape,” says artist Michael Cu­sack, 57, who has a stu­dio be­hind the By­ron School of Art build­ing in nearby Dal­ley Street. “It’s such a pow­er­ful place to be.” With a pop­u­la­tion of about 3600 peo­ple, part of the town’s charm is its keen sense of in­de­pen­dence and com­mu­nity, which em­braces di­ver­sity with open arms. It’s also pos­si­ble to walk ev­ery­where — be­tween its cafés, gal­leries and spas, or trails along the Brunswick River. “There are no traf­fic lights and I can walk to work. A lot are mov­ing here from the city, but it still has a coun­try feel,” Michael adds. Five years ago, Michael, orig­i­nally from Ire­land, and print­maker Chris­tine Will­cocks, along with five other lo­cal artists, co-founded the By­ron School of Art, which is sit­u­ated in an Art Deco build­ing in town. Chris­tine, 65, who lives self-suf­fi­ciently in the rain­for­est just west of town, is from Sydney and moved here 40 years ago. “Mul­lum has al­ways been a strong, cre­ative com­mu­nity and is puls­ing with its many fes­ti­vals,” she says. Lo­cal store owner Tiana Wal­lace, of Coven in Stu­art Street, also swapped Sydney for Mullumbimby three years ago. “I’ve never looked back,” she says. “It’s a won­der­ful, caring and like-minded com­mu­nity, and it’s the first time I’ve dis­cov­ered what a true com­mu­nity is.” For more in­for­ma­tion, visit by­ron.nsw.gov.au

“Mul­lum has al­ways been a strong, cre­ative com­mu­nity and is puls­ing with its many fes­ti­vals.”


BRUNSWICK VAL­LEY HIS­TOR­I­CAL SO­CI­ETY MU­SEUM Lo­cated in the for­mer post of­fice, the mu­seum con­tains mem­o­ra­bilia, exhibitions and sto­ries of the re­gion’s colour­ful past. Open Fri­days from 10am–12pm and mar­kets are held ev­ery third Satur­day morn­ing of the month. Cor­ner of My­ocum and Stu­art streets. (02) 6684 4367; mul­lumbim­by­mu­seum.org.au

CRYS­TAL CAS­TLE AND SHAMB­HALA GAR­DENS This pos­i­tive en­ergy sanc­tu­ary is home to some of the big­gest crys­tals in the world, with views of the beau­ti­ful By­ron hin­ter­land. Open 10am–5pm daily. 81 Monet Drive. (02) 6684 3111;. crys­tal­cas­tle.com.au

HER­ITAGE PARK This botan­i­cal park­land at the north­ern end of town with more than 300 plant species (some en­dan­gered) fea­tures a walk­ing trail along Brunswick River and a shaded play­ground area. Gor­don Street.

MUL­LUM MU­SIC FES­TI­VAL One of the na­tion’s most suc­cess­ful bou­tique fes­ti­vals cel­e­brated its 10th an­niver­sary in Novem­ber 2017. This year will see another great line-up of per­form­ers from Novem­ber 15–18. mul­lum­mu­sicfes­ti­val.com

MULLUMBIMBY COM­MU­NITY GAR­DEN pro­duces food to share and was es­tab­lished to en­cour­age, ed­u­cate and em­power peo­ple to re­duce their en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. Stu­art Street. mul­lumbim­by­commu­ni­ty­gar­dens.org THE KIVA SPA Ex­pect to­tal rein­vig­o­ra­tion and re­con­nec­tion in trop­i­cal gar­dens. 1 Mc­gougans Lane. (02) 66844 811; theki­vaspa.com


BY­RON SCHOOL OF ART A con­tem­po­rary art school with prac­tice-based pro­grams and men­tor­ship to sup­port emerg­ing and es­tab­lished artists. 112 Dal­ley Street. 0487 362 141; by­ron­schoolo­fart.com

MULLUMBIMBY FARMERS’ MAR­KET sup­ports lo­cal farmers and has live mu­sic and a vi­brant at­mos­phere. It also hosts work­shops and events through­out the year. Ev­ery Fri­day 7am–11am at the Mullumbimby Show­grounds. 51 Main Arm Road. mul­lum­farm­ers­mar­ket.org.au

NIGHT­CAP NA­TIONAL PARK Visit this park, about an hour’s drive west, with an­cient World Her­itage listed rain­for­est as well as wa­ter­falls. It’s also home to Al­bert’s lyre­bird. (02) 6627 0200; na­tion­al­parks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/night­cap-na­tional-park


FLY­ING DOG COT­TAGE A ren­o­vated three-bed­room cot­tage close to the cen­tre of town. Sta­tion Street. (02) 6688 4465; fly­ing­dog­cot­tage.com.au

BRUNSWICK HEADS HO­TEL is a short drive away in the sea­side vil­lage. 2–6 Old Pa­cific High­way, Brunswick Heads. (02) 6685 1860; brunswick­headsmo­tel.com.au


MILK AND HONEY For whole­foods and wood-fired pizza. Shop 5, 59A Sta­tion Street. (02) 6684 1422; milka­nd­honey­mul­lumbimby.com.au

PUNCH AND DAISY Try the eggs with salsa verde. Open 7.30am–2pm week days and 8am–1pm on week­ends. 105 Stu­art Street. (02) 6684 6564.

IZAKAYA YU Get a fix of mod­ern Ja­panese food for lunch. Closed Sun­days. 53 Stu­art Street. (02) 6684 4545.

SCRATCH PATISSERIE Head to Scratch to find sour­dough and pas­tries. Shop 6/108 Stu­art Street. (02) 6684 2914; scratch­patis­serie.com.au

ROCK AND ROLL COF­FEE COM­PANY Great cof­fee and vibes. They also serve Asian food. 3/55 Bur­ring­bar Street. (02) 6684 4224; rockan­droll­cof­fee.com.au

POINCIANA A café by day with live mu­sic and cock­tails come the week­end. 55 Sta­tion Street. 0498 122 453; poin­ciana­mul­lum.com


MADE IN MUL­LUM It seems ob­vi­ous, but you’ll find a lot of great lo­cal and hand­made goods here. 24 Bur­ring­bar Street.

TINKER TAI­LOR DANCER TRADER Home­wares, cloth­ing, books, gifts and ac­ces­sories. Shop C, The Laneway, 55 Bur­ring­bar Street. (02) 6684 3692.

COVEN A life­style and con­cept store with per­fume, ce­ram­ics, fash­ion and home­wares. 1/105 Stu­art Street. 0415 652 588.

HAVEN BOTAN­I­CAL A florist, gar­den and life­style bou­tique at the Laneway. 59A Bur­ring­bar Street. 0407 721 317

Chris­tine Will­cocks CO-FOUNDER By­ron School of Art Lo­cal artist Chris­tine with her mono­print on lokta pa­per. Chris­tine has done 12 solo exhibitions and is rep­re­sented at Flin­ders Lane Gallery in Mel­bourne. FAC­ING PAGE, FROM TOP Crys­tals in Coven store;...

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