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This quaint little township nestled in the green hinterland of northern New South Wales is just a short drive from bustling coastal Byron Bay but exists on another timescale and mentality, and is thriving on its recent extension into good food and beautiful things.

Here you will leave behind the surfers and backpackers to mingle instead with an older crowd, more likely to be dressed in linen than boardies, and taking life at a slower place and savouring the small moments and the gourmet treats.

At the heart of this hamlet (just the word ‘hamlet’ makes my heart sing) is Harvest and its various food-based enterprises concentrating on fresh and local – an inviting and innovative restaurant, an artisan 100 year old bakery and gourmet deli next door, and a tiered-organic edible garden for supplying the aforementioned restaurant – all housed in a series of restored rustic and charming historic buildings. The weekend breakfasts have quite a reputation. And the spaces also transform into magical settings for events and weddings.

When you’re done with eating and stocking up on gourmet delights in the deli or you’ve had your caffeine hit (excellent coffee by the way), you can wander across the road to a collection of lovely shops to while away a bit more time, and meet some of the local dogs.

Antiques and things of old mixed in with modern gifts and newly created furniture pieces from The Shed (formerly Paul’s shed), and a whole world of shopping pleasure at the Newrybar Merchants, a collective of local artists and curators of beautiful things who’ve put together a whole world of shopping delights under one roof. A florist, a bookseller, an art gallery, a gorgeous collection of homewares and furnishings, things that smell delicious, and clothes for him and her and the little ones, including every shade of cream imaginable. Ah – heaven in a shop!

I think I’ll let the photos do the talking.

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IMG_9818IMG_9819[1]We didn’t stay long, but long enough to know we have to go back and rectify our failed plans to eat at the restaurant, and maybe try some of the locally grown macadamias.

Foodies and shoppers – put this place on your list!

Next time I’m definitely planning to stay over.

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