Winter Day Trips – Bangalow & Hinterland

I’m so excited to be sharing this with you!

As many Fridays as we can throughout winter, my 5 year old son and I will be checking out and trialling a Winter Day Trip idea that we can share with you the following week. This ensures the information is as up-to-date as it possibly can be to give you real info and a real insight into some well known and some not so well known family friendly activities and places to enjoy a delicious snack or lunch.

They incorporate walking trails, a playground/skatepark – or both – and although they are created as day trips you can do as little or as much as you like – depending on your family needs.

All these day trips are designed to take place within more-or-less a half hour drive from the starting point to the finishing point.

This one (on Google Maps) is approximately 28 mins drive / 24 kms from Eltham Valley Pantry to Bangalow Bowling Club via Booyong National Park.

You can start this Day Trip from either end but I’ve chosen to start it from Eltham Pantry as the Bangalow Bowlo doesn’t open until midday so it’s perfect for lunch.

However, you can always start this at any point in the day – for example – you could decide to have lunch at Eltham Valley Pantry, then do the Rainforest Walk, go for a play at the skatepark and have an early dinner at the Bowlo!

It is also worth nothing that both venues are closed on Mondays and The Pantry is also closed on a Tuesday. Also, although the Bangalow Bowlo itself is open, the restaurant section – The Stockpot Kitchen is only open for lunch on Friday and Saturday from 12 noon to 2.30pm.   However, it is also open Tuesday to Saturday evenings from 5pm to 8.30pm – hence my earlier suggestion of an evening meal option.

If it’s not open on the day you choose to go, other restaurant options for lunch (with gluten free & vegetarian choices) in Bangalow  include The Bangalow Pub, Italian Diner and there are a number of delightful cafes that on or just off the main street offering delicious sweet or savoury treats. Or, if you happen to go on the 4th Sunday of the Month, there’s always the Bangalow Markets!

Eltham Pantry, 712 Boatharbour Road, Eltham NSW
Opening Hours:
Wed – Fri 10am – 3pm
Sat & Sun 9am – 4pm

Eltham Valley Pantry is a beautiful 100 year old farmhouse surrounded by lush gardens and over 300 pecan trees nestled amongst the green valleys and undulating hills of Byron hinterland. A family friendly venue with plenty of gluten free options and some delicious looking vegetarian options too.

My son and I recently paid a visit to confirm the family friendliness of the venue… as well as sample some delicious treats and we were not disappointed.

Eltham Valley Pantry, Eltham NSW

It was a cool winter morning but in the sun and out of the wind – it was simply gorgeous! There is an enormous garden area for the children to romp around in and, as its winter, the abundance of crunchy leaves from the pecan trees make for great fun. There’s also dedicated outdoor children’s area with a cute green cubby and some fun outdoor toys.

There were at least 2 mums groups in attendance when we visited – enjoying a cuppa and a cake in the sunshine while their pre-schoolers had endless fun in the leaves and play area. There’s indoor, veranda and garden seating options to choose from so if your children want to play out in the gardens – it’s easy for you to pull up a table and chair nearby.

It is table service and menus will be brought out to you but if you just fancy a cuppa and a cake – there’s a delicious section of cakes and slices to choose from at the till. My son chose Maple Syrup and Banana Bread and I had a chocolate brownie – decadently delicious! Check out their menu here!

To top off our experience, the staff were super friendly, helpful and very easy going. My son is already asking when we can go back!


Eltham Valley Pantry for a warming cuppa and delectable pastry. Have a wander around the grounds, take in the scenery and check out the pecans, chooks and bee hives!

Hop back in the car and head over to Booyong National Park – just under 10 minutes drive away. If you are using a GPS – we’ve found out it’s best to type in the address: 677 Booyong Rd which will take you to within a couple of metres of the entrance to the National Park.

The reserve consists of 16 hectares of original rainforest wonderland, with over 150 species of plants including incredible figs and lush, aromatic natives. The centuries old canopy that once stretched from Byron Bay to Lismore is now one of the last remnants of “Big Scrub”.

There’s an Eastern loop and Western loop walk each just under 1 km. I was going to write “Take your pick and enjoy a stroll through the rainforest that time forgot” but with the recent Autumn floods – less than a minute’s walk into either option you will find both the Eastern and the Western loops are completely blocked by gigantic fallen trees. Just check out the box at the entrance to the park to see where someone has marked the flood level… it will blow you away!

Booyong Rainforest Reserve - Fallen Trees

Undeterred – we followed the 3rd option – to Wilson’s River. And, it was by following this route that we noticed pink ribbons tied around various trees to guide the way. This became a really fun exercise to spot the next one and it took about 30 minutes to complete the pink ribbon loop. If there was a time where we couldn’t spot a pink ribbon – clear white markings had been painted on tree limbs or roots and at no point did we feel worried or concerned that we’d get lost. Once we’d completed the ‘pink ribbon loop’ my son had gained confidence and immediately wanted to repeat it – with him leading the way!

Booyong Rainforest Reserve Pink Ribbon Loop

It is not a boardwalk and is definitely not suitable for a pram or pusher due to the large amount of roots all over the forest floor but it is great fun for the kids to listen to the amazing sounds of the wildlife and birdlife in the forest, as well as make their way through uneven and interesting forest. Many of the trees are labelled and there are some truly enormous leaves and trees to admire.

Booyong Rainforest Reserve - Flora

Once you’ve finished here, you may have worked up an appetite for lunch so why not head down to Bangalow. It’s just a short 20 minute drive to the Bangalow Bowlo chosen for 3 important reasons.

Bangalow Bowlo – STOCK POT KITCHEN, 21 Byron Bay Rd, Bangalow NSW
Opening Hours:
Fri & Sat Lunch 12pm – 2.30pm
Tues – Sat – Dinner  5pm – 8.30pm
Closed Mon & Tues

  • Family friendly – huge fully-fenced safe grassy area for kids to run around and play – bring a ball! Also an fun outdoor boat plus an indoor playroom if the weather is not ideal for outside play
  • Awesome menu from The Stockpot Kitchen with gluten free & vegetarian options plus a great kids menu! Super friendly & helpful staff too! Check out the menu here!
  • Bangalow Skatepark is located the back of the playing fields behind the bowlo plus there is also small playground nearby.

Bangalow Bowlo - Stockpot Kitchen

So you can either choose to play a bit more before lunch, or enjoy lunch and then let them work it off at the skatepark or just by having fun in the safe, 200m2 fenced grassy area out the front of the Bowlo while you relax and keep an eye on them at table close by.

Bangalow Skatepark

All in all – a simply lovely day out with the family.


  • Sturdy shoes and a warm jacket – it may be a glorious sunny day – but not much of that warmth penetrates through into the rainforest at Booyong plus the large roots can be a stumbling hazard.
  • Scooters/Skateboards/helmets for Bangalow Skatepark
  • Ball to play with at Bangalow Bowlo