By S Davey
Mullumbimby is in the heart of the Byron Shire and is said to have the most heart of the area as well. It’s a real community; if you walk down the streets, people will look you in the eye and smile, others are paused on the paths or in shops in conversation – it’s an idea of what a truly connected community looks like.
Mullum still has that country town feel, it is surrounded by farmland and shop awnings shade the main shopping streets, making for relaxed strolls around town. Many of the businesses are located in heritage buildings, and there are a wonderful variety of enterprises. There are of purveyors of many fascinating things such as old wares and vintage gear, unique, handcrafted and artisanal goods, imported exotic wares, groceries stores, organic produce, camping gear, banks, hardware, even fodder for your cattle. You can pretty much get everything you need in Mullumbimby.
There are about 20 eateries in town with plenty of choice of cuisine and vibe, from funky alfresco; cool, quiet and healthy; exotic and spicy, to traditional pub-fare and European cuisine, and best of all, wherever you eat, the quality is really very good.
Known for its alternative culture, there is a strong leaning towards sustainable and ethical practices. The straws in your smoothie will be compostable, the food on your plate will largely be locally sourced and you will be offered a box or a paper bag for your purchases instead of plastic – better still, bring your own reusable one!
Every Friday there is a bustling Farmers Market from 7am to 11am under the grand and elegant trees of the Mullum Showgrounds. As well as produce, you can buy a variety of breakfasts or gifts and listen to live local musicians. There is also a community market that has local arts and craft, textiles, bric-a-brac and great food stalls. This market is on every third Saturday of the month, next to the Brunswick Valley Historical Museum.
After a wander through town you may want to sit under the shade of a tree at one of Mullumbimby’s parks alongside the river, or book a therapeutic appointment to really, truly and deeply relax back into yourself.
Mullumbimby is a gateway to the hinterland and ten minutes to the beach – some say Byron is just the eastern suburbs of Mullum and that this little town really is the Heart of Byron Shire.