Not all those who wander are lost ~ JRR Tolkien
A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles ~ Tim Cahill
Welcome to Coorumbena from the Mahoney family !!!
‘Coorumbena’ is the aboriginal word for ‘a beautiful place’.
It is the name we though perfectly befitted our beautiful 30 acre rainforest farm, which is situated in the uppermost reaches of one of Byron Shire’s most picturesque volcanic valleys, just 30 minutes from Byron Bay’s golden beaches. Waterfalls drop into the back of our property which is overlooked by two world heritage national parks.
We run it as a non-commercial (sustainable) organic farm, as well as a base for our crystal & mineral business, and traditional organic brewery & bakery. Following a fallow year, & January 2013 storm damage, we have re-established our large & abundant veggie garden, adding a chicken run and are developing our citrus & fruit tree orchard. Our property is spring fed, and we have 200m of vibrant platypus habitat creek running through it. It is a haven for wildlife, especially birds.
We are a family with two kids, aged 9 & 7, two Siberian cats, and lots of chickens. We are fortunate to have experienced very much of this world through many years of travelling. It is a testament to where we live that we chose this corner of paradise to throw down our roots. To bring this whole enterprise together, we enjoy the help & company of helpers from all over the world.
We are about 25 minutes drive from Mullumbimby and there is no transport apart from us going shopping, dropping the kids at school, catching rides with neighbours, etc. Our farm is perfect if you like to be remote, but in a social community just 30 minutes from the fun and passions of Byron Bay.
Where we live, and why we live here……
After many years of travelling the world Sean and Wendy settled in Mullumbimby which is sub-tropical rainforest in the hinterland of Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Byron Bay boasts some of the world’s best surfing with miles of glorious beaches. Created by ones of the greatest cataclysms known on Earth, the geology of the area is unique and spectacular. A few miles north of Mullumbimby is Wollumbin, or commonly known as Mount Warning – named in 1770 by Captain James Cook because of a dangerous shoal 5km off the coast.
Twenty two million years ago the area was a massive volcano that erupted. Although it is now extinct the caldera valley is over 1000 metres deep with a diameter of over forty kilometres making it the biggest erosion caldera in the southern hemisphere, and one of the largest in the world. It is one of the world’s great natural wonders having been caused by the largest known eruption on Earth. Over the past 20 million years the vast majority of the volcanic debris has been eroded away, creating the many creeks & rivers that give the area its regional name, The Northern Rivers. The rim of the caldera has a cap of very hard basaltic rock which forms vertical cliffs around the western side of Mt Warning. It now stands at just over 1100 meters.
In recent years it has become increasingly known by its aboriginal name, ‘Wollumbin’ meaning ‘Cloud Catcher’ in Bunjalung. Being so high and so far east on the Australian coast, it is the first peak on the mainland in Australia to be touched by the rising sun at the Autumn and Spring Equinox. It also had first continental landfall of the sun at the dawn of the new millennium in 2000. Sugar cane, cattle and dairy farming make use of the fertile volcanic caldera floor, while the higher ranges consist of five World Heritage National Parks. One of these, the Mt. Jerusalem National Park backs onto our farm. The rainforest here is an environmental success story having been regenerated from pasture over the last 20 years by a dedicated community in an area that has become known as the Rainbow Region.
Byron Bay is a beachside town located in the far-northeastern corner of the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 772 kilometres (480 mi) north of Sydney and 165 kilometres (103 mi) south of Brisbane. Cape Byron, a headland adjacent to the town, is the easternmost point of mainland Australia. At the 2006 Census, the town had a permanent population of 4,981. The town is in turn the nucleus of Byron Shire, which has in excess of 28,000 residents. Captain James Cook named Cape Byron after circumnavigator of the world John Byron, grandfather of the poet, Lord Byron.
The town has several beaches which are popular for surfing. It is a resort popular with both domestic and international tourists, including backpackers, who travel along the Australian coast, and the scenery attracts sky divers. The area is also noted for its wildlife, with the whale watching industry a significant contributor to the local economy. An oceanway runs from the centre of town to the Cape Byron lighthouse. Visitors are encouraged to use sustainable options for moving around town like walking and cycling. Temperate and tropical waters merge at Byron Bay, making it a popular area for scuba diving and snorkelling. Most diving is done at Julian Rocks which is part of the recently established Cape Byron Marine Park and only a few minutes boat ride from Main Beach. Byron Bay also lies close to subtropical rainforests, and areas such as the Nightcap National Park with the Minyon Falls are all within easy reach of the town.
About twenty kilometres north of Byron Bay via the pacific highway is Mullumbimby, situated on the Brunswick river. It lies at the foot of Mount Chincogan in the Brunswick Valley, about 10 kilometres (6 mi) from the sea. It is a gateway to a number of hinterland areas of great beauty, and close to the townships of Ocean Shores, Brunswick Heads, Bangalow, & Billinudgel. Mullumbimby is the administrative centre of Byron Shire, hosting the council chambers.
Mullumbimby is colloquially known as “The Biggest Little Town in Australia” and for a small town it certainly has a lot to offer.
On the road into Mullumbimby you are greeted by the spectacular Mt. Chincogan. The town has a variety of cafes, colourful shops, interesting buildings, attractive parks, a swimming pool and a museum. It is a popular small town destination in Australia, and has it’s own very dynamic annual show and international music festival. The annual Byron Blues Festival takes place just outside the town. Mullumbimby town and it’s surrounding areas became a centre of counter-culture in the 1970s and 1980s, and it remains so today. It’s shops & businesses reflect this alternate outlook, and a journey into it’s surrounding valleys reveals vibrant environmentally-aware communities which have brought heavily deforested areas back to lush sub-tropical rainforest in just a few decades.
On the third Saturday of each month Mullumbimby Market is held in Summers Park on the corner of Stuart and Myocum Streets between 9am and 2pm. Local produce, hand-made crafts and clothing, jewellery, plants and fresh food are for sale. Wander through this small but bustling market under the shady trees.
In the middle of Summers Park stands the old Mullumbimby post office (1907) which houses the local museum. Open on Market Saturdays and every Friday between 11am and 3pm, the museum is worth exploring if you want to find out about local history of the Brunswick Valley.
At the other end of town on Mill Street is Heritage Park. It has been planted with over 300 species of rainforest trees and plants that are indigenous to the area. A winding path leads you through the park and along the edge of the Brunswick River. The park is equipped with picnic settings, a children’s playground, log seating, an information shelter shed and a riverbank fishing seat.
A drive up into the hinterland around Mullumbimby reveals lush rainforest and spectacular views.
Mullumbimby is just 20-25 minutes from Coorumbena Farmstay, and it is our nearest town.