There are many ways to explore the Byron Hinterland, but on an E-bike wasn’t one Teige had considered until Steve from Beyond Byron E Bike Tours invited the We Are Explorers crew out on one of their guided tours.
We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Bundjalung Nation, the traditional Country of the Bundjalung people who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
- Support local tour company Beyond Byron E Bike Tours
- Amazing views of the Byron Hinterland and Mt Jerusalem National Park
- Delicious coffee break at Main Arm Store
- Swimming in one of the Byron Shire’s best waterholes – Hell Hole
- Great downhill on the return journey from Hell Hole
Byron by E-bike
The Beyond Byron E Bike Tours office is conveniently located two offices down from We Are Explorers HQ. I’ve watched these guys zoom past our office window most mornings over the last couple of months, taking their customers out on tours, all whilst I was hunched over my desk, half-awake nursing my second cup of coffee for the day. So I was pretty excited when we finally got the call up to head out with them for a day of adventure.
We met Steve and Will, our guides for the day, nice and early at the office where they kitted the whole crew out with their modern Focus E-mountain bikes. This was my first time on an E-bike and I was immediately caught off guard by how responsive the bike was considering its size. These are big heavy-duty mountain E-bikes that tackle all types of terrain.
There are a few different modes to choose from, based on how much physical effort you want to put in and how much you want the motor to put in. After a couple hot laps around the courtyard to get our bearings and a few excited ‘yeeews’ from the crew, the seven of us were on our way.
Hitting the Tarmac
We continued out the back of Mullumbimby along the winding, undulating, and extremely beautiful roads which run through the scenic farmland and patches of subtropical rainforest the Byron Hinterland is famous for.
Each climb was followed by a fun little downhill section and a bunch of flat riding in between. Along the way we passed the small towns of Bilinudgel and The Pocket and we even had a quick water break at an alpaca farm.
Some of these roads I drive on my daily commute to work, so it was refreshing to ride them on an E-bike. The new pace allowed me to slow down a little and really take the time to appreciate my surroundings and the serenity of it all. This was something I’d definitely started to take for granted over the last six years living in the area. I acknowledged this with a classic ‘We don’t know how lucky we are!’, which received a prompt round of agreement from the crew.
Into the Rainforest
After 20km of riding, we arrived at the General Store in the small town of Main Arm. Here we enjoyed a ridiculously good coffee and a couple of (well deserved?) pastries before continuing up the valley and into Mt Jerusalem National Park. Not long after departing Main Arm the farmland faded into thick rainforest, the sealed road turned to dirt, and we began to gain some solid elevation which the Focus E-mountain bikes took effortlessly.
The road eventually ended high up in the national park, and we started on our first proper dirt downhill section of the journey on a well-defined fire trail. Here the crew broke into groups as we picked up some speed and high tailed it down to the creek which would lead us to our final destination.
The suspension on these bikes absorbed everything we threw at them and a few of us were even bold enough to get a bit of air on the many bumps we encountered along the way. I took great pleasure in knowing that I could enjoy the downhill without the gruelling bike back up, as the E-bikes would do all the heavy lifting on the return journey.
Hello Hell Hole
Once at the creek we parked up the bikes and began a short 10 minute walk down the creek to the amazing cascading waterfalls which lead into Hell Hole.
This is one of my favourite waterholes in the region and it only takes a quick look at the photos to see why. The cascading falls feed three beautiful waterholes, which then eventually lead to one massive waterfall flowing off a cliff’s edge.
The crew promptly stripped off a couple of layers and made their way into the refreshing waters. A rock jump made for a few laughs and photo opportunities.
Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes
Once we were all dried off, Steve and Will treated us to a delicious lunch of wraps from the Main Arm Store and Byron Bay Cookies.
Read more: Remember to leave no trace!
It was at this point we noticed we had some company – a beautiful Carpet python curled up right next to our swimming area and precariously close to the waterfall that plunged 30m to the pool below.
After lunch we headed back to our bikes and began our climb back to the dirt road. At the top we began a mostly downhill and very fun journey all the way back to Mullumbimby, taking a different route home to keep things interesting.
The crew at Beyond Byron E-Bike tours will provide an E-bike, a Giro bike helmet with the latest MIPS technology, protective glasses (if you don’t have your own sunglasses). You can also hire riding gloves if you want them.
- Enclosed shoes
- Sunglasses (or they can provide tinted safety glasses)
- Water bottle (bike bottle or one you can carry in a backpack)
- A bit of cash for snacks at the general store
- Small towel
How To Get There
Beyond Byron E-Bikes office where all the tours depart from is located in the Sourdough Innovation Hub in the town of Mullumbimby in the Far North Coast of NSW. The town is located 15 minutes away from the popular Byron Bay area and about an hour south of the Gold Coast.
This adventure is suitable for riders aged 16 or above. You need to have a moderate level of fitness and some experience of cycling a normal bike, as you must pedal for the duration of the tour, of course you can use turbo mode whenever you’re approaching a hill (or all the time if you want to feel like a superhero!).
As these are bike tours they are unable to offer access to people with limited physical, visual or intellectual abilities although they may be able to accommodate hearing difficulties. Contact them via email to discuss what’s possible.
Distance / Duration / Elevation Gain
6 hours / 55km / 350m
Photos thanks to @henry_brydon