Pete Murray grew up in Nudgee in Queensland and was a talented sportsman he excelled in rugby union, swimming and athletics. When not training and competing, Pete began to learn the guitar and became proficient, so much so that music became his life and career.
The decision to trade the sporting world for the music world was a good one. Pete has been nominated several times at ARIA, has had songs in the top 10 and his albums have all reached No 1 on the charts. Perhaps his inspiration comes from Bangalow, where he lives, writes and records.
In the late 19th century, Bangalow was an important dairy centre. The arrival of the motor car saw that industry decline and Bangalow became just another sleepy little town. It is still a well-kept secret in the northern rivers region of New South Wales, but those who wander in from Byron Bay love the quaint town. It blends modern shops and cafes with historic remnants and a hippy lifestyle still alive and well.
Markets are held on the fourth Sunday of each month and are immensely popular. You will find farmers, flower growers, bakers, artisans specialising in glassware, jewellery and furniture, candle makers and therapists set up under huge camphor laurel trees selling their goods and catching up with one another.
There is furniture crafted from new and recycled timber and locally designed and made clothing. Treat yourself to pizza or pasta, hot dogs or waffles and take home rainforest fruits, cakes and biscuits, jams and spreads.
There are camel rides, a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and face painting and there's always a band, buskers and circus performers.
There is plenty of opportunity for shopping in Bangalow.
Little Peach is the place for Japanese-inspired clothing, homewares, books and Japanese collectibles.
Wax Jambu Emporium and Gallery are in Bangalow's original general store. Original teak floors greet you and house a range of fine clothing and an extensive selection of books. Adults can browse as children are entertained by toys and games. You can buy anything here, from a lotus flower fridge magnet to a free-standing, three-dimensional sculpture.
Helen Brenko and her son Samuel own Island Luxe. Walk into their beautiful store and you’ll know you are somewhere special. They have created a holiday lifestyle space, decorated in whites and naturals, scented with candles and fragrances from France and stocked with tempting items. Beachwear, holiday wear and jeans from Australia and Europe are available, along with leather bags and belts, some with hand-carved turquoise and their own-brand travel bags in chocolate or tan leather. They have a range of hotel-quality bed linen, blankets and towels, large rattan chairs, coffee tables and sun chairs even beds.
Built in the 1940s, the Bangalow Hotel retains the historical and architectural charm of the town. Single and double accommodation is available and some rooms have large balconies overlooking the main street. They serve cold beer and have regular entertainment, including pool competitions and trivia nights.
The hotel's Fresca Restaurant is a favourite. Chefs Patrick and Kathy Hobbs offer the highest quality and freshest locally-sourced ingredients. Enjoy good food in beautiful surroundings with art deco finishes.
Riverview Guesthouse, a federation Queenslander, was built in 1902 and offers accommodation in large bedrooms and elegant living rooms. You can stay in the main home or the garden cottage. The property is on the banks of Byron Creek which attracts much birdlife; there is a hydrotherapy spa, croquet on the lawns and wide verandas where you can sit quietly and enjoy nature at its best. Mango, guava, fig, persimmon, mulberry, orange and lychee trees are dotted around the grounds. Breakfasts are legendary, with cereal, muffins and pancakes, croissants, eggs (any style) and of course, fresh fruit from the garden.