As much as we love lazy weekends spent beachside, we’re also fairly fond of road trips in search of adventure. Dreamy days spent exploring tiny towns dotted along the coastline, yarning with locals over a pint, cute B&Bs, and, dare we say, relishing a slightly slower pace than the Gold Coast offers. If that sounds like your ideal weekend activity, we reckon you might enjoy Riverlight Ulmarra. The one-day festival is taking over the town of Ulmarra, two hours south of the Gold Coast, on Saturday May 14. The community event will showcase local musicians, food stalls and bars, lantern-making workshops before the event’s grand finale, a procession through the village before a sea of illuminated floating lanterns are released into the Clarence River providing an awe-inspiring (and very ‘grammable) sight.
Ulmarra boasts historic buildings, a river ferry and an antique vibe that teleports visitors to a time when the river was the vital transport route in the district. The festival has specifically been designed to accommodate day trips from nearby regions and overnight visitors who are keen to stay and experience more of the Clarence Valley. There is a selection of curated itineraries that guide guests through half-day, full-day or two-day drives that will allow them to immerse themselves in the region and get the most of their time. These include discovering the many small and unknown hamlets that dot the river, the history of Grafton, and the quirky coastal towns that hark back to the 1950s holiday experience many would remember. They’re available to download here.
If you’re keen to participate in the lantern parade, you can pre-purchase a lantern kit here. Alternatively, there will be workshops held in the lead-up to the event at the Brushgrove Hall throughout May.
Ulmarra, like much of Northern New South Wales, was hit by the recent floods. One of the best ways we can help right now is through our patronage. Buy a coffee at the local bakery, fill your car up at the petrol station, stay the night at the B&B, buy a beer at the pub. If you’ve been looking for a sign to hit the road and head south for the weekend, let this be it. For more information and to book tickets visit the website.