Goodbye Bangalow 8

After another RTA marathon roadworks session the highway is open. Although something very peculiar has happened. Bangalow has gone missing. It was there last Thursday. I swear it. But Sunday when I was driving the kids to drop them at their Dad’s place, it was gone completely. Vanished. Like Bangalow had never ever been there. Like there had never been a people who employed urchins wearing brown paper to sell $30 soap wrapped in string to seekers of shabby chic. Fabulous, stylish, confident, middle class and middle aged Bangalow is gone. Removed not by a cyclone, a bushfire or an act of god, but by an Act of the RTA. You see, driving south there is no exit for Bangalow. Someone in head office decided there was no need for people travelling south to go to Bangalow. They also decided it was unnecessary to erect any signage along the highway to explain the sudden disappearance of what was until a few days ago, a bustling vital village. Poor Bangalow. Did they know? Did they know that they’d been exiled from the rest of us? That someone up top had taken an eraser and gently rubbed the draftsmen’s pencil so that the connection to our historic village was no more. What will happen to the people of Bangalow now the southbound exit is extinct? Will they have to breed among themselves? Who will buy their fabulous rugs and designer sandals? Will they have enough barrista’s to go around? It will be like in the bubonic plague when they exiled villages. No one in. No one out. Eventually it ended up in some sort of weird medieval witch burning incestuous killing spree. Poor Bangalow. They weren’t expecting it. They didn’t even get enough warning to build their pool. Or a supermarket. I worry how an entire village will survive on just one weekly farmer’s market. What if they run out of white linen or shabby chic or rusted doors tied up with rope? Now the petrol tankers can’t get in it looks like it’s going to be billy cart derby day every day. It’s how the Bangalese will get to the bowlo. Of course, they’ll have to drag their sorry arse, and their cart back home up the hill drunk. Watching the traffic speed past high above them. A constant reminder of an RTA oversight. Dear Bangalow, the forgotten people. The people the highway cut loose. As for Newrybar, its gone too. Such a wonderful roadside village. Now just a bunch of lonely hipsters hugging their artisnal breads and fermented cheese for warmth. I am still in shock about the whole thing. I have to admit I was so looking forward to the removal of that nasty bitch St Helena and her penchant for sending me speeding tickets. Stupidly I thought that those twin tunnels would take me to Banga in just minutes. This whole thing has been very distressing for our family. You can’t imagine the torment of a mother trying to explain to her kids that they won’t be going to Dad’s place anymore. I didn’t know how to break it to them, but as I zoomed south towards Sydney I managed a stifled ‘Kids, I don’t know how to tell you this, but Dad’s gone. We’ll have to find you a new dad in Ballina. At least there’s an exit there.’


18 thoughts on “Goodbye Bangalow

  1. SO THEY WERE RIGHT ? In 1985 I organized a meet at the Bowlo to discuss the merits of the Bangalow bypass . There I was from the podium telling Billy Solway and the rest of the shop keepers that there livlyhood was not the passing traffic , or the trucks rolling through town., take the highway away and Bangalow will bloom into the “Paddington of the North Coast””. Folks will come from all around, yes, even Byron Bay, to eat drink and be merry. Residentially Bangalow will grow because people will actually want to live there. I was just stating that ,one day maybe even one of our kids could be ‘hit by a truck or some thing ‘during our annual Christmas Party that was held in the main street, ,ur Highway,when yes someone ran into the Bowlo sceamming , wait for it…. ”A truck has just rolled over on the roundabout coming into town and deadly chemicals are flowing down the main street , sorry Highway” Well people just started laughing with someone yelling out ;Parso you will try anything wont you ‘..All I said, stepping down from the podium was …..I rest my case ; Thank You . Mark Parsons ex owner of North Coast real estate now Priceys Elders real estate I beleave.

    • You took the words right out of my mouth.

      Designed by a nincinpoop, is the southbound highway that has forgotten Bangalow.

      I have waited eagerly for over a year for those tunnels to take me to Bangalow.

      • I was sent this information by a friend living in Ballina. I used to live in Bangalow and moved in 2012 after 6 yrs there . During that time as you are aware the by pass was being built. I was under the impression to travel south from Bangalow to Ballina via the Pacific you proceeded down Byron St past the Bollo under the overpass and turned right to go onto the Pacific Highway South.
        Now when I lived in Bangalow I lived in Leslie St, I was of the understanding that to return home coming South from the Gold Coast or Tweed Heads I would need to take the Byron Bay exit, turn right as if going to Myocum over the Highway crossover exit left at that round about and return into Bangalow via the original St Helena / Pacific Highway ? what happened ?

  2. You need a sub. First one free: delete the apostrophe from baristas. Add an apostrophe in it’s after Newrybar. Artisanal bread. That’s enough. My rates are reasonable. Delete after reading… cheers, Richard.
    And now you can turn off to Bangalow less than 1km further south along the highway? So the only real loser is that little convenience service station on Granuaille St?

  3. We went through the tunnel on our way home from the Gold Coast to Dunoon the day after the by-pass was opened. We thought we would turn off after the tunnel to head through Bangalow and home to Dunoon. NO! We had to go all the way to the Lennox exit and it took us 40 minutes extra to get home! A shocking mistake has been made for sure!!

    • I went to a Christmas eve party (first day the tunnel opened) the panicking hostess, could have relaxed, we ALL (northern shires-ers) missed the signage and arrived at Middle Age, Middle Class Bangalow 45 minutes later via Lennox turnoff… Hilarious Mandy! Only addition to Nazi Sub’s comments, is paragraphs please!
      Tracey Hxxx

  4. Good read – gotta say we drove south from Tweed Heads the day after the tunnels opened. “Where is Bangalow ?” ” have I been asleep” says I. ” did I miss Byron Bay? ” “ph shit we are already past Ballina?” ” wow it’s only taken us 45 min from Tweed wow wow wow” truly that was our conversation.

  5. I believe part of this was to do with Bangalow chamber of commerce, I could be entirely wrong but from memory they were happy to have a reduction in through traffic and as such didn’t support the erection of signage.

  6. I was visiting Aus from Qatar last week – son and his girfriend from Texas in tow – and decided that Bangalow would be just the place to introduce them to the Australia that was. Well, I have to tell you, there was no evidence that Bangalow had ever, not even for a second, disappeared off the map. It was extraordinary. Every cafe, every bar, was wall-to-wall nostalgians. Or perhaps Byron refugees? It made me think; if ever I live in a small town with a struggling economy…I’ll ask the RTA to create a diversion.

  7. My son had a knee operation at Robina hospital the week before Christmas. I had heard the kerfuffle about finding Bangalow, so was attempting to be clever and aware when returning home to Bangalow…..yes, I took the correct Byron exit, then in the blink of an eye and a momentary lapse in concentration, took the Ballina road and ended up at Lennox…….bugger

  8. All a can say is crap, driving south from Tweed Heads / Gold Coast / Brisbane, there is an exit for Bangalow, I think what she meant to say was driving north no exit for Byron Bay.
    I drove down the other week & came through its call the hHnterland Way – linking Bangalow, Lismore, & Woodburn, all sign posted

      • Thanks for the clarification. I was about to get ‘up in arms’ and respond with a satirically witty piece in response. I will ensure I pop in to visit Bangalow, of which I’ve heard but never visited, on my next sojourn north.

  9. It’s always interesting to hear people’s comments after things are complete!
    It surprises me that somehow this road work, traffic debacle, which we have passed by every day for the last 4 years has now been completed, (well almost)
    When people were asked to be involved in community consults – to view the planning and have their say the suddenly were absent. Gone missing not to be found???? It was a case of driving right by, not noticing the changes around them because they just followed the signs .. Kept doing their thing…
    Any how one day when the workers left, it was with amazement and bewilderment that they were lost unable to find there way home … or those seasoned peeps who love to visit a beautiful village, were unable to find that magical place, full of people who create, shopkeepers who bring array of wares offering diverse and colourful goods; not mass marketed as those in the multi level car parked style centres.
    Those baristas, in cafes who work extremely hard to provide the daily cup which we really can’t start the day without ….
    Anyhow if only we noticed…, back in those early days when we had the time to read community notices, or even venture into one of those community meetings, or perhaps even voiced our views – a democratic process might have occurred …. the route might have been different !
    For most though it’s sad you’ll have to keep following the main road and only exit when it’s clearly marked to do so in 500 meters … it’s just unfortunate for us left who participate, plan and look ahead, that we get to enjoy these little hidden gems and beautiful places …. A little like the one passers by used to call Bangalow ?

  10. Listen up peeps, it’s not called a Motorway for nothing, the less entry/exit points the better for everyone. Locals like myself will still use the old highway (now grandiously called Hinterland Way LOL) so you can still get to your cherished Bangers, lord know why there’s only a pub and a bottle-o there…right?

  11. Those who love bangalow will find it…. the best kept secrets are the most special…I lived there for 13 years and think it is the loveliest village a very special place…..????

  12. Just remember that the rarest most precious jewels are extremely hard to find. I have been coming up from Sydney for years and never fail to visit Bangalow and shop and eat. I’m even contemplating moving up there, if the locals will have me. I’m sure they will, because they always have been, very very friendly. The government bureaucrats have some how done you a bit of a favour by not putting loads of traffic through your town. Let them destroy Byron Bay- Oh sorry, they already have!!!! Please be mindful of what a precious gift you all have and protect it.

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