We recently had a lovely stay in Lennox Head, in northern New South Wales. The trip was primarily driven by a desire to catch up with family over Easter, many we hadn’t seen for over a year. The area is lush and green and the rain which persisted during our stay will no doubt have ensured it stays that way. Whenever the sun was shining we were out exploring the area, including Crystal Castle and Shambala Gardens, located in Mullumbimby. It was tough going with BJ’s regular manual wheelchair tyres, but if you are travelling with off-road tyres or a power wheelchair, we highly recommend a visit to this oasis hidden away in the Byron Bay Hinterland. It’s a beautiful 30 minute drive from Byron Bay through gorgeous countryside.
CRYSTAL CASTLE & SHAMBALA GARDENS – ACCESSIBLE BYRON BAY REGION
Crystal Castle and Shambala Gardens is a private botanical garden filled with an extraordinary crystal collection and sub-tropical plants. The location is magical, peaceful and offers panoramic views of the local region. The Crystal Guardians (pictured above) are reportedly the world’s tallest crystal geodes standing at five and a half metres and certainly are popular for the picture opportunities they offer (please note to get right up under the crystals there are two small steps illustrated in the photo above).
These stunning crystals are exquisite smoky quartz geodes with sprinklings of amethyst and calcite crystal flowers, as well as clear quartz and agate. I promise, you don’t need to be a geologist to appreciate their beauty.
The Enchanted Cave with its sparkling amethyst crystals was one of my favourite attractions at Crystal Cave. Weighing in at over 20,000 kilograms and approximately 5.5 metres wide I can only imagine the difficult task it was to transport it from South America to Mullumbimby.
BJ would tell you the Dragon’s Egg isn’t that comfy on the butt (you are encouraged and allowed to sit in it) but it sure is magical in appearance. This amethyst beauty comes from Uruguay and weighs 10 tonne.
Three rare crystal wing formations in varying sizes provide a popular photo opportunity for visitors of all ages.
Although I’ve focused on the crystals, the gardens themselves are wonderful to explore and the views at every turn are sure to impress.
While I’m certainly glad we didn’t miss a visit to the Crystal Castle I do want to stress that the accessibility will not suit everyone. Hubby certainly used his muscle to get BJ around. Please read the accessibility information below to decide if a visit is right for you.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS AT CRYSTAL CASTLE & SHAMBALA GARDENS
The Australian Companion Card is accepted giving free entry to a person with a disability requiring assistance to access the Crystal Castle & Shambala Gardens.
Ramps provide access to the restaurant/cafe and shops.
We had a lovely morning tea in the Lotus Cafe which offers gorgeous views over the Byron Hinterland. The cafe offers a range of vegetarian, gluten-free and sugar free options. I can attest to the carrot cake being gobbled up by BJ in absolutely no time. It was delicious. The cafe heroes local produce and draws from their own organic food garden.
Many paths are gravel and are best suited to power wheelchairs or manual chairs with off-road tyres. Hubby needed to tilt BJ’s chair to negotiate some of the paths where the front casters just wanted to dig in.
The Bamboo Garden is not accessible as it can only be accessed by stairs. There are other areas of the gardens we didn’t have time to explore so I can’t vouch for their accessibility.
Accessible parking is available close to the entry to the attraction. The parking is located on a bit of an incline on the way back up from the gardens.
An accessible unisex stand-alone bathroom is located near the restaurant and behind the shops.
Plenty of colourful umbrellas are supplied for guests if you should find yourself in a rain shower.
Should you be planning a holiday to the Byron Bay area I highly recommend a visit if the accessibility is suitable to your needs. You can research your trip and read more about Crystal Castle & Shambala Gardens on their website.
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