Alstonville is a quiet hinterland town, located thirty minutes southwest of Byron Bay. Just twenty minutes away from Ballina airport. Fifteen minutes from the closest beach in Ballina and the home of an ace pub called The Fedy (The Federal Hotel).
From a demographic standpoint, it seems to be a combination of God’s waiting room and families. There does tend to be a lot of mobility vehicles in the area, compared to anywhere we lived in Melbourne. It reminds me a little of the southeastern burbs of Melbourne especially the 80’s and 90’s era of suburbia. A vibe I do not terribly like. (Origin story at the end).
For what it is. Most of the real estate in the area is way overpriced. This is what I would classify as the Byron Bay effect. As more and more surrounding towns' real estate prices balloon, people select the next closest thing. That happens to be Alstonville, one of the last of the affordable towns within thirty minutes of Byron Bay.
With all of that said, we have found the locals to be very nice and welcoming. We have made some friends in the area, along with having a really good set of neighbours. Our daughter went to the community pre-school last year which was amazing. She now enjoys going to primary school and our younger lad spends three days at the local childcare. Which is run by new owners, who are absolute winners.
There is a big bonus that there is a Coles in town and the local pub is great! The beer garden area is great, especially if you have kids. While there is no equipment there. The kids seem to have a ball, just being kids. The food at the pub is solid and well worth what you pay.
All in all, it’s a quiet town with LOTS of potential. But it’s not somewhere I would personally see our family settling down in. If it was 2 years ago and house prices were around $500k then that’s a different story. It was once a good investment area, it is now ridiculous. But when you compare it to neighbouring towns all of a sudden it seems affordable.
I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. It just lacks energy and character. It’s fairly conservative in nature in comparison to towns to the north and east of it. It’s just not our kind of thing. We don’t regret taking out the home as we have enjoyed living here…