Now if there was ever a place that was suffering an identity crisis, Macadamia Castle is it. Macadamia Castle is in the northern rivers area of NSW in the hinterland behind Byron Bay. If you are in the area and at a loss for something to do, you may look at visiting this place.
After reading the website I was excited. Excellent, a day out on a rainy day. We will visit the Lighthouse in Byron and then go off to Macadamia Castle in the afternoon. They have an animal park, train rides and I can learn about Macadamia trees.
$80 later we entered the park and off we set. The ‘animal park’ consists of an assortment of farm animals – lamas, sheep and chickens.
In another area there is a yard with a lounge of lizards. Some small yards for rabbits and a reptile hut with variety of scaly things. An evil emu and some disinterested wallabies and you have covered the park. For 20 minutes of entertainment, that’s a hefty fee.
Granted there is a wonderful tree house to climb and slide down. We found it difficult to enjoy any of this as they were jack hammering on the day we visited. Why is it that people in the service industry think it is okay to charge people the full fee when they have to tolerate jack hammers? Jack hammers are not enjoyable and to a 2 year old they were quiet distressing.
David Attenborough has funded a frog pod at the park. Good luck in finding a frog in one of the 3 windows you are able to view them. The most delightful thing in the whole park are the rabbits but they are mostly hiding in their logs or were due to the jack hammering.
The train ride covers all the paths you have already traced. The animal park was obviously created as a means of having something for people to see once there. The putt putt golf is so old and tired that some of the ‘greens’ you could hit the ball underneath them.
I have no idea what the castle is for. I think it must of being created before the highway went in to attract people. The knight at the front – what is he doing there? Macadamia’s – apart from being able to buy them hot and fresh in just about every flavour you can think of you will not learn a thing about them. All the merchandise inside the castle is just a trap for parents. Most of it has very little to do with the attraction, the region or macadamia’s.
Do I recommend this place? No. Spend the $80 on that toy you kids asked you to buy last week which you couldn’t justify. Funny how we think $40 each on a toy is not necessary but $80 visiting a lame attraction is ok.
In my opinion, what are they trying to do here? Are they an animal park? Are they an information hub for macadamia’s? Are they a gift shop? Are they a café specialising in treats that are macadamia’s. Are they a frog breeding program? It’s okay to have many arms to a business but surely you need to confirm what you are before you can build the arms. Surely when one does that well, the arms will grow.
Pop down the coast and visit the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour. For years this place made money informing people about bananas – how they are grown and what they are good for. Try that – then add you animals and your water park. Macadamia’s are native to Australia. The east coast of Australia. How can you not create something unique that is both informative and interesting to passers by? $80 is a lot of money and I just can’t seem to work out where that goes?
In summary, I would spend the money at Byron Bay Circus School and the time on the beach.