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Synonymous with long hot summer days and sultry nights, a scoop or two of freshly churned ice cream always hits the spot. From traditional artisanal gelato to cultured ice cream flavoured with native botanicals to plant-based ice cream sandwiches, here’s some fresh ways to tantalise your taste buds, Northern Rivers style.

By Alison Bone

Frankies Gelato

The inviting aroma of freshly made waffle cones mingles with the salty breeze at Frankies Gelato, just a stone’s throw from main beach in Byron Bay. Fusing Italian artisanship with fresh coastal vibes and a dash of nostalgia, Frankies Gelato is handmade and all natural, using high quality locally-sourced ingredients – like pistachio, macadamia, and Davidson plum. “Frankies was born out of the desire to bring one-of-a-kind gelato flavours to life which could only be done with the vibrant produce available to us in Byron Bay,” says co- founder, Franco Girodano, who mastered his art by training with the best gelato makers in Italy. Scooped from authentic silver lidded pozzetti tubs which maintain the perfect temperature for gelato, the Banoffee Shortbread is always a favourite, while the sensational Stracciatella Mint and Mascarpone takes mint chocolate chip to the next level. There’s also plenty of enticing vegan flavours to try including Sticky Chai and Dark Chocolate & Orange Sorbetto.

Natural Ice-Cream Australia

Capturing both the taste and the spirit of the Northern Rivers you will find Natural Ice-Cream Australia on Mullumbimbi Street, Brunswick Heads, just look for the mats laid out in the shade of the beautiful old paperbark tree. Created by chef, Wal Foster, delicious gut-friendly ice cream is cultured with five strains of probiotics which makes it lighter and easier to digest. Freshly made in small batches, flavours are determined by the season – with ingredients picked at their peak in both flavour and nutrition – and include strawberry gum, smoked paperbark, pandanus, finger lime and aniseed myrtle. “In the Northern Rivers we have it all. From the most delicious indigenous produce through to divine exotics and subtropicals, the combinations are endless, and we have only just begun this wild flavour journey,” says Wal. Think Lemon Myrtle ice cream topped with Davidson plum and pepperberry, and Roasted Macadamia Banana ice cream with banana miso butterscotch. There’s also vegan treats and tasty ice cream lollipops for the kids. Open Friday to Sunday 12 – 5.

Tyalgum Gelato Shop

If you haven’t been to the enchanting Tweed hinterland village of Tyalgum yet, a visit to Tyalgum Gelato Shop could be the reason you have been waiting for. As a fifth-generation Italian gelato maker from the picturesque Cinque Terre region, Valentino Giannoni makes his gelato with passion, tradition, love, and an extraordinary flair for flavour. Alongside traditional tastes, Valentino introduces a couple of new flavours each week, and he’s certainly not afraid to think outside of the box. From Macadamia and Burnt Caramel to Rose Gelato with Mini Marshmallows, Honey & Dill,and Valentino’s personal favourite, Creamy Gelato Variegated with Sour Cherries and Crushed Meringues, there’s a whole feast of imaginative flavour combinations waiting to be discovered. Currently only open on Sundays and village market days (last Saturday of the month), Tyalgum Gelato is a firm favourite with those in the know, with delicious take home family packs making it worth the drive.


Love ice cream but don’t do dairy? Made in Mullumbimby, a YUMBAR is a 100% plant based, creamy vegan ice cream sandwich wrapped in two raw, gluten free cookie bases. But are they yummy? Yes indeed! Created with raw cashews, Australian almonds & certified organic coconut, each YUMBAR is sweetened with pure Canadian maple syrup, wrapped in biodegradable cellophane and features flavours like Blueberry Cheesecake, Jaffa, and organic Strawberry. Founder, Cat McLeod, started making YUMBARS in 2012, with a mission to “make the best vegan ice cream on the planet while keeping a love for all beings as the ultimate goal.” Found in stores all over the Northern Rivers and beyond, you can also buy your YUMBAR direct from the source, at the Byron Food Hub in Mullumbimby. And if you are celebrating something special, treat yourself, and your guests to one of their gorgeous vegan ice cream cakes.

Benilato Gelato Cart

Providing a classic Italian gelato experience, Benilato gelato is made using authentic recipes passed down through generations. There’s plenty of gluten and dairy free options too – like the sensational Hazelnut created with organic rice milk, which pairs beautifully with a smooth and delicious Pistachio di Bronte, made with Sicilian pistachios. Creator Ben Verdoliva describes Benilato as “an experience, a moment of happiness and joy.” For him it’s all about “connecting with customers and making someone’s day better.” Benilato Gelato Cart can be found at various locations in the Byron hinterland, from Newrybar to Federal – check their insta page for details – and in stores throughout the region. Organising a wedding or private event? Book the Benilato Gelato Cart to add a whole new taste dimension to your festivities.


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