Escape for the afternoon to the little country town of Federal, just a short drive from Byron. Take a breather here and treat your taste-buds to a feast from the East.

Less of a village and more of a one-store town with a big heart, Federal is well worth the 25-minute drive from Byron, not just for what you’ll find when you get there, but for the journey itself.

A trip that’s full of winding roads through lush greenery and, depending on the route you take, some spectacular views, it’s the perfect reminder that the Byron Shire’s box full of tricks is filled with much more than surf, sand and sea.

The reward when you finally hit Federal is being able to experience country life for an afternoon, away from the hustle and bustle of the area’s bigger towns.

That’s not the only drawcard – the prospect of a meal at Doma cafe (02 6688 4711) is enough to attract locals out to Federal on a (very) regular basis, all on its own.

Opened in 2012 by Japanese-born chefs Takayuki Kuramoto and Takashi Yaguchi, Doma’s fare is rustically delicious Japanese served on beautiful ceramic dishes in a tree-shaded courtyard, sometimes with a serve of live music on the side.

The salads are a stand-out, but if you can’t go past sushi when you’re in the mood for Japanese, Doma’s range of temaki delivers.

Hand-rolled, cone-shaped and filled with a mix of organic brown rice and local ingredients, Kuramoto and Yaguchi perfected their temaki at a Mullumbimby’s Farmers’ Market stall two years before opening Doma, and six years on that stall is still a crowd favourite.

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