There was a back road route I used to like using the old pacific highway (Tweed Valley Way) service roads down to Biilinudgel then you can ride the Tunnel road to Coolamon scenic drive to Mullumbimby then on to Coorabell where you take road of same name to Federal. From here there are a few options which I have listed separately.
I have removed the original post as it was too old, please see the map for location of this road.
This takes you along the top of a high ridge and is very scenic. There is a lookout half way along that is half hidden on your left however I recommend you take a look as you can see down to Byron Bay from here.
This ride continues in the second section titled Federal to Clunes.