The northern NSW coastal town featuring every “new age hippy” cliché you can think of. But don’t let that deter you, the accomodation, food and shopping is all class. Byron Bay is an ideal destination in Australia for a relaxing break from a busy lifestyle with plenty to see and do. Close to QLD’s Surfers Paradise but without the wild party scene and high rise buildings. Here’s my guide to a chilled out weekend in Byron Bay, NSW, Australia.
THINGS TO DO
Wategos Beach & Little Wategoes Beach – This is where you’ll find those picturesque pandanus trees that make Wategoes Beach look like a tropical paradise. A popular picnic spot with free tables and electric barbeques available on the grass area. The beach is nice to swim in and is patrolled by lifeguards. When you feel like going for a wander, take the short and easy walk east from Wategoes Beach to Little Wategoes Beach. This beach is quiet with beautiful landscapes and fun swimming spots by the rocks.
The Pass – Being on this beach made me feel like I was on a small tropical island. The water is clear and turquoise blue and the sand is light and very fine. There is a shallow lake a little walk down that is great for kids. Don’t forget to take a walk up the fisherman’s lookout (the large wooden stairs and deck on a rock in the water) and look out for the dolphins!
Tallow Beach – A very peaceful and long stretch of beach without a car or building in sight. The sand is white and lined with pastel green grass. This is a great beach for a long walk or an intimate picnic.
Cape Byron – Featuring Australia’s most easterly point, perhaps one to add to the bucket list? Take a walk from the lighthouse to the most easterly point early in the morning for beautiful views of the coast and the hinterland.
The Garden Burees – If you’re looking for something different, these Balinese inspired bungalows are worth a try. The accommodation is set among a lush tropical garden with lizards, frogs and turkeys freely roaming about. I stayed in the “Garden Buree”, a two story wood and straw bungalow with a spa bath, kitchenette and private tropical garden. The shower is outside in the private garden which was scary at first but really enjoyable after a long, hot day at the beach. The room is very clean and comfortable, and although I was skeptical at first, we had no spiders or even mosquitoes in our room. The location is about a 7 minute walk from the main center.
Byron Springs Guesthouse – If you haven’t stayed at a guesthouse before, Byron Bay is the place to try it out. You have the option of a bedroom with ensuite or bedroom with shared bathroom. The booking includes free bicycles, great for riding to the shops or the beach and free breakfast, prepared by the lovely host. This is a nice way to experience a typical Byron Bay beach home and meet new people. There are many similar guesthouses to try in Byron Bay. Tip: Check the facebook page for last minute specials.
Bayleaf – Beautifully presented, organic food with great flavour. A must try for breakfast or lunch when in Byron. Recommendation: the coconut cold brew coffee was a treat!
Folk – Plant based, organic food and drinks in a caravan park. The food here looks like art. The highlight is being able to sit outside among the trees and enjoy the sun. The menu is small and light but tasty and the lattes include matcha, turmeric and rose, a great way to start the day before heading to the beach.
Combi – For an organic acai and peanut butter bowl or a bright pink dragonfruit bowl that is loaded with texture. I struggled to finish mine so it might even be a good option to share and try other things on the menu. The decor is super cute and there are nice homeware and clothing shops close by.
The Mez Club – What a cool place! Being in here took me back to the Greek Islands with the white concrete walls, rustic wooden furniture and rattan pendant lights throughout. The venue is large with two levels and many group seating areas. The atmosphere is great. Go at night for the cocktails and enjoy the mezze plates which are Mediterranean inspired and made for sharing.
Naked Treaties – My husband’s favourite place which he visited daily! For the guilt free treats of course! This is a very chilled out, casual place with raw, organic and vegan smoothies, cakes and food which are all gluten, dairy and sugar-free.
Hope & May – I just want to touch everything when I walk into this store. The walls are white washed and the products are perfectly matched natural, neutral materials such as wood, straw and linen. You can find decorative homewares as well as clothing from Peony, Zimmermann, Faithful the Brand and Stone Cold Fox.
Bisque – Hiding in a shed in the hip town of Bangalow (20 minute drive inland from Byron Bay), Bisque is the go-to-place for rustic and unique furniture and homewares sourced from Morocco, India and Africa. You can also find a great selection of linen clothing at the store.