Located approximately two hours south of the Gold Coast in New South Whales, Australia, you will find the laid-back, sunny, chilled and poetic suburb of Byron Bay. This place should be a must on your itinerary if wanting to experience the ultimate ‘Aussie Beach’ culture. Byron Bay is a favourite of mine when wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, and bellow are my reasons why.
Best Beaches in Byron Bay
Well, besides being able to walk for days along the white sandy beaches whilst being mesmerised by the clear blue (and yes warm) water you will find an abundance of fashion and home boutiques, restaurants, bars, and water activities. If you are wanting to laze the day away on the beach, Byron Bay's Main Beach is situated alongside the esplanade, close to shops and this is where lifesavers patrol the beach. I find that the main beach patrol hours are longer than any other beach in Byron Bay. If you are wanting to surf then its best that you head east Clarke's Beach away from Main Beach and make sure you do go the right way because if you head West and move towards Belongil beach you will find that clothing is optional!
At times the Main beach can be quite choppy, so if you imagine yourself as being as strong a swimmer as David Hasselhoff from Baywatch but the reality does not match up, then your next best bet is to walk (or drive) to "The Pass". The Pass is protected by rocks around part of the perimeter which results in calmer water (and gives you the opportunity to try your hand at paddle boarding). This beach is also patrolled so you will be able to swim between the flags.
When you have had enough of the beach and have some time to spare the next thing I would be doing is shopping. Fletcher Street is the centre of the shopping hub and if you start here you will find that you will move around in a circle through Marvell and Lawson street, which also have fashion and homeware boutiques. My top shopping picks are Spell Designs, Ahoy Trader and your typical surfwear brands. Be careful if entering a happy herbs store- this is for adults only!
The Lighthouse Trail
As you head towards the Main Beach, turn left and follow the footpath. There are some spectacular views and beautiful fauna as you head towards the most Eastern Point in Australia. The hike does include a few stairs and inclines along the way, so make sure that you are wearing the correct footwear. After taking a moment to take in the landscape of the Eastern Point, keep working your way around the path until you see the Lighthouse. There is a small cafe for refreshments and it is recommended your relax and refresh before you make the trek back to the town center. I personally like the rewards of this hike, but if you are time poor you do have the option of getting to the lighthouse by car. Be early though, as the carpark does fill up quickly!
The Farm situated just outside the Byron Bay Town Centre. This is a great place for families to visit, having a date night or a few sneaky beverages as you enjoy the afternoon sun. The "Three Blue Ducks" is the restaurant and bookings are a must! The restaurant boasts about their vision to show their patrons the importance of “from paddock to plate”. Around the venue, you will find a number of herb and vegetable gardens and farm animals that reflect this vision. This is the perfect place to wine and dine as you watch the sun go down over the sunflower fields.
Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens
Up in the hinterlands of Byron Bay, you find a range of stunning gardens and crystals, that you could easily get lost in for a few hours. This place have a number of walks that showcase an array of crystals of all shapes and sizes, a large Buddha, an Enchanted Cave, Labyrinth, and Kalachakra World Peace Stupa, and much MUCH more! There is something for everyone and so much peace that it is easy to find your Zen even though this is a popular tourist place.
Catch a Sunrise
This would have to be my favorite thing to do whilst staying in Byron and because some of its beaches (near the lighthouse) face east, you have the best seat in the house to watch as the sun rises over the horizon. There are some many places that you can see the morning colours, so make sure to do this a couple of times throughout your vacation.
My Husband and I always set the goal that when we do travel to a new place that we venture outside the main town hub. So, we hopped in the car and headed outside of Byron Bay to the small coastal town of Lennox Head. This town offers a number of small boutique shops and small cafes to enjoy a coffee. Across the road, you will find a long stretch of white powdered sand and roaring waves from the ocean. You can even walk out onto the rocks to see the waves crashing in, just make sure to keep a distance from the edge. When we visited it was very windy so make sure to keep weather conditions in mind.
Where to stay?
From staying on the Esplanade across the road from the beach to renting a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean, to staying in the heart of town or the beautiful tranquil setting of the hinterland, there is accommodation for everyone!
My two picks for middle range accommodation that is only a block from the beach (a two-minute walk) and in the heart of all the action is the Byron Bay Central Hotel and Byron Bay Central Apartments. Both have a pool when it may be too hot to hang out at the beach and both have a kitchenette so you have the choice of eating in or dining out. These two apartments are in the heart of town, so there is no need to drive anywhere, they are literally at your doorstep!
If you are wanting something a little more relaxing that is away from the hustle and bustle, The Byron at Byron Bay Resort and spa or Atlantic at Byron Bay should be high on your list to research.
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