If you’ve ever been to Byron Bay, you’ll know how amazing it truly is...
The people. The Yoga. The Culture. The cute little crystal stores. Amazing cafes. Countless buskers and talented musicians. Endless kindness, love and gratitude. And some of the most amazing beaches in the world... (in my personal opinion anyway)
If you’re anything like me, it’s likely you frequently dream about basking in the Byron sunshine and indulging in one too many acai bowls whilst sitting on the sand watching the waves roll in at The Pass. I’d been dreaming about it too long, and decided to make a super quick and spontaneous escape up the coast and give myself another taste of the Beautiful Byron Bay.
I locked in accommodation at one of the Byron Beach Abodes, packed the car, and hit the road North Bound.
I’m a list maker... both literally and mentally. If I don’t have a piece of paper or notebook with me, I will be constantly creating lists in my mind. So you can bet your bottom dollar that along the nine hour (SOLO!) drive up the coast, I had made at least three lists of at least 10 things I wanted to do whilst in Byron to make the most of it. However... I only had accommodation for two nights, so therefore, only really had one full day to enjoy Byron Bay. I had to cut my list. Significantly. Then try to cram in as much as I possibly could. Now, with my luck, the weather over the few days was actually rather grey and moody for 99% of the time, and a lot of things were on my list that one would usually enjoy whilst the sun was shining, so I adapted and tried not to let that hinder me on my endeavours. Here is my final list...
My Top 10 Things To Do In Byron Bay (when you don't have a lot of time):
1. Sunrise at the Lighthouse.
Not only an icon, but the lighthouse is the highest peak in Byron Bay, AND overlooks that Easterly sunrise perfectly. So here is inevitably the prime location to welcome the new day.
Tip: Try remember a camera. There are definitely some sunrises that are far more impressive than others, but you won’t want to miss capturing ANY of them!
2. The Most Easterly Point in Australia.
This is conveniently close to the Lighthouse. Found just a short walk down a paved path from the lighthouse, there is a beautiful look out and a sign (not-so-surprisingly) saying “The Most Easterly Point in Australia”. When you find this. You’re there. You made it. Stand there and reflect that, as you look out to sea the complete island that is Australia lies behind you and only the vastness of the majestic Pacific Ocean lies before you. Stand there, and also feel the weird and slightly awkward feeling of nothing really being significantly different. Then get a picture while you’re there because it doesn’t count unless you Instagram it. And then you are free to leave whilst mentally ticking one more thing off your bucket-list ( a list you may or may not have been previously aware of...)
3. The Pass.
This quintessential beach and staircase have progressively become more and more symbolic of Byron Bay and it’s extremely laid-back surf culture. You’ll find keen surfers heading out before the world is light in desperate hopes of finding that perfect wave and a bit of solitude. And by midday, the water and sand is almost entirely packed full of tourists, families, backpackers and every one in between. This may just be the heartbeat of Byron!
Tip: Walk the staircase for a panoramic view over the ocean and our pristine coastline. It’s hard not to feel grateful for the air we breathe when looking at something that beautiful!
4. Wategos Beach.
Wategos is a tiny yet wonderful beach. A place where your worries disappear and the sun colours your skin... You’re sure to find some sense of calmness whilst watching the surfers dance across the ocean top. If you’re brave enough, why not go and join them! There are plenty of surf schools in Byron if you do not know how or don’t have your own board - just ask google. And the surf here is usually rather small, calm and perfect for a beginner.
P.S parking here is a killer! Don’t let it spoil your day. Perhaps ride or walk here instead?
Byron Bay has so many eateries catering to the wants, needs and desires of the Byron Bay and Hinterland locals as well as the many visitors. Seek out the food-style that catches your fancy... and enjoy.
I found my way to Combi Café. I originally assumed this would be an adorable café located comfortably inside an old school Kombi van. I was wrong. But definitely not disappointed! A modern and hip café mastering the art of organic and mostly raw foods. I highly recommend the sprouted gluten free avocado toast with lemon and seeds (although the Dragon Fruit Bowl looked pretty good too!) and their fresh cold-pressed juices. My personal favourite is the beetroot, lemon, ginger, apple, carrot and turmeric.
Boutiques for that something unique, bohemian, beachy or feminine are to be found in Byron. If you are short on time, do some research online before you get there to save time. If you have all the time in the world, you can boutique-browse your little heart out. My favourites this trip...
Auguste The Label: Well known for their beautiful flowing frocks, floral prints and feminine designs, Auguste is the perfect boutique to find a little something-something to completely spoil yourself. There are a bunch of stores across Australia (and even in Bali too), but the store in Byron is irresistibly cute, and the girls on the floor are so incredibly warm and welcoming – I wanted to take them home too! If you ever need a friendly face, a good laugh or a new frock, these girls have you covered.
Another favourite is Spell And The Gyspy Collective: You have probably seen their floral prints, feminine designs and indie outfits across social media. Next time you’re in Byron why not pop in to their store, immerse yourself in all kinds of bohemian chic and release your inner Gypsy Goddess!
7. Main Beach.
Main beach is pretty self explanatory. It’s Byron’s main beach and is usually packed full of tourists wanting to taste Byron’s magic. There are always a handful of locals wandering around, playing guitar, learning to fire twirl, making sand art or singing. It is a place full of beach culture, where the hipsters of Australia can let down their dreadlocks, put flowers in their beards and dance like no one is watching (literally). It is pretty much the same atmosphere at Main beach as I imagine it was at Woodstock. But minus the stage.
8. Yoga and Meditate
Despite Byron Bay being a popular destinations for visitors, it can be easy to find yourself a quiet, serene and isolated natural location all to yourself to connect your body,mind and soul with Mother Nature. Or you can find a class to drop into (again ask Mr Google), or even focus your holiday around the yogic experience and sign up for a retreat or workshop. This trip, for me, was about connecting with myself again and I took advantage of opportunities around Byron Bay for my personal Yoga practice.
Byron Bay is where I originally did my Yoga teacher training (it seems so long ago now!) at a quiet property, hidden neatly away from all of Main Street's hustle and bustle, The Byron Yoga School is a sanctuary for self growth, yoga practice and kindness. There are gardens surrounding the property where the majority of the produce they use in their meals are grown by hand and with love!
9. Stay somewhere that suits you and your style
There are so many different options for accommodation in Byron Bay - just depends on what you are looking for. Hit the Internet to have a browse around at what is available. Check for the peak or busy times in Byron and avoid these IF you can. Otherwise look for the events that interest you and get in early to book your accommodation for those busy times. Byron Bay is a popular destination for local Music Festivals at different times of the year and outside of normal holiday periods, so keep this in mind.
This trip I opted for fully self-contained accommodation with Byron Bay Beach Abodes. They have a collection of wonderfully unique and modern abodes, spread throughout the Byron area, you are sure to find something to tickle your fancy. Whether you are seeking solitude, a romantic weekend away with that “someone special”, or a fun family escape, one of the abodes is sure to be your perfect fit. I stayed in the Chalet, a three bedroom slice of heaven!
10. Connect and Enjoy.
The most important way to connect with Byron Bay's soul is to stay present in the moment and mindful of all you are experiencing through each of your senses. Even when you are simply travelling from one adventure to the next, notice the countryside, the sounds of the sea in the distance and the smell of salt in the air. As you walk the Main street let the aromas of delicious foods, incense and fragrances be absorbed, listen for the musicality and rhythm which is at the heart of Byron, and open your hearts and mind to to diversity of people and culture around you and their happiness and gratitude. And as you lay on the beach, listen for the gulls and the laughter of others, listen to the soft rhythm of the waves lapping the shore. Look around you at all that Mother Nature has collected together in this one spot ... and simply be both grateful and in awe.
Love and Light,