Oh, Byron Bay. You are an absolute beauty. I finally understand why everyone raves about you.
It’s not very often that a place can be perfectly suited to backpackers, weekenders, families, seniors and everything in between. That’s what makes Byron Bay so special.
A couple of girlfriends and I went to Byron Bay for a long weekend to take a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and boy were we in for a treat.
As soon as you arrive in Byron Bay, you instantly feel the calm and ‘no stress’ culture of the town. Everyone walks a little bit slower, people smile and greet you as you walk by, and shoes aren’t a requirement.
Byron Bay has accommodation that can suit everyone’s budget. From caravans to airbnbs, there is accommodation that caters to everyone.
As we were quite budget conscious, we opted for the hostel life, staying at the Byron Bay Beach Resort. Exactly as the name suggests, it has the look and feel of a beach resort, but it’s hostel prices (win!). The perfect combination. For under $25 a night, it had everything we needed – kitchen facilities, alcohol, towels and a comfortable bed to sleep in. It also has a BBQ and hammock area where you can relax even more after chilled out day at the beach.
Relaxation levels: 100.
Bonus: The hostel also has its own private beach area and they offer daily yoga lessons. Only in Byron Bay…
Double Bonus: The hostel is conveniently located next to a very cute cafe which turns into a restaurant/bar in the evening. It’s called The Treehouse and it’s totally worth a visit if you’re staying at the hostel or visiting Byron Bay.
Food and Drinks
When travelling, I love to try local restaurants and foods, but I try to limit myself so that i don’t over-spend on food and have money left to spend on activities. This is especially the case in Australia where eating out, and food in general, can be very pricey.
Byron Bay was an exception to my rule. Before leaving for Byron Bay, colleagues and friends alike all raved about the cafes and restaurants in Byron Bay. So I made an exception and ate out pretty much every meal – it hurt my bank account but it was totally worth it.
We went to some amazing cafes and restaurants, but here are the ones that stood out the most:
The Bay Leaf
Byron Bay serves up some pretty delicious brunch options. The laid back cafe and brunch culture suited us all perfectly.
If you’re a caffeine fiend like me, definitely check out The Bay Leaf. Some Melbourne colleagues (also self-proclaimed coffee snobs) all recommended the Bay Leaf for coffee and brunch. They weren’t wrong. Their coffee is incredible and they do a pretty damn good brunch.
We may or may not have got two days in a row…I think that says it all.
The Farm Byron Bay/Three Blue Ducks Restaurant
This was by far a highlight of our girls getaway to Byron Bay and definitely worth a visit if you are keen to eat out and experience local food and wines.
This low-key restaurant is set on an actual working farm, yet it gives the vibes of a winery. We booked ourselves a hamper of food, which included a baguette and a variety of snacks, and sat in the grass to make a picnic out of it. They also have local beers and wines which are definitely worth a try!
After eating and drinking like a local, we had a stroll around the farm to look at the cows, sheep and pigs. Well, it was more than a stroll really, because I’m obsessed with animals and couldn’t bring myself to leave.
More info: https://www.thefarmbyronbay.com.au/community/three-blue-ducks/
(To avoid disappointment, I’d recommend booking a hamper in advance.)
Experiencing the nightlight in Byron Bay is a must. From chilled out live music to clubs, they’ve got it all. We went out every night and here were some of our favourites:
This indoor and outdoor bar is set in the old Byron Bay railway station. We started the night here every night and sometimes finished the night there because it was such a blast. They have live music every night, so you’re bound to get up dancing after a few drinks!
Beach Hotel Byron Bay
This bar is right along the water and is the perfect place for some chilled out drinks or to spend the entire night. If you get there early enough, you can grab a seat outside on the patio and enjoy some drinks ocean side.
There are PLENTY of cool bars worth a visit in Byron Bay. Just stroll through the streets, and stop wherever takes your fancy. 🙂
Beach bum it
A trip to Byron Bay isn’t complete without a chilled out day on the main beach.
The main beach in Byron Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen… and it’s IN town. It stretches for what feels like forever, so there were times when we felt like we had the beach to ourselves. If you’ve got a car, definitely check out the other local beaches! There are PLENTY to choose from.
PSA announcement: Don’t forget the SPF. Australian sun is a killer.
Chase some waterfalls
There is plenty to do in Byron Bay, but there is also plenty to do around Byron Bay.
If you’re feeling like chasing waterfalls, Protestors Falls will not disappoint. The falls are named after the Terania Creek protests of 1970s which saved this rainforest. It’s a beautiful hike out to the waterfall and a very humbling experience once you know the history of the rainforest.
Are we in Amsterdam? Nope.
We’re still in Australia. More specifically, we’re in Nimbin.
We stopped on our way back to Byron Bay and I highly recommend the pit stop. If you’re staying in Byron, they also have shuttle buses that take you to Nimbin. When you see a bus painted in peace signs, you’ll know you’re in the right place.
Nimbin is known to be the most hippie destination in Australian and capital of the ‘alternative’ lifestyle. After driving through the beautiful countryside of Byron Bay, you would never image that a quirky village like Nimbin is tucked away in the middle of it. While you’re in Nimbin, have a wander around the quirky shops, cafes and embrace your inner ‘hippie’. I’m sure you can imagine what else you can get up to while you’re there…
Byron Bay is the stereotypical image of Australia that all of us foreigners have of Australia.
Surfers everywhere. And where there are surfers, there are incredible beaches. So with that perfect combination of surfers and beaches, it’s not surprising that I took up surfing for the first time.
For $60 and half a day of surfing, you too can wipe out. 🙂
And perhaps get up on a surfboard once!
Now I finally understand why everyone, and I mean everyone, flocks to Byron Bay. I’ll be back BB.