From humble origins as whaling station and surf stop to drawing crowds of boho-bourgeoisie lifestyle chasers, Byron Bay hasn’t lost its laidback groove. They come from all over to the holy grail of hippy hipsterdom to surf the beautiful breaks and sip champagne over a stunning sunset because even without any help, in Byron you can be be high on paradise.
Byron is where the elite retreat to detox, retox or refine their yoga moves. Whether it be reiki, raw fasts, scuba diving, shopping, pub crawls or sunbaking, the wavelength is always tuned to easy breezy. Days can be as simple as heading to Byron Bay Main Beach with a bikini, a beach towel or a bogey board. Or discover more remote sandy oases like Wategos Beach and Tallows Beach. Hike the lovely Lighthouse Trail for lush rainforests and spotting wild life on land and sea.
In the evenings, Bryon lights up – throngs of backpackers, locals and tourists drink at the unpretentious Beach Hotel, a classic stop for brews and sea views. Detoxers can sip on cold-pressed kale and cos juice instead (Bayleaf). And because Byron basically invented biodynamic and organic fare served by a bro with a man ban, there are plenty of delicious gourmet options (100 Mile Table on the Byron industrial and arts estate or The Farm at Three Blue Ducks, a short drive out of town).
Hip local fashion and crafts abound, whether it’s a kimono cover up or a Turkish towel (Hendrix & Harlow), mini porthole art (Ahoy Trader) or a dress made to feed your ‘inner gypsy spirit’ (Spell Designs). The artisanal affectations don’t end there, with various markets for farm fare and crafts through the summer season. All this work means a massage is probably in order, served with a side of plunge pool and tropical foliage (Buddha Gardens Day Spa).
If the great beyond is beckoning, Byron is fringed with beautiful rainforests, cascading waterfalls, bubbling brooks and acres of rolling hills. But the danger is, after a few days in paradise many find themselves shoeless, shirtless and so relaxed they never leave.