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.
It’s easy to get around Byron Bay with nothing more than your own two feet. Being a relatively small town, most of what you need is within walking distance, but if you’re keen to cover more ground, cycling is another great way to see the sights with a number of great bike paths to take you off the beaten track. You can hire a bike in the heart of town from Byron Bay Surf and Bike Hire. To get out into the hinterland, the local bus services run regularly from town or hail an Uber or go old-school with a cab with Byron Bay Taxis. Check out Vroom Vroom Vroom, to compare car rental options and rates if you are keen for a self-guided tour.
#luxicobucketlist top 5
1. Enjoy the local produce with a Stone & Wood beer from The Railway Hotel or visit the brewery for a tour
2. Get up close to the local wildlife (including whales during migration season) on a sea kayak
3. Reconnect with your inner zen master at an early morning yoga lesson on the beach
4. Explore the local markets, waterfalls and culinary delights of the hidden hinterland towns
5. Hire a bike and enjoy the views along the boardwalk up to the lighthouse