I first came to Byron Bay for its annual Bluesfest over the Easter weekend in 2016, and instantly fell in love with the beach side town’s relaxed vibe, busking culture, endless stretches of beach and brunch spots a-plenty. I later returned on a storm-filled weekend for the town’s literary festival, before returning to this beautiful slice of beach paradise three times before 2016 was up. With beautiful beach walks, cosy bookshops, and some seriously stylish eateries, check out my must-sees, dos, stays and eats in blissful Byron Bay.
A colonial guesthouse a short walk from Byron’s bustling centre, Arcadia House offers budget-friendly beds in a peaceful location. With six stylish rooms to choose from, a leafy veranda and the greenest of gardens, it offers guests an idyllic home away from home. Free bikes are available for guest use, and with friendly hosts boasting a wealth of knowledge on Byron’s hidden gems, Arcadia House is a must-stay for anyone wanting to live life the Byron way.
An Instagrammer’s paradise, The Atlantic Hotel is all beach chic, clean lines and nautical colour palates. Set amongst tropical gardens and a backdrop of rainforest reserve and just a stones throw from the centre of Byron, The Atlantic Hotel blends Byron Bay’s surf culture with high ceilings, chalk-white walls and a sun-drenched garden to create a unique atmosphere and refreshing holiday experience.
Few places do beachside bliss as well as luxury hotel Elements of Byron. A short drive away from the hub of Byron, this sumptuous hotel boasts four different types of villa, boasting beach chic interiors, indulgent en suites and scenic views of either the resort or the nearby beach. Breakfast looks across the infinity pool and the menu easily rivals the abundance of town-centre eateries. With a fire-pit, morning yoga and in-house spa also on offer, Elements of Byron is the ultimate indulgent stay and perfect for some serious R&R.
Cape Byron Lighthouse:
With one of the best ocean vistas in all of Australia, is Byron’s famous lighthouse. Cape Byron lighthouse offers visitors the perfect place to watch the sun rise – or set – and is undoubtedly a thing of beauty. Accessible by foot, car or bike, it’s the first place in Australia to see the sun rise and setting your alarm for a pre-dawn awakening is a must-do while in Byron.
Set in the midst of Byron’s beautiful hinterland is Mullumbimby’s Crystal Castle. An oasis of calm and tranquility, this popular destination offers visitors an all-natural playground, with bountiful botanical gardens, guided meditation and walks, and unobstructed views of the rainforest. Whether you want to get in touch with your spiritual side, or simply visit Byron beyond its boundaries, the Crystal Castle is a must-see when in northern NSW.
When it comes to beaches, Byron Bay has some of Australia’s most beautiful. From Broken Head to Belongil to Wategos and Tallow, Byron’s beach scene is one of the best. The main beach is picture perfect with soft white sand and turquoise waters lapping the shore and extends east, becoming Clarkes Beach and stretching round to The Pass. The north-facing curve of beach is great for evening strolls or leisurely afternoons spent soaking in the sun.
For the finest in fresh food, it doesn’t get better than Byron Fresh. A short stroll from the main beach, whether you’re after a decadent brunch or a tasty dinner accompanied by live music, few places do food as well as Byron Fresh. Try the buckwheat and chia pancakes or a market fruit board for breakfast and the quinoa and zucchini hotcakes for a healthy evening meal.
If you’re after a chic brunch spot, vegetarian kiosk Folk is one of Byron’s best- loved hang-outs. You’ll get local, fresh, organic, plant-based fare served thoughtfully on old-school enamel, turned wood and ceramic kitchenware, and a relaxed vibe to match.
For the creme de la crème of stylish eateries, The Mez Club is where it’s at. An ambient and light-filled bar, fused with Moroccan-inspired decor, it boasts a mouth-watering cocktail menu and some seriously tasty tapas plates. Visit on a Sunday afternoon for the perfect place to see out the weekend.