Located approximately two hours south of the Gold Coast in New South Whales you will find the laidback, sunny, chilled and poetic suburb of Byron Bay. This place should be a must on your itinerary if wanting to experience the ultimate ‘Aussie Beach’ culture. Byron Bay is a favourite of mine when wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, and bellow are my reasons why.
What to do for the first day or so (get your bearings)
Well besides being able to walk for days along the white sandy beaches whilst being mesmerised by the clear blue (and yes warm) water you will find an abundance of fashion and home boutiques, restaurants, bars and water activities. If you are wanting to laze the day away on the beach, Byron Bay’s ‘Main Beach’ is situated alongside the esplanade, close to shops and this is where lifesavers patrol the beach. I find that the main beach patrol hours are longer than any other beach in Byron Bay. If you are wanting to surf then its best that you head east (Clarkes Beach) away from Main Beach and make sure you do go the right way because if you head West and move towards Belongil beach you will find that clothing is optional!
At times Main beach can be quite choppy, so if you imagine yourself as being as strong a swimmer as David Hasselhoff from Baywatch but the reality does not match up, then your next best bet is to walk (or drive) to ‘The Pass’. The Pass is protected by rocks around part of the perimeter which results in calmer water (and gives you the opportunity to try your hand at paddle boarding). This beach is also patrolled so you will be able to swim between the flags.
When you have had enough of the beach and have some time to spare the next thing I would be doing is shopping. Fletcher street is the centre of the shopping hub and if you start here you will find that you will move around in a circle through Marvell and Lawson street, which also have fashion and home ware boutiques. My top shopping picks are Spell Designs, Ahoy Trader and your typical surf wear brands. Be careful if entering a happy herbs store- this is for adults only!
Where to stay?
From staying on the Esplanade across the road from the beach, to renting a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean, to staying in the heart of town or the beautiful tranquil setting of the hinterland, there is accommodation for everyone!
My two picks for middle range accommodation that is only a block from the beach (two-minute walk) and in the heart of all the action is the Byron Bay Central Hotel and Byron Central Apartments. Both have a pool when it may be too hot to hang out at the beach and both have a kitchenette so you have the choice of eating in or dining out. These two apartments are in the heart of town, so there is no need to drive anywhere, they are literally at your doorstep!
Want to know more about Byron Bay? Watch this space, there is more to come!