Guide to Traveling Like an Aussie
Part II: Byron Bay, NSW Australia
Last month I encouraged you to travel like an Aussie to Queenstown, New
Zealand. This month I'll guide you through traveling like an
American in Australia. Many of you may have already explored
this vast land down unda' but for those who haven't-pack your bags.
This giant continent we now call home has an endless amount of
experiences to offer. I've fallen in love with quite a few places in
Australia thus far, but one town I found exceptional was Byron Bay. We
all have our own unique way of traveling, so I encourage you to
not take my word for it. Instead, use this as a guide to make
your own itinerary that suits your lifestyle. Even if you've already been
to Byron, maybe this will spark some interest to return!
Byron was the first stop on my very first trip to Australia, before I
even knew I was going to move to Melbourne. I went with my partner who is
Australian and the first thing he said was, "This is not what the rest of
Australia is like." The vibe in Byron Bay is immensely different than
that of Melbourne or Sydney. It's very much a bohemian beach town that is
nestled between gorgeous jungle and greenery. It has a free-spirited vibe
married with healthy cafes, surfers, and hip beach bars. It can also be a
very tranquil, relaxing getaway if you stay just outside of town. I've
done both and I'll share my two very different experiences of Byron.
Where to Stay:
This is what can make Byron a completely different experience depending
on how you like to travel. For those seeking a relaxing, more upscale
getaway in a gorgeous jungle setting, I highly recommend The Byron at
Byron Bay. Going for walks through the acres of lush, tree covered
grounds transports you to another world. They offer outdoor couples
massages and spa treatments for a very unique, lavish experience. The
restaurant and accommodations are 5-Star through and through, making this
quite a holiday retreat!
If you're a traveler who likes to be in the center of all of the action
rather than fuss over pricey accommodations there are many quirky, cute
motels and backpacker inns. You really can't beat being within walking
distance of the beach and amazing restaurants and bars. I recommend
Hibiscus Motel for a clean, centrally located, affordable accommodation.
Take a look at Trip Advisor for even more recommendations on places to
stay, it's always my go-to for hotels!
What to Do:
For one thing the beaches in Byron Bay are exceptional. A day at the
beach or just a beach stroll is mandatory during your visit. There is a
Light House that is famous in Byron and the hike to get there is
stunning. You can choose to do a longer or shorter hike to the top
depending on where you start. Just a warning it's a fairly steep incline,
but worth it once you reach the top! Whether you're into water sports or
not, I recommend stand-up paddle boarding down the Brunswick River. The
instructor is great at teaching the fundamentals to first-timers and it's
not as difficult as it seems. For those experienced at stand-up paddle
boarding just sit back and enjoy the scenery because the river is quite
tame. Just a short drive away from the center of town are beautiful
waterfalls you can hike to. Tip: I recommend asking a local which
waterfalls have the most water because sometimes they dry up.
Bringing the kiddos? Take them to The Farm just outside of town where
they can visit the chooks, pigs, and other animals that live on The Farm.
There is also a playground, restaurant, cheese shop, and farmers market
for you and the kiddos' to enjoy. Crystal Castle is another must see and
is both kid and adult friendly. It's a bit of a drive, but such a unique
experience to see the different gardens and imported crystals from around
Where to Eat:
If you're a foody like me, this is the most important part of the trip!
There is so much fresh, delicious food in Byron, which was part of the
allure for me. In my opinion, the best restaurant in Byron and in my
top 10 restaurants in the world is Harvest Café and Restaurant.
The seasonal menu uses all farm to table, organic and sustainable foods
from local growers. They also have on-staff horticulturists and one of
the best mixologists I've come across. I recommend booking in for a
romantic dinner because the dinner menu is superb. However, it is
outside of the main CBD of Byron, so if you do not wish make the small
trek then I recommend dinner at St. Elmo restaurant. It is centrally
located in the heart of Byron and the menu is delicious, innovative,
and has a great wine list. If you're craving Mexican food, Miss
Margarita has a little taste of home! And they have the best margarita
I've had in Australia so far. If you decide to stay at The Byron hotel,
the restaurant there offers amazing faire. If you head over to The Farm
definitely enjoy the food! They have an amazing breakky and lunch menu.
For those travelers who seek a fun night of dancing, the Cheeky Monkey
is a very popular spot. You can enjoy live music at various cafes,
restaurants and even along the streets most any night of the week in