While Honeymooning in Byron Bay, my ever-insightful and sharply minded new husband was quick to state that Byron Bay was a hybrid of Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hawaii. And he couldn’t have been more spot on – think the charm, privacy, and character of Carmel meets the gorgeous tropical terrain of Hawaii and you have Byron Bay – one of my all-time favorite spots in Australia and in the world!
Byron Bay is about a 20 minute drive from Ballina regional airport, or a 2 hour drive from Brisbane international airport. We flew into Brisbane and had Lazmar Transportation (www.lazmarlimousines.com) drive us from the airport to Byron – which ended up being a very quick, comfortable, and scenic journey.
Having been to Byron Bay during both the summer and winter, I can safely recommend this charming town as a year-round destination. During the summer, the town is buzzing with bare bronzed bodies, farmers markets, hippies, healers, and surfers everywhere in sight. During the winter, the temperatures cool down, but the coastal terrain turns almost Irish-like with lush deep greens against striking cliffs and ocean backdrops. Byron Bay boasts just the right amount of “crunchiness” to make the beach destination appealing to those of us who tout ourselves as healthy and environmentally-conscious, but not ready to give up the basic luxuries and sleep in the sand/bathe in the ocean water. Vegetarian-gluten-free-organic-everything, farmers markets as the main social attraction, and surfers with day jobs as acupuncturists.
We stayed at the quaint Victoria’s at Watego’s (easily one of the most perfect beaches in the world!) which proved to be a lovely home-stay like experience. We felt as though we were staying in someone’s beach house, which was a welcome way for us to feel more like locals and less like tourists. http://www.victorias.net.au/wategos/index.php. The rooms were spacious and tastefully decorated with Tuscan-style décor. Although operating with a very small staff, the service was attentive and accommodating – homemade afternoon pastries and hearty Australian breakfasts went a long way for us! The best part of Victoria’s is the location – just a short walk to the stunning Watego’s beach, Cape Byron lighthouse, and other beautiful beachfront walking paths. A dinner at Rae’s on Wategos is a must for anyone visiting Byron – a meal filled with food and ambiance to remember!
Activity highlights include hiking to the famous Cape Byron lighthouse, walks along Tallows Beach, Watego’s Beach, and Clark’s beach, exploring the town, and hiking to the Eastern most tip of the Australian continent. Surfers and non-surfers alike will adore this Australian beach town – I for one, have left Byron Bay twice plotting ways that I could justify a permanent move to the charming seaside destination. This is a must-visit for your next trip down under!
1) The eastern most tip of Australia!
2) A surfer at sunset on Watego’s beach
3) Tallows Beach
4) The terrain during winter – looks like Ireland!
5) The famous Cape Byron lighthouse