Byron Bay is perhaps one of Australia’s most iconic, idyllic and idolised beach hot spots. Tourists from all over the world flock to see what all the fuss is about. And, upon arrival, it doesn’t take long to see that the hullabaloo is warranted.
A stunning surf town punctuated with a world-class, white-sand, palm-fringed beach, Byron just has to be itself to impress. It oozes a laid-back charm that can’t be replicated. But with the influx of tourists in recent years, it can be difficult for visitors to unearth Byron’s lesser-known gems. Any escape to Byron is a great one, but by just digging a little deeper, the experience can be much, much more special.
The weekly Byron Farmer’s Market is one of the finest you’re likely to visit. It’s a wonderful combination of delicious local foods – breads, cheese, fish, nuts, vegetables and more – and the relaxed culture Byron’s so renowned for. We’d go as far to say there are few more enjoyable ways to spend a morning.
When you’ve had your fix of market shopping, eating and wandering, head out to the Byron hinterland. There are more than 150 coffee orchards waiting to be explored, and you can walk the coffee-growing trail to see them for yourself. It’s a serene backdrop for a mid-morning stroll.
Head to Bangalow, a mere 7km from Byron and be introduced to a wealth of antique shops, in which you’re bound to find something that takes your fancy. The drive to Bangalow is scenic too, so there’s no excuse. Spend time perusing the wares of Don’t Tell Mama or the Wax Jumbu Emporium – just two of the many chic antique treasure troves in town.
Visit the Cumbebin Wetland Sanctuary – just a hop, skip and a jump from the heart of Byron – and be introduced to an abundance of birdlife, frogs and plants. It’s as tranquil as it is interesting, and a stroll along the boardwalk offers a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the magnificent surrounds.
If you’re the type that likes waterfalls – and who isn’t – you could do worse than to pay a visit to the iconic Protestors Falls. It’s a simple 1.5km walk from the Terania Creek picnic spot, and you’ll be treated to the thundering sight of some of Australia’s highest and most impressive waterfalls.
When land-based activities get too much, it’s probably time to take to the water. Surfing might not seem like the most original thing to do in Byron, but that’s for good reason. It’s the quintessential Byron experience. No matter your age or ability, we recommend giving it a go. There are plenty of instructors who have experience teaching people of all abilities, so you’re sure to feel comfortable.
And if you fancy getting a little deeper, the scuba diving in Byron is some of Australia’s best. If you haven’t heard of Julian Rocks Marine Reserve we recommend you change that on arrival in Byron. It really is magnificent.
Of course, this is only a brief guide to help you get under Byron’s skin. Get out there, see it for yourself and don’t be afraid to ask the locals for their advice. Naturally, they know all of the best spots!
Image: Courtesy of SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay