If you’ve been following along on my socials (particularly Instagram) you’ll know I recently spent 5 glorious nights in Byron Bay. This trip was the most exciting thing I think I’ve done all year because a visit to Byron has been on my travel bucket list for a long while. I’m no guru when it comes to travel, but I have done my fair share of exploring the world so I thought I’d put together a holiday wrap up in the form of a travel guide for those keen to explore Byron Bay themselves one day. I would highly recommend it!
The Best of Byron
Byron Bay seems to be the most (for the want of a better word) ‘trendy’ spot on the Australian east coast right now. For months I have been seeing new businesses pop up on Instagram that I had been dying to visit and they were all located in the beach-side town (situated on the northern NSW coast approximately 1-hour from the Gold Coast). The thing we loved the most about Byron was how easy it was to get around and how relaxed the vibe was. People were super friendly too which is always a bonus! While we were in Byron we visited a whole swag of places, and pretty much every one of them was amazing. From fashion to food, to stylish homewares and decor, I was in holiday heaven.
For the foodie
Byron Bay is lucky enough to be situated in an area where the annual rainfall is aplenty and their pastures on the farms located across the hinterland are blessed with fertile soil for growing some of the finest produce. There’s a definite emphasis in Byron on sustainability and growing and producing fine foods at a local level. A must visit for us was the highly accredited The Farm and their restaurant, Three Blue Ducks. As much as possible, the team at Three Blue Ducks source all of the produce used in their dishes from the farm directly.
They educate locals and tourists on where their food comes from and how important it is to support seasonal farming as an industry. This place was right up our alley! Being from a farming family I always love seeing other producers in action. Of course, our farm is so vastly different to The Farm in the fact our annual rainfall is marginal and our soils are no where near as fertile for food production on a large scale (more about our family property here).
The coffee was amazing, and brekkie was delicious. Trav really loved this place! We were fortunate enough to arrive at the restaurant early-ish on a weekday to get a table as this place is so popular. There were lots of people who weren’t able to get seated for some time as there was a wait list not long after we arrived and it wasn’t even the school holidays! If you want to experience the restaurant for any meal (and I highly recommend it), I suggest getting in early (around 9am or so). It should be noted that this place is also super kid-friendly with lots for the kids to see and experience. If you are traveling with your tribe definitely give The Farm a go!
Also high on my bucket list in the food arena was The Mez Club – a super stylish tapas restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Byron. This spot was stunning – I love the decor and the vibes. The meals are made to share so we ordered a handful of tapas dishes between us. The service was really quick too! Trav and I enjoyed the local Brookie’s Gin and I highly recommend it!
Combi was another of our faves when it came to eating in town. We are big lovers or health foods and Trav’s favourite brekkie is an Acai bowl so Combi is the place for some raw-some goodness! We went to Combi twice during our visit, once for lunch and once for breakfast and both times we amazing! I tried the raw zucchini pesto pasta and their nut mylk shake. We also tasted two of their raw desserts and I highly recommend giving the raw caramel slice a try. Yum.
Lastly, a visit to Folk is a must! I wouldn’t have known about this cute spot if I hadn’t made contact with a photographer who too some new head shots for me at the venue before we settled in for brekkie. This place is located a little way out of town at the entrance to a caravan park. It’s small but super fun with awesome styling of hanging greenery, pegboard and ply, plus an awesome front lawn with more picnic-styled seating. Be warned, this spot is also super popular. Again, we arrived early-ish on Sunday and managed to snag a table. The queue to order was pretty hefty over the course of the morning, although the wait time for our meals and coffee was minimal despite the morning rush. Definitely worth a visit!
For the Fashionista
If you’re at all interested in boho-style you simply can’t go to Byron without visiting Spell & The Gypsy Collective. Spell is like an institution in Byron and their products sell out in a matter of days. I was lucky enough to visit the store twice during our trip to Byron because after my first visit I was informed the store would be having a second release of their LionHeart line the day before we were scheduled to leave!
I couldn’t miss a chance to nab up another Spell number before they sell out! If you’re a follower of Spell you would have seen the beautiful styling of their store via their social media and it’s just a beautiful in person. I was actually surprised at how small the store really is, because on Instagram stories it looks huge! It’s white, bright and boho in all the right ways, and their courtyard is to die for. If you plan a visit to Spell (on a day that they aren’t releasing a new line) you wont have an issue getting in store. The morning of the release of their new line there was a queue down the street of avid fans waiting to be the first to shop the new fashion at opening time but I had no issues getting in store that afternoon. Be warned, if you are a fan – be sue to save a few pennies before your visit. It is certainly easy to rack up some serious moolah on your plastic!
In the same vein as Spell, the beautiful boho-fashion continues at Auguste The Label. I actually think I love more of the current Auguste line than any other store! Their products are some floral and feminine, it’s impossible not to find something you love! Their store is located in the heart of Byron and is easy walking distance from other great shops in town.
For a retail store making a serious splash you can’t go past St.Agni. This store is located in the Industrial precinct of Byron so you will need a car to visit (or some ambition on your push bike to peddle out of town). The minimal styling of this store is so instagrammable, plus their resident store pooch is so pretty, it’s enough to make you want to distract the owner and run off with the bundle of cuteness! On that note, the store dog has his own instagram account here – so funny, I love it.
For something a little different, you can’t go past Harvest Newrybar! A beautiful restaurant in a Queenslander-style building with amazing country styling. We only had a quick drink and shared a charcuterie board but it was top notch! They also have a small bakery and beautiful deli linked to the restaurant each of which have a beautiful feel. Plus, they have the cutest community harvest garden at the back of the deli! I wish we had a community garden in our town! So sweet.
For the interior stylist
I love, love buying homewares and visiting stores with incredible interior style. I always get so inspired when I visit new places and try to take home ideas and ways of implementing new trends in my own house. Byron has the best of the best homewares stores if you’re into eclectic, beach/boho style. From cane hanging chairs and furniture, abundance of greenery, handmade ceramics, moroccan-inspired rugs, bohemian rattan light fittings to everything in between, it’s available at a store in Byron. I swear I was like a kid in a candy shop when it came to interior stores. Some notables where:
Pop and Scott, a beautiful space located in the Industrial precinct right next door to St.Agni. When we visited the team were working on expanding the warehouse, loft-style space to include more homewares and furniture to accompany their handmade and painted pots. Upstairs they have an incredible industrial-style courtyard space abundant with cacti and an incredible mural. It’s worth a peek upstairs!
Ahoy Trader, a tiny shop in the heart of the city – most well-known for their hand painted ceramic wall tiles and iconic crosses. No two crosses or wall tiles look the same, and I love that! There’s an eclectic mix of the artist’s own work and other designer pieces on offer in store, including a small range of fashion. I love this space.
Marr-Kett, located next door to Combi, this retailer offers a fabulous mix of Morroccan rugs plus other homewares pieces. It’s a great space with a boho feel.
Newrybar Merchants, located in the historic town of Newrybar about 15-minutes drive from Byron in the hinterland, this store was by far my most favourite retailer I think I’ve ever visited. I spent waaaay too long looking around and taking pictures in this store! I got a bit overwhelmed by it’s amazing-ness but still left with a purchase. This store has everything from art, ceramics, furniture, greenery, rugs and books. So worth a visit. You will not be disappointed.
For some shut-eye
Despite being really keen to rent an Air-Bnb apartment while we were in Byron (because there are SOOOO many amazing ones available), I decided to book us in at the Byron at Byron resort which, although it is 5-star, worked out to be much the same in price as some of the very stylish Air-Bnbs! We couldn’t have asked for more from the resort, it was perfect. Our room was a one-bedroom apartment with lounge room and kitchenette (including microwave, large fridge and an inbuilt washer-dryer), huge bathroom and spacious tub and two small decks on either side of the apartment over looking the gardens (we were located on the upper storey apartment).
The Byron is a short distance out of the city which was probably its only downfall, but the resort offers a free bus in to town at regular times during the day/night. We also had our car so we didn’t mind the drive. The grounds are beautiful and surrounded by sub-tropical rainforest and their is a nice walk through the property to the beach and to view the wetlands. The pool is a great size + spa, and there’s a day-spa at the resort too. There’s also complimentary yoga every morning on the resort deck near the gym and a tennis court which you can book and borrow the resort’s rackets (which we did twice and it turns out Trav is a closet tennis pro! Who would have known!?) I highly recommend this place for couples! There were children at the resort too but I got the feeling this place is a little more made for couples and small groups.
For the Sight-Seer
Cape Byron Lighthouse is a must do when you visit. The views are incredible overlooking the hinterland, coastline and main beaches of Byron Bay. You can either walk to the top of the hill or drive (which we did as we missed the spot where the walk started!) If you do drive up, note there are limited parks at the very top and it is quite hectic with tourists all vying for a park. We were lucky to drive right into a free spot but others were a bit frantic in a very limited space for turning around and retreating back down the hill.
Crystal Castle and the Shambhala Gardens is a beautiful, serene place to visit outside Byron. Also a short drive way up in the hinterland hills, this spot is admittedly more pricey to visit than I had anticipates (it cost Trav and I about $50 in total to gain access to the gardens), but it was a really beautiful place to wander. Located in the hinterland and part-rain forest, there’s a lot of beautiful things to see in the gardens with lots of information on the sculptures, gardens and crystals scattered across the site. There’s also a beautiful crystal store and cafe overlooking the gardens and wider area. We didn’t experience this but they also hold a meditation session in the gardens at certain times throughout the day and I can imagine it is simply beautiful!
There you have it friends, a comprehensive look into our holiday in Byron and some of my definite ‘must-visit’ spots if you plan a trip yourselves! I would highly recommend it. I can’t wait to visit again! I plan to share more travel guides and insights into our special trips soon so I hope you found this post helpful! If you’ve been to Byron and experienced something you think is worth sharing please let me know! I’d be so keen for even more recommendations that we could experience whenever we get back to the coast!