The cloud of relaxation and nonchalance is still hanging pretty low around my head right now, having just spent a week in the midst of one of the most chill (Most chilliest? Most-chill? Most chillier?) places in Australia, Byron Bay. This small town, located in the southeastern Australian state of New South Wales, is a welcoming place to visit- and is rapidly being discovered by holidaymakers- with good reason too. Packed full of local-cafes that offer delicious (and wholesome healthy) food, Byron is also full of an abundance of wild-life, local markets, beaches to see, and beach activities to do (think surfing, kayaking with whales, horse-riding on the beaches, and scuba diving with the fish).
After just one week there I felt re-calibrated and refreshed to the point of actually turning into some form of local wildlife (perhaps a caitiesque-jelly fish?) that was determined to miss my flight and not come home (and consequently almost did miss my flight). Though despite my obvious jelly-fish-like-state of being, and the desire to have no responsibility greater than where to tie my push-bike, or what gelato flavour to try each day, I have managed to muster my mental strength and piece together one seemingly sensicle piece of writing for you, to recommend a few things to do if you make your way up to this town.
PLACES TO EAT
Three Ducks: A restaurant/ florist/ and bakery located in a farm just outside Byron Bay (a 20 minute bike-ride away) which is a must see and do. Full of farm-life, and wild macadamia trees you can lounge under, and nibble on, you have the option to eat on the premises in the restaurant, or pre-purchase a basket of picnic goods to take out.
Bay leaf: Located in the heart of the city, this is a popular cafe with plenty of vegetarian and healthy options to chose from, and very popular (get in early for a table).
Folk: Found on the outskirts of the town this cafe makes some good coffee, and offers a delicious variety of vegetarian foods to chose from- it helps it also looks pretty pictureque too
Byron Fresh: We ended up going here twice, and with a good selection of foods, lovely coffee, and live music, they made it easy to make that decision.
Road House: Again- so many vegetarian options to chose from, and delicious coffees, as a side note, the vegan chia cup was a very good choice.
THINGS TO DO
The Lighthouse Hike: Despite your brain telling you that it is unreasonable, you should wake yourself up at 5am and hike to the top of the lighthouse, which is the most-easterly place in Australia, to see the sunrise. It is worth it, and is absolutely stunning. Also, this trek is made much easier with the hire of a bike.
Kayak: Whether you go with a tour in the ocean and kayak with whales, or hire one and go by yourself, or even try to be one yourself (not sure about that last one…)… kayaking is an amazing thing to do while on holiday, or anywhere, or anytime… seriously… I really want to own a kayak.
Swim: Check out the local oceans, there are a lot of beaches, and despite the wind making blue-bottle season a little harder to navigate, the water is still welcoming and much warmer than other areas of Australia. Definitely explore cosy-corner beach.
The Farm: Connected to the previously mentioned restaurant, this is a must-check out even if you’re not hungry. There are pigs running around and being generally happy in mud.
Markets: As I was told by countless (or at least 3) locals, there is ALWAYS a market on in Byron. Check out the newspaper for more, and get amongst the locals.
Relax: To be honest, I didn’t do too many organised activities while there, or intend to. We spent out days walking, kayaking (yeeww), hiking, swimming, and eating gelato. Everyone that lives there is so chill (like a well-stocked esky), that it makes it easy to just navigate from ocean, to food, to napping, without much need to stress about consequence of activity planning. Just breathe, and relax.