When it comes to beach holiday destinations, few come close to being as alluring to visitors as Byron Bay.
It’s a perfect 10/10, with spectacular beaches, a laid-back beach lifestyle and clean eating culture, a trifecta which can make this part of the world seem like it’s dropped from another continent onto Australian shores.
Unlike other coastal towns on the east coast, it’s not just the die-hard surfies and plant-based fanaticals who find charm in Byron’s beaches. City slickers have flocked to it too, quickly earning Byron the title of ‘home to Australia’s most expensive real estate’.
It’s this collision of cultures that’s really given Byron Bay its own charm.
Whether you’ve only got a weekend or a week to stay, the team at Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay, have shared their tips on how to make the most of your time on the ground.
Best breakfast spot
Did you even go to Byron Bay if you didn’t pay a visit to Three Blue Ducks at The Farm in Byron Bay? We suggest you work up an appetite or use the time while you’re waiting for a table to become available by roaming the veggie plots and visiting very cute animals who are dotted around the fields. By the time you sit down you’ll be ready to tuck into the menu, which favours share plates, honest cooking and seasonal dishes.
Best pub meal
If you’re looking for one of Byron Bay’s 9000 locals, chances are you’ll find them at the Suffolk Park Hotel any night of the week. With live music on Fridays and Sunday afternoons, you won’t be the first person to find that ‘just one beer’ turns into ‘we better walk home’. Lucky for you, it’s only 2km from Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay. On the menu you’ll find all the usual pub classics, like seafood and steaks and plenty of lighter bites if you’re not wanting to go all out tonight.
Best spot for sundowners
The views at Beach Hotel (aka ‘Beachy’) are the stuff the hashtag #nofilter are made of, overlooking Main Beach. Mother Nature is always on show here – whether it be watching the sunset, wild dolphins galivanting offshore or her waves rolling into the mainland. Grab yourself a barstool on the deck and settle in for the daily sunset show. On the beverage menu you’ll find everything from local craft beers to international bestsellers, a comprehensive wine list and cocktails tailored to your taste.
Best live music venue
Where there are good tunes, there are good times and The Northern Hotel is no exception. This hotel attracts popular Aussie and international bands, the kind who’re household names and well into seven figures of downloads on popular music steaming channels. The hotel is divided into two clear parts – the front bar, which overlooks Byron’s main street and the backroom, whose reputation precedes it having hosted the likes of The White Stripes, Bloc Party, and PJ Harvey. You’ll need tickets to get in, because a venue with 30 years of rock and roll history comes with a price tag.
If you take your morning jolt as seriously as we do, take your non-caffeinated self to Suffolk Bakery first up. Not only do they do barista made coffee, their glass cabinets are packed with delicious treats, all made fresh every day – think cakes, pies, pastries and vegan delights (this is Byron after all!).
Best sweet treat
Lock up the sweet tooth in the family if you don’t want to lose them to Love Byron Bay Crepes. It’s the kind of shop that offers love at first bite, with crepes and chocolate, which in their words is ‘the food of the Gods’. Expect chocolate with exotic flavours, along with classics like coffee, ginger and salted caramel.
Best short walk
Coming to Byron and skipping the Cape Byron Lighthouse walk is akin to missing the Opera House in Sydney. Take the scenic 3.7km track along the clifftops, for views over the ocean and hinterland. If you’re an early riser, it’s worth setting the alarm to go early to watch sunrise at Australia’s most easterly point. If you find yourself doing this walk in the winter months, chances are you’ll be walking next to humpback-highway as these marine giants start their annual migration north.
Best pet-friendly beach
Say Byron, think Tallow Beach. And good news for your furry friend, this is one beach they’re not going to be frog-marched (or should that be dog-marched) out of with their tail between their legs. Good news, Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay has direct beach access to the famous Tallow Beach (which has an off-leash section adjacent to Jarman Street, Suffolk Park, extending north to Arakwal National Park) – so you won’t be commuting far from holiday-HQ to off leash-beach bliss.
The Byron Bay Shire is famous for its markets, none more so than the Byron Bay Beach Markets held the first Sunday of the month. You can expect more than just knickknacks (although there’s plenty of them too), these markets are packed with products, holistic services, quality imports, food and more. To obtain a stall here, the philosophy is simple – you have to be able to say you make it, bake it, grow it, or sew it.
Best unexpected day trip
Byron Bay might be the last place you expect to find a castle, but in its hinterland, you’ll find a crystal one – Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens. It’s here you can stand between the two tallest crystals on earth and sit in an ancient amethyst cave. Make a day out of your trip, wandering the five-hectare botanical Shambhaala Gardens and rainforest.