After a long Melbourne winter we have been craving a warm breeze, sun on our faces and sea salt in our hair. So a few weeks ago we decided at the last minute to visit the stunning Byron Bay.
Despite being a few hours flight from Melbourne and regarded a one of the best stretches of coast in the country, for some reason Byron had yet to appear on our beach list. But having been and come back, I can say now that it is one of those places that makes you realise how lucky we are in this country.
Here’s a little list of the places we visited on our trip:
Cape Beach House
We had only one real requirement for our stay in Byron, being close to the beach. Cape Beach House is just across the road from Clarkes beach, and a short 5 minute stroll into town. The rooms are beautiful and Katie the owner is uber friendly and always had a good suggestion for us. It was the perfect spot to be in, left to the bustling town centre, right to the lighthouse, straight ahead to the ocean.
94 Lawson Street, Byron Bay
Go out the front door anytime before 10am in Byron and you’re bound to see a steady stream of folk either wearing thongs – heading to the beach – or joggers – heading to the lighthouse. The walk up to the highest point in Byron is something of a daily pilgrimage for the Byronese. It starts just out of the town centre, cuts through dense coastal forest and shows you the best of what Byron has to offer. Watego’s Beach is a highlight, as is watching dolphins catch waves in the afternoon light. Takes about 45 minutes to get to the lighthouse, so leave enough time to get there by sunset.
Lighthouse Road, Byron Bay
There are plenty of options for eating in Byron, but St Elmo’s tapas bar and restaurant deserves a spot on your holiday menu. A constantly rotating wine menu complements a great atmosphere and delicious tapas.
22 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay
Easily the best breakfast/brunch we had in Byron. Jam packed most of the time, and only small to begin with, plenty of healthy and gluten free options. Like a slice of Melbourne carved into the eclectic Byron lifestyle.
2 Marvell Street, Byron Bay
The Top Shop
This old weatherboard on top of a hill cafe and take away store is a favourite amongst the locals. Whether it’s a quick morning coffee before a swim at the beach or a late afternoon burger, The Top Shop is the perfect place to find your own patch of lawn out the front and soak up some sunshine.
65 Carlisle Street, Byron Bay
No one was asking, but there is actually a lot more to Byron Bay than a luxurious coastline. Take a drive inland on Coolamon Rd and spend half a day admiring rolling hills, leafy trails, quaint rural townships and plenty of options for stopping for coffee and/or (who am I kidding both) cake. On your way back, swing past Bangalow before 3pm at the much recommended Town Cafe.
Town Cafe – 33 Byron St, Bangalow
Nestled in the Hinterlands about 40 minutes from Byron’s coastal strip is Doma Cafe – a quaint Japanese cafe which seems to be a bit of a hidden treasure for locals. How the best Japanese I’ve had since Tokyo landed in a town of two businesses and a main street of about 50m, I do not know. I’m just glad it happened.
A must try: crunchy tuna sushi rolls!
3-6 Albert Street, Federal
Fish and Chips at the beach (any beach)
Nestled behind the always bustling Beach Hotel is Bay Lane, home to some of Byron’s cheapest eats. Everything is catered for here, Italian, Thai, Greek, vego, and our pick for fish and chips: Fishmongers. Choose your fish and take it with tempura vegetables, salad greens, hand cut chips or fragrant rice. Then choose your beach view; Main, Clarkes or Watego’s (we chose Watego’s).
Fishmongers Gourmet Fish and Chips – 1 Bay Lane, Byron Bay
A big thanks to my hubby for helping me write this post and also contributing to some of the photography! xo.
Photography by Mark and Monique Welker.