Byron Bay, known for its amazing beaches and hippie laid-back culture, is the perfect weekend getaway destination in Australia. I recently went there for the first time and wondered…why did it take me all these years to get here? It’s got such an amazing vibe – so much more distinct from Australia’s many beach towns. I only wish it was closer to Sydney – I’d probably make it there all the time!
I actually found it difficult researching food places in Byron before I got there – it doesn’t seem as well covered as it should be given how popular it is. We actually winged the weekend, and often ended up asking locals for recommendations and followed their cues.
Here’s my take on a weekend in Byron:
Head into town, walk around and absorb the awesome vibe! If it’s warm enough, hit up Byron Bay Beach. Head over to Treehouse on Belongil for some drinks and dinner – there’s an awesome vibe to the place with the live music and candles lighting up the deck.
Wake up to the beautiful Byron sun and head over the Byron Beach Cafe for some brekky by the beach. Try the Mexican rancho eggs w chorizo and avocado, smoky paprika sauce and piadina bread. Mmmm mmmm.
Head over to Wategos Beach to chill – if you’re a surfer, you’ll find plenty of company 🙂
From here, start the Cape Byron Walk, which takes you through the most easterly point of Australia and Cape Byron Lighthouse. With stunning views of the beautiful cliff face of Cape Byron, the walk is a real treat – in my opinion, on par with the Coogee to Bondi walk in Sydney and the Wine Glass Bay walk in Tassie, even though a lot shorter. Note that parts of the walk can be quite steep.
Enjoy some mango and macadamia icecream at the top after the walk 🙂
After getting some rest, get ready for a fun night out with drinks and tapas at The Balcony, a Byron institution. Make sure to book a spot for yourself ahead of time, at the lounges if available, as you get ready for some amazing sunset drinks as you people watch over the balcony. We got quite full on the tapas here – it was delicious. Try the haloumi – just delicious. If we weren’t so full, would’ve tried the paella – would’ve been awesome to have with the sun setting on the balcony 🙂
Spend the rest of the night bar hopping – do check out The Rails – a divey pub located at the old Byron Bay rail station with great atmosphere and live music. A bit of trivia – apparently it’s the only pub in Australia to have featured live music seven nights a week for over 30 years – that’s reason enough to go. Just make sure you’re not too overdressed 😉
We then headed to St Elmo, a wine bar & restaurant serving Spanish tapas – they actually turned us away even though we made a booking. Super snotty, was really different to every other place went to all weekend – AVOID this place unless you want to be given a whole bunch of attitude. A low-light of the trip…
Finish the night at Istanbul Cafe, which is across the road from the Restaurant, a newly opened casual cafe which serves shisha – we were the first ones to inaugurate the shisha actually! The owners were so friendly – we actually called ahead and even though it was closed, they let us come in. Love places like this where you feel like you’re just at home – the staff made us feel really comfortable and even asked them to join their table if we wanted!
Head over to the Bay Leaf Cafe for another delicious breakfast at a chilled out cafe. Sit by the window and start with some delicious Byron chai or their housemade iced tea or organic juice. My favourite on the menu was the avocado salsa, to which I added two poached eggs – loved the generous serving of avocado, seasoned with almonds and pine nuts and coriander. SO GOOD!
Spend the rest of your afternoon at Byron Bay Beach – we just chilled and you can even get some fresh coconut juice to enjoy on the beach!
Finish the chilled out weekend with some drinks at Miss Margarita – loved the mango and mint chilled drink and the sangria! The food was excellent as well – pulled pork tacos, chicken nachos and salt and pepper squid which was tangy and had a nice bite to it!
LOVE, LOVE BYRON BAY – cant wait to come back!!