A few weekends ago I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday weekend with an overnight trip to the beautiful Byron Bay. Down the coast road we went, through the northern hinterlands, past the rolling green hills with farmhouses tucked in their bosoms, and eventually over the rise of another hill we were met with the sight of the sea. Today I present to you, a brief guide to the places we enjoyed during our stay at Byron Bay.
Purely by accident I stumbled across the Byron Cove Beach House online and booked it after a brief look at some other accommodation. Upon arrival we were not disappointed with our choice. The room was bright and light with a modern beach house theme. The huge king bed was the best place for an afternoon nap and the air conditioning, huge shower, and free wi-fi certainly impressed Chris. Perhaps the best part about the Byron Cove Beach House is the proximity to the beach. We were so close that we fell asleep to the sound of the waves roaring and crashing on the sands. We will definitely be returning to the Byron Cove Beach House in the near future.
Less than 36 hours in a place didn’t allow for in-depth exploration, but we made the most of the time we had, and we were there to relax – definitely achieved that outcome! On my list of recommendations:
A long beach walk before dinner – we started our walk while the sun was setting and watched it disappear over the mountains in streaks of rose and gold and then watched the stars pop out of the newly dark sky. Pure magic.
The Cape Byron Lighthouse. Try this walk early in the morning before the heat of the day arrives. Cape Byron boasts the title of the Easternmost Point of Mainland Australia, but that is not the main reason to visit. The reason to attempt this challenging walk (the return journey is entirely uphill – think lunges, lots of lunges) is the uninterrupted view of the ocean, which in the morning is covered in a blanket of mist that rolls back as the sun gets higher; the dolphin sightings (we weren’t lucky enough to see dolphins – next time); and the waves that crash against the rocks while the lighthouse stands resolutely above. Bring your camera on this walk because you will want to capture some of the magic on film for yourself. Also – bring water, sunscreen, and a hat.
Johnson St. This is the main street of Byron and it is filled with quirky little shops, and each side street is lined with other places to explore. Next time I will be doing some home ware shopping for our new house… (Chris you are warned).
Now we get to the most important part! While we were in Byron our tummies were filled (delightfully) at the following places:
Twisted Sista Café – a recommendation from my sister’s mother-in-law and a worthy one at that. I enjoyed the Polenta and Vegetable Stack while Chris went for the Tandoori Chicken Sandwich. Neither of us were disappointed. Bring your cash though because there are no card facilities at this café.
Fishheads – we stumbled across this place during our pre-dinner walk. I am so glad we came back! Chris devoured an amazing Mixed Grill, which was filled with fish, prawns, and champagne lobster – a very happy man indeed. My dinner was smaller, the Caprese Salad, which boasted beautifully milky burrata, but my side of fries and aioli more than made up for it. The Fishheads team make the aioli in the restaurant and by the end I was almost begging for the recipe. I’ll have to attempt my own very soon.
Bella Rosa Gelataria – My little sister recommended this one, and boy oh boy was she on the money! I am a gelati fiend and this gelataria is on par with any of the places I visited in Italy. My pistachio gelati was studded with roasted pistachio pieces and Chris’s chocolate gelati had hidden chunks of chocolate throughout. The flavours were full and smooth and I can’t wait to go back for more!
The Ginger Pig – We were hooked after we saw the name! After our lighthouse walk we were starving for breakfast before our drive home. This place fit the bill with a menu to please a meat eater and a gluten free vegetarian. My breakfast of buckwheat pancakes was a little lacklustre, but the wonderful selection of teas made up for it. Chris was happy as the proverbial in mud with his Pig’s Breakfast and drove home with a sausage-induced smile on his face.
A few things:
Byron Bay is horrible for parking. Walk when you can because the relaxing holiday atmosphere can soon be shattered with a frustrating search for a park.
Make time to people watch in Byron. This seaside town is a melting pot of new-age hippies both old and young, sea-change yuppies, holiday makers, backpackers, surfers, foodies, and locals. A cup of coffee and a good street facing seat will provide you endless entertainment as the mosaic of humanity walks on by.
Tell me dear reader, have you ever been to Byron? Any places I need to put on my list for next time?