Six days in Byron Bay
Updated: Jun 20
Travelling to the other side of the world for a long weekend, wasn't quite what we had in mind ... Our adventure down the East Coast came to an unexpected end when we had to board a last-minute flight home because of Covid- 19.
Whilst we only got to experience one out of six destinations in Australia, I'm very grateful that my last days of freedom before fleeing to British lockdown were spent in the idyllic bohemian town of Byron Bay.
This beachside beauty is dotted with lively bars, hippy locals and enough organic and plant-based restaurants for it to be a vegan's dream. You could easily spend your day musing around the boutique shops and hopping between restaurants which range from serving Açai Bowls to Oysters and cocktails. However, with its surfing culture and laid-back vibes, it's the sort of place you want to spend all day on the long-stretched beaches watching the surfers and frolicking in the waves until the sun goes down.
Just off the beach, Treehouse on Belongil is a quirky bar and restaurant with eclectic brick-a-brack furniture and live DJs. In their own words, they serve 'food to hug the body & music to sooth the soul'. I recommend you go for a wood-fired pizza and Gin Garden cocktail. You may even be lucky enough to be accompanied by the local table crashers, AKA the bush turkey (see the second picture).
The Pressed Pantry
Their fruit-laden bowls don't just look good, they taste amazing too and cure even the worst of Byron hangovers. After trying out an assortment of açai bowls during our stay, the smoothie and juice bar Pressed Pantry won açai gold.
Once we got past the rocky waves with the help from our tour guides, we were eagle-eyed on the lookout for turtles and dolphins. We were submerged in the sea, surrounded by a pod of 100 wild dolphins - it was breath-taking. The best £30 i've ever spent! It's worth noting that the unpredictable nature of these mammals, means that you're not guaranteed to see dolphins, but rest assured their policy ensures that you can go on their kayaking tours until you spot a dolphin.
If you're looking for a Sunday motive, Balcony Bar's drag and dine night should definitely be on the agenda. Our first night in Bryon was spent drinking jugs of sangria and cheering on a sassy drag queen as she strutted her glittery stuff up and down the balcony. On Wednesdays, this shabby chic restaurant hosts an oyster happy hour- $1.50 (75p) per oyster!
Meander around this working farm abundant with veggie patches and beautiful blooming gardens home to pigs, chickens and hairy Scottish Highland Cattle. Their restaurant Three Blue Ducks overlook the grounds and embraces a farm to fork philosophy, serving produce from the farm. Don't leave without trying their banana bread from their cafe and shop, The Produce Store.
The Lighthouse Walk
Warning 5.45 am start (only 2 of us made it)! Determined to watch a Byron Bay sunrise, we set our alarms to an ungodly hour and set off in the dark. With the help of google maps and a few early bird locals, we managed to find ourselves on the well-known walk to the most Eastern point of Australia- the Lighthouse. As the sunlight seeped over the horizon, the stunning views of the ocean became apparent and made, what I would consider more of a trek than a walk, all worth it.
When shell crab sliders, oysters and cheese boards are on the menu- we don't want just one dish- we want it all! As Loft's menu is designed to share you really can try it all. Pair these sharing plates with a 'lychee chilli coconut martini' or a changing colour 'purple haze martini' and relax or boogie on Lofts buzzy beach terrace.
The Dog Beach (Belongil Beach)
The perfect place to get your dog fix if you are missing your pooch back home. Recommended by a local, this beach is a short walk from town. Being one of the few beaches that allow dogs, it is roaming with furry friends. I recommend going for sunset when most of the dogs are on 'walkies'.
Nestled in the trees and high on the dunes of Clarkes beach, this place does brunch/ lunch and dinner with a view. We stumbled across this beachfront restaurant on our return from the Lighthouse and ate raw fish ceviche, whilst looking out to the picturesque coastline.