The Roadtrip Series: go south of the border for a blissful Byron Bay getaway
Steeped in natural beauty and dripping with an unmistakable essence of cool, Byron Bay is a must-do for anyone craving a coastal escape. Heck, if Byron were any more laid back it would be horizontal! Dad jokes aside, this slice of paradise is far from the sleepy little New South Wales town you may imagine it to be. Granted it’s a great place to go for max relaxing, but the killer food scene and abundance of activities cement it as a prime holiday destination. Together with our official site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane and its lady of leisure ambassador Sofie Formica, we’ve created your dream itinerary for a cheeky getaway south of the border.
Bites by day
You’re going to need some fuel in your belly to keep your energy up whilst exploring Byron Bay – we’ve got this. For those who got up at the crack of dawn to make the drive or happened to stay overnight, breakfast in the Bay is a real treat. Kick-start your heart with a coffee from Sparrow, a delightful hole-in-the-wall spot that dishes out the best joe in town. Break your fast with nourishing eats from Bayleaf Cafe, fancied-up favourites from Dip Cafe or a tasty bite from local favourite Top Shop. If you’ve slept in and would prefer to do lunch, a visit to The Farm will sort you out (and blow your mind) – as the name suggests, this is a haven for local, homegrown produce. Stop by the on-site restaurant Three Blue Ducks for a meal that personifies the paddock to plate ethos.
The dining scene in Byron Bay is next level – from high-end feasts to a gathering with pals, there’s something to suit every vibe. St Elmo Dining Room & Bar serves up the best cocktails in town paired with tasty tapas, as well as boasting a super-eclectic wine list. Miss Margarita is cantina bursting with colour and flavour where you will find all of the Mexican classics done to perfection, and The Mez Club will take you from St. Tropez to Morocco with a menu to match. If you want to go all out, Fig Tree Restaurant is the place to do it – the food here is a work of art. The seven-course set menu is always changing, made from seasonal and local produce often grown on-site. For this reason it’s best to book well in advance – don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Image: Brenden + Camilla / Fig Tree Pictures
What’s good to do around here?
Depending on your pace, there’s a whole bunch of things happening in Byron year-round to keep you occupied. Be the first to see the sun come up at Toast the Sun, then take yourself off to Tallow Beach for a day spent frolicking in the pristine ocean water. Beer lovers will go hopping mad for the Stone & Wood brewery tour, and nature lovers will be in awe of Crystal Castle and Shambhala gardens. A quintessential Byron experience can be found through Go Sea Kayak, where you can paddle among dolphins, whales and turtles in the clear blue waters of the Cape Bryon Marine Park. If you like to take it easy, simply stroll the main streets of the Bay and hit up the local markets – retail therapy never looked so good. Cap off your day by watching the sunset and catching some live music at The Beach Hotel.
A sight for sore eyes
You’ll find some of the best vistas in the whole wild world in Byron, so it’s wise to plan accordingly to see ‘em all. If you’re around from June to November, the Cape Byron Bay Lighthouse is a prime spot to do some whale watching – it’s also the easternmost point of mainland Australia! Scope the views from the lighthouse walk to main beach and be amazed by the stunning coastline. It’s also well worth your time to take a drive and explore the hinterland and little villages around Byron – drop into the amazing Harvest at Newrybar, go inland to Bangalow for an eclectic shopping experience or take the coast road south to idyllic Ballina. Further inland you’ll find the evergreen towns of Ewingsdale and Federal – be sure to nab some Byron macadamias while you’re in the neighbourhood.
Rest your bones
As you may have gathered by this point, there’s a fair bit to see and do (and eat) in Byron Bay – you’re going to need a place to stay. Sofie’s top tip is to nab a room at The Byron within Byron Resort and Spa, where you can take advantage of luxurious pampering packages. The restored cottages at The Atlantic are also high up on her list, making it easy to live like a local in style. Rae’s on Wategos is a chic haven that sits right on the beach, so it’s easy to see why it was named one of the world’s top 25 hotels by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine. You’ll find private beach villas at Elements of Byron, Japanese-inspired serenity at Azabu Boutique Accommodation and Tuscan luxury at Victoria’s At Wategos. Good luck making a choice!
This post was created with our good friend Sofie Formica, ambassador for our official site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane. Featured vehicle is the B 200 in Night Black. Available at Mercedes-Benz Brisbane.