BYRON BAY GETAWAY GUIDE
There’s always time to bail to Byron, the weather is at a premium pretty much all year around, and now with a booming eating scene with lots of local produce and bars popping up there’s never been a better time to get to the bay. We’ve got it all covered, what to do, where to eat, drink, swim and sleep.
Go on then.
Italian at The Pacific, Beach Hotel
We long for the days this used to be the Pacific but in saying that the boys from The Italian have done a great job filling big shoes. With its ‘greatest hits’ Italian fare, top drawer cocktails and snappy service you’ll be back for more.
Raes at Wategos
Is there a better place to go for lunch on a lovely day? No! Amazing spot, wonderful seafood, great wine list, enough said. New and improved Raes will be opening late 2012.
Harvest Café, Newrybar (see map)
A must. Perfect for a long lunch if it doesn’t feel like a beach day and dinner has a different menu regarded by many a foodie as the best in the area. Only a 15 minute drive from Byron. Go.
St. Elmo, Cnr Fletcher Street and Lawson Lane, Byron Bay, (02) 6680 7426 (see map)
To put this place in perspective, this is the MoVida of Byron. It’s Spanish tapas, wine and beautiful cocktails. It’s one of your best options for a really good meal, bookings essential. Check the menu and see if it grabs you (it will).
Top Shop (see map)
Really consistent and super busy old school burger joint at the top of the hill. Real burgers, real milkshakes, real fish n chips (with the best tartare sauce), and good vibes all around. Really is one of the best places in the bay.
Town, Bangalow (see map)
Get out of town, and go to town on the town (so meta), for a fine dining experience at this charming top notch restaurant. order the 5 course degustation menu with matching wines and you’ll want to tell everyone about this joint.
Byron Bay Pies (see map)
If you consider yourself a pie deviant, you will have two choices; Byron Gourmet Pies and Humble Pie Company. I highly suggest you try both, as both are pretty incredible in different ways. You may never eat another servo pie again (not that they’re even in the same bracket). You can get the Byron Bay pies at the corner store and the Humble Pies at the factory in Billinudgel. Also, across the road from the Corner Shop is the 23 hour bakery, which as you can guess is open 23 hours a day for all your boozy food moods.
Roadhouse, Monday & Tuesday: 6am – 2pm, Breakfast & Lunch: Wednesday – Sunday: 6am – 10pm, 6/142 Bangalow Rd, Byron Bay (see map)
Probably the most forward thinking bar/eatery, bringing the city (Bondi) to the Bay, city-slickers will probably be be quite at home here eating, drinking and doing breakfast, lunch & dinner with the locals. They do really great pub-gastro/drinking foods, whiskey and cocktails. Very very legit.
Outside of Byron Bay:
Brunswick Heads Fish Co-op (see map)
Easily the best fish and chips in the shire, and totally worth the 15 minute drive to Brunswick Heads. Pull up a bit of wharf next to the fishing trawlers and dig in. Priceless moments.
The Beach(ie) Hotel
You’ll find most of the locals here slamming schooners like beer is a new and exiting thing, tons of bands and great live acts are always on display. You’ll probably spend a lot of time here.
La La Land
(it just burned down… RIP)
Grab a quiet beer and watch some bands or some rogue poetry at the Railway Friendly Bar, a former railway station. Lots of kooky characters.
The Great Northern
There is no shortage of awesome old pubs with live bands, and the northern is the original.
Perfect for that cocktail (The food is OK at best, cocktails are better), maybe some oysters overlooking the bustling streets of Byron Bay, great people watching.
The Brewery / Buddha Bar
Located in the piggery on the way to Skinners Shoot, amongst the backpackers and the cinema, this is where debauchery can occur quite frequently. Get stuck into the multiple award winning Byron brews
Woody’s Surf Shack
Woody’s nightclub can also get very loose, with DJ’s and live acts playing consistently, it’s a place for beers and getting a bit trashy.
Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels
Our concierge partner Mr & Mrs Smith have an amazing range of hotels at their disposal, especially around the Byron Bay area. Back in April we test drove The Villas of Byron Bay and we were thoroughly impressed!
Azabu (Skinners Shoot, 10 mins drive out of town)
Sometimes when you go to Byron Bay, if you stay smack bang in the middle of town, you don’t actually feel like you’ve escaped and as handy as it is to be amongst everything, we feel to really experience Byron Bay and it’s tropical surroundings, it’s far more rewarding to relax hard to the sounds of crickets, lyre birds and rain drops on tin roof. This is what Azabu is all about, it’s blissfully ignorant to the rest of the world, pure silence brought to you by nature. They have 4 private cabins (no kids allowed!), they’re like little treehouses for grown ups and with more than modern cons. A big selection of natural breakfast foods is inclusive each morning. This is our pick for ultimate relaxation.
Byron at Byron
A stunning hotel with some amazing packages, big money but worth it.
As close as you can be to both the action town and the serenity of the beach. Drinks at the Beachie followed by a girl’s stone throw away from your room.
Also, extremely close to town and main beach, grab yourself some ocean frontage and chill right out.
Raes at Wategos
Tucked around the headlands, in it’s own little beach cove, you have Rae’s. Pristine and beautiful, it’s one of Byron’s best.
Victoria’s on Wategos
Classical Tuscan villa in the always amazing Wategos landscape. All bedrooms have a floaty, feminine feel, with fairy-tale four-posters, antique French-style dressing tables and chairs, chaise lounges, muted cream curtains and white walls. Luxurious!
It’s also wise, even for a couple of days is to book a house, apartment or villa from the local real estate agents:
Also Stayz.com.au has a range of private and holiday rentals.
For more: Byron Bay Hotels
Great for surfing with it’s changing sandbanks. For the medium-advanced swimmers only when things get a bit rough.
Bundjalung Tea Tree Lake
The tea tree lake might put off some people, as you have to walk into an inlet that turns into some amazing copper brown coloured water and is a bit slimey on the feet. But ignore that and wade into the knee deep water and walk yourself into the deep end and lay end to end in and around the healing properties of tea-tree infused water. This place is kind of magical, it’s known at the “Women’s Lake” and was used by Aboriginal women for giving birth, so you know it’s a bit sacred.
A well renowned surf break for locals and a tourists alike, it gets very busy. Swimmers can enjoy a dip quite easily.
Most famously, Main Beach attracts the big crowds, great for all ages and levels of swimmers and surfers.
Just amazingly serene, it’s like swimming in paradise. You must swim here at least once.
Left of Main Beach beyond the rocks is the famous wreck, check out the local talent shred up some frothy ones or get involved yourself.
King’s Beach (White’s Beach)
If you’re up for the minor trek, this is the most amazing cove beach you’ll find in the Byron Shire. It’s a drive and a walk down from the beautiful forest into another world. It is a well known gay friendly nudist beach so also be prepared get butt naked, and feel liberated with your surroundings.
Brunswick Heads, Torikina, Main Beach & North Wall
Some great little beaches and swimming inlets are in this area, if you haven’t been to Brunswick Heads, you really need to check it out. It’s like Byron Bay 20 years ago without the crowds.
Well renowned for it’s sweeping surf swells, Lennox Heads is a quiet little town with a few cafes and bakeries. It has some fantastic beaches in and around the area.