Byron Bay is Australia’s most popular beach town for a reason: it boasts awesome surf, stunning boutique hotels and great food, but also has the bonus of a strong hippie vibe that forces you to chill the hell out.
So when life gets too hectic, we say head down over the border to get some Byron Bay zen. We’ve put together this nifty little guide of the best places to eat, shop and sneak in cocktails so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Namaste!
The Top Shop
Local favourite The Top Shop on Carlyle Street has great coffee and healthy brekky options, not to mention lots of cute surfers hanging out on the front lawn.
Caravan Parks aren’t usually associated with top-notch food but that’s exactly where charming eatery Folk is. Serving up delicious and pretty food in a peaceful spot, we love the strawberry and rosewater smoothie with coconut milk.
Beaches And Cream
Newly opened Beaches and Cream is a winning combination of an ice cream store right on the beach. If you’re not worried about your beach bod, they also do a sweet trade in doughnuts.
The Roadhouse out on Bangalow Road is my pick for one of the best casual restaurants in Australia #bigcall. You can’t beat the fish tacos or the baked eggs in pork bolognaise with goats cheese.
St Elmo’s Dining & Bar
St Elmo’s on Fletcher Street is a Byron winner that consistently serves up great cocktails and tapas. A must visit when in town.
Set out on, you guessed it, a farm, The Farm Byron Bay is one of the first restaurants you see as you drive into Byron from the Pacific Motorway. The Farm’s restaurant is run by the guys behind Three Blue Ducks so there is lots of well-cooked meat and super fresh vegetables in he mix.
The Bolt Hole
Hidden atop a two storey building, The Bolt Hole is one of Byron’s newest and coolest drinking spots. It’s a place of great cocktails and American BBQ and only serves beer in tinnies because they have a much lower environmental impact than glass. Eco and awesome.
The Rails on Jonson Street is a Byron Bay icon. Set in the old railway building, the relaxed pub is known for featuring live music every single night of the week.
Elements Byron Bay
Elements is the new boutique hotel in town and their swish bar is open to guests and locals alike. In winter you can lounge by the central fire pit and in summer the terrace is the place to be for epic cocktails and fine wines.
The roving Sunday Markets rotate between the beach towns of Byron, Bangalow, Mullumbimby and Kingscliff and offer a cracking range of local designers, organic beauty products, fresh produce and delicious doughnuts.
Homewares shop Ahoy on Marvell Street specializes in awesome artwork, candles, and getting people to open their wallet: there’s too much lust-worthy stuff in the one place.
For those in the know, Haveli on Centennial Circuit is the place to go for antiques, bohemian furniture and ethnic jewellery.
Channeling gypsies, wanderers and dreamers on your Byron jaunt? Spell on Browning Street has all the boho dresses and statement rings you could ever want.
Close to St Elmo’s on Fletcher Street, 11:11 o’clock stocks high quality basics with a Byron twist. Think gorgeous striped pyjamas, beautiful classic swimsuits and Alice McCall playsuits all in the one spot.
No trip to Byron is complete without a trek up to the Lighthouse. Take in the stunning views at Australia’s easternmost point and cross your fingers that you’ll see some whales breach as they migrate along the coast.
There’s no point coming to Byron if you’re not going to embrace a bit of the mystical hippie culture and crystals are so in right now. The Crystal Castle which is a little way out of town has one of the most awe inspiring collections of crystals you’ll ever see.
Design credit: Gabrielle Stjernqvist