Yes, recent years have seen an influx of idyll-seeking city dwellers and permanent post-COVID relocators to Byron Bay and its surrounds. At places such as Blackbird Byron, a banana-farm-turned-luxury boutique stay, the tranquillity of the Northern Rivers is nevertheless retained. In fact, the 'noise' you'll hear up here is mostly limited to the soothing rustle of the cane sugar grass that shades the edges of the site, or, the friendly chirp of a staff member offering another coffee over a lazy breakfast. Read on for the full review.
Where is Blackbird Byron?
No, you haven’t taken a wrong turn. Bursting through the metres-high foliage that lines the bumpy road up to Blackbird sets an accurately atmospheric scene for your time at the remote-feel property, somehow less than 15 minutes drive east from Mullumbimby (and about 45 minutes from Ballina Byron Gateway Airport).
What’s near Blackbird Byron?
Despite its remote feel, the hinterland property is actually easily accessible to the treasures of the Byron Bay region with a hire car. Beyond Mullumbimby and its imposing Mount Chincogan, Byron Bay proper and the coast is only about 30 minutes away by car.
There are just three concrete and corten steel pavilions stationed on the former banana farm available for accommodation, all facing due east to a truly astonishing view over the Cape Byron coastline, with the flash of the lighthouse beacon visible through clouds. It all feels gloriously private. Spacious bathrooms with open showers up the feeling luxury, while fluffy beds oriented towards the views make for a perfect crash pad after a day spent exploring — though the attached terrace overlooking that panorama isn't a bad place to relax, either.
Restaurants and bars
The open “shed” is the heart of the property, with a bright and friendly team that flits in and out offering coffees or cocktails, depending on the time of day. The communal meals, served alongside the open corner kitchen in the shelter of rustic corrugated iron anchored by towering recycled timber beams, are lively and fun. The cuisine varies from day to day (sometimes it’s rich and fragrant Thai, sometimes it’s zesty, spicy Mexican) but you can likely expect your dish to come laden with fresh herbs and greens, locally sourced (of course).
Travel for work
While perfectly functional wi-fi allows the possibility, it would certainly be a waste to focus on a screen instead of those mountain glimpses.
Pool and sauna
Resisting the pool, especially during warmer months, is futile. The magnesium jewel has the property’s best vantage point, with sun loungers sprinkled around its edges. Nearby, hidden amid pots of banana palms, an infrared sauna is tucked into a corner — a lovely circuit breaker for those taking dips during winter.
What you need to know
Fancy a midnight snack? Drinks and nibbles, from crackers to bottles of Bollinger, are “help yourself”, based on an honour system and available at all hours from the always-open pavilion.