Whale watching, brilliant stretches of sand and surf, restaurants to rave about – no wonder Byron Bay is now popular with holidaymakers year round. To avoid the tourist crush, we asked Chrissy Caplice from the Byron at Byron Resort & Spa where those in the know go, so you can too.
Raise a glass with the locals
When my friends are in town, I take them for a drink at the Railway Hotel (aka “The Rails”). Locals love this place. It’s small and authentic and what you see is what you get. Beach Hotel is also really popular, especially for sunset drinks. It’s just across the road from the beach, with a very international mix of people.
Try the best bites in town
The restaurant that best shows off Byron is Harvest in Newrybar, where the chef, like many in Byron Bay, likes to source his produce from local growers. On a Saturday morning, the smell of the pastries from the bakery at the back is unbelievable. The restaurant that’s really popular with locals is The Roadhouse, while Il Buco is the best pizza place in town.
Kick on into the night…
The revamped La La Land is a great place; also the bar at St. Elmo and the newish The Bolt Hole.
Then dust yourself off
My favourite breakfast place is Top Shop. It’s very casual and it spills out onto the grass in summer. They make their own bread and serve pastries, acai bowls, Bircher muesli and delicious breakfast burgers. For the best coffee, I go to Sparrow Coffee Co., a little “hole in the wall” that does a great trade.
Step back in time
For vintage shopping, make your way to Trash Vintage on the main street in town. There’s also Miss Brown Vintage.
Dial up the romance
For a romantic experience, couples should go right here, to Byron at Byron Resort & Spa! You can’t get much more romantic, really. An option at our spa is a couple’s massage in the rainforest.
SEE ALSO: Hot Air Ballooning in Byron Bay
Chill out in style
It’s often not cold here when it’s raining so it’s still amazing to go for walks on the beach and go for a swim. Or snuggle up on the Byron at Byron deck with a book. We’ve got blankets, hot chocolate and a library. Nearby there’s an art-house cinema, Pighouse Flicks, with lounge seating.
Take a daytrip – or three!
Minyon Falls has a lookout, picnic tables and barbecues. Alternatively, you could head to Bangalow, in the Byron Bay hinterland, which is beautiful and quite spectacular. You could also go to Lennox Head – it has a great restaurant called Foam.
Release your inner adventurist
Byron Bay’s best outdoor experience is horseriding on the beach with Seahorses Riding Centre or Pegasus Park on weekdays. Hot air ballooning is also a great option, as is whale watching in the season [June to November].
Make the most of Mother Nature
Byron’s best-kept secret is Little Wategos Beach. You can reach it only on foot, which makes it less popular than the adjoining Wategos Beach. Also, there are a few tea-tree lakes in the area. Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head is probably the most amazing one. Swimming in them is great for your hair and great for your skin – all those beautiful essential oils.
SEE ALSO: A Perfect Weekend Getaway to Byron Bay