Category Archives: Byron Bay

— Byron Bay —

Bellingen to Byron Bay via the ‘other Byrons’


  • Byron Bay isn’t the only place to find Byron (if you catch our drift) – tree-changers have brought the town’s quirky, luxe touches to personality-filled pockets all over the NSW North Coast hinterland. Get there before the masses do. 

    Cafés churning out tasty organic goods, pristine beaches lined with vitamin-D-soaking day trippers, Quirky shops that smell of cheap incense and expensive candles. If you’re joining the tens of thousands making the annual pilgrimage up the east coast to Byron Bay this summer, don’t rush – there are several pockets of equally personable (and surprisingly stylish) diversions to be uncovered along the way. Click on these top five to see what our ‘alternative Byrons’ offer.

    1. The hippie hub: Bellingen – like Byron in the 70s

    2. The natural wonder: Dorrigo – away from the beach and into the rainforest

    3. The secret beaches:Emerald Beach and Woolgoolga

    4. The summer escape: funky Yamba

    5. Escaping the crowds at Byron’s neighbour: Lennox Head


    PLUS: All you ever need to know about Byron Bay


    The Details

    Getting there: Virgin Australia flies to Coffs Harbour from Sydney daily and from Melbourne on weekends. From Coffs airport, it’s approximately a 30-minute drive to Bellingen. See

    Staying there: Take your pick when it comes to accommodation on this stretch of the east coast. From caravan parks and hostels, to five-star hotels and luxury B&Bs, all tastes are catered for. See

    Need to know: The coastal towns will fill up quickly come summertime, so book accommodation early.

    Australian Traveller issue 60

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    You can find it in Issue 60 along with
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    — Byron Bay —

    #22 – Uncrowded Byron glamour (with kids in tow)


    Up the northern end of Byron Bay, Belongil Beach is oft overlooked and we just can’t work out why – number 22 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet‘. Nominated by: Sophie Falkiner, TV presenter.

    Byron Bay is no secret, but up its northern end sits Belongil Beach, which is so much quieter that it’s usually overlooked. And that’s precisely why it’s so fantastic, says Sophie Falkiner.

    “We’ve just discovered these great cabins called Bluewater on the Beach (from $275 per night). They sit on a stretch of grass that drops directly onto the sand, and the guy who runs them has set up a self-serve ‘toy garage’ – there are paddle boards, boogie boards, mini mals, wetsuits, cricket sets, push bikes, kites, umbrellas, so you can really set yourself up for a good day.”

    Just across the road happens to be Byron’s best pizzas at Treehouse (“they’re thin and crispy, and served with fabulous cocktails, amazing salads and live music”) and Belongil Bistro, which serves green juices and freshly baked muffins each morning.

    “The kids boogie board, there’s plenty of privacy and best of all, you’re still so close to the hub of Byron that you don’t have to get into a car,” she says. “You just walk for 10 minutes along the beach and you’re home.”


    Return to: 100 Amazing Places You Haven’t Been to Yet


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    Australian Traveller Issue 62

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    You can find it in Issue 62 along with
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    — Byron Bay —

    Byron Bay’s 2015 secret spots revealed


    Everyone’s favourite beach town, as voted for in Australian Traveller’s People’s Choice Awards, is always changing. Allow us to present to you our latest list of finds.

    For great PIZZA (with a side of live music) head to Treehouse on Belongil.

    For the makings of an AMAZING PICNIC start at the local markets on the first Sunday each month (02 6685 6807) before heading to sweetly named Heart Breads Bakery found on a farm.

    Save space for a LONG LUNCH, and time to admire the tiled wall by Ahoy Trader’s Vasicek, at Miss Margarita, and an early dinner of GREAT JAPANESE at Izakaya Yu in Mullumbimby (02 6684 4545), which is also BYO.

    Sneak off to KINGS BEACH or WHITES BEACH for a quieter slice of Byron sand – locals can direct you.

    Rest your head in a RETREAT with affordable views at the aptly named Byron’s Secret from $280 per night or book a BED AND BUSHWALK at TheShed from $300 per person per night including all meals and guided bushwalk.

    Australian Traveller issue 60

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 60 along with
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    — Byron Bay —

    Wild About Whales in Byron Bay


    ***This article was created in partnership with our sponsor NSW National Parks***

    The whale season is one of nature’s most spectacular sights and NSW coastal national parks are the ideal place to catch the action. Plan your next coastal adventure to Byron Bay to experience the whales enjoying their natural playground.

    Home to some of the most enviable whale watching in the country, NSW coastal national parks are the perfect location to see the annual migration. And one of the areas that you can make your whale watching experience extra special is in Byron Bay. During the whale season it is easy to spot whales from the beaches and headlands in the Cape Byron State Conservation Area.

    Stay a few days at one of the national parks accommodation options and be sure to head to the historic Cape Byron Lighthouse, where you can learn more about whales, grab a coffee and enjoy breathtaking views or wander along the Cape Byron walking track to see breaching humpbacks along the way.

    As well as being amazed by the whale migration, there are a vast array of activities in the area such as bushwalking, bird watching, photography and guided discovery activities.

    To stay

    Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottages: These offer grand panoramic views taking in golden beaches, coastline and the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse from the summit of Cape Byron State Conservation Area. The cottages have been lovingly restored to retain their heritage charm, with the addition of modern conveniences to ensure you holiday in style. There are two lighthouse cottages, each with three bedrooms, sleeping up to six.

    Mildenhall Cottage: With spectacular coastal vistas and direct access to one of Byron’s best beaches, award-winning Mildenhall Cottage is the ideal holiday accommodation for those who love nature and the beach. The cottage is one of four 1920s-1950s beach shacks that have been carefully restored to offer modern convenience with eco-tourism accreditation, while still retaining its original character, heritage and charm.

    To plan

    To plan your own coastal adventure in NSW’s national parks this whale watching season and to find out more about the accommodation and activities in Byron Bay, visit:

    Wild About Whales App

    Visitors can also log their whale sightings via the Wild about Whales smartphone app. It provides a map of the latest sightings and allows visitors to log their own sightings and contains information about different species, tips for spotting whales, and tours to help make the most of your coastal adventure in NSW’s national parks.

    — Byron Bay —

    100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #21 a beach break Byron-style, NSW


    Score: 8.57

    It doesn’t matter if you’re splurging on outrageous Wategos opulence or camping at Clarkes; Byron is blissful every which way. Though ‘the beach break’ scored most highly of all Byron nominations (how could it not?), our panellists also rated eternally popular Bluesfest, hiding out at luxe retreat The Byron at Byron, and the town’s beloved music festival Splendour in the Grass as great holiday experiences. “Constantly evolving,” says Catriona Rowntree, “Byron thrills all.” Indeed.

    Licence to chill

    Three bargain Byron beach shacks
    1. The Happy Shack: Hammocks, a mango tree, basic but airy wooden interiors. From $250 a night, eight people.
    2. Susan’s Beach House: Polished concrete, frangipani trees and a luxe daybed just outside of town. From $350 a night, six people.
    3. Absolute Wategos: Daggy bedrooms, but plenty of space, light and panoramic verandah views. And beachfront! From $360 a night, six people.


    Back to the 100
    AT issue 56

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    — Byron Bay —

    100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #69 Surf-And-Spa Safari


    Score: 8.054

    These have been popping up around the globe, but here in Australia – home to the world’s best beaches – we reckon you’ll find the best of these kinds of holidays going. “The best fusion-holiday idea since luxury trekking,” says Georgia Rickard, “with the same kind of formula – plenty of exercise, in a beautiful setting, with gorgeous people. Win-win-win.” Two divine set-ups come immediately to mind: Injidup Spa Retreat Surf Camp, in Margaret River; and Escape Haven women-only surf safaris at Byron Bay. Hang ten and, after a massage, hang loose.

    Plan your Great Australian Holiday with our sponsors Discovery Holiday Parks
    Discovery Holiday Parks


    Back to the 100
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    — Byron Bay —

    Surf, yoga, eat gourmet food… repeat


    Relaxation, rejuvenation, pampering and play… now that’s a holiday. Georgia Rickard joins a luxury, womens-only surf and yoga retreat in beautiful Byron Bay

    Bonds. Bottle-os. Budgie smugglers. There are many aspects of being ‘strayan that this journalist wholeheartedly supports (yes, budgie smugglers – there, I said it), but surfing isn’t one of them.

    Neither is the bronzed and buff archetype – I’m all arms and legs, a body type best suited to reading, according to my mother – but I’m here all the same; standing at the shoreside in Byron Bay and squinting through the humid rain, while a chipper, cute-as-a-button instructor named Karine demonstrates how to stand up on a board with one lithe, fluid movement and a giant, happy-with-herself grin.

    Surfing wasn’t born in Australia – that title goes to Hawaii – but from 1915 onwards a surf culture flourished. (Most nations didn’t adopt the sport until much later; only California and Hawaii are considered to have surfing heritage at least comparable to ours.) According to Surfing Australia, quoting a report by Sweeney Research, there are around two-and-a-half million recreational surfers in this country.

    Even if you’ve never tried the sport, it’s hard to avoid having owned at least one Quiksilver cossie, knowing who Layne is, or being familiar with the sight of nippers crashing a Sunday morning beach. It seems that making at least one serious attempt at mastering this sport is a basic requirement of being Australian… gangly handicap or not. So here I am.

    “In surfing, you need to go against what you’ve always been taught,” says Karine, pushing her white blonde hair off her face as she looks earnestly around at the group. Two of the six women here, who are aged from 28 to 52, have never tried this sport, although the other four of us – this grommet included – have a childhood lesson or two under their belt. “Instead of clinging on to the board, you need to let go and trust the wave. Instead of leaning away from the board, which is the natural instinct, you need to lean forward and trust the wave.”

    The obvious analogy here would be a comparison to life.

    “It is a lot like life,” she says, chirpily. “And just like life, getting outside your comfort zone is where all the rewards are!”

    Tired arms, gourmet lunch

    This, alas, is true – my arm muscles can attest to that, but today, at least, I will find solace in the fact that post-lesson, the comfort zone will beckon in the form of a gourmet chef-prepared lunch, a deep-tissue massage and, probably, a lazy afternoon nap. It’s par for the course on this retreat, a womens-only luxury wellness camp with a focus on great food, yoga and excellent spa treatments… as well as the occasional – or not so occasional – dump in the waves.

    “Paddle!” screeches Karine, as the wave gathers speed. Hands on the rails (surfer speak for side edges of the board), one foot in front, and I’m wobbling my way to a standing position… almost. The front of the board dips, the wave crashes over and, after a second or two tumbling around in the foamy white, I’m surfacing, with a manic grin on my face and hair to match.

    “That was better!” Karine says and you can almost believe her.

    The idea of mixing surfing with indulgence was conceptualised by founder Janine Hall, who worked a high-pressure role as global marketing manager for Selfridges until she took a year off to travel after a relationship break-up. Whilst on sabbatical she fell in love with surfing and, after an unsuccessful attempt to return to the corporate world, found herself moving to Bali where she set up the kind of retreat she’d always wanted to attend herself.

    Fast forward a few years and Janine has now brought Escape Haven Retreats to Byron Bay, the town loved as much for its mix of alternative and mainstream culture as its long, white beaches, lush green hinterland and perfect, rolling waves.

    Going solo

    “I think more women are taking these solo ‘mini breaks’ because they realise the benefit of taking time out to focus on their wellbeing and reconnecting with themselves and others, and what makes them happy,” she says. “Byron was the obvious location choice.”

    Since opening earlier this year, the retreat has seen a steady swell in numbers, with the guest referral rate already at around one third of all visits. Interestingly, she says, approximately 70 per cent of all women come away on their own.

    “We’ve giving ourselves permission to invest in ourselves,” she explains. “The fastest growing segment of surfers is women in their 30s and 40s, which I think is a direct result of women discovering how empowering it is to learn something new; to conquer their fear.”

    As long as we conquer it in style, that is. Our home for these seven days is owned by Tim Freedman who, if this property is anything to go by, has done very well for himself out of his music career with The Whitlams. Surrounded by rainforest on the doorstep of Tallows Beach, the villa is a veritable oasis, full of natural timber and glass. One gets the distinct feeling that the architect’s brief included the words ‘co-exist with nature’ and, if the soundtrack of twittering birds can be taken as testament, the project has been a success. The villa is not so much a house as a series of spacious, shuttered rooms connected by raised timber boardwalks, with bathrooms quite literally big enough to cartwheel through.

    Notes on my pillow

    Each night, candles are lit, beds turned down and a small gift with an artfully handwritten note is left on the pillow. “Life is a canvas – throw all the paint at it you can”, reads the card on the first night, alongside a tiny silver candle.

    Another bedtime comes with prettily-scented lip balm and the words “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined”. It might have seemed contrived, if everything else here – the in-house chef, the other guests, the excellent food – weren’t so genuinely… nice.

    Everything except for the yoga. “I hate this pose,” I say tetchily during one session, wobbling on the spot with a burning calf muscle. Teacher Nikki, a long limbed, golden skinned, wisp of a thing, smiles in that calm way all yoga teachers do. “Is that getting you anywhere?” she asks.

    Well, no.

    “Does complaining, or hating, ever get you anywhere?”

    Point taken. Still, if you persist with the lessons – they’re optional, so you don’t have to – it’s a safe bet you’ll eventually be won over. Each class is conducted outside on the property’s wooden deck surrounded by skinny palms, lush ferns and fat columns of sunlight, and though some parts are challenging, the after-effects, which begin to kick in mid-head massage at the end of class, are wonderful. There’s something truly special about having a good stretch. Or maybe that’s merely the effect of taking a proper break.

    The howling release

    Forty-three-year-old Bron Starling from Temora, NSW, knows first-hand the impact of these retreats, having previously attended the Bali counterpart before booking this trip. “I howled like a baby one day [at that first retreat],” she admits. “I just needed the release. We’d had a bit of a horror year leading up to it, so when I got there and relaxed, it all came out.”

    The experience of mastering a new skill was an added bonus, she adds. “The whole ‘me’ thing, not being a wife or mum but just me, being on a surfboard… that’s really empowering. It’s that whole, ‘look what I can do when I’m away from my life’ kind of thing. And it’s just so good to know that you don’t have to be some lithe, gorgeous, bikini clad surfie chick [to learn how to surf], you can be a regular old mother and be good at this.” She is silent for a moment.

    “Actually,” she adds, “the surfing is why I came back [to this retreat].”

    Thirty-one-year-old Ange Young, who is based in London, agrees. “The combination of yoga and surfing gets your brain to think differently to normal,” she muses. “I think it calms it.” A consultant in global data management, Ange was looking specifically to “get as far away from my corporate life as possible. And I think I’ve done pretty well!”

    But it’s not about having a really meaningful experience, points out 43-year-old Jen Lewis. Also hailing from Temora, Jen came here with Bron with the express purpose of enjoying herself. “I’m not escaping anything,” she shrugs. “I just wanted a great holiday, and here it is!”

    Even a certain grudging journalist manages to surprise herself on this trip. I’d like to say it was because of the massages, or the cooking class, or even just all the eating (chef Mell’s cooking is excellent), but the true highlight of the trip is definitely in the water.

    Surfing is challenging, there’s no denying that, but getting into the water with a bunch of similarly minded (and similarly coordinated) women does a lot to ease the pressure. Once you’ve managed to stand up, there are endless challenges to embrace. It’s at times exhilarating and otherwise frustrating but no matter what, it’s utterly absorbing. And so, when a particularly big wave comes rolling in on our last day, and Karine screams, “go, go, go!” I don’t stop to think about it.

    I paddle till my arms are aching, wobble my way into a standing position, and while my six-strong surfing posse cheers and hollers, I ride that crystal clear steamroller all the way to shore.

    The details

    WhoEscape Haven Retreats run for seven days. A maximum of eight women can attend at any time, with ages ranging from 25 to 55. Surfing, yoga, a cooking workshop and two full-body massages are included, along with all breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Three dinners are included, three dinners are at your leisure. Prices start from $2895 per person.

    Getting there: Major airlines service both Ballina airport (less than an hour’s drive from Byron) and Coolangatta airport (roughly a 90-minute drive from Byron). We used Xcede shuttle service, which costs $16 from Ballina and $35.10 from Gold Coast (one-way).

    Staying there: Rooms have all the right luxuries – daybeds, Egyptian cotton sheets, huge bathrooms, nightly turndown and daily room service. Sharing in either a twin or triple room is encouraged, although one private suite is available.

    Eating there: The food here is centred around wellness, but don’t expect to shed kilos – it’s hard to say no to seconds. Expect dishes like zucchini and parmesan soup, with lashings of EVOO and basil; grainy sourdough French toast served with maple syrup, stewed pears and dolloped ricotta; and chocolatey, coconut-filled balls made from dried fruit, with ‘nothing bad’ in them.

    Playing there: Free time is built into the schedule and all activities are optional, so there is time to wander the town of Byron Bay. Paddleboards are also provided for use in free time, and there’s an infinity pool. Tallows Beach is a 30-second walk down a private track. Be warned, however, after surfing you may well be more interested in naps than doing much.

    Need to know: Alcohol is not provided, but if you think a retreat just isn’t worth it without the wine, fret not – you can BYO. (And Mell will happily drive you to a bottle shop.)

    Australian Traveller issue 54

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    You can find it in Issue 54 along with
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    — Byron Bay —

    The Byron Bay bucket list


    Learning to surf is just part of it – Byron Bay has a bucket list a mile long. Journalist, author, food activist and adopted Byron local Sarah Wilson shares her local favourites

    Best secret beach?

    It would probably be Cosy Corner [at the lighthouse end of Tallows Beach]. The locals go there when it’s a windy day because it’s the most protected spot you can find. Or for a swim, go to the Tea Tree Lakes – locals will give you directions if you ask around.

    Best dinner spot?

    I really like the Rails Pub for some complete local action. Bands play there every single night and the food they produce in that tiny kitchen is some of the best you’ll ever eat – especially the Bangalow pork. Or try Targa in the main part of town. Tourists go to The Italian but Targa is more consistent, in my opinion.

    Best lunch?

    Liliana’s is a homestead in the middle of nowhere – it’s a lovely farm setting and the food is amazing. They do clever, substantial meals. It’s only 10 or 15 minutes away from town, and well worth it.”

    Ultimate brunch?

    Locals go to One One One – it’s a classic place that’s been there forever. Or try The Roadhouse – I’ve not come across anything quite like it in [hometown] Sydney. It makes the best coffee in town, they’ve got a veggie garden and an open fire in winter where they make slow cooked dishes. They’ve got one of the biggest whiskey collections I’ve ever seen.

    Favourite bbq spot?

    The barbecue area at The Pass carpark is really lovely – there’s a protected grassy area just back from the beach amongst the rainforest, the barbecues are always really clean. I love buying some fish, chucking it on the barbie and making fish tacos to eat with salad here.

    Best spa?

    The spa at The Byron at Byron is really good. I also like a little day spa at [nearby town] Mullumbimby called Mullum Sari ( – it has an infrared sauna in a really beautiful Buddhist garden, and there’s a little café down the road called Poinciana (, where you can have a tea in the tranquil garden.

    Top accommodation?

    In the middle of town is the Atlantic ( – it’s reasonably priced and you can self cater, so it’s really good for groups of friends. It’s very ‘Byron’, with breeze running through the middle of it. I’d also recommend the The Byron at Byron ( for something a little bit more upmarket – you’ve got little tree houses in the forest. Once again it’s self catering if you like but the restaurant is worth going to for a meal and a cocktail by the pool, even if you’re not staying there. Also the chef who runs the kitchen does tours on a Thursday, where you can go to the farmers’ markets with him and then he’ll cook what you’ve chosen at the markets that night.

    Best day trip?

    Newrybar is a great outing – it’s a tiny little town with a bric-a-brac shop. The Harvest Café ( there is run by a young couple in their 30s; they’re really passionate about what they do. Ask about their themed nights – lots of fun.

    Most ‘Byron’ experience?

    Go for a surf and then get a breakfast burger at Top Shop (65 Carlyle Street, 02 6685 6495). It’s an old Byron homestead, set back in the suburban area of town. It’s kind of a local hangout – it gets the morning sun on the lawn, and their burgers… wow. They make their own bread and patties with organic local meat… it’s a classic Aussie burger, made with a Byron edge.

    SEE MORE: places to beat the crowds at Byron. 

    Australian Traveller issue 54

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 54 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Byron Bay —

    10 ways to avoid the holiday crowds in Byron Bay


    Byron Bay is the place for out-there and indulgent experiences, but how to tell the chic from the backpacker? Cut through the hype and get straight into authentic Byron this Christmas holidays.

    Spa, yoga & learn to surf

    Combine surfing, yoga, a cooking workshop and massages in one place at Escape Haven Retreats (1). The seven-day retreats are designed for eight women at a time (from 25 to 55).

    As far as spas go, The Byron at Byron (2) is a decadent option and Mullum Sari (3)a boutique day spa at nearby Mullumbimby, is also somewhere to consider on your wellness quest – complete with infrared sauna in a stunning Buddhist garden.

    Secrets beaches

    For a swim (4)Cosy Corner, at the lighthouse end of Tallow Beach, is where the locals go when it’s a windy day because it’s the most protected around. Or go to the Tea Tree Lakes – locals will give you directions.

    Whites Beach took top spot in our 100 incredible travel secrets of Australia, even though it’s just down the road from million-dollar Main Beach. You need to drive down a dirt road through rainforest, stop at an unmarked spot, and wander down a quiet, tree-lined path onto the white shoreline – it feels a world away.


    Nearby Bangalow (5) is what you get when you take a small country town, add some big city flavour and let it marinate for a few decades. Not too far away, Liliana’s is a homestead in the middle of nowhere – it’s a lovely farm setting and the food is amazing. They do clever, substantial meals.

    Newrybar (6) is a great outing – it’s a tiny little town with a bric-a-brac shop. The Harvest Café there is run by a young couple who are really passionate about what they do. Ask about their themed nights.

    Time on your hands

    All beached out? Following the Byron-esque themes of “inspiration, creativity and involvement in the visual arts”, the Byron Arts Classic (7) is a hub for artists from all disciplines across the area (January 11-16).

    Starlight Wellbeing Expo (8) in Bangalow (January 9-12) will surely look after your inner-health hankerings, showcasing the health and wellbeing experiences available in the shire.

    Films buffs have a couple of options: Flickerfest Short Film Festival (9) lands in Bangalow (January 25-27). Or for those looking for a last-minute lucky dip, you can catch a show, dance or travelling flick in one of the Byron Shire community halls (keep an eye out on the local papers/noticeboards for details).

    Graze with the locals (10)

    The Rails Pub for some complete local action. Bands play there every night and the food from that tiny kitchen is some of the best you’ll ever eat – especially the Bangalow pork. Or try Targa in the main part of town. Other quality alternatives in Byron’s ocean of choice are One One One, The Roadhouse and Miss Margherita.

    For more information, see Visit Byron.

    See other summer holiday destinations: Same old Christmas beach holiday? Not any more…


    — Byron Bay —

    5: Watch a breathtaking sunrise at Byron Bay (NSW)


    There are few things more silently soul-stirring than watching the dawn of a brand new summer’s day, and what better place to do it than at Australia’s most easterly point? Get into the Byron spirit and embrace all the wonders of mother nature by setting the alarm clock nice and early, rousing the kids, and trundling up the walk to the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Cameras at the ready, watch the big golden ball slowly rise from the faraway ocean horizon, before heading down to Byron Beach Café for a scrumptious early breakfast with a side of gorgeous beach views (it gets pretty packed, so it’s not a bad idea to get here early!) before a lazy day on one of Byron’s famously beautiful beaches – try Clarkes Beach, which is usually nice and protected, or the popular Wategos.

    Try these

    The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottages are two lovely heritage cottages, each sleeping six, that would make the early morning start easier given their proximity to the lighthouse. Panoramic views are part of the deal.

    Clarkes Beach Cottages are four gorgeously decorated, perfectly positioned beach hideaways right on the beachfront not far from Cape Byron Lighthouse. They sleep between four and six people. Partridge Cottage is a classic 50s-style cottage, while Imerson’s airy, modern fitout and unbeatable front deck vistas will have you on ‘Byron time’ in no time at all. The more secluded Thompsons Cottage sits on the edge of the rainforest, with stunning views below. The cottages can all be booked by calling 1300 072 757 or visiting National Parks NSW.


    4 << Find your family’s favourite beach           Discover the underwater world of rockpools >> 6

    Back to 101 Unforgettable Coastal Experiences

    Australian Traveller issue 54

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    — Byron Bay —

    Book to help cook like a Byron Bay local


    One of the most beautiful spots on the Australian coast now has a cookbook focussed on journeys through its ‘foodscape’.

    ‘Byron Bay: A food journey through the region’ comprises of recipes and offers three ‘food routes’ for the reader to follow: “commencing in Byron then venturing south, over the hills to the west, and finishing in the north”.

    The book was produced by publisher Remy Tancred and photographer Nelly le Comte with a number of guest recipes from local celebs such as Olivia Newton John, Shelley Craft and Katrina Kanetani.

    The 208-page cookbook costs $44.95 ($34.95 for softcover) and is released on September 7.

    For more information see

    — Byron Bay —

    100 Incredible Travel Secrets #1 Whites Beach, NSW


    Australia’s best secret beach

    Whites Beach, Byron Bay, NSW

    It came as no surprise that this little treasure took out the top spot – as anyone who has been here can tell you, Whites deserves it.

    You’ll find this beach at one of Australia’s most popular destinations, Byron Bay, but even though it’s just down the road from million-dollar Main Beach, it feels a world away from anywhere.

    To get here, you need to drive down a dirt road through rainforest, stop at an unmarked spot, and wander down a quiet, tree-filled path onto the white shoreline – a bit of an effort, but it’s worth it, says Rickard, who gave this beach a 9.5.

    “Crystal clear water, creamy white sand, countless rockpools and regular dolphin sightings… it’s beautiful, but there’s more to it than that – there’s a real feel to this place. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love it here.”

    The rest of the panel agreed, with Ross, Franks, Rafter and Brown all giving it scores of 9 or above. “To me, this is what Byron is about,” says McEvoy.

    We couldn’t sum it up any better.

    Seven Mile Beach Rd, Byron Bay

     Next >>>> Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges, SA



    Australian Traveller April/May Issue

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    — Byron Bay —

    Best Beach retreats from under $400 – Susan’s Beach House


    White-washed walls, polished concrete floors, light-filled open-plan interior and a delicious daybed for post-swim snoozes on the verandah… this is what a beach retreat is all about.

    Two queen beds, a king-sized bedroom with ensuite, and an outdoor shower to rinse the sand off, set amongst a frangipani-filled tropical garden. And did we mention Broken Head Beach is just a two-minute stroll away?

    The house is also close to many of Byron Bay’s attractions, including hikes through the rainforest, local markets and the odd appearance by a passing pod of whales.

    From $350 per night (low season, three-night minimum); $500 per night (high season, three-night minimum). Sleeps six. 0416 124 797

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 48 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Byron Bay —

    Best beach retreats from under $300 – Happy Shack


    It’s the quintessential family beach shack: an original, open-plan timber house in the heart of Byron Bay, with high ceilings, timber floors and French doors that lead onto a large verandah.

    But it’s the outdoors we love most about this property – with mountain views, hammocks for lazy summer siestas and a backyard mango tree for the picking. Fire up the barbeque, or light the wood-fired pizza oven for a slice of the best this side of Naples.

    The shops and main beach are a 10-minute walk away, where you’ll also find the best coffee and fish burgers in town at Top Shop (corner Massinger and Carlyle streets). We also recommend cooling off with a gelato from Bella Rosa, right near the Beach Hotel. Pets are also welcome.

    From $250 per night (low season, three-night minimum); $400 per night (high season, three-night minimum). Sleeps eight.

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 48 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Byron Bay —

    100 Best Views In Australia #89 Mt Warning from Clarrie Hall Dam, NSW


    Where is it?

    815km north of Sydney in the Tweed Valley

    How to see it for yourself?

    Drive south-west of Murwillumbah, pass through Uki and turn south onto Doon Doon Rd.

    Why I love it

    “Due to its proximity to Cape Byron, the easternmost point in NSW, the mountain catches the first rays of sunlight in the morning.” – Kim MacDonald, The Legendary Pacific Coast

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 44 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Byron Bay —

    2011 Readers’ Choice Awards: Best Caravan Park


    Australian Traveller’s first-ever Readers’ Choice Awards for 2011; results for Best Caravan Park in Australia. Continue reading


    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 42 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Byron Bay —

    Amileka Holiday House – Byron Bay


    Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes

    Continue reading


    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 29 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Byron Bay —

    The Arts Factory Lodge – Affordable Beach Breaks


    NSW’s Affordable Accommodation – Backpackers  Continue reading


    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 41 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Byron Bay —

    100 Things To Do Before You Die #071 Be The First In Australia To See The Sun Rise


    Where is it? Cape Byron Lighthouse, Cape Byron Headland Reserve, NSW

    The most easterly point on mainland Australia, the Cape Byron headland features a nostalgic white lighthouse built in 1901. Ninety-four metres above sea level, the lighthouse is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise, and attracts many tourists to do just that, especially on New Year’s Day. Because Byron’s full of alternative types, you’ll often see people silently sitting cross-legged to meditate on the new dawn, or doing yoga on the beach. You may even spot dolphins or whales enjoying the early morning light just offshore.


    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 38 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Byron Bay —

    Top Girls’ Road Trips Sydney To Byron


    Crank up Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, sing it loud and proud, you’re on the great road trip north. There’s an overwhelming sense of camaraderie and freedom to be had spending nine hours in a car with your best mates. Continue reading


    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 35 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.