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.


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