Have you heard of Byron Bay? A small beach town boasts the second largest number of tourists in Australia after famous Sydney. Here are some reasons why this little bay captures the imagination of so many.
Byron Bay sits at the most easterly point of Australia, a fantastic spot to catch the sunrise. Admiration for the movements of the sun continues into dusk, with locals celebrating the sun’s disappearance by a bongo drumming ritual in a beach carpark. Many visitors flock to this uniquely unpretentious event. It’s the laidback appreciation of nature that draws millions of visitors into this small beach town every year.
Although it’s pumping with people during the summer holidays, you can still find some charm. An early morning walk up to the lighthouse offers spectacularly serene views. Across the glistening ocean, you will admire ancient volcanic peaks and maybe a hot air balloon on a joyful cruise in between them.
The lighthouse walk is not only a decent workout, being a five-kilometer round trip, but it also has some pleasant stops along the way. The hang gliding ramp overlooks Tallows beach with a dreamy view of surfers and wallabies in the sand dunes. If you look long enough, you’ll see the local dolphin pod undulating through cerulean blue waters. Whale sightings are guaranteed during their migration seasons.
A place to get your hippy on
It’s a great place to pause and meditate. Byron Bay is famous for holistic therapies and you may well feel like a calf massage after doing the lighthouse stairs. In town and the neighboring suburbs, alternative health practices are dotted everywhere.
The hippy cultural movement from the sixties still has an influence on many offerings in town. Healthy food choices are abundant and tie-dye and festival clothes shops feature amongst upmarket styles brought in for the city escapers.
Many burnt out city dwellers take a break from a hectic pace and constant noise to peaceful moments and freedom from stress. A pretty fantastic year-round climate, palm trees, and waves can fulfill sub-tropical dreams. Many who come here, end up seeking a way to stay.
There’s enough pulse for creative types to thrive and make connections, and a work-life balance to suit start-up entrepreneurs. Boutique businesses spring up in the Arts and Industry Estate, a melting pot for style and unique vision.
Old School Holiday Vibes
If you seek a return to an older Byron Bay before it lost its secret spot status, you’ll get an idea in the regional towns a short drive away. Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads are where some of the locals moved when Byron got too popular. The Mullumbimby River flows all the way down to Brunswick River Mouth where the ocean meets the freshwater.
It’s here where time can really slow down and the gorgeous Brunswick river is an oasis for fun. The calm waters are perfect for water sports like kayaking and fishing.
Blow up a paddle board and cruise over the rippled sandbanks, observing fish, turtles, and stingrays in the clear waters below. The lush forest backdrop has abundant birdlife, a sensory experience for anyone in need of tree bathing and calm.
Journeys into the magical hinterland find waterfalls and ancient rainforest hikes. Minyon Falls has an incredible lookout and forest as far as the eye can see. It’s a place to reminice on what the landscape was like for the indigenous poulation.
Time out in the Byron Bay region is sure to delight and perhaps even awaken some long forgotten passion or creative pursuit. You may even become enraptured with the setting sun like it’s the first time you’ve appreciated it in a long while.