Renowned for its laidback atmosphere, it’s no wonder thousands of Sydneysiders flock to Byron Bay every weekend. A little slice of paradise, the sleepy town has it all from surf culture and yoga schools to coffee shops and boutique stores.
Danielle applied for her student visa through Study Online Australia and has been living in Sydney since October 2019. With restrictions easing, she decided to take a solo trip to Australia’s most easterly point in December 2021.
Below, find out how Danielle spent her time in Byron Bay from where to grab a good margarita to the most beautiful spot to watch the sun dip below the horizon.
12.15 pm: Touch down. Byron is just an hour-long plane ride from Sydney, meaning I arrive at the coastal town with ease. I've booked a bus transfer to the centre, and a gaggle of schoolies join me outside of the terminal. I'm pleasantly surprised that this is another seamless journey - which gives me a little time to plan where to have lunch once I arrive.
1.15 pm: Byron is just as charming as I had hoped, and with schoolies week in full swing, there's a lively buzz from neighbouring shops and bars. I've booked an Airbnb for the next two nights, but check-in isn't until 2 pm, so I head to Sunday Sustainable Bakery for a spot of lunch.
As its name suggests, the Jonson Street bakery boasts an impressive menu filled with fresh baguettes, crumbly pastries and seasonal produce. There's a winding queue of barefoot regulars fresh from a dip in the ocean, hungry for hot sausage rolls. I order a toasted baguette and it's so delicious, I head back to the till to buy a warm loaf of sourdough for breakfast tomorrow morning.
2.30 pm: It's time to check into my Airbnb. I've chosen to stay on Old Bangalow Road, a 15-minute walk or bike ride from the town centre. But I don't stay long, as the beach is calling.
3 pm: The Main Beach is filled with striped parasols, surfers and sunbathing locals. I grab an acai bowl from Bondi Juice Bar and spend the next couple of hours relishing a break from La Niña with a book to hand.
5.30 pm: Hot and salty from an afternoon well spent, I catch a bus to Banksia Drive as I’ve treated myself to an infrared sauna session at Nimbus. With roots in sistering cities Sydney and Melbourne: Nimbus is an uber-cool spot for self-care days. Discover stripped-back interiors, ultra-fancy saunas and ice baths for cold water plunge therapy. You can connect to Nimbus' Bluetooth to play your favourite podcast or music for 45 minutes of pure bliss.
Another brilliant recommendation for out-of-towners is neighbouring Comma. Tucked away on Banksia Drive, the tranquil spa is designed to ease you into a state of relaxation with low mood lighting and state-of-the-art facilities. If you have a spare afternoon, book yourself in for a facial or massage.
8pm: It’s been a long day, so I grab takeout dinner and head back to Main Beach. There’s a local band playing as the skies turn pink and the sun slowly dips below the horizon.
7am: No trip to Byron is complete without tackling the Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk. But first, I need to fuel up, so I grab a coffee from the General Store en route. Sitting on Old Bangalow Road, it's a famous watering hole for locals and passing visitors alike. Grab a spot in the sunshine under one of the parasols and order a smoothie bowls and hot mug of coffee.
8am: It's shaping up to be a beautiful day. The Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk takes approximately two hours through rainforest, hills and beaches. But before I even start the trek, a crowd gathers on the Main Beach. Naturally, I go to see what the fuss is all about, and I'm thrilled to see a pod of dolphins frolicking in the waves. Make sure to keep an eye out, as Cape Byron Marine Park is a brilliant place to spot dolphins and whales. You can even book a kayaking or boat tour if you don't want to miss out!
10am: The temperature is rising so I stop off at several beaches on the way. You'll walk through Wategos Beach, Little Wategos Beach and The Pass en route. Other neighbouring beaches worth an afternoon trip include Clarkes Beach, Belongil Beach and Tallow Beach.
3pm: I head back to the town centre in search of a late lunch. I grab a poké bowl from Finn Poké and soak up the last of the sunshine.
5pm: After a quick freshen up, I check out the Twilight Markets. Every Saturday, the Railway Park is filled with boutique stalls where local artisans showcase their talents from jewellery and clothing to artwork. After an evening of browsing, grab dinner from one of the food stalls and listen to live music as the sun goes down.
7am: I wake up early for a yoga class at Bamboo Yoga School, just a five-minute wall from my Airbnb. The class takes place in a small tent nestled in the forest with the sound of rain drumming against the roof.
It was a beautiful start to my day and a great opportunity to meet new people. The welcoming atmosphere made me feel at ease, and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting Byron for a long weekend - even if you’ve never tried yoga before!
10am: After breakfast, it’s time to check out and move on to my next stay. As a little treat, I booked myself a garden bungalow at the Garden Burees. Amid the shady palms just outside of the town centre, it's home to luxury self-contained Balinese-inspired hideaways. Next door, there’s The Buddha Gardens Day Spa if you have an afternoon to spare.
I chose the two-story garden bungalow which has an open plan living space, luxury bathroom and beautiful private garden complete with a stream.
5pm: I wanted to make the most of my stay at the Garden Burees so I chose to cook dinner at home but Byron is home to incredible bars and restaurants. If you're looking for for a cocktail (or three), book a spot at Miss Margarita, happy hour starts at 5pm, while the Meze Club is smack bang in the centre and a brilliant way to kickstart your holiday.
10am: It’s my final day in Byron, and the rain is pouring outside, so it’s a brilliant excuse to hide away in local cafe: Combi. Bright and airy inside, it’s a magic place to sit and watch the world go by. The menu is filled with cold-pressed juices and acai bowls that fit the Instagram grid but just make sure to head down there early, as this is what makes it so popular.
12.30pm: It’s still raining outside so I grab a second coffee, this time from Byron Fresh, and have a nosy in the boutique shops. No shopping trip is complete without stopping by Hope & May, Spell and St Agni.
1.30pm: It's time to head back to Sydney. The journey home is seamless once again and if you're flying, I recommend booking a bus transfer to and from Ballina Airport. You can book through the following websites: Byron Easy Bus and Byron Shuttle Bus.
3pm: Touch down in Sydney. Byron Bay is a welcome break from city life all year round. If you have longer than a weekend, make sure to check out Crystal Castle, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Nimbin.
Pavla, The Director