This trip to Australia I decided I wanted to spend a couple of days with my sister in a beach town. Typically for day trips we head north to the Sunshine Coast as it is a bit quicker. The Byron area is familiar to us as the home of our grandparents, and we have been there nearly every summer of our lives. We haven’t spent a weekend in Byron Bay for a while and I was keen to see how this beach town had evolved since I was last there nine years ago. I couldn’t find any comprehensive what to do in Byron Bay guide so here is mine!
Stay In The Arts and Industrial Area.
Byron Bay itself is expensive and you are competing with well off families jetting in from Sydney and Internationally. I found plenty of beautiful accommodation in the Arts and Industrial Area just a short drive or solar train ride from central Byron. This area has newer homes with studio apartments above the garage spaces. Families use them for when grandparents visit and then rent them out on Airbnb to make some extra cash. We stayed at The Norfolk which is a group of houses specifically built like this. You can hire the main house with two rooms, add a third and the studio too. Or like us just hire the studio room where you have everything you need. If you are keen, ask for the bikes so that you can ride to the beach and into Byron.
Spilt Your Weekend By Area.
There are two distinct areas of Byron. The CBD or main town where most of the action happens but is a pain to drive into. And The Arts and Industrial Area which has transformed in the past few years to house lots of the independent designers studios and shop fronts. It is easier to keep to one area per day as there is plenty to do in both including lunch locations. Start in the Arts area on your first day and check into your accommodation. Head into Byron on the second day by taking the Solar Train or your bicycles.
Take The Byron Solar Train.
Support this local initiative and take a journey on this restored vintage train run by solar power. The entire experience is delightful. A conductor sells you tickets on the platform and later clips your ticket for prosperity. Sitting in vintage seats, the eight minute ride takes you along the coast where you can spot local wildlife and have a nosy into locals homes!
Places to Explore – Art and Industrial Area
Do you like your Peanut Butter with salt or without? Byron Bay Peanut Butter Company, the best I have eaten! Take your bike to The Farm and see the variety of animals and then have some food at the Three Blue Ducks. New kids on the block Habitat are a mix of residential and shops and makers creative studios. Have a coffee or lunch, take a Pilates class and buy your loves ones a gift. Explore Pampa for hand woven rugs, beautiful photography and leather swings! Stock up on your cleaning supplies from The Byron Bay Cleaning Company. Just as good as bleach but all natural. Schedule a laser facial at The Little Company. Sit outside and have a plant based lunch at Folk. Try new cookie flavours and stock up on seconds at The Byron Bay Cookie Company. Try on vintage clothes at Mr Vintage and add to your vintage furniture collection from Fossil Vintage. Both conveniently next door to each other! Update your beach umbrellas from Sunday Supply Co and add to your wardrobe next door at Yoli & Otis.
Places to Explore – Byron Bay
Essentially I would encourage you to walk along Jonson Street taking the side streets as you go. There are lots of little shops full of summer dresses, gift ware and items for your home. Add a neutral dress to your collection from Hope & May or the store with a cult following, Spell & The Gypsy. Want more colour? Have a look at Mister Zimi. I fell in love with the ceremics and rugs at Marr-Kett. Delicious Mexican at Taqueria Chihuahua. The best vegan donuts at The Golden Doughnut. Book a surfing lesson on the main beach with Let’s Go Surfing!
Venture Outside of Byron Bay.
Surrounding Byron is the beautiful hinterland and local villages. You will need a car to access these areas with plenty of lookouts with spectacular views on the way. Keep an eye out for small wooden huts at farm gates where excess produce is sold through an honestly box system. I’ve had the best fresh honey from insisting my dad pull over!
If you are unsure of where to go I’d recommend Bangalow, with a mix of stores and lunch spots including Butcher Baker Bangalow (great donuts!). Time your visit here for the 4th Sunday of the month and head to the markets early. It gets very busy! One of my favourite food spots Harvest is in Newrybar, a one street town with a handful of businesses. Harvest had a makeover since I last visited and their new deck area lighting is stunning. Afterwards explore the gardens, say hi to the chickens and purchase some take home snacks from the deli. You have to book in advance as they are very popular!