Being apartment bound during this Coronavirus lockdown in NYC has given me more time to reflect. If you know me, you know that I was born and raised in Australia and I’ve lived in New York for the past 10 years. I aim to visit Australia once a year for 4-6 weeks so I can see family, friends and be connected back to my Aussie roots, including the majestic nature that Australia has.
On most of my trips to Australia I visit one of my favorite places in the entire world, Byron Bay. I was just there last month, and it had such a profound effect on me that I wanted to write about it. If you were planning to visit Australia someday, you might want to add Byron Bay to your go-to places!
Here are some of the things to do while you are there that will fill your spirit, nourish you and leave a profound imprint on you for the rest of your life.
Things to Do in Byron Bay
Byron Bay is known for its stunning pristine beaches. Beautiful sand and crystal clear blue water.
Byron Bay has some great surf spots so you can pick up a long board and learn to surf or go to the spots for more experienced surfers.
Try the food! Byron Bay prides itself on being a very farm-to-table, and centers on local and seasonal eating. This is of course one of my favorite things about Byron Bay! The food is next level, and I’ve had some of my best meals in Byron Bay (see the next section!).
Walk up the lighthouse. You can park at the bottom of the hill, and take a scenic walk up scenic boardwalk all the way to the top of the lighthouse. You may see some dolphins and whales up there as well! And you can see the most beautiful view of Byron Bay, the diamond coast point and into the hinterlands, the gorgeous hills surrounding Byron Bay…it’s a breath-taking view.
Stay at unique and soul-charging accomodations! Byron Bay is known for its luxury resorts that are like none other in the world because Byron is just so unique! See below where I stayed.
Where to Eat in Byron Bay
The Farm: Oh my goodness, you guys, this was hands-down one of the best meals I’ve ever ever ever had in my entire life. The outdoor/indoor restaurant is on a legit farm, you can go see the chickens, pigs and cows before or after your meal! The restaurant and cafe at The Farm is called Three Blue Ducks, who endeavor to source as much as possible from The Farm and then venture further afield. They embrace produce that is organic or spray-free and sustainably farmed to make all the meals on their menu. They get almost everything from the local area when it is in season, from southern Queensland to as far down as Port Macquarie. Their dishes are a reflection of their shared ethos for creating honest, seasonal dishes that are packed with nutrients and full of flavour. They call it ‘real food’ – and it certainly is with the most amazing flavors! Wow! (@thefarmbyronbay, 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale NSW 2481, Australia)
The Farm also make fresh baked organic bread! When in Byron, eat bread. Angie and I stocked up and brought it back to our accommodation.
The Pressed Pantry: For cold pressed juices, smoothies and an açaí bowl! I am definitely an açaí bowl snob! I’ve had a fair amount of them in my day, and so I have a taste for good ones and intolerance to ones executed poorly. I had a few while I was in Byron until I found a place that made them so epically! A good açaí bowl will be a nice smooth blend of açaí and banana, not too much banana and not too icy, with some delicious toppings. They also make epic salads and plant-based desserts to go.
You can sit in their cute enclave or take it to go. They have a swinging chair inside you can sit on that also makes for some cool Insta photos (if that’s your thing!). They said not everything is certified organic, but they source their food locally and seasonally as much as possible. Australian organic certifications are also very different to USA. Fruits and vegetables are much cleaner in Australia and let’s hope it stays that way! (@thepressedpantry, 8/8 Fletcher St, Byron Bay NSW 2481 Australia)
Main Street Burger Bar: for grass-fed burgers and fries! This was hands down the-best-burger I’ve had in my entire life – which is saying a lot because I’ve had a lot of burgers in my life. The beef was so so so tasty. They use 100% grass fed beef, free range pork, happy chooks, local eggs, and fresh seafood from old mate down the road. Their philosophy is pretty straight forward, they use Byron Bay’s premium local produce, demonstrating the delectable duo of cold craft beer + feel good food! (@mainstreet_burgerbar, http://mainstreetburgerbar.
Where to Stay in Byron Bay
Blackbird Luxury Accommodation: This was the perfect escape for me and my best friend Angie. I was looking for somewhere so peaceful and relaxing to take a break from NYC, and Angie was looking for a rejuvenating few days away, especially from being a busy mother of three kids! Blackbird is actually located 20 minutes from the town of Byron Bay, in Mullumbimby. I recommend a rental car in Byron Bay anyway to be able to drive around to the beaches and see the sites. What is very unique about this accommodation is that they only have 3 rooms available, making it incredibly serene, and the view from each room is truly mind-blowing with the most remarkable sunsets and sunrises.
This is the view from the room and what the rooms look like, so comfortable and inviting. You can see the Byron Bay from here up in the lush mountain, including the Lighthouse! I still cannot believe I took this photo and saw this in real life, this was one of the most exquisite sunrises I’ve ever seen.
One of my favorite features about Blackbird is the pool! It is a magnesium pool, and I’m not quite sure why every pool isn’t a magnesium pool?!
James, the owner and designer of Blackbird, specifically built this custom pool and wanted to make it a magnesium pool to help guests relax even more.
A common bath I recommend patients and clients with Health & Nutrition Coaching is to take magnesium baths by adding epsom salts to a bath. Athletes do this for injuries and recoveries. And now there are entire magnesium pools!
And if you are wondering why it’s called Blackbird, it’s because the property is surrounded by so many vibrant birds including the Australian Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo.