Out of all the places I’ve travelled to in Australia – in fact the world – there’s one that keeps drawing me back time and time again, a place where barefoot living meets warm water waves… Byron Bay
One of the main draws of Byron Bay is the vibe of the place, it oozes the hippie, arty atmosphere – people walk around barefoot, dreadlocks are everywhere and people longboard to and from work. It’s a place packed full of creativity, smiles and the instant you arrive things take a slower, more relaxed pace.
There’s an abundance of buskers on every street corner providing the soundtrack to your day, healthy veggie/vegan/raw food restaurants are in plentiful supply and shops range from mainstream surf brands to hippie crystal shops – nurturing the towns population of free thinkers.
From a travellers perspective you’ll mingle with like minded people from across the globe – thousands of people descend on Byron to sample the good life, sell home made bracelets, hair wraps and art and kick back to a simpler lifestyle…it really is a bubble that you can easily get stuck in!
With a good population of travellers passing through there is of course a huge range of place to crash too depending on your style and budget.
For those going full hippie the iconic Arts Factory offers everything from degrade making through to sleeping in a teepee!
If you’re feeling a bit more flash packer then Nomads Central offers what can only be described as a backpacker hotel, less easy on the wallet but much more filled with creature comforts!
For those who need to be super close to the surf Aquarius offers beds a short stroll to the waters edge and easily tops my list of places to stay!
The main draw though has to be the waves – which Byron has more than its fair share of! The Autumn season has the best and most consistent swells but because of its location on the most Easterly point of Australia Byron is a good magnet for swell year round.
If you’re learning to surf there’s plenty of selection when it comes to surf schools (although I highly recommend the guys from Mojo Surf) who can help you learn master the basics and get standing.
Those who already know the ins and outs of the sport will be stoked on spots like The Wreck and The Pass. These spots are probably the most popular and do draw some crowds, however when they’re pumping you The Wreck offers up some hollow barrels whilst longboard favourite The Pass has some of the longest rides you’ll find in Australia.
Within a short walk or drive of the town there’s heaps of less crowded waves too – nip to Broken Head or Tallows Beach, Wategos or even venture a short drive south to Lennox Head if you fancy something a bit punchier.
Byron is a place that you head for waves and stay for the lifestyle and it’s a must do on any surf or backpacking trip to Australia – just be careful you dont get sucked into the Byron Bubble for too long…not that that’s a bad thing ;)