When to go? Year-round destination, but can get unbearably crowded during the school holidays.
Duration: 48 hours
Local eats: as the home of Stone and Wood, a tour of the brewery is a must for anyone partial to a frothie. $20 at the time of writing gets you a tasting paddle of 5 beers + a schooner of your favourite – great value, unless you’re the designated driver bringing everyone home! The tour itself is short, offering a brief history of Stone and Wood’s establishment and philosophy as well as an overview of the beer making process.
Memorable eats: Nothing in particular. Once known for its hippie and alternative lifestyle, modern Byron Bay has all the comforts of any developed tourist destination. Cafes and restaurants are aplenty meaning a decent meal isn’t hard to find, but none leave a lasting impression.
What to do between meals:
Surf: being synonymous with surfing, one should at the very least take a lesson to partake in this quintessentially Byron experience if you aren’t already capable of heading out on your own. I went with Style Surfing Byron Bay based on a recommendation and wasn’t disappointed. I respected the fact that Gaz the instructor only runs lessons when surf conditions are adequate, rather than looking to fill his diary (and pockets) with tourists who wouldn’t know any better.
Disconnect: despite its hippie heritage, Byron Bay of today is really no different to most seaside holiday destinations. Rent a nice home, share it with friends, forget about the wifi and fill your days and nights with random conversations and laughs.
Lighthouse at sunrise or sunset: you could drive but that would make the view from the top less rewarding. Also, parking is limited so you’d need to get there well in advance of sunset to nab a spot.