Byron Bay is a small beach town where Australians (and foreigners like me!) go to vacation and relax. Known as “Australia’s most easterly point” it is the perfect place for people that surf and like being outdoors. An American city that is comparable is Laguna Beach because of the small, beach town charm. Byron is prettier in my opinion because you get a combo of the rolling green hills and the ocean at the same time!
Australian beaches are a photographer’s dream. I had the best time simply just exploring the beaches, taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. The white sand and crystal blue water stretch for thousands of miles along the eastern coast. Did you know that 85% of Australia’s population lives next to the ocean? I can understand why after visiting…
Lennox Head: This beach was the closest to where we were staying. I caught the most gorgeous sunrises on the mornings I wasn’t feeling jet lagged. The sunrises are prettier than the sunsets in my opinion since the sun rises first on this side of the world! Also Chris Hemsworth lives here and I spent a lot of time searching for his house haha.
Wategos Beach (my favorite!) – The waves are super long and come in at a weird angle so the surfers looked like they were way out. So many pretty boardwalks and jetties, plus you get an amazing view of the Byron Bay Lighthouse. I felt like I was in a movie walking along this beach and apparently several were actually filmed here!
What to Eat – I didn’t take pictures of everything I ate, but there are so many good places in town! My first night we went to The Balcony, which a friend had recommended and it was super good. It’s right in the middle of the town and you can see everything going in the streets. There are also stands around the beach that sell fresh coconuts, they just chop off the top and give you a straw!
By far the best thing I had was the coffee. Australians are notorious coffee snobs and they didn’t disappoint! Every time I ordered an iced coffee it would come with ice cream instead of ice cubes to keep it cold. ICE CREAM. At 7 in the morning. I was in heaven, but I also blame any weight I gained from those coffees. Williamsburg was a cute coffee shop on the beach in Lennox Head that I snapped a few photos of.
The two things my Australian friends insisted I try was Tim Tams and Lambingtons. I am OBSESSED with Tim Tams. I went through 2 boxes there and I bought the souvenir cooler that comes with 10 packs at the airport. I’m trying to make them last as long as possible, but I’m on my last box. I can feel the tears coming already. They are essentially chocolate covered, chocolate filled cookies and they are delicious. Lambingtons are coconut covered chocolate sponge cakes and equally as yummy.
I don’t know why these haven’t made an appearance in the States yet, but everywhere I went bakeries had cronuts, a cross between a croissant and donut. I got that big donut in my picture from the Byron Bay Organic Donuts food truck at Bluesfest and I guess they are really popular!
What to do –
The main reason we went to Byron Bay was to go to Bluesfest, which is basically like the Coachella of Australia. I was still super jet lagged so it was definitely a struggle to make it through the performances and keep my eyes open! I only went one day, but the festival lasts a total of five and artists like Kendrick Lamar, The Wailers, and Jackson Browne were there. If I’m being honest I didn’t know a single person performing or any songs I was really just tagging along for the experience, but if you are into that kind of music like my friend is then Bluesfest is something you don’t want to miss! I enjoyed quality time near the donut truck….
One of my favorite things we did was pet kangaroos at the Macadamia Castle! They were sooo cute and I also got to see a wallaby and emu!
People in Australia are super outdoorsy and there are so many things to do on the water like paddle boarding, surfing, and finding waterfalls. We spent a lot of time on this beautiful purple lake by our friend’s house! It’s purple from the tea tree oil roots growing in the lake so the water is great for your skin and really clean. Killen Falls was breathtaking and I had never seen a waterfall like that before. There was a short trail to get down to the waterfall and you could sit on the rocks behind it.
We also visited nearby towns Bangalow and Newrybar. The Macadamia Castle is near Newrybar and Bungalow has a really cute street with shops and restaurants. According to my friends Harvest Cafe is a great restaurant to check out in Newrybar , the whole town has a cool rustic vibe.
Downtown Byron Bay has amazing shopping, I spent a whole day there walking around and checking out the stores. A really popular local store that a lot of girls shop at is Spell Byron Bay, a lot of festival/gypsy type dresses!
This iguana scared the living daylights out of me when I walked out of store. I literally screamed and my friends came running out of the store probably thinking I was being robbed and they laughed when they saw this guy hanging out in the middle of the sidewalk. This picture doesn’t do it justice he was HUGE.