- Coastline Pristine beaches that go on forever
- Coast Life Chillin’ with like-minded souls
Some jokingly refer to Byron Bay as the most northern suburb of Sydney – everything you can find in the big smoke is on your doorstep here, too.
There’s also a charming ‘peace, love and mung beans’ vibe about this beach town that attracts stressed-out, well-to-do city folk and backpackers from all corners of the earth. The New Age, eco-friendly lifestyle here has made Byron the yoga capital of Australia, with a smorgasbord of alternative therapies on offer from massage to flotation tanks, plus healthy, organic food to match. If you can tear yourself away from your mellow day spa, there are rolling hills for walking and splendid beaches to swim, dive and surf off. Add to this northern New South Wales town laid-back – yet glam – bars and restaurants and you’ve got one of Australia’s best-loved destinations.
Do go/Don’t go
During the warmer months (November to March), Byron Bay seethes with life and it’s best to avoid December and January when the area is bombarded by ‘schoolies’ (teenagers who have just finished Year 12) and families on holiday. It’s also peak wedding season in romantic Byron. Though the sea is a little chilly for swimming, winter here (June to August) is perfect: calm, sunny and warm – with far fewer tourists.
- Planes Most people fly into Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta (www.goldcoastairport.com.au) with Jetstar, Pacific Blue, Tiger Airways or Virgin Blue, then drive just over an hour south to Byron Bay. Nearer, though, is the smaller Ballina Airport (www.ncas.com.au), which handles flights from Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Rex, only 20 minutes away.
- Automobiles To make the most of Byron Bay’s hinterland you’ll need a car, as taxis are a pricey way to get around. All the big hire car brands are represented at the airports, including Avis.
- Taxis You don’t really need a cab to get around the town itself (if you’re tired, hail a Cycle Rickshaw) but they can be handy if you want to head further out. To book, call Byron Bay Taxis (02 6685 5008).