HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY! In honor of this country and today's celebration, I'm revisiting my Byron Bay Travel Guide. This slice of Australian paradise will forever be one of my greatest destination discoveries. If you've been, then you already know, and if you haven't then I hope this inspires you to go! xx Gray
I have a very real love affair with Australia. My first visit down under was in 2011 for a wedding. Then, in 2013, I returned for my first (of many) aerial photo shoots over the beaches of Sydney. In fact, some of my "Best Sellers" are from that shoot including aerials of Coogee and Bondi Beach. This past New Year's, I went back to reign in 2017 with some sun and Aussie friends. I also took the opportunity to explore more and create new beach aerials along the newly discovered (to me) beaches of Australia. From above and below, I had heart emoji eyes the entire time, and to be honest...they were especially keen on Byron Bay.
To get your bearings, you'll take the walking path which separates the two main beaches, and though similar in location, they are different in experience. Byron Beach is larger and wider with easier access for surfers, while its sister beach, Wategos, is smaller and more private with a rocky northern coast. The watercolor of both beaches is entrancing, especially from above where you can see the layers of translucent blues and greens rippling up from the ocean’s floor beneath the colorful surfers.
Once a sleepy coastal town with an alternative hippie lifestyle, this secluded surf-happy beach community is now a vibrant notable destination for the trendsetting crowd. The locals say Byron has a special ethereal spirit that relaxes anyone who visits. Upon arrival, I immediately understood. I am often asked to recommend some of my favorite locations around the world, well it was on this trip that I discovered a new favorite: the most easterly point in Australia, Byron Bay.
Normally for Travel Guides, I like to break it down in clearly defined 'where to stay,' 'where to eat,' and so on. I am going to do that in this post but for Byron, it feels right to let this flow more like a stream of consciousness. With that being said, I'm excited to tell you all about it. LET'S GO!
After filling up on Harvest's seasonal deliciousness, stroll through the Newrybar Merchants for a boutique upscale shopping experience. Nestled in the charming town of Newrybar, which is about 15 minutes from the coast, this brilliant concept store is all about bringing like-minded people together under the historic 1890s dwelling that houses it. Inside, you'll find a community of local artists and fine good curators who all come together as a collective to sell their goods.
As a customer, the experience is completely unique as one is offered a beautiful space to poke around that is both welcoming and sophisticated. The book store is also especially good. ;)
In case it doesn't go without saying, Byron Bay is a beach town! It's also a major surf town. As in, surfers travel from all over the world for the chance to ride these waves.
If you find yourself here and you have never surfed, I really think it'll be the time to seize the day! There are quite a few surf lesson options, so no excuses. For those who do surf, one of the best places to paddle out is The Pass, Byron Bay. It's my understanding that the positioning of the bay creates "long, tubing right-handers that are considered world class" and puts the Pass into the Top 15 best surf beaches in Australia.
After the surf and swim, it's time to enjoy the warmth of the sun on your skin and perhaps leisurely snooze on the sand with the rest of the Byron Bay, Sunbathers.
There are quite a few options but (again) from my experience, here's the way to go. First, you'll head back to your hotel, Watermark at Wategos and have the extremely hospitable bartender mix up some cocktails, then (at your leisure) walk out to enjoy the stunning sunset at Wategos Beach.
After you've successfully watched the sun go down on this glorious day, it'll be time to head out for a sushi dinner in town at Federal Doma Café..trust me.
Thanks so much for traveling along with me on this day in Byron Bay. I hope you enjoyed it as well as found it to be helpful! To see more of what I shot during my most recent trip to Australia, look no further...