Queue the violins… it’s time for us to say goodbye to Byron Bay. And with a 14 hour overnight bus journey ahead, what better way to spend the time than to tell you about our dreamy days in this weird and wonderful place.
We arrived here four days ago and had barely taken one step off the bus before Byron Bay hit us straight in the face with its hippie vibes. Everywhere you look there is multicoloured street art, barefoot beach babes, and ‘happy herb’ stores, all nestled together in this tiny, buzzing town. We were hungry (as per), so grabbed some lunch and then headed straight to admire the stunning beaches, waves, and surfing talent (obviously not quite up to our expert level, but at least they try…).
Walking round the bustling streets once again, we stumbled across a market, offering everything from bangles to bees-wax food packaging, and from paella to palm readings (not going to lie, we were very tempted to find out what our futures hold!). One look at the sign saying ‘vegan samosas’ and I was sold, so we took a seat and enjoyed some al fresco dining as the sun set. After demolishing a further sorbet and vegan crepe, I admit I was finally full, so we lazily wandered back to our hostel for a good nights sleep!
Another day… another market! Through our excellent time management skills (with perhaps a slight element of luck) we had timed our Byron trip to coincide with the monthly ‘Community market’. As you can probably tell by now, we LOVE a market, and spent a very happy morning getting lost in the maze of stalls and tasting all the free samples. A similarly happy afternoon was spent lying on the beach, interspersed with regular dips in the sea to cool off, before our fave Swedish pals arrived in Byron for an emotional reunion (yes, the last 36 hours apart had been a struggle). We whipped up a speedy pasta dinner for four to enjoy in the hostel rooftop courtyard under the stars – how romantic!
The only photo I managed to get of the markets…
Sunrise – Take 1. I say ‘Take 1’ because turns out that even waking up at 5am does not give you enough time to walk to the Byron Lighthouse lookout point to watch the full sunrise! After realising this as we got ready to leave our hostel at 5.20am, we quickly changed tactics – Emma jumped on the front seat of Monique’s bike, Elin powered ahead on her bike, and I ran as fast as my legs would carry me to keep up! At just after 5.45am, we breathlessly made it to the most Easterly point of Australia’s mainland Lookout (still in our pyjamas, I should note), and collapsed in a heap to watch the final few minutes of the sunrise. It was absolutely stunning… but still we couldn’t help feeling like we had missed out on the full experience. Tomorrow we would do it right!!
Health and safety to the max.
…And so we did! Next morning, with alarms set for 4am and a heightened sense of determination, we again made our way to the lookout point (walking this time) – it was SO worth it! For over an hour we stood in awe as the skies magically transformed from nighttime into daytime, and being the only ones there made it feel like our own private viewing of Nature’s colour show. I definitely won’t be forgetting this in a hurry.
Waking up ridiculously early two mornings in a row, and with one involving an unexpected 5km uphill run, really takes it out of you, so the rest of our days post-sunrise were mostly spent napping on the beach and wandering around the bustling town, stopping every now and then to admire the talent of the many street buskers. If there is one adjective that can best describe Byron Bay, it would be ‘alive’. Despite its compact size and the fact that if its residents were any more chilled they’d probably be horizontal, there is always something happening; a constant buzz of activity. And it’s this buzz that makes Byron one of the most inviting places I’ve ever been to – I really got the sense that you can be whoever you want to be here, the more weird and wonderful the better – Byron will love you for bringing a new energy to its streets, and will welcome you with open arms in to its community.
So it is with much sadness that we have to say goodbye to this magical town and continue our journey – but hey, on to the next!!
Peace out Byron, we will be back ✌🏼