A long weekend in Byron Bay, East Coast, Australia
Byron Bay is one of the top locations at the East Coast, so we stopped there for 5 days on the way down to Sydney. There is no train station, but Premier and other buses from Brisbane or the south stop there and if you want to take a train, there is a connection bus to the next station. We heard that it is famous for its markets, so we planned to be there the first weekend of the month. In the beginning of November it is still Spring, so it is not too hot in the day – the weather was beautiful. But the water is still cold and it can be very windy, so if you come to surf – consider staying longer, because the surf conditions change a lot.
Beaches, shopping, food and live music
Byron Bay is a beach and surfer town! It has a hippie atmosphere, but also a lot of commercial shops, bars and restaurants. It is definitely not a small alternative village, you might find these places more in the surroundings. Staying in the big YHA hostel was quiet and comfortable, it has a big kitchen and living room, the pool is nice and cool and they offer some free breakfast, activities and free wifi downstairs. It wasn’t a party hostel at that time, I think there are other places for this. All over Byron Bay nightlife is easy to find, we went to a local concert in a music store and saw a few live musicans in front of the beach.
Markets, yoga and meditation
The flea market was definitly worth a visit, live music, lots of stalls and food and grocery sellers, from cheap to expensive. There is lots of place between the lines, so it wasn’t as full as other markets. I bought a vintage dress for 5$ and a fresh orange juice, we had a lovely afternoon. But also in the streets of town it is nice to check out all the places and just walk around. There are a lot of massage, yoga and healing places, I recommend trying the Byron Yoga 4pm afternoon class for 5$ and we went to a beautiful meditation course one evening, there a lots of flyers for such events around.
Lighthouse and beach walk, whale watching
The absolute highlight in Byron Bay was definitely the walk towards the lighthouse, I recommend walking there along the street and then on the way back you can just follow the beaches! In the beginning we walked the path through the forest until we reached the cliffs with the lighthouse and several viewing points, you don’t need a map there are many signs. Behind the lighthouse there is another way down towards the beaches, if you just walk in direction of town you can hike back along the coast. In November we spottet many dolphins and whales, it was too beautiful to be true. The beaches were empty and it was easy to find a shady place to rest.
So yes – I recommend Byron Bay for a short trip and also for a longer backpacker stay! I know that a lot of people stay there long term, working in the restaurants, farms or housekeeping and learn to surf or practice yoga. Doing a yoga teacher training there can be a way to stay in Australia on a study visa. Any other recommendations or experiences for Byron Bay? 🙂0