Day 5 November 11th: Next Stop Byron Bay
We flew into New South Wales in the early morning. Time was in our favor, with the time change we arrived practically at the same time we left Sydney. When stepping off the tar mat we were surrounded by tropical green mountains. I instantly felt at home with the tropical mountains that reminded me of being in Hawaii.
The adventure started with my friend Kacy getting in the driver’s seat on the wrong side for the first time. We traveled a few hours to stay in Byron Bay. Byron, as the locals call it, is a little hippie town that is a must see when visiting Australia. One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen with a quiet cove surrounded by mountains.
Where to Stay
We stayed in a cute little hostel called Cape Byron YHA. The atmosphere felt like a huge college spring break party. But the hostel sits in a great location in the center of town where we could walk anywhere.
When we got there we immediately took off to the beach. We walked along the long stretch of beach while staring at the mountain peaks reflecting in the glistening turquoise water.
The Most Beautiful Hike
There is the most incredible hike, or “bush walk”, going up the hillside along the ocean. Within twenty minutes of walking, I kept staring at the water hoping to see something jump out. In that moment my heart jumped as a humpback whale leaped out of the water. The number one thing I wanted to see in Australia was a whale and there it was. It was the most beautiful moment I have ever experienced. November is supposed to be very late in the season to see a whale, but one stuck around for us.
We continued to climb the Reserve-walking trail. The trail is through all kinds of different plants and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean all the way up the cliff side. When you get to the top of the hill there is a gorgeous white lighthouse, the Cape Byron Lighthouse that stands at the most easterly point of Australia. This walk took us about three hours to climb up and then climb down. It was exhausting but truly worthwhile.
After the long day of hiking, we went out to eat. We picked a place with a great patio with little mason jar lights everywhere. Byron Fresh has the cutest interior design that looks like Johanna Gaines decorated it. The restaurant provides fresh ingredients that are locally grown and organic where possible. After a long hike, I had a mean appetite for a burger. I had the Zen Burger, a red lentil, sweet potato patties, with avocado salsa, and cashew cream with fries on the side.
There are tons of little restaurants to choose from and most places are health conscious. The raw food creations look like art at a decent price. Vegetarians and Vegans will eat like kings here. After dinner, we decided to relax in our room with a few Mai Tai’s. After a long day of go-go-going and then we called it a night early.
Day 6 – November 12
We woke the next morning and grabbed a quick little breakfast at Mokha. I had toast with freshly made peanut butter and local honey with a tropical smoothie. It was the best smoothie I ever had and the first time I ever had fresh turmeric. Ever since that life-changing smoothie I cannot live without turmeric, I have it every day.
Where to Shop
After breakfast, we walked to the beach one more time and then did a little bit of souvenir shopping. Byron Bay is home to a lot of cute boutiques. Arnhem and Spell & The Gypsy Collective were some of my favorite discoveries; I picked up the cutest one-piece swimsuit from Arnhem. It was such a nice time going to the shops I wish there would have been more time to wander in all of them. We drove off to our next adventure that afternoon.
A one-night stay in Byron was not enough. It was my favorite beach in Australia. I would have loved to have a week-long vacation to dedicate to lying in the sun here.
Next stop Brisbane, read along here!