Byron Bay Luxury Guide: Where to Eat, Stay and Play

Byron Bay has had a fascinating journey over the decades. From former whaling town to hippie hideaway and now playground of the rich and famous, this is a destination that truly offers something for everyone. And many of its best aspects go unnoticed.

As a longtime resident of this beautiful area, I still can’t get enough of it.

While it’s true that a lot has changed over the past few decades, a lot has remained constant: the natural beauty, the laid-back pace, and its multicultural makeup and style, to name a few.

Contemplate Byron Bay, the most easterly point of the Australian continent.
Cape Byron Distillery

Whether you want to check in to the hottest hotels or feast from dawn until long after dusk, join the crowds for a walk to the lighthouse, listen to live music or maybe try to make your own bespoke bottle of gin, there is so much to see, do, touch and taste.

With that in mind, this is the place to eat, stay and play – in style.

Where to eat

Perfect bites in the heart of the city

While it may seem that Byron’s restaurant scene changes with the tides, many places have stood the test of time: Twisted Sista cafe, upscale seafood restaurant Fishheads along Main Beach and the classic Byron Fresh Cafe all come bother.

Other notable standouts are Balcony Bar & Oyster Co – offering a seafood-heavy menu, inventive cocktails and picture-perfect views of people from its namesake balcony – and Mexican canteen Miss Margarita, where there’s rarely a table. free.

Balcony Bar & Oyster Co is one of the most recognizable spots in town.

Balcony Bar & Oyster Co is one of the most recognizable spots in town.

There’s also Bang Bang, a dimly lit hangout picked from the sweet streets of Bangkok, with its highly shareable Asian fusion menu featuring crowd favorites such as whole fried snapper, crispy duck and a dry red barramundi curry. .

A short walk away is Trattoria Basilico, which spins what is arguably the better wood-fired pizzas in Byron Bay. The pastas are also exceptional, especially the linguine ragu.

But above all, it is the service filled with personality that elevates it.

No Bones will make you rethink vegetarian and vegan cooking.

No Bones will make you rethink vegetarian and vegan cooking.

If you are looking for vegan or vegetarian dishes, No Bones is for you. Don’t be fooled by its menu names – it may mention chicken or calamari in the title, but the cuisine that emerges is entirely plant-based.

Destination restaurants worth driving to

Minutes from town, you’ll find The Farm, an 80-acre working property that has captured the public’s attention since it opened in 2015 with its resident animals, relaxed pace, and popular eateries: Bread Social Bakery and Three Blue Ducks.

The Ducks are also behind the hugely popular venue at W Brisbane.

The Ducks are also behind the hugely popular venue at W Brisbane.

Open all day, Ducks philosophy is to have fun with honest food, with many ingredients sourced sustainably from local farmers. Surrounded by gardens, the terrace and deck dining rooms are as divine as the well-balanced menus.

If you fancy venturing further afield, Frida’s Field in Nashua is a must – on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, long lunches among her 120-acre farm are guaranteed to satisfy the most ardent of foodies.

It's a feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach at The Hut Byron Bay.

It’s a feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach at The Hut Byron Bay.

Likewise, the Mediterranean venue The Hut Byron Bay in Possum Creek is also top-notch, as is the award-winning Harvest in Newrybar.

Where to stay

There is no shortage of luxury accommodation in Byron Bay. Rather than choosing a generic vacation rental, there is an intoxicating mix of hotels, apartments, and resorts that offer an upscale experience worth splashing out on.

Crystalbrook Byron is one of the best – it put the city on the map when it opened as Byron at Byron.

Nestled amidst 45 acres of subtropical rainforest, Crystalbrook Byron deserves all its praise and more.

Nestled amidst 45 acres of subtropical rainforest, Crystalbrook Byron deserves all its praise and more.

That legacy lives on with revitalized rooms, an infinity pool, and a restorative day spa, but now comes with a dose of “responsible luxury,” thanks to the ethos of its parent group Crystalbrook Collection.

Beneath the beam of the Cape Byron Lighthouse, Raes on Wategos offers sandy feet in a location like no other.

Stepping inside is almost like taking an international vacation, with the curvaceous Moroccan-inspired arched doors and Mediterranean-influenced menu at Raes Dining creating the feeling of an overseas getaway, no passport required.

Stroll the beach and luxury at the five-star Raes on Wategos.

Stroll the beach and luxury at the five-star Raes on Wategos.

A short drive from town are the sprawling but surprisingly intimate Byron Elements, which directly overlook Belongil Beach. Each of its villas sports a warm and vibrant color palette, which echoes its location near the dunes, moorland or lagoon.

If self-contained apartment living is more your style, Beach Suites Apartments – across from Byron Bay Surf Club – are a fantastic option, as are Byron’s Balinese-inspired Villas, each a walled oasis with lush subtropical gardens and private swimming pools.

Where to play

Embrace natural beauty

A daily ritual for many locals is the Byron Lighthouse Walk, a beautiful loop that winds along the sands of Clarkes Beach, skirts The Pass surf break, crosses Wategos Headland and finally leads to the lighthouse at the top of the Cape Byron – the farthest point east.

From sunrise to sunset, the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk continually draws a crowd.

From sunrise to sunset, the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk continually draws a crowd.

After taking in the ocean views, the path winds through coastal rainforest to the start of the trail.

A quick coffee at Bayleaf Cafe later, and it’s time to explore further afield, perhaps visiting nearby towns of Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby, or checking off some of the local waterfalls such as Minyon and Killen Falls.

Treat your mind, body and soul

Byron and surrounding areas have been a center for natural and alternative remedies since the 1970s, when the Aquarius movement brought hippies to the area in droves. Although the “real hippies” are no longer as ubiquitous as they once were, their legacy of spirituality and healing lives on.

When you need to pamper yourself or realign your chakra, there are excellent day spas including Comma in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate, Buddha Gardens Day Spa near the old Byron Brewery, and Kiva Spa and Mukti Beauty Rooms in Mullumbimby.

Unwind with massages, facials and more at Comma Byron Bay.

Unwind with massages, facials and more at Comma Byron Bay.

If you want to take it up a notch, there are also fantastic day spas at Crystalbrook Byron and Elements of Byron Resort, as well as the sensational Raes on Wategos.

Taste through local breweries and distilleries

The last 10 or so years have seen a huge influx of distillers and brewers settling, both near Byron town center and in the surrounding hills and valleys in the hinterland.

Stone & Wood Brewing Co’s tasting room in the industrial area should be your first stop, allowing you to sample some of their most unique small-batch ales made on-site, as well as their classic Byron Pale Ale and Cloudcatcher.

Sample the Stone & Wood range in the Byron Tasting Room.

Sample the Stone & Wood range in the Byron Tasting Room.

In Mullumbimby, Wandana Brewing Co is a beloved local hangout with a rotating roster of food trucks, great beats and better beers.

Tasting flights are the best way to taste the amber nectar, produced entirely on site. Be sure to ask about the music being played to help ferment each beer.

If spirits are more your style, head to Lord Byron Distillery to pick up a bottle of rum, pure cane vodka or limoncello, or try making your own bespoke gin.

Create your own personalized bottle of gin at the Lord Byron Distillery in Byron Industrial Estate.

Create your own personalized bottle of gin at the Lord Byron Distillery in Byron Industrial Estate.

After that, the Cape Byron Distillery near St. Helena is a must visit.

Makers of Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin – and soon to release their first single malt whiskey – Cape Byron is perched on a lush hillside 10-15 minutes from town. A tour of their distillery and reclaimed rainforest is a perfect way to better appreciate the passion that lies within each bottle.

Cape Byron Distillery, located in the middle of a regenerated rainforest on the Brook family farm.

Cape Byron Distillery, located in the middle of a regenerated rainforest on the Brook family farm.

Really though, there’s no right or wrong way to look at Byron. It’s about exploring, relaxing and inventing as you go.

As the famous entrance sign to the city says: ‘Cheer up, slow down, chill out’.

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