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Sally Fitzgibbons’ Insider Guide to Byron Bay

All who visit Byron feel welcome and there is truly something for everyone.

Byron Bay typifies our Aussie culture. It's an iconic must-see destination and oozes natural beauty making whoever visits go “Wow!”.

What puts the Byron in Byron Bay is it's laid back beach vibes, it's blissful beach weather, the bubbling communal energy of locals, backpackers and visitors that came and never left, all mixing together sharing that never-ending holiday feel. What I love most is when I enter Byron I feel instantly connected with nature, from the mountains to the sea, it feels like one big refreshing hug.
I have such fond memories of my parents packing my three older brothers and I in the car and making the pilgrimage up north coast to Byron Bay, a 12-hour road trip from home for us. We rode waves from sunrise to sunset at all Byron's iconic surf breaks and spent all day hanging the beaches. Camping some years and others we rented a beach house. It was epic to share that time with the fam, we were all so excited every year when the trip came around.
Byron Bay lighthouse at sunset
Credit: Getty

Top 3 Activities To Enjoy In Byron Bay

1. Surfing
Byron Bay is famous for its surf breaks - My favourite break since I was a young grom is called The Pass. A break that caters for all ability levels, if you haven’t picked up a board before this is your time to shine, grab some mates and have a go. 
2. Running or walking tracks
Running the coastal track up to the Lighthouse and back down through the bush track is unbelievable. The cheapest sightseeing activity you can do on your trip, its free! Grab your shoes and camera go nuts. Often you will see whales, dolphins, birds, all sorts of native flora and fauna in the bush, the best of both worlds. It is also the most Eastern Cape (point) of Australia.
3. Bonding through challenge
Hiking up Mt Warning for sunrise is a must do. Doing it as a family, couple or group of mates is awesome to work together to get your group to the top of the mountain. It is a nice beginner/intermediate level hike and it’s super cool to get that sense of achievement on holidays. The commitment of waking up early and the excitement of reaching the top and seeing that incredible view is invigorating, you won’t regret it.

Favourite Byron Bay Shops

Byron’s local markets are a highlight so make sure you check where and when these are on… full of surprises.
JS Garage (Lawson St) - For all your surf gear including JS boards, SF fins and softech signature board.
Go Pro Byron Bay has got my team out of trouble on plenty of trips for all your camera/GoPro needs… ask for Louise.
A fourth stop would be to seek out all the local clothing labels (too many to mention) and you will find something unique and that will remind you of your trip.

Best Places To Eat & Drink

The Farm - Amazing paddock to plate organic produce. It’s not just a place to eat it is an entire experience with beautiful grounds and an epic vibe with that farm ambience. Breaky, lunch or dins are all a treat. Great for those with food allergies and preferences, they cater for all.
The RoadHouse - A tucked away little gem. Awesome hipster coffee menu and a breaky/brunch menu to boot. 
Stop in at Combi. on those long summer days and grab an Amazonia acai bowl a Brazilian speciality that made it to our shores and never left. A healthy nutritious snack that will power you through endless arvos of fun.
St Elmo’s Dining Room & Bar great for a few drinks and crazy good tapas to accompany your cocktails or mocktails in my case. 

Final Tips!

You must experience a farmers’ market and make sure you get some famous Macadamia Nuts from the Macadamia Nut Castle on top of the hill. We made Mum and Dad stop there all the time.
Remember to respect the natural environment, only leave your footprints when you leave the beach. Treat the locals the way you want to be treated when you are at home and have the best visit ever.
Stay at the most amazing luxury villas at The Elements of Byron Bay where you’ll just melt into the stunning setting. A must stay.
Lead Image Credit: Getty
Byron Bay's only absolute beachfront resort, Elements of Byron - MGallery by Sofitel, is the ultimate beach escape. Choose from over 190 private villas dotted throughout the resort’s 50 acres which overlook ocean, forest, lake or pond.

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