Byron Bay, our last stop in Australia before moving on to Thailand. A place I have heard consistently good reports about throughout our travels. First Impressions? Party town. Very young crowd. Quite a nice looking place and the beach is absolutely stunning.
Our hostel was just out of town and the quickest route was a 10-15 minute walk from town along the beach. Set back 100 metres from the shore, the hostel is in a wonderfully tranquil setting with a small restaurant/bar/cafe at the front. Hammocks line the garden courtyard which is surrounded by a dozen or so rooms. Although due to booking late we didn’t have much choice of accommodation I am so glad we chose this place. Probably the most chilled out 5 days of our entire trip, we spent everyday on the beach bronzing our ‘six packs’ and attempting to surf.
The walk along the beach to town is even more spectacular at night with the moon and sky reflecting off the surf. Stunning. I knew as soon as we arrived I would miss this place. In the evenings we went to various restaurants and a few bars. The service is comparable to that of Airlie Beach in the whitsundays…practically non-existent. Everyone is so laid back they may as well be sleeping. I think in one restaurant I waited over an hour for a bacon sandwich. In another, after asking for condiments 3 times I just went up to the kitchen and got them myself. The best restaurant we visited was a ‘bring your own alcohol’ fish and chip shop with seating on the seafront. Food was fantastic, service great and the wine good, cheap and free flowing. In the evenings the town was full of loud, young, drunk Australians… plus a loud drunk Scotsman and Englishman. We fitted in well.
There are quite a lot of travellers passing through Byron along with the Aussies. There is a big hippie community in a town called Nimbin, not far from Byron, where marijuana is apparently readily available and apparently a blind eye turned by Police. I didn’t visit but the spill out is evident as hordes of dreadlocked bongo players in their linen outfits line the beachfront in the early evening. This actually creates a really good atmosphere. People seemed friendly and there was an open air open mic for ‘musicians’ to irritate everyone with bad Bob Marley renditions. Still, with a few tinnies watching the sun go down I liked it. Some of my most relaxed moments of this trip. Several of the bars every evening had live bands. Pretty good live bands too. A lot of ska music. And although the bars closed at midnight there were a handful of disco’s to choose from afterwards. We went to Cheeky Monkey’s one night, the place was crowded and the atmosphere was good despite the barman pouring a drink and knocking it over then making us pay for it. Great atmosphere, beautiful beach, good music (mostly), crap service. I like it in Byron.