It’s that time of year where we’re all chasing the last days of summer, and what better way to do that than one of our favorite spots, Byron Bay. Owner of The Designory and OTTONN Group, Melissa, took her family for a getaway in the school holiday break. They spent their time tracking down great food, beautiful beaches and a treasure trove of shopping. A seasonal Byron traveler, we asked her for her ‘must see’ list of places to go, stay and see in Byron.

Where to stay:After many great trips to Byron, here’s our top four places to stay.

  • The Villas of Byron Bay Gordon St, Byron Bay – These are the most beautiful Balinese inspired villas outside of Bali!  Every detail has been thought of from the bikes, beach towels, baskets and umbrellas, to the outdoor showers, sumptuous couches and daybeds, this place has everything you could possibly need for your home away from home.  And the private pool and spa is just the icing on the cake.


  • The Atlantic Marvell St, Byron Bay – The Atlantic is semi famous these days for it’s laid back tropical vibe, carefully put together interiors and it’s fabulous location right in the heart of town easy walking distance from the beaches, shops and great cafes.  No kiddies though, so this one is great for a couples weekend away, but make sure you plan ahead as they book out quickly!


  • The Byron at Byron Broken Head Rd, Byron Bay – This a hotel with it all – great restaurant, great pool and day spa and beautifully appointed rooms set amongst the beachside bush.  Located on Tallows beach and slightly out of Byron, it feels like your worlds away as you walk the winding bush tracks between the buildings.  Great for families, couples or just a break on your own.


  • Gaia Retreat Newrybar – Ok, this is probably one of my favourite places in the world.  There is something about Gaia that never leaves you.  It’s a magical and spiritual place located at the highest point in the Byron Bay hinterland.  Famously owned by Olivia Newton-John, this retreat is a beautiful blend of incredible day spa, insane food custom designed just for you and the most incredible staff who you feel you’ve known for a lifetime.  A true rarity in accommodation and a regular treat of mine – this one is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself, your partner or your friends.


What to do:

  • Hire a bike!  If you can hire a bike while you’re in Byron it’s an awesome way to trek around the Byron area as it’s so flat.  Take the bikes to breakfast, to the beach or just venture out for a ride in the fresh air!


  • Go to the beach! Our favorite beaches are The Pass for the long waves perfect for surfers and kids boogie boarding as well, Tallows beach for the incredible long expanses of deserted beach, and Wategos for it’s tranquil, tucked away location.


byron-bay-beachImage: Bay Royal

Favourite shopping – there’s so much happening in the area now, but here are our favorites!


  • Island Luxe – the original store in Bangalow as well as the newer Tribe in Byron Bay are both nothing less than spectacular.  Despite the higher price point, their selections and global edit are nothing short of inspiring.


  • Haveli – a gorgeous, well priced and carefully curated selection of global treasures from Indonesia, India and beyond.


  • The Newrybar Merchants – this newby is a wonderful collaboration of creatives who’ve taken up space in on old house in Newrybar and have turned it into a magical space full of handmade and globally sourced goodies.


  • Mary Ryan’s Bookshop – this is my all time favorite book shop in the country!  The staff have incredible knowledge and can find every customer the perfect book for them!  I always leave with way too many books and regret the hand luggage the whole way home!


  • The Dispensary – This Bangalow staple is a favorite – but it’s a pharmacy!  It has the most divine range of candles and beauty products all set in a gorgeous old building with beautiful vintage cabinetry.  It’s the kind of place you feel like you need to tip toe through and just take it all in.


  • The Corner Store – a great selection of home-wares and lifestyle pieces that are hard to find anywhere else.  It’s hard to walk out empty handed.


  • Pompediou – a great selection of fashion!  A little something for everyone!


  • Ahoy Trader – a colourful collection of art and home-wares that makes you feel instantly at home.  Definitely somewhere to pick up something a little different.


  • Red Lantern  Byron Bay & Bangalow – This is both dumpling house and Chinese knick knack store!  Perfect pit stop for something yum for lunch!


  • Main Street Burger Bar  18 Johnson St, Byron Bay, 02 6680 8832 – Seriously the best burgers I’ve ever eaten!!  The milkshakes and fruit sodas made in house were incredible and the sweet potato fires were an absolute MUST!  Best place to grab a bite for lunch on the way back from the beach.  The kids loved it!


  • Fleet Restaurant  2/16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads, 02 6685 1363 – This is a gorgeous new restaurant with well designed wine bar, share plates style with fantastic and creative food.  It’s a small space and a booking is a definite must – as well as a babysitter!


  • Milk and Honey Mullumbimby  Shop 5/59a Station Street, Mullumbimby, 02 6684 1422 – Milk and Honey is a casual family restaurant specializing in delicious, artisan wood fired pizzas showcasing seasonal, locally sourced produce.  This one is a hit with the kids!


Where to eat:

  • Bay Leaf Café2 Marvell St, Byron Bay, 02 6685 8900 – This is a long time favorite of the locals and tourists alike.  The menu is incredible with something for everyone and the most delicious selections for Breakfast and Lunch – my pick is the mushrooms – so insanely good that I had them twice!


  • Harvest Café 18-20 Old Pacific Highway Newrybar, 6687 6244 – Located in Byron’s beautiful hinterland, Harvest café is located in the historic village of Newrybar ( 20 min drive from Byron Bay) Harvest is one of the most celebrated restaurants in the area and has the most amazing rustic, wood fired bakery and deli as well.  Reservations are a must. Tip – go there for outstanding bakery treats on weekend mornings from 8am.


  • Three Blue Ducks, at the Farm 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale, 02 6684 7795 – The team from our local fave, Three Blue Ducks, have poured a whole lot of love, sweat and creativity into this 86 acre green space to create a unique farm-to-table dining experience for all – especially the kids. The farm animals, tours, huge playground and vast green spaces mean that the kids are perfectly entertained while the adults enjoy their meal, browse the produce, the store and the garden centre. Tasty wholesome Ducks’ meals are served for breakfast and lunch Monday to Sunday, as well as dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights – but don’t forget to grab something amazing from Bread Social to nibble on throughout the day – delicious!


Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 12.09.58 PMImage: Bayleaf Cafe Harvest Cafe             

 Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 1.30.58 PMImage: Harvest Cafe

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 12.03.44 PMImage: Three Blue Ducks