The days are getting longer and the long weekend is looming with the imminent feeling of summer in the air. Take the opportunity for a sea change this October long weekend & escape to the beaches & hinterland of Byron Bay.
Everything sparkles in Byron Bay. As legend goes, the magnetic energy from the old volcano of Mount Warning spreads some very special love throughout this area. In the 60’s it was about Peace, Love & Country Soul. The hippies & surfers moved in to the one of the most idyllic places on earth. Didn’t they have the right idea!
Back in the day, the locals did not populate the beachside but rather retreated to the hinterland to grow their own vegetables & support a sustainable living, in a barter based community with a little bit of LSD on the side.
From the ocean to the hinterland, there is so much to explore. Rent a car & relax into the weekend by exploring all that this magical area has to offer. Our retail outpost Newrybar Merchants is an easy 15 minute drive from Byron Bay town & has recently been filled with my hardware range in it's entirety. You will find a sample board brimming with all of our new hand tinkered styles to take home. Hand forged steel, aged brass, cane wrapped hooks & raw leather wrapped homewares pieces which only get better with age & use. Housed in an 1890’s dwelling in the hilltop town of Newrybar is a collective of locals that make & curate beautiful for your home. Each room is dedicated to one of the talented creatives including a florist, leather worker, artists, rug trader, bedding & my very own hardware range under The Society inc. Stop in after a delicious food stop at Harvest across the road.
If stocking up on goods from an array of local merchants has sparked your interest for an afternoon of retail therapy there are plenty of other beautiful traders to investigate.
If you have fallen hard for the Gypset lifestyle of Byron, you can create your own interiors based on this vibe & keep your travels alive by shipping a few Bisque pieces home. This beautiful interior & furniture store conjures up the romance of peace, love & the free spirit ’60’s vibe that still lives on here. Lots of floaty whites & neutrals, super comfy sofas, weathered woods, linen & soft renders to transport you back to holiday mode wherever you are.
If surfing is your thing or you want to give it a go head straight to McTavish to rent a board or, if you are like me and like to have all the gear, custom design your own. This is the brand that encapsulates the essence of the ‘60’s spirit. Founder, Bob McTavish moved here to escape the humdrum of life & do the things he loves – shaping surfboards & surfing unpopulated waves. Pop into the store and borrow the lifestyle by shooting the breeze & getting the locals’ knowledge on where the best waves are whilst contemplating which surfboard will be yours - rent one for the day or week or just decide then & there to custom your own.The industrial estate is a hive of activity with manufacturers, artists, makers & designers opening their studios & workshops to the public.
These hills are alive with all kinds of workshops. In this small town of Federal there is Jatana Interiors. Sonya specialises in importing vintage salvaged tiles from around the globe as well as her own designs of encaustic tiles. Her influence can be seen throughout Byron Bay & beyond in cafes, restaurants & houses. Be sure to make an appointment to view her sample shed nestled in the garden of her own home. Warning: This is the kind of place that can spark a renovation.
Exquisitely curated, esoteric infused objects of crystals, incense, vintage pieces, cult body products and essential oils, such as Ayu. Inspired by nature with a deep seeded essence of consciousness & travel, they host workshops on ancient ‘women’s work’ and support products made ethnically & have a positive impact. After deciding on your beautiful purchases stop in next door at Punch & Daisy to soak up the sun in the back courtyard and enjoy a delicious bite to eat. http://covenshoppe.com/ After a day of exploring retreat to one of the many beautiful offerings for accomodation that the area has to offer. It does get busy so my tip would be to book accommodation in advance as the days start to get warmer!
The Atlantic Guesthouse
For town accommodation, there is only one in my mind, Atlantic. An oasis in the centre of town oozing cool & style. The owners’ talent of understated elegance shines throughout the scattering of weatherboard houses. Set in lush gardens, meandering boardwalks lead the way from rooms to communal areas & kitchens that invite you to laze around & enjoy. A simple colour palette of white & black is throughout where even the palm trees are ringed with limewash rings. The reception has an edited selection of local must-haves to buy - and if you are more the glamping type, there is an airstream available that sits pride of place in the garden.
The Beach Shack
My favourite place in the world to recharge is Watego’s. This original 1960’s beach hut meets tree house meets chalet is the perfect nostalgic folly to take you back when Byron Bay was all about country soul & surfing. A couple minutes wander from the beach, with access to a quiver, this is the ultimate beach retreat! We rent out our magic hideaway on Airbnb.
Byron Bay Luxury Houses
One Fabulous Room
Will & Jo White built their Brunswick Heads shop, Fabulous Mrs Fox, out of salvage building materials and live upstairs, their place feels like the coolest apartment in Beunos Aires where the sourced many of the materials with its beautifully proportioned rooms, panelled dados, shutters and floorboards, and always a vista to inspire curiosity of what the next room might look like. The shop sells lighting William makes - he’s an inventor & tinkerer - plus flea market finds, books, a crystal ship chandelier I want to buy, and all sorts of other objects they have created. One Fabulous Room nestled at the rear of their store is only 20 minutes north of Byron Bay @onefabulousroom
The latest newcomer to the fabulous food offering around the Bay is The Farm. A cluster of buildings with a bakery, providore, florist, restaurant & bar surrounded by their produce fields. A warm Australiana, woolshed kind of vibe that entices you to stay put sitting under the festoon lights of a balmy evening. Three Blue Ducks run the bustling restaurant - wait for a table at any time of the day for local fare or grab a take away sandwich or salad of the day from their slow cooked BBQ and sit amongst the grounds.
A great first stop is single-street town Newrybar to visit the cluster of old buildings housing a restaurant, deli, bakery & kitchen garden that is Harvest. Visit on Saturday & Sunday mornings from 8am for pastries & coffee but never fear if you are paddle boarding or catching just one more wave, lunch & dinner is memorable here. It’s a breezy Queenslander wrap-around verandah, overlooking their vege patch, and if you have enough people, or for a special occasion, you can rent out the bakery for the finest of sit down dinners. The restaurant prides itself on local, seasonal produce. Bookings are essential. @harvestnewrybar