All cerulean surf and rolling green hills, expect breezy beach vibes aplenty in this high-spirited coastal town on Australia’s easternmost tip. Discover the best places to stay, eat and explore in the area, which is home to Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky.
Stay: Wake to the sound of crashing waves at Rae's on Wategos - a supremely lovely 1960's villa with palm-studded emerald lawns that roll right down to the sea. Here, you can wander about barefoot, gulping down the salty air and worrying about very little indeed. The seven light-dappled bedrooms are layered with raffia furniture and boldly printed textiles, and there are marvellous full-body rituals to be had in the spa. Watched over by the icon that is the Cape Byron Lighthouse, the shaded kasbah pool is really quite something.
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Taste: You'll find some of the best mexican on the Gold Coast at Chihuahua, a chilled out hole-in-the-wall serving first-rate halloumi tacos. Tuck into mushroom arancini at The Green Bistro, hit up The Top Shop for burgers and great breakfasts, and the homemade cold brew at Espresso Head will have you coming back time and time again.
Indulge: Lend a bohemian feel to your wardrobe at Spell & The Gypsy Collective - a beguiling clapboard boutique on Browning Street with rack upon rack of billowy whimsical dresses and accessories that wouldn’t look out of place at Burning Man. Other go-to's include apothecary-inspired Bangalow Pharmacy and Ahoy Trader, a pleasingly artsy interiors spot.
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Explore: Byron Bay is something of an artistic hub, with a vibrant peppering of studios and galleries - check out Retrospect Galleries for a well-curated roster of contemporary pieces. But it’s usually the surf that draws people to this laid-back beach town. Chase world-class breaks at The Pass before sauntering along the sand to the stairs that lead up to The Fisherman's Lookout - at the top you’ll be rewarded with head-lolling ocean vistas.