What to do in Byron beyond the beaches
Byron Bay is well known for its sparkling beaches, but there’s a lot more to the popular coastal town than just the sun and surf. Here are the top places to check out on a rainy day.
- June 2018
It was with a sense of glee that I landed at Gold Coast Airport surrounded by storm clouds and rain. Around me, passengers stared out of their windows in disbelief as whisperings of ‘rain all week’ floated throughout the plane. The rain was here to stay and I must admit, I was giddy with excitement.
It’s not the typical reaction you would expect from someone that’s about to embark on a holiday to Byron Bay, Australia’s most celebrated beach holiday destination. After all, the quintessential Byron holiday is all about swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, beach games, sunset drinks and long, lazy beach days – all the activities that are best suited under a hot, blazing sun.
So, who in their right mind would be excited about rain in Byron? Me. And I’ll tell you why.
I’ve visited Byron more than 15 times at different stages of my life. I’ve been there as a single 20-something-year-old on the hunt for the best drinking holes, a married 30-something-year-old seeking a romantic getaway with my husband, and as a young (not-telling-you-my-age) mum desperate for some relaxation.
And each time I’ve been, my days went something like this: wake up, eat breakfast by the beach, hang at the beach, grab coffee by the beach, head back to the beach, have lunch overlooking the beach, make my way back to the beach, and then finish off the day with sunset drinks - by the beach, of course.
The beaches have always stolen the Byron show, and rightly so. Who would want to leave the pandanus-framed Wategoes Beach or peel themselves away from the crystalline waters of the Pass? Byron’s legendary beaches have captivated people from all over the world – the types of places that are plastered all over Instagram under the hashtag #fromwhereyoudratherbe.
But over the years, Byron has outgrown its cutesy surfie town label. As well as offering amazing beaches and surf, it’s transformed into a burgeoning arts and fashion hub with a flourishing music, bar and dining scene to rival any world city. I was eager to explore more of this side of Byron, but as a self-proclaimed prisoner to the sun and beach (even the Byron bush turkeys couldn’t shoo me away), I desperately needed some rain to set me free.
So, as the rain descended on my most recent trip, I left my solemn-looking bikinis scrunched up at the bottom of my suitcase and happily set off, umbrella underarm, on a different kind of Byron adventure. Here’s what I discovered…
Top places to check out on a rainy day in Byron
Set in a luxe yet minimalistic space, this beautiful (and hidden) day-spa offers a holistic massage experience that will have you relaxed in no time.
Stone and Wood Brewery
Enjoy handcrafted beers and a tour of Stone and Woods Byron shed - a great vibe and the perfect space to settle in for a beer tasting session.
A delight for lovers of homewares and accessories, this Byron-born company is gaining popularity all over the world with its neutral-toned rugs, textiles, prints and unique cushions.
Principally a working farm, it also houses fabulous micro businesses including the Three Blue Ducks Restaurant and Produce Store, The Bread Social and Flowers at the Farm. They also offer onsite workshops for adults and children.
Pop and Scott
Famous for their colourful hand painted pots, this Melbourne-born company has a huge showroom in Byron that’s filled with stunning furniture, lighting, homewares and lots and lots of pots!
Spell and the Gypsy Collective
A modern bohemian fashion label with a beautifully designed shop that not only houses its Byron-esque garments, but offers an outdoor boho-inspired sanctuary.
Circus Arts Byron Bay
1200sqm of indoor fun with a high-flying trapeze, climbing wall, gym, and an Olympic-size trampoline, to name a few. They offer a great range of circus classes to accommodate kids, teens and adults of all levels and there is even a play space area with jumping castle to entertain the little ones.