Like A Local | Byron Bay
Byron Bay… famous for it’s chilled vibes & surf culture. It boasts miles of pristine white beaches, unique fashion, stunning sunrises and one of the most famous lighthouses in Australia.Everyone loves Byron Bay…
Expect for Samantha Starling, “another beautifully lost dreamer with an incurable case of wanderlust” and author of Totally Sam’s World Blog.
In 2014, Samantha didn’t want to move from the excitement of the city to some hippie town in the country. Her relationship with Byron Bay started rocky, but like everything in life, it fell into place after a little time.
Three years on and she can happily say that she is (almost) a local in Byron Bay and I couldn’t ever imagine living anywhere more perfect in the world.
So here is what Samantha recommends on Byron Bay:
Food and Drink
The Suffolk Bakery has a wonderful weekend morning buzz. I love it’s community feel, delicious coffee and freshly baked pastries. It’s the perfect place to grab some tummy goodness before a swim at the Suffolk tea tree lake.
If a bigger brunch is in order, Dip cafe is the place to go, with the most mouth watering menu in the whole of the Bay! It’s where I take any friend or family member who comes to visit! If you’re a corn fritter nutter like me, you won’t be disappointed!
Our Friday nights are often spent among friends at the Rails, drinking Stone and Wood and dancing to the local band playing live. I love the rails because you get just about every character imaginable walking through the gate! There is no bias, just a crowd of people enjoying the atmosphere and living in the moment.
For something a little more civilised, Rays at Wategos is a wonderful place to treat your tastebuds with a range of fresh seafood and sensational wine.
It’s common knowledge that the beaches in Byron are stunning. But why head down to Main Beach when there are plenty of quieter spots to relax at?
My personal favourite is Whites. It’s a drive up from Broken Head and worth every pothole! Whites is my idea of pure paradise. A favourite picnic spot for my fiance and I would have to be Boulders Beach in Lennox Head. We often set up on the grassy verge, looking out to the ocean. The sound of the waves, the salty breeze to keep you cool and a nice pacific ale in hand… It’s pure magic!
For some morning zen, my go-to would be Tallows; check the time of the sunrise and enjoy a peaceful walk along the beach, with your feet in the water. I feel so recharged when I start my day watching the colours of the sky reflecting on the ocean surface. (Tallows will always be close to my heart as it’s where I got engaged!)
The best place to catch the sunset would be on Wategos beach, after a walk up the lighthouse. The walk boasts beautiful views of the dramatic cliff edge and deep blue; topped off with the sun saying goodnight behind the jagged mountains in the distance.
Wildlife & Conservation
The people of Byron and Ballina Shire are not quiet when it comes to the protection of our environment. I’m in love with the passion that lives here and the drive that allows us to all make a difference. I participate in a fortnightly beach clean up to help keep our oceans healthy and litter free. We have our best visitors arriving every May through to October; the magnificent Humpback Whales! I could watch them for hours, the best place to view them is from the Lighthouse or Pat Morton lookout in Lennox.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, I’d really recommend getting a boat trip out to Julian Rocks and you may be lucky enough to encounter so nearby breaches. The diving and snorkelling at Julian Rocks is world class; because of it’s location, you can find an array of marine life. Depending on the season, you could find yourself swimming with Grey Nurse Sharks, Leopard Sharks or Manta Rays. Byron is the perfect place to become a mermaid, and let’s face it, that’s a pretty solid life goal!
Byron hosts a range of dance classes; from Pole to Street and Forro to Salsa. I love to dance and the dance culture here really is alive. Byron is home to people from all over the world, which means that the arts scene is diverse. My favourite style to dance here is Cuban and LA Salsa. You’ll find heaps of socials being hosted and when they’re not on, we take our shoes off, meet at the BBQs and dance barefoot on the beach!