The reasons why you should spend time in Byron Bay are numerous: stunning beaches, a constant crop of exciting and diverse new restaurants and near-perfect weather.
As one of the most visited holiday destinations in Australia, Byron also frequently refreshes itself with new eateries and bars. Despite being a thoroughly tourist-friendly area, there are always new pockets to discover.
Here’s what’s worth doing in Byron.
Byron Bay Brewery is a no-fuss place to begin a low-key weekend. With a colourful former life as a piggery, this brewery has a kitsch interior and plenty of board games, making it the ideal venue for a leisurely hang. Head brewer Alastair Gillespie has a suite of easy-drinking beers – The Hazy One pale lager is the current sip of choice (a little bitter, a little fruity). There’s a steady flow of live entertainment in the courtyard, an open-mic night every Wednesday and gigs in the bandroom on Fridays and Saturdays (upcoming acts include Luca Brasi and The Bloody Beetroots).
1 Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay byronbaybrewery.com.au
Head to taqueria Chupacabra on Clifford Street in Suffolk Park for a full-flavoured Mexican fix. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food is inspired by chef Evan White’s travels to the coastal regions of Yucatán and Oaxaca in Mexico. Think house-made corn tortillas, rare imported chillies and Margaritas on tap.
Loft, home to Matt Hunt, the former chef at Stokehouse, is all about European-inspired food and local drops. Dishes are served “share-plate style,” with a focus on Italian charcuterie, British vintage cheddars and French-style soft cheeses. Locally-sourced ingredients like Tasman salmon and Sydney Rock oysters are also on offer.
In the centre of town there’s Locura, from the team behind Three Blue Ducks and The Farm Byron Bay. Their tiny kitchen specialises in Mexican snacks like ceviche and tostadas. Happy hour is every day between 5pm and 7pm, with $5 tacos.
Chupacabra Shop 12A, 3 Clifford Street, Suffolk Park chupacabra.com.au
Loft 4 Jonson Street, Byron Bay loftbyronbay.com.au
Locura 6 Lawson Street, Byron Bay locura.com.au
The Santorini-esque Raes on Wategos is owned by the Catalano family, who transformed the villa into a sought-after boutique destination. Book yourself into one of the two penthouses or five suites, each with a unique layout and view. Enjoy cocktails by the pool (rumoured to have been designed by Salvador Dalí), drinks in the intimate cellar, or a meal in the all-pastel dining room (headed by ex-Attica chef Jason Barratt) overlooking Wategos beach.
6–8 Marine Parade, Byron Bay raes.com.au
Taking a break from the bars and restaurants is key to a refreshing weekend away, so you’ll want to pause to enjoy some of Byron’s stunning scenery. For lovers of the surf, The Pass is a gently-curving shoreline that stretches between Wategos and Clarkes Beach. (While you’re there, take a boat out to Julian Rocks to spot some marine life.) Hikers may want to take on Minyon Falls, which offers short walks and longer trails along creeks and rocks, through staggeringly high forests.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with James Squire.