Date: Saturday 29th November to Tuesday 1st December
Location: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
I was lucky enough to meet some pretty cool people when I travelled through Cairns, Queensland and it just so happened that most of them work and live in Byron Bay. It’s always nice to enter a town knowing you’ve got a friend somewhere. They had promised to take me out and show me the local spots in Byron and they definitely delivered.
Byron Bay is a strange (but wonderful) place. My cousin passed through Byron on her travels a few years ago and she loved it. It’s weird how some places you go have a personality that aligns so specifically to someone you know that you’re amazed they weren’t born and brought up there. Byron Bay so completely sums up my cousin I was astonished she ever left. It’s different and quirky, full of interesting art and beautiful scenery, it’s overspilling with hippies in dreadlocks and baggy trousers, striving to be individual and different and yet has a sense of respectability about it which comes out in the really good food and drink you get everywhere… it’s a strange place ( I think I said that).
So what did I do? Well I walked up to the lighthouse (a must-do), I went out for drinks, I chilled on the beach, I shopped to fulfil all my health crystal and yoga pant needs and I enjoyed chilled out dinners with lovely friends and good conversation that stretched into late in the night. A particular friend really took me under her wing in Byron (she’s one of the most incredible and interesting women I have ever met. I’m very proud to call her a friend). One night she invited me along to a club night in another town, a few miles inland. Now, leaving the coast of Australia is sometimes a dodgy move, it all gets much weirder the further away from the sea you get. This place was no exception – a small town in the middle of the bush with a random club. It was meant to be a big party at which her friend was dj-ing but when we got there it was empty. Very empty. Not to be disheartened that quickly we got a drink and waited for it to fill up. When it became very clear that it wasn’t ever going to fill up we decided it was just an opportunity to have the entire dance floor to ourselves and proceeded to fill the space as completely as possible. We pulled out all the moves including the lawnmower, stacking the shelves, the lightbulb and (my personal favourite, having learnt it in Australia) the jellyfish.
In contrast back in Byron we visited the ‘drumming circle’ a group of people who get together every evening around sunset and sit on the edge of the beach, making music. It’s beautifully calming to listen to the sounds of the drums echoing around you as the sky turns from blue to orange. This experience sums up Byron. You may find elements of the place elsewhere in the world but you don’t often find all of them lumped together. It’s a really interesting place to visit and when you’re there you should totally embrace the spirit of the place. I’m not a Byron Bay baby and it doesn’t completely sum me up but I can completely see why it’s a mecca to others.