A conspicuously beautiful spot amongst Australia’s wealth of scenery, Byron Bay has a fair chance of making it into your itinerary if you’re visiting the country. However, while many of the town’s activities present themselves in obvious fashion, you often have to saunter through backstreets to find the more rewarding things to do in Byron Bay.
1. Have a coffee and an omelette roll at The Top Shop
Located on the corner of Carlyle and Massinger streets, The Top Shop is a meeting ground for all types. Here locals and celebrities spring from behind the hills to enjoy the good coffee and casual atmosphere in the canteen on the hill. The omelette roll is warm and wonderful, smeared with aioli and herbs, while the benches are wide and relaxed. It’s also a great place to use silly names, as they’ll yell out yours when your goods are ready.
2. Visit the Eric Wright Lookout.
Lying across an urban valley and over a fence from The Top Shop, the Eric Wright Lookout is a hidden gem, waiting for the backstreet adventurer (that’s how I found it). The place sits atop a hill in Patterson street, affording views over the ocean and the undulating hinterland.
Bob Carr made the decision never to develop the place when he was premier of NSW (after some solid local convincing). It’s named after local historian Eric Wright and is more than worth a visit.
3. The lighthouse bushwalk.
Of all the things to do in Byron Bay, this would have to be the most splendid. Being the most easterly point on the Australian mainland, Byron Bay’s lighthouse is a well know destination, and rightly so. However, there’s a way to get there that defies all others. As you’re walking down Lighthouse Road, cross the street to Lee Lane and continue up the hill until you come to a bush track.
Take this track, which meanders through sub-temperature forest and the home of the ubiquitous Byron bush turkey, while offering lofty views over the glistening surrounds. And if you’re feeling particularly energetic, continue down to Wategos Beach and make your way around the coastline, all the way back to Byron.
I try to do this walk often, as it’s invigorating and simply sublime.