OUR BYRON BAY FAMILY VACATION

Last Month we visited beautiful Byron Bay, it was Sunny’s first trip to Byron (outside of the womb) and being almost 3 years old we thought it was about time he experienced what this beautiful and eclectic town had to offer.

                      Image by Kim Akrigg

                     Image by Kim Akrigg

When I was a child my family and I lived in Byron for a time, being a hippy family ourselves it was the perfect fit. Byron Bay was somewhat different back then, this is going back more than 20 years (I’m showing my age) it was a lot-less commercialised, and there was an abundance of people dancing to their own beat, if you know what I mean. There is definitely still that free- spirited, bohemian vibe there though and Byron certainly has not lost it’s intoxicating charm that would lead my now husband and I to be married there. This trip to Byron fell on our 4 year wedding anniversary and having only been on one other family trip with just the three of us since Sunny came into our world it was just what we needed.

Byron is what I call an “Easy” holiday, it’s easy to get around, easy to find somewhere amazing to eat, because there are SO MANY fantastic cafes and restaurants and best of all it is an easy place to relax, switch off and just get out of the fast lane for a few days.

Where We Stayed

Elements of Byron

144 Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay

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This gorgeous resort is situated on Belongil beach just a short 5-10 minute drive from the centre of Byron. Our accommodation was a free-standing villa that from the outside didn’t look like much but when you stepped in it was a beautiful little haven. The interiors were earthy meets luxury and the whole resort including the villas are fitted out with works from amazing local artists. The best feature of our villa was the bathhouse.

We were lucky to be positioned just a short stroll to the beach and the resort’s pool and restaurants. Some of the other villas at Elements are a lot more detached, which might suit some but in my experience when travelling with children being close to everything is a total game-changer, the less walking back and forth the better.

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We spent A LOT of our time poolside, and this pool is ginormous. There is an Adults only section for people without noisy kids to escape to so we didn’t feel bad at all when Sunny was making a whole lot of noise and just being a normal kid in the main pool. There were a lot of other families staying at Elements while we were there, there was really kid-friendly atmosphere which just makes your whole holiday much more relaxing.

We chose to dine in the casual dining restaurant, fine dining didn’t seem as enticing with a toddler, just looking at all the delicately placed glass-ware in the fine dining room made me get anxiety. We ate wood fired pizza and soaked up the atmosphere of Fire Pit Fridays and the live entertainment only metres away.

Places We ate

Bayleaf café

87 Marvell St, Byron Bay

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By far my favourite café for breakfast or brunch in Byron bay! Every time we visit we are reminded by why we love it so much. The coffee is amazing and my favourite thing on the menu hands-down is The Brekie Greens, as the name suggests its packed with loads of green stuff, kale, raw broccoli, avocado and topped with fresh chilli, pistachios, seeds and buckwheat grains throughout then topped with 2 poached eggs, perfection!

 

Combi

Shop 5b 21-25 Fletcher St, Byron Bay

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Combi was a new one on our hit list. We hadn’t been before but after following them on Instagram for a while and regularly salivating over their colourful breakfast bowls and raw treats I was dying to eat here.

I had the Organic Chia Party Super Bowl, which was vegan, made from raw ingredients and gluten free. It wasn’t overly sweet which I loved, a lot of those bowls tend to be a little more on the dessert side of things but this one was just perfect and the house made coconut, cashew yoghurt throughout this bowl was divine!

 

St Elmos

Corner of Fletcher St & Lawson Lane, Byron Bay

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I had very fond memories of this lovely little Spanish tapas restaurant, however since the last time we ate here I had cut out all meat except some fish from my diet and with a lot of the plates containing meat, shellfish or raw fish which was also out with me being pregnant there weren’t too many options for me on the menu. However, my husband had a great time and instead of me eating for two it was him that took on the role that night. He indulged in Cerviche, Pork Belly and Slow-Cooked rabbit which Sunny also enjoyed. Apparently, the cocktails were great too. I did a lot of carb-loading that night with bread and potatoes, however the Chick pea dumplings, which the chef was happy to make up without the usual meat component of the meal, were delicious. I will have to visit again when I can eat raw fish and have a cocktail or two.

 

Three  Blue Ducks at The Farm

11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale

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A newer addition since our last visit to Byron. The food at 3 Blue Ducks was absolutely delicious, and so fresh. Knowing the produce had been grown on the property made it taste even better! The Farm is an experience in itself, this lush 80 acre property is a definite MUST-SEE if you are visiting Byron, we loved the relaxed and family- friendly vibe.

Rather than attempting the impossible- getting a busy toddler to sit still while we waited for our meals, Sunny was able to roam free like the chickens that he chased around the gardens and played on the kids play equipment. After dinner, we explored the property and met some of the local residents, the pigs and the cows.

 

Other Attractions

Apart from eating, YES, believe it or not we actually did do more than just eat our way through Byron, the town has loads of other amazing attractions. The view from the Byron Bay lighthouse always manages to take your breath away. I’d highly recommend the walk up to the lighthouse, such a great way to get in your morning exercise while soaking up the beautiful sites around the headland.

Byron Bay Markets

The Byron Bay markets are held on the first Sunday of every month and we were fortunate for our trip to fall on that Sunday.

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They are one of the best markets I have ever been to and I have such fond memories of regularly going to them as a child. Everything from the local artists, the amazing home grown produce, and the musicians are all so authentically Byron.

We picked up the cutest little “party shirts” as Sunny likes to call them, that were hand- made and designed by a Byron Local and Neil found a hand-crafted skate board that is in my opinion too nice to ride, so instead it has taken place as an artwork on the wall in our home.

 

Main Beach

We always spend a lot of time just hanging on the beach when we visit Byron, mainly because I am married to a surfer. It is one of the most incredible beaches and coincidentally there is always as super-talented local musician or two perched in the park near the main beach that you can enjoy. Byron Bay is never short of live entertainment that’s for sure.

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Pampering

Comma

7A/11 Banksia Drive Byron Bay

“A modern Australian massage experience”

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At Comma it’s all about taking time out for yourself, which is just what I did. I’m not going to lie, I had my mobile phone positioned strategically underneath the massage bed so I could clearly see it while I was laying on my stomach. I was just waiting for that phone call to say that Sunny was having a meltdown and Mum was desperately needed to come to the rescue. But there was no phone call and I was forced to relax for one whole hour and what a blissful hour it was! Having a massage is something I very rarely do when I’m back in reality and that kind of treatment is definitely something that I could get used to every day. I can honestly say it was one of the best massage experiences I have ever had. The treatment was completely tailored to me and my needs and picking my own essential oils for the massage was a really nice touch. If you are in need of a pamper and some me-time while you are in Byron I would highly recommend visiting Comma.

 

Then there is the Shopping!!!

Since our last trip there were a few new instalments that I was itching to check out. One of them being our incredibly talented friend’s store, The Design Twins.

Design Twins

16/4 Banksia Drive Byron Bay 

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Our friends had just relocated to Byron a couple of weeks prior to our trip and were in the process of setting up their 3rd store. We visited it one day and there was a mountain of boxes and then within only a couple of days they had almost completely set up, these guys move fast! Design Twins are well known for their beautiful pot plants and gorgeous homewares and furniture. They are so gifted at what they do and the attention to detail that they put into everything they touch is evident in this stunning store.

 

Yoli & Otis

2/97 Centennial circuit Byron Bay

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You will almost definitely find something here for both yourself and for your little one. They have the most gorgeous childrenswear, the majority of the range are linen pieces. I was really wanting to go completely crazy and buy a whole heap of newborn clothing but resisted, being only 10 weeks along didn’t want to jinx it. So instead I treated myself and took home the comfiest little jumpsuit and I couldn’t go past this high wasted bikini that was perfect for hiding my growing bump.

 

 

 

Rowie The label

Shop 1, 1 Marvel Street Byron Bay

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I stumbled across this store which was conveniently located across the road from my favourite café Bayleaf.

Designed by Byron Bay local Rowie Moore, the clothing at Rowie is light and summery, my favourites were the linen dresses and silk camisoles. I love how her designs are so simple but still feminine. I know I will live in this dress for summer.

 

 

Written by Krystal Hipwell