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Byron Bay, the charismatic coastal town situated towards the northern border of New South Wales, is one of those ‘happy places.’ If you haven’t visited, think expansive beaches, lush nature abound and an iconic lighthouse perched on the hillside as the setting. Add to this a culture bursting at the seams with healthy food, yoga, bohemian lifestyle, music, arts, crafts, eclectic bars and all-round good vibes.

I’ve had a long love affair with Byron Bay because, set aside the above, it is one of those a places really exudes a special energy. And what more could you ask for than this as the destination for a weekend away with your closest girlfriends? Here’s how my posse and I did it in style, even finding the perfect balance of green juice and red wine.

I’ve had a long love affair with Byron Bay because, set aside the above, it is one of those a places really exudes a special energy.

Friday

We hit the road running first thing to catch one of those ungodly 7am flights from Sydney, but all was worth it when we touched down at Ballina Airport, breathed in the fresher country air and found ourselves in Byron Bay, sitting outside at The Top Shop by what was still a reasonable hour for breakfast.

The Top Shop is situated just up the hill from the main drag of Johnson Street and has become somewhat of a hipster hangout, where the crowds regularly overflow from the fitted seating to sit on the grassy surrounds and throw back some of Byron’s best coffee and famous acai bowls, which do not disappoint!

Next we checked into our Air BnB, a gorgeous beach abode. This is arguably the best way to do accommodation in Byron, so you can experience it like a local and is also perfect for sharing with friends.

The afternoon was spent meandering through the Byron Bay shops where retail therapy is rife. From beautiful clothing and chic homewares to vintage treasures and bookstores, your luggage is bound to come back a little heavier than when you arrived. Shopping bags in tow, we finished off with a late lunch at Santos, which has one of the best healthy takeaway display fridges around. Note: always get the raw cake.

Dinner was a casual – albeit very tasty – affair, where we enjoyed lashings of Lebanese food at laneway eatery Orgasmic, touted on Trip Advisor as having “the best falafels ever.” A lot of girly chats and laughter was the end to a sweet day.

Image: Saasha Burns / Straat Stories 

Saturday

Saturday morning was greeted with an early walk to the famous Byron Bay Lighthouse, which conveniently packs experiencing the beautiful costal vistas and a healthy dose of cardio into one.

Image: Saasha Burns / Straat Stories 

Naked Treaties, founded by former Big Brother contestant turned raw food guru Jemma Gawned, was on the cards for breakfast. The superfood smoothie menu has (and deserves) a wall to itself and all items are cutely named with a positive affirmation. Get the ‘I Am Passionate’ smoothie, ‘I Am Zen’ matcha smoothie bowl and the BLT on sprouted Paleo bread (vegan too of course – it’s coconut bacon!).

Next we headed into the National Park, armed with our bikinis and picnic goods, where we spent the afternoon swimming at secluded beaches, eating our lunch on the cliff top and being awed by a pod of dolphins dancing in the crest of the waves.

Saturday night we got dressed up (well, as much as you do for Byron, which is actually wonderful for rocking a more casual style) and headed for dinner at The Roadhouse, which we all agreed had some of the best bespoke cocktails to pass our lips, not to mention very handsome barmen!

We moved on to The Balcony, which, as the name implies, is a bar and restaurant (and café by day) situated on a sprawling traditional wrap around balcony, where we enjoyed organic red wine before wrapping up the evening with a dancing session to the reggae-inspired live music at The Beach Hotel.

Sunday

After a delicious Sunday sleep in, we made our way to Bare Blends to balance out the drinks from the previous night with a more alkaline beverage choice of green smoothies.

Image: Saasha Burns / Straat Stories 

Breakfast was enjoyed up the road at Folk, which is the lovechild of a young couple who revamped an old building at the end of a caravan park to create a stylish oasis serving organic, local, ethical, plant-based cuisine. Wash down a savoury Nourish Bowl and sweet Buckwheat Pancakes with a Golden (turmeric) Latte and you’ll understand why this is one of the most popular eateries on the Byron foodie circuit.

Image: Saasha Burns / Straat Stories 

Even with slightly full bellies, we got into downward dog and then some at a 90-minute yoga class at the Byron Yoga Centre, before heading to Wategos Beach in a zen-like state for a final swim and relax amongst the Padanus palms.

And so we headed home to the city, sandy shoed and bright eyed. When you visit a place like Byron Bay, it seems inevitable that you’ll take a little of the magic back with you and we certainly did.

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Lolita Walters

Lolita is a lover of words and the world. With a self-confessed case of wanderlust, passion for writing and love of all things wellness, you will find often her adventuring around the globe. Since quitting her office job, Lolita works as a professional lifestyle writer and sometimes model. On her travels, Lolita loves to seek out the best healthy hotspots and uses her experiences along the way as inspiration to put pen to paper. While at home in Sydney, if she's not reading, writing or blending up a matcha green smoothie, you'll find her at the beach with friends or getting down on the yoga mat.