The first day I graced the streets of Byron Bay was way back in mid February, Valentine’s Day to be precise… the day of love and all that!! I always remember the sun was beaming down as we rocked up in our wee van that had been our home for the past few months. ‘Reggae Got Soul’ from the Surf’s Up album was beaming through the speakers… and I felt so happy.
Part of the happiness was down to the fact that I finally arrived in Byron, a place I had heard so much about… but most of my gleaming happiness was purely down to the fact that from that very moment I was in Byron, I knew I would love this place!
Since that sunny Valetines Day, I have stayed in various places across Byron, pretty much covering most accommodation from one end of the town to the other! From a varied number of tourist campsites where the van has sat comfortably, to the current home I am now living in – Aquarius Hostel. (The van is still with us, you’ll be glad to know, he’s parked all snuggled up in the car park of the hostel!).
I have been and gone a few times from this place; visiting for a few weeks back in February, living at the infamous Arts Factory, staying in the Beaches Campsite just out of town, as well as a fellow campsite neighbouring the nudist beach!
I then left to hit up some of the east coast, before returning for the local festival – Bluesfest – in April, (illegally living on a number of residential streets over the week!).
Now, the initial plan was to get out of Byron and grab a job up in Brisbane, thinking a city would hold a hell of a lot more jobs for myself and Chris. However, luck came our way when we managed to get ourselves free accommodation for an hour’s work every day. Score!! We were now living in Byron for free… we’d be stupid to leave this place!
After much moving around, and finally settling ourselves down in a lovely hostel that’s a mere 100m from Main Beach, as well as getting ourselves a job at the local backpackers bar (thanks to Chris’s blagging skills!) I reckon I’m feeling pretty at home with this place. In fact, I’m gonna go as far as to call it my official second home!!
I don’t think I can rustle up one reason as to why I couldn’t love Byron. It’s such a chilled out place. You just get that vibe from everything and everyone that makes Byron. From the hippies that live behind the bus stop, to the drummin’ dudes that jam every Sunday by the beach as the sun sets over the mountains in the distance. From the numerous buskers that keep passersby entertained all day, to the masses of skateboarders that fly by you as you stroll down the streets.
I love how you can rock up at the beach, and after a mere few minutes, you can catch the glimpse of a pod of dolphins. I haven’t been anywhere yet that guarantees the chance of seeing a whale and its baby coming near the shore line… but Byron has it! I’ve even caught the odd turtle bobbing along the rim of the water grasping his few breathes of air before sinking back down below.
You don’t get anything even near that in Aberdeen that’s for sure!!
There’s more than enough beach for me to choose from in Byron too… the place is hugged by sandy beaches stretching for miles. And for the masses of avid surfers out there, there’s plenty surf points to catch the most perfect sets I’ve seen in Australia!!
Of course, I can’t surf to save my own life… unfortunately! But it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate watching all the awesome surfers out there catching some amazing waves and seeing the look of joy spread across their faces! I’m hoping one day I’ll be one of those surfers!!
Away from all surf and sports there is to do around Byron, you can find so much entertainment in this place. And the majority of it is free!! That’s just music to my ears!!
I often find myself attending the weekly free bbq on Fridays. Beef and Falafel burgers are cooked fresh on the Barbie along with boxes full of bread. Not only that, but you have a local strumming away on their guitar and singing down the mic as you chill and munch away.
Perfect start to the weekend I reckon!
Every day without fail, there is always someone busking out on the main streets. On a clear sunny day Jonson St (the main road of Byron) is bursting with buskers, the odd didgeridoo here, a mandolin there. It’s like a big hub of talent. It just makes you want to learn to play something so you can join in on the orchestra of instruments out there!!
The talents don’t just cover the musical segment; the art in Byron is out of this world. I love the authentic Aboriginal art that is displayed throughout the town. But from time to time, you get the odd painter out in the streets trying to sell their own work off their backs, but you could swear some of the artwork was worth hundreds.
There are perfect places to be inspired to get your artistic flow on the go out here. In fact, I bought plenty canvas to get my own creativeness flare going here too. I’ve only done a few paintings so far, mostly of the beach and the skies that blend with it. I love how the colours of the skies change so often round here, so I just feel the need to capture it with my paintbrush!!
There’s obviously a lot of reasons why so many people want to come to Byron, and why they want to stay here, and maybe they have other reasons to mine. But I feel I’ve found plenty to convince me to live here.
I’ve covered a lot of land across Australia since I landed here in October; from The Red Centre and Adelaide to Melbourne, and hitting up the main sites of Canberra and Sydney. But I’ve chosen this place to be my home for the rest of the year.
Why would I pick a city crammed full of traffic and high rise buildings, when I’ve got the peace life in Byron? Why would I choose a loud, dull city when I can have Byron that is forever bursting with vibrant colours and sounds?
I think it’s safe to say, Byron will always have a place in my heart. Even when I leave… whenever that may be… I’ll never forget it. And more than likely, when that moment in my life rises when I need to find a place to ‘settle’, I’ll no doubt compare everywhere to Byron Bay!
If any of my reasons for being in Byron tick most the stuff on your list… then get yourself out here and join me! You will not regret it! I’m well and truly stuck in the Byron Bay Bubble, and this bubble fits me perfectly :).