The location of a family getaway is always a cause for contention among its members. Aside from the obvious generation and cultural gaps, nobody wants to be living on top of their siblings for an entire week! A family getaway is all about space, compromise and knowing when to shut the hell up if the debates get heated! And if all else fails, read ‘How To Travel With Your Family Without Wanting to Strangle Them’ for some extra-effective pointers. 🙂
But… contrary to popular belief, a family getaway can be a chance to unwind and reconnect with those peeps you are bound by blood to love for the rest of your days – even if they are slightly neurotic crazy people. And what better place to bond than beautiful Byron Bay!
Byron Bay holds a special place in my heart as I used to visit it with my family growing up, so it was cool to be given the opportunity by Stayz.com to check out one of their gorgeous abodes in the heart of town with the fam-bam during Mother’s Day weekend.
We arrived on Wednesday and were greeted at the property, aptly named ‘Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses‘ by Helen, the Stayz property manager for the Byron Bay region. As luck would have it, my Mum knew her from way back during the aforementioned Byron Bay family getaways of yesteryear, so it was all giggles and catchups as she showed us around the unique and light-filled property. The bungalow-style, two-level, 4-bedroom refurbished retreat had more than enough space for an extended family of five – and its rustic air, wooden floorboards and modern touches kept the vibe fun and intimate. The bottom level was originally a garage which had been renovated and converted into another bedroom (with two bunk beds for the rug rats) and living area with a giant pool table which, of course, experienced more than its fair share of use over the duration of our stay. The house was very ‘Byron’; and it was perfect for our little family getaway.
Over the course of the long weekend, we did a whole bunch of stuff together and apart. That’s the beauty of a family getaway, the ability to balance the bonding and the down time, and our Stayz retreat was a perfect reprieve for both. If you’re thinking of taking the family to Byron Bay, here are a few highlights I would recommend you do together:
Relaxation Time at The Kiva Spa
Grab your Mum and drive inland to Mullumbimby for a relaxing spa treatment or massage at the award-winning Balinese-inspired Kiva Spa. Women’s night is Wednesday’s between 7 and 9pm!
Freshly Shucked Oysters at The Balcony Bar
Incase you’ve been living under a rock the past few months, The Balcony Bar has had a facelift – and it’s all festoon lighting, palm trees, white-washed walls and mod interiors! It’s the perfect place to grab a booth outside and order a feast of oysters with your loved ones – washed down with one of the best Bloody Mary’s Byron Bay has to offer!
Take a stroll to the Beachside Yoga and Massage studio located above the Byron Bay Surf Club and do your sun-salutations to the sea instead! With panoramic ocean views of Clarke’s Beach directly in front of your mat, and daily sessions suitable for all ages and abilities, there’s no excuse not to bring the whole family!
Family Day at The Farm
What’s not to love about The Farm? It’s got animals, it’s got wide-open spaces, it’s got an award-winning restaurant, it’s got a florist, it’s got yoga and it’s got bloody great coffee, not to mention a blissful vibe. This collaborative farm in Byron Bay is really something special, so grab a spot and make an afternoon of it!
Prawn Feast At Home
Ballina is about a 30 minute drive south of Byron Bay, and it just so happens to be the place to visit if you want to pick up the freshest-of-fresh prawns in the region. Ballina’s Fisherman’s Co-Op sells locally-caught King Prawns a-plenty, so make it a destination and take a mini-roadie along the inland route rather than the freeway for better vistas!
Lighthouse Walk at Sunrise
There’s something magical about walking up those steps to see the sun peak up behind the horizon at the most easterly point of Australia. There’s something even more magical about sharing it with your loved ones…
Stock Up on Local Wares at Newrybar Merchants
Next to the old Antique Store in Newybar, and across the road from Harvest Cafe, is a collective of local creative artisans and curators of find goods who’s passion for what they do shines through their products! Fifteen minutes drive inland from the beaches of Byron, the collaborative concept store houses wares from the likes of Sibella Court, Driftlab, Wolf + Maiden, Mister Zimi and more.
Lunch at Doma in Federal
Whenever anyone asks me where to take their family for lunch in the Northern Rivers I always answer unequivocally with ‘DOMA’ Cafe. This rustic spot is the brainchild of Takayuki and Takahashi – the former Oh Sushi chefs from Byron and the culinary cool kids behind the awesome Japanese food at the Mullumbimy Farmer’s Market. DOMA consistently serves up some of the best and freshest Japanese food I’ve had this side of the equator, and no matter if you take your family or friends here they will all thank you for it in equal amounts!
Stefanie stayed in Byron courtesy of Stayz.com. All opinions are her own.