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My favourite place: Beau Walker

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Beau Walker is a pro surfer who has represented Australia in national and international competitions. He received his first surfboard when he was seven and hasn't looked back. Apart from his huge success in the ocean, his great personality has made him a hit on the Nine Network's children's television series The Shak.

Beau grew up in Queensland and enjoyed a typical Australian childhood: surf and sand and taking a great interest in various sports. Kelly Slater, Adam Gilchrist, Mick Doohan and Harry Kewell are some of his childhood idols.

Beau and his family moved to Byron Bay when he was 11 and he credits the town with shaping who he is and giving him character. It also gave him surfing. When he was travelling around the country in the pro junior series, Byron Bay was always his comfort zone.

He took Getaway on a nostalgic tour of his favourite place. Along the windy road where his father taught him to drive the old Ford Escort his grandma gave him. They had to take it around the block to warm it up or it wouldn't make it up the hill.

They would make their way to the lighthouse, chatting to other locals on the way, and checking out the surf. One of the many great things about Byron is that it has north and south-facing beaches. If it's windy on one side it will be protected on the other. Perfect for surfers.

Tourists go to the lighthouse to stand on Australia's most easterly point, see the day's first light and breaching whales, but for Beau it brings back some not-so-happy memories. In his serious training days it meant extremely painful legs and hours of training, but now that he's no longer competing he can enjoy the views along with everyone else.

Beau took us to his secret beach. Just south of Byron near Broken Head is Whites Beach. It's fringed with subtropical rainforest and shady pandanus palms. Once there you feel as though you've been washed up on an island paradise.

Most visitors don't know about it, and now the cat's out of the bag Beau might have upset some of the locals! He warns everyone to never underestimate undertow. Wherever you are thinking of getting into the surf, check it out thoroughly and ask the advice of people who can read the water.

He also knows some great fishing spots. One of the best is the Bream Hole at Little Wategos. Last time he was there he and his mates landed four taylor fish but he managed to lose 14 lures in his effort.

Like many coastal towns, Byron Bay has become upmarket in spots but has somehow kept a country town feel. There are fancy restaurants and clubs, but none of the fast food giants are there, and there is no building over three storeys.

OzyMex was opened by the Byron Bay Chilli Company. People travel from near and far for their coconut chilli burrito — but everything they have is delicious. Not surprisingly it's one of Beau's favourite places to stop for a bite.

The Beach Hotel, known to locals as "The Beachie", is a favourite place to kick back after a day of surfing or fishing or just when you feel like a cold drink. It's in the middle of town and overlooks the ocean. It has a great beer garden and serves good meals at reasonable prices. They also have accommodation.


Byron Bay, 750km north of Sydney and 140km south of Brisbane.

For further information

2/8 Jonson Street
Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 5211

The Beach Hotel
Bay Street
Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 6402

User comments
I love Byron Bay and the presenter, he should be presenting Getaway always...Love Beau Yeeeeeeeeee
ive been trying to fins out the ame of that song too so please let me know if you find out
Good story with a good presenter! Love it!!
I thought the glimpse of Byron Bay was great.It looked like the Byron I know.Beau was terrific!
Does anyone know the name of the song they played during the Byron Bay segment that had lyrics which may have been "hiding out and drifting"?

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