The once sleepy little seaside village of Byron Bay has now exploded into a popular tourist spot for travellers on all sorts of budgets.
Rae's on Watego's, located on absolute beachfront, is one of Australia's most exquisite accommodations. It has just seven guest rooms, made up of three penthouses, two deluxe suites and two garden suites in a Mediterranean and Moroccan-style villa with Gothic turrets and art deco touches.
Each room is different and there are touches of painted Javanese tiles, Italian marble and hand-crafted furnishings. Facilities include an outdoor pool, courtyard set in tropical gardens, steam room and massage service.
For a different type of holiday, Coorabella is in Byron's hinterland. This beautiful 100-year-old Queenslander is on 49ha with natural pools, a waterfall, rainforest, macadamia and frangipani farms.
The owners have created four double bedrooms, each with a different feel. The Blue Room, for example, is traditionally colonial, while the Tiger Room has an African feel and common areas are filled with antique Balinese furnishings. The structure has remained as it was with high tin ceilings and, of course, a large wraparound verandah. A fireplace ensures cosiness in winter.
On a different note, the Cape Byron YHA is five-star rated hostel located right in town. Its 30 rooms sleep around 120 travellers in dorms of five to 10 people or double rooms. All share kitchen and bathroom facilities and there is a pool which is heated in winter, plus bicycles and boogie boards are available. There is a television lounge, travel desk and each week they host an Aussie-style barbecue.
The Beach Hotel, meanwhile, is one of the area's most recognised landmarks. Right across from the main beach, it is a popular haunt with locals and visitors for an afternoon refreshment in the beer garden or a night out seeing a band.
The Railway Friendly Bar known to locals as The Rails is popular with locals and tourists and has free bands every night. It has a relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and casual dress. All those things mean it is busy and has a great "buzz".
When your hunger kicks in, Dish Restaurant's raw bar serves a blend of Australian and Asian cuisine. Their freshly shucked oysters served on ice are hugely popular. The cocktail bar is a venue for pre-dinner or after-dinner drinks.
Holidays are a good time to wander around the shops and take home something a little different and there are a couple of places in Byron which fit the bill.
Nami stocks clothing for men and women which could be worn pretty much anywhere. The store is a mix of modern and retro and the owners have attempted to steer clear of clothing that is purely for beach resort wear.
Victoria Spring Designs is in a pink cottage. Each room is decorated differently one as a bedroom, one with furniture, lights and chandeliers, and another with jewellery and scarves.
The far north of New South Wales.
Rooms at Rae's on Watego's range from $350 to $1100 per room per night.
Cape Byron Hostel costs $25 a person for a shared room or $45 for a private room.
Dish is open every day. Cocktails start at $10.50.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Rae's on Watego's
8 Marine Parade, Watego's Beach 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 5366, Fax: (02) 6685 5695
895 Coolamon Scenic Dr, Coorabella 2481
Ph/Fax: (02) 6684 6610
Cape Byron YHA
Byron and Middleton streets, Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 8788, 1800 652 627www.capebyronhostel.com.au
The Beach Hotel
Jonson and Bay streets, Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 6402
The Railway Friendly Bar
Johnson Street, Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 7662
Dish restaurant raw bar
Johnson and Marvel streets, Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 5388
108 Jonson Street, Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 8081
Victoria Springs Designs
4 Brigantine Street, Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 680 7399
Ph: 02 6685 8921www.wickedweasel.com
Qantas: 13 13 13