TRAVEL: 48 HOURS IN BY­RON.

ONLY GOT A WEEK­END TO PLAY IN THE BAY? FROM FARM TO FALLS, YOU’LL BE SUR­PRISED HOW MUCH GROUND YOU CAN COVER

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - EYE | CONTENTS - WORDS: CHANTAY LO­GAN

DAY ONE: MORN­ING

My sis­ter and I don’t get to catch up of­ten, but when we man­age to synch our sched­ules for a long-awaited girl’s week­end, the GC’s favourite drive des­ti­na­tion beck­ons. A hop down the high­way and we land at pretty plant-based eatery Folk, which is just the place to ease into the laid-back By­ron vibe. Tim­ber beams are twined with devil’s ivy and the com­fort­able in­te­rior is stud­ded with trea­sures from the sev­en­ties. They do of­fer con­ven­tional caf­feine hits, but where’s the fun in that? We sip a blush-hued, petal-scat­tered beet and lacuma “love po­tion” while toss­ing up be­tween whole­some nour­ish bowls and buck­wheat hot­cakes. No­body seems to no­tice barefaced and breath­tak­ing ac­tress Is­abelle Lu­cas, who is qui­etly nib­bling her meal in a cor­ner. We’re def­i­nitely in By­ron.

Folk By­ron Bay: Sun­rise Blvd, By­ron Bay

DAY ONE: MID­DAY

Have you ever won­dered ex­actly how happy a pig in mud can be? They set the bar pretty high at ru­ral hub The Farm. Make Three Blue Ducks’ pro­duce store your first port of call to pick up a pic­nic bas­ket brim­ming with lo­cal good­ies. We’re talk­ing Nim­bin Val­ley cheese, The Bread So­cial baguette, Naked By­ron Dips, choco­late brown­ies, ber­ries and more, com­plete with biodegrad­able cut­lery. The fun part is find­ing the per­fect spot to spread your rug. Wan­der past the floppy-eared pigs in their bliss­ful bath and fields awash with sun­flow­ers. We were lucky enough to meet the Farm’s most fa­mous “hairy coo”, the im­pos­si­bly fuzzy Brave­heart, and his faith­ful shadow Si­lence the Lamb. Stop for a snack at the macadamia or­chard, where a wind­fall of but­tery na­tive nuts awaits un­der a leafy canopy. Three Blue Ducks pic­nic ham­pers cost $100 each and feed be­tween two to four peo­ple.

The Farm: 11 Ewings­dale Road, Ewings­dale

DAY ONE: AF­TER­NOON

We head to the town’s heart for style sou­venirs – no­body does bare­foot lux­ury bet­ter than By­ron la­bels. Spell & the Gypsy Col­lec­tive’s flag­ship store is a must for the haute hip­pie. From the 200-year-old Moroc­can doors to the Ba­li­nese hooks adorn­ing the chang­ing room walls, the gor­geous space will make you want to try on one of ev­ery­thing. Snap up one of the most flat­ter­ing wrap dresses you’ll ever own at an­other bo­hemian beauty, Au­guste. Their an­kle-swish­ing sig­na­ture style is avail­able in a sea of pretty prints, from petals to polka dots.

Spell & the Gypsy Col­lec­tive: 15 Brown­ing St Au­guste: 15 Fletcher St, By­ron Bay

DAY ONE: EVENING

Shop­ping is hard work, but there’s plenty of room for re­ju­ve­na­tion in this week­end plan. Swing from cush­ioned chairs over­look­ing lily­dot­ted la­goons, swing from sus­pended lounges in the pool or swing into the spa – the strug­gle is real at El­e­ments of By­ron, our ab­so­lute beach­front home for the night. Just a quiet warn­ing: if you’ve booked into one of their stun­ning Du­nal Vil­las you’ll prob­a­bly be tempted to throw the sched­ule out the win­dow and spend the rest of your stay stretched out on the sil­very cow hide in front of the fire or chin-deep in bub­bles on the pri­vate bathing deck. I’ll con­fess I was a lit­tle late join­ing the cock­tail crowd at the re­sort’s pool­side fire-pit. It’s here I’m in­tro­duced to By­ron’s Brookie’s Gin. The rain­for­est dis­tillery pro­duces po­tions in­fused

with species na­tive to the NSW North Coast, in­clud­ing aniseed, myr­tle, gin­ger, rye ber­ries and fin­ger-limes. There’s more magic in store for food­ies when lo­cal in­gre­di­ents meet world-class culi­nary tal­ent at Graze Restau­rant, the new base for ex­ec­u­tive chef Si­mon Jones. The for­mer head chef at Marco Pierre White’s Miche­lin starred L’Es­car­got in Lon­don is em­brac­ing the seachange with a menu span­ning grilled Bal­lina prawns in burnt anise but­ter to roasted New Eng­land lamb rump with na­tive salt­bush. The By­ron bur­rata is enough to melt any cheese lover’s willpower.

El­e­ments of By­ron Re­sort: 144 Bayshore Drive

DAY TWO: MORN­ING

It’s hard to beat a sound­track of crash­ing surf for a good night’s sleep, and even harder to tear my­self away from piles of pil­lows in time to join the First Light Club. But it’s so worth it. As the east­ern­most point of Aus­tralia, By­ron is the first place to see the sun­rise. Greet those golden rays with the in-house yogi, who hosts a free class over­look­ing the ocean to help guests ease into their day. The res­ur­rec­tive prop­er­ties of lo­cal Marvell Street Cof­fee will do the rest – it’s wait­ing along­side boun­ti­ful break­fasts at Graze Restau­rant. You should have enough time left to squeeze in a treatment at Osprey Spa. Try the Rain­for­est Re­vival Rit­ual with lemon-myr­tle scrub and full-body mas­sage.

Osprey Spa: El­e­ments of By­ron Re­sort

DAY TWO: MID­DAY

Af­ter check­ing out of El­e­ments we were hot on the trail of an­other of my favourite brews: Moon­shine Cof­fee. In­tent on bag­ging some beans from the lo­cal roaster’s head­quar­ters in Fed­eral, we stum­ble on an­other one of the tiny town’s at­trac­tions. Doma Cafe is one of those un­ex­pected finds that will re­ally get food­ies go­ing. The hum­ble home serves up in­cred­i­ble, au­then­tic Ja­panese fare in a doma room with a low-slung ta­ble and tra­di­tional floor seat­ing or at um­brella-shaded pic­nic ta­bles. Sam­ple sashimi and tem­pura haloumi hand rolls.

Moon­shine Cof­fee: 3 Al­bert Street, Fed­eral Doma Cafe: 6 Al­bert Street, Fed­eral

DAY TWO: AF­TER­NOON

Fed­eral punches well above its weight on the food front – mo­bile re­cep­tion not so much. Forced to aban­don Google Maps, our host proves he’s more than just a sushi-mak­ing master when he gives us the hottest tip of them all: Minyon Falls. The 15-minute drive from Fed­eral winds past road­side fruit and veg stalls through pic­turesque pas­ture and an­cient rain­for­est. Night­cap Na­tional Park’s main at­trac­tion, Minyon Falls look­out, is an easy stroll from the carpark. The misty 100m cas­cade, slic­ing through a vast palm-filled gorge, is alive with danc­ing rain­bows. Don’t for­get to find the pot of gold at the bot­tom, a rock pool made for mer­maids.

Minyon Falls: Minyon Plat­form Track

DAY TWO: EVENING

Head back into town to catch By­ron’s most iconic sun­set ses­sion. Sneak up to By­ron Light­house (or take the scenic stairs from the me­tered park­ing at Wat­e­gos for a bonus work­out). The grassy stage that marks Aus­tralia’s most east­erly point usu­ally in­spires some form of spon­ta­neous live en­ter­tain­ment (we scored an acous­tic per­for­mance from a guitar-strum­ming back­packer), but you can rely on na­ture to put on a show. You might even get a wave from a whale.

By­ron Bay Light­house: Light­house Rd

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