IF you've lost your mojo, Byron Bay can help you find it again. And you don't have to be a flower child of the Seventies, a new-age therapist or Gen X hippie, either.
Byron Bay invites all and sundry to get back to nature, let a little music into the soul, worship the sun, surf and sand, meditate on everything to be grateful for, and chill out for a while in the good vibe and eclectic atmosphere.
Modern-day Byron is much more than simply sipping chai lattes in the funky cafes, shopping for fisherman pants or cheesecloth tops in Johnson Street, looking for whales from the lighthouse of Australia's most easterly point, and grabbing some quality waves at world-famous breaks such as Tallow and Wategos Beach – although no trip to Byron is complete without any of these.
And now I've found a very civilised way to “do Byron”.
Only five minutes out of town opposite the 18-hole golf club, The Byron At Byron is a haven for mind, body and soul.
With an on-site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for in-house guests, locals and visitors, plus boasting its signature spa, the northern New South Wales town's only fully integrated resort has everything for a relaxing Byron experience.
Owned by high-profile businessman Gerry Harvey and his retail company Harvey Norman, this green utopia opened its doors only five years ago. It closed for five weeks earlier this year to undergo refurbishments and to create a meditation walk in the rainforest, plus develop a new signature spa menu.
A history lesson of the 18ha site leads to the retelling of a love story involving the preserved Everglades accommodation huts that were designed to replicate the quaint Willow pattern of china plate fame. The restaurant's al-fresco dining area is part of the long undercover veranda which forms the hub of the resort.
We are joined by the very personable general managers, John and Lyn Parche, who have not only seen the resort flourish over the past five years but also were virtually given carte blanche for its design.
A “paddock to plate” philosophy ensures the freshest of regional produce is included in the dishes.
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