The last week at uni before mid-semester break was mad, sad and everything in between; it was a relief to get out of Melbourne and head to Byron Bay for a few days. It wasn’t my first time there, but it was my first time staying at the Arts Factory, made famous by the Inbetweeners 2 Movie.
I have a particular love for Mondays (new week, new start, pay day, etc.) and so, given that our first morning fell then, I expected big things. We were staying in a real, live, massive teepee.
It was surprisingly comfortable, and anyway, I have come to the realisation that when you’re in Byron Bay, there’s just no point in complaining about anything. Why would you? The place is full of sunshine and good vibes are positively spilling out of everyone you meet. Happiness is a given. We headed to a place called the Ginger Pig to get some breakfast, and not even hard eggs could get me down (although, let’s be honest, if overcooked eggs get you down then you should probably re-evaluate your life).
We spent the day on the beach and had discounted sushi for dinner on the sand. There were snakes on the rocks, and a dog who’d taken one on was whining sadly next to the lifeguards for hours; but even the dog was probably fine and dandy, because he was in Byron and so obviously would have been okay (pray).
We saw the best of Byron’s nightlife over the week, visiting Cheeky Monkey’s (where the staff embraced the town’s multicultural vibe by painting world flags across their naked boobs #freethenipple), the Rails (fun and close to the 23-hour pie shop in which one of my friends spent $80 over the week’s holiday) and Woody’s, the best and sweatiest bar in town. I counterbalanced my excessive cider consumption with daytime coconuts and fresh juices (#health) from the hostel (watermelon, ginger and pineapple – game changer. Who needs Boost?)
My favourite place to eat was Bayleaf Cafe, just next door to Ginger Pig. I ended up spending a lot of time and money in there, as a result of the lovely staff (who were incredibly cautious and kind regarding GF) and cold brew coffee, served with fresh coconut cream. They also had a table outside where you sat with your feet up, which, let’s be honest, is just cooler than sitting down regularly. (I love Byron.)
It could have rained every day, every egg could have been overcooked and this place would still be my favourite part of Australia so far. I’ve learnt to embrace dreadlocks, irregular showers, people studying at the university of ‘life’ and a constant didgeridoo soundtrack as normal. I’ll be back!
Nomads Arts Factory Lodge, 1 Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Ginger Pig, 85 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Bayleaf Cafe, 2 Marvell St, Byron Bay NSW 2481