Let’s re-learn to relax!
My review of Byron Bay is a wannabe hippy town. I loved it. It is where all the tourists go to sit in the sun, have a little surf, shop till you drop and party like no tomorrow. If you’re looking for a scene, go to Byron Bay, I’m sure you’ll never want to leave. We didn’t want to that’s for sure. Also, the next town north, Brunswick Heads is quieter and has some great shopping for cheaper prices since it’s outside the tourist zone. We stayed in the hinterland town of Mullumbimby for a week too. Out there is close to all the great hinterland destinations like the Crystal Castle and Nimbin.
Byron Bay is for the surfers, the artists and the chilled out hippies. They have amazing markets (a little steep in price for my pocket book but great trinkets to send home). Great bars and restaurants. The beach is beautiful. They have walking paths to an awesome lookout (which you can drive to if you’re not in the mood for a grueling walk up the large hill). You can rent surf boards and you can sell your art in the streets or on the beach (I chose the foot path to the beach for my earrings with a painter from Salt Spring Island, Canada, a jeweler from Brazil and a surfboard maker from Brunswick Heads). They have accommodations for every type of traveller, hotels, hostels and for us campgrounds (I think we paid $25 or $30/night at the campground, which is expensive for our $20/day budget, but what the heck, we’re in Byron Bay so lets splurge!)
We also camped in Mullumbimby, which is a 15 minute drive out of town, so we could save money and stay at a cheaper campground. We stayed on a footy field and used the change rooms as our washroom (don’t worry, it was set up this way). From there we could go explore the countryside with ease.
We found a magical place called the Crystal Castle, where they have gigantic crystal formations around a beautiful garden with stunning views. It is a labyrinth dotted with statues, rainforest, flowers and even the World Peace Stupa blessed by Gyuto Monks of Tibet (we were there when the monks were there building it and helped with the moving of ancient scrolls!). A place to go for beauty, quiet relaxation and tasty organic sandwiches.
Nimbin was also on the list of places to visit. We drove up there on a Saturday afternoon and found that the whole town was shut down after 3, so we grabbed a coffee, said hi to some locals and went through the 2 shops that were still opened (go figure one was the Hippy High Herbs). Later after watching a group of local hippy families have a jam session in the street with dancing and singing we headed home through the hills. One of the ladies we met summed up life out here perfectly and explained that, in the 60s a group of folks that lived an alternative lifestyle moved out to the hills to live a free life with a seriously close sense of community and harvested Marijuana as their income (and entertainment). Everyone we met had dreadlocks and tie-dyed shirts, even the children, it was like stepping into the past. Wikipedia explains hippies as; “their fundamental ethos — harmony with nature, communal living, artistic experimentation particularly in music, and the widespread use of recreational drugs” sums the area up pretty well if I do say so myself.
While we were in the area the vibes and lifestyle started to blend with ours. We got into meditation, drawing, painting, music, walking and just plain old relaxing. We got back to nature and to ourselves. We started to see the beauty in everything. It rained about 80% of our time there and the mozzies (mosquitoes) were out in force, but we were still able to find the beauty in it and enjoy every minute. If you ever want to get back to nature, live on the basics and need nothing more, go to this area and suck up the vibes, it is an experience. I could write all day about our time here and how it changed us but I think everyone would have a different experience and you need to go and blaze your own trail. I can say that one day I want my life to look like this; colorful, peaceful and full of beauty.