Saturday, 6 October 2012
Byron Bay Adventure
Beaches sweep away from either side of Australia's most easterly point, land sacred to the Arakwal People. The marine park surrounding the headland teems with wildlife, and dolphin or turtle sightings are guaranteed. Spring is whale season and the sheer cliffs dropping off Cape Byron Lighthouse, make it the perfect place to spot the migrating Humpbacks.
There are a few places which must be included in any Byron Bay Adventure itinerary. Firstly, as mentioned above, walk the Cape Byron Headland track (3.7kms circuit). Beginning at Captain Cook Lookout, Clarke's Beach head up Tallow Ridge to the top (1.4kms), then loop around past Watego's Beach back to the car park (stop in at The Pass Cafe if you need refreshments). With clear 360 degree views, there is no better way to orient oneself to the region and connect with the spirit of the place.
Next stop: Our family favorite place for breakfast, lunch or dinner (in summer only) is Byron Beach Cafe, Clarke's Beach. Perched on a sand dune, looking somewhat like a bird hide, this position overlooking the Bay is unmatched. We love the fresh seasonal produce, grown right there in the Rainbow Region.
Anyone searching for a bit of Asia in Byron Bay will not be disappointed by Red Ginger (111 Johnson St, opposite cinemas). They serve traditional yum cha dumplings, and complimentary green tea as you sit on antique Chinese stools. It is an atmospheric place to stock up on unusual Asian groceries and even some Chinese Herbs.
Every Thursday morning, the edible wonders of the hinterland venture down to Byron Farmers Markets at Butler Street Reserve. If you are interested in supporting locally grown and produced food, make sure you get along early (8am). Each time I visit these markets, I leave re-assured at how innovative and environmentally conscious it is possible to be. My kids never let me pass the Rainbow Flats stall without purchasing a bunch of these deliciously colorful wonders (below). I was pretty impressed by Summerland Olives and Dryland Brown Rice from no further than the Nimbin Valley.