It is the transient nature of a wave that attracts a surfer to the ocean. For a brief, sudden pulse of current, Mother Nature outstretches her hand and asks you to dance. Some don’t take the opportunity; some miss the opportunity; but some stand up, take the hand and make the most of it… the distracted call these ones, the lucky ones.
The ocean is a brilliant metaphor for life, really. It is a place that offers grounding, repair, recharge, replenishment and rejuvenation; because the ‘invisible to the senses’ negative ions they produce, which we inhale in abundance, reach our blood stream and produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost our daytime energy. The same process happens in the mountains, and anyone who has spent any real time there will tell you that.
Byron Bay, situated on the far north coast of New South Wales, is a transient ocean and a vital mountain of its own. It reminded me a lot of working on Hamilton Island.
We arrived in town early on a Wednesday after a restless night in the SUV the night before. However, upon walking through a secluded garden to our accommodation in The Boat Shed at The Artist’s House (@secretgardenbyronbay), we immediately felt the grounding we were craving. A quick lie down and an outdoor shower repaired our weary heads so we hit the ground running thanks to an incredible coffee smoothie bowl at Naked Treaties (@nakedtreaties – which became our breakfast point of choice every day). Their variety and quality of produce were some of the best we’ve ever had; and spending time surrounded by the inspiring artwork of Natasha Burbury (@natashaburbury.art) all over the walls and menus provided the perfect place to charge our systems for the activities ahead.
Moving the body is the key to replenishing its cells so a dawn walk to the lighthouse and a day walk to Minyon Falls (check the rainfall) were the treks of choice; where the beach and Ayurvedic massages were the choices for recharge.
For dinner, we could not go past Harvest (try the oysters) and The Road House (try anything, as we cannot recommend anything because the menu changes every day); and The Farm is an epic experience for breakfast and your happy pig fix.
While we were there, the Byron Bay Surf Festival was the place to be (if you don’t mind a crowd… and if you’re a surfer in Byron, you don’t). The energy was overflowing like a shaken bottle of kombucha. Connections were made, with old friends (from Hamilton Island) and new ones. We were ‘lucky’ enough to ride with the Vallkree crew (@vallkree) while we were there and we couldn’t have asked for a cooler, friendlier escort around town.
One more Chaga Chaga Boom Boom (Naked Treaties famous medicinal mushroom coffee) for the road, and we hit it feeling rejuvenated and inspired to return.