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Byron Bay and Surrounds

Home > Byron Bay > Shopping | Places of Interest | Escape the City | Beaches
by Susan J Bowes (subscribe)
Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published September 16th 2015
Pristine beaches as far as the eye can see
I cannot remember if I have ever visited Byron Bay yet everyone tells me how beautiful it is. So when a spare weekend comes up, a friend and I decide it's time to check out what everyone is talking about and a road trip is planned.

Shopping, Things to do and see, Byron Beach, Minyon Falls, Crystals, Beach, Dining
Clean, natural beach sunshine and sand


Leaving Brisbane early on the Saturday morning we decide to see a few sites along the way. Our first stop was the Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens at Mullumbimby. Open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm, the long stream of cars parked for kilometres along both sides of the narrow road indicated this was a very popular place on the weekends. Once the car was parked and the trek up the road to the Castle was complete, acres of botanical and rainforest gardens surrounded the property and giant crystals creating a very peaceful tranquillity. A daily garden tour can be taken and a guide will share information about each of the sacred statues and crystals.

Shopping, Things to do and See, Beach, Dining, Accommodation, Gifts, Minyon Falls, Family
Damanhur Spiral at The Crystal Castle


So much to see and take in, one trip to the Castle is certainly not enough and possibly if you can make your trip on a week day instead of a weekend, the crowds may not be as abundant. Nevertheless we had a lovely walk around the property and stopped at "Damanhur Spiral" for a walk and sit. This crystal spiral has an energy link to the Sacred Woods Temple of Damanhur and has been charged with joy and positive thoughts. Only one person can enter the spiral at one time when, although another can enter when the first person is walking back from the centre. If they meet in the middle, it is important that one stops letting the other pass. The Crystal Castle is constantly adding more features to its grounds so each time you visit could be a new experience.

Shopping, Gifts, Byron Bay, Beaches, Dining, Accommodation, Things to do and see, Family
Crystal from Brazil in courtyard


Before entering the cafe and crystal gift shop, a large and beautiful water feature is seen at the centre of the courtyard. The fountain was crafted by fountain makers in Germany using a large rose quartz from Brazil and granite from Switzerland. According to the properties of crystals, rose quartz emanates the qualities of love and compassion. Inside the gift store, a generous sized piece of Citrine for just $49 took by gaze and begged to be taken home with me. How could I refuse!

Shopping, Things to do and see, Byron Beach, Minyon Falls, Crystals, Beach, Accommodation, Dining
4.5 and 6.5 klm walks available


Leaving the Crystal Castle we ventured further down the winding road of the mountain to Minyon Falls, a massive waterfall that descends more than 100 metres over a huge cliff. In fact, it was a little unnerving for me to look straight down. You can take a 4.5 kilometre track to the bottom of the chasm or delight in the view from the top of the cliff. Unfortunately, it was not the wet season and the waterfall was not flowing in full abundance, yet still a magnificent sight just the same.

Shopping, Gifts, Byron Bay, Beaches, Dining, Accommodation, Things to do and see, Family
Although not the wet season, the falls were still a sight of beauty


Heading off again to Byron Bay which was to be our destination for the weekend, we were lucky to walk in off the street and secure a twin room at the Tallow Beach Motel. What a gem only 5 kilometres from Byron Bay and right across the road from a beach entry. It is not advisable to surf at Tallow Beach as there are many rifts, but a long walk on the beach was a delight. As you walk into this particular entrance of the beach, a sign shows that you can walk your dog to the left of the entry, however no dogs are allowed on the beach to the right. The beach was full of dogs and owners enjoying the sunshine and sand.

Shopping, Gifts, Byron Bay, Beaches, Dining, Accommodation, Things to do and see, Family
Add touches to our room, made our stay very homely


As our stay was outside of school holiday time, our twin room cost $160/night and was equipped with a small kitchenette, microwave, ceiling fans and air-con, TV/desk area, bathroom. A good size solar heated pool was in the front of the motel grounds. Tallow Beach Motel was situated in a quiet street so there was no constant drum all night of motor vehicles up and down the street. Host, Suzie Gilham has made the motel very homely with added touches of small Bali type statues in each room, bottles of liquid soap in the shower and sitting on the hand basin was hand cream. A winding paver path from the pool and reception area led us to our room. More information on rates and photo gallery of the Tallow Beach Motel can be found on their website.

Shopping, Gifts, Byron Bay, Beaches, Dining, Accommodation, Things to do and see, Family
Path from solar heated pool to your room


We opted to have breakfast out and chose The Aquarius Café & Dining which is situated in Lawson Road in front of the Aquarius Backpackers Motel. The Aquarius Café & Dining is certainly a popular place to go for breakfast as the café was packed with patrons. Instead of sitting inside we chose to sit on the balcony where we could look at the people passing by and business owners preparing for their day of trade. There was much to choose on the menu with specials being offered for the day; I chose the Bacon & Egg Roll Deluxe (bacon, fried egg, cheddar cheese, rocket, aioli and BBQ sauce) for just $10.90. The venue is licenced with a comprehensive wine, beer and cocktail listing. The café also caters for Gluten Free diets.

Shopping, Gifts, Byron Bay, Beaches, Dining, Accommodation, Things to do and see, Family
The Aquarius Cafe & Dining


The rest of the day was spent wandering around the shops and visiting the other beaches in the area before returning home on Sunday afternoon. Definitely you cannot see all that Byron Bay and the surrounding areas offer in one weekend, so a longer trip is in the planning for our return journey, which certainly will not be too far off.
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Why? Get away from the city, see something different and of course shop
When: Anytime
Phone: Tallow Beach Moel 02 6685 3369
Where: Northern New South Wales Beaches
Cost: Overnight Tallow Beach Motel $160 night depending of season
Your Comment
I've heard so much about the Crystal Castle...must go there next time I'm in Byron:)
by Maria M (score: 2|661) 763 days ago
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