Debra, a stay-at-home mum of three, loves experiencing and sharing all that Brisbane has to offer; especially southside secrets.
Published September 24th 2012
For Father's Day, all my husband wanted was to watch Juzzie Smith perform at the Byron Bay Community Markets. It was his special day (and it didn't involve me going to Bunnings) so we hopped in the car and headed to the Bay for a day.
It's a short drive from Brisbane to Byron Bay, around one hour and forty minutes. We arrived just before 10.00am, planning to spend a few hours at the markets. We spent four.
More than just a market, you can be entertained by buskers and booked performers, have a massage, get a haircut or a henna tattoo, and find out about your past, present, and future from a clairvoyant. Everything you would expect to see in this eco-friendly, colourful community can be found here; hemp, tie dye, and organic items.
Juzzie Smith - One Man Band, performing at the Byron Bay Markets
Our first stop at the markets was one of the caravans selling coffee, organic of course. Besides coffee, the market's multicultural menu includes Indian, Thai, German, Mexican, and more. There are also plenty of vegetarian options. We chose to eat at the Orgasmic Falafel for lunch. It was one of the best falafels I have ever eaten.
There are more than three hundred stalls to look through, selling an amazing assortment of handmade and locally made goods, from bamboo clarinets and cotton kimonos, to ginger beer and organic chocolate . While you browse, the kids will be kept amused with fun activities like a jumping castle, sand art, badge making, and make-your-own tie dye t-shirts.
The markets are held on the first Sunday of every month, from 8am to 3pm, at the Butler Street Reserve. Entry is free. However, you can make a gold coin donation to the chosen Charity of the Day at the entrance.
After the markets, we drove to the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Located on the most easterly point on the Australian mainland, the views of the ocean, the hinterland, and the beach below here are stunning. If you're lucky, as we were, you might get to witness humpback whales on their annual migration from May to October. Parking at the lighthouse is steep at $7. If you don't mind a bit of exercise, there is a walking track right round the Cape. Click here for directions.
We didn't have the time or any energy left to go to the beach, but Byron Bay has some of the best beaches in Australia: Main, Belongil, Clarks, Wategos, Little Wategos, and Tallow. There's more than thirty kilometres of beautiful beaches, from popular patrolled beaches (Main and Clarks), to isolated coves (Little Wategos), clothing optional (Belongil), and dog-friendly (Tallow).