We selected Byron Bay as our fourth destination because it is a popular tourist and wellness location that offers an eclectic mix of retreats that provide healing and wellbeing experiences.
There are new-age shops re-imagined for the now-age, spiritual services that include yoga and meditation, alternative medicine and holistic healing centres.
But also sisterhood clubs and getaway surf experiences run by experienced female surf coaches (where in between surf lessons you can enjoy massage and daily yoga circles. Yoga and Byron apparently go hand-in-hand).
All these factors have contributed to establishing Byron Bay, the spiritual and healing capital of Australia, as an alternate wellness tourism destination for local and international visitors. An amazing place to re-balance, de-stress, detox, reboot and rejuvenate yourself spiritually and get fit physically.
Aboriginal elders say it’s been a sacred healing ground for tens of thousands of years. And often visitors agree, seduced by its bubbling nature (the place is surrounded by protected areas), and indefinable magical quality.
With its open-armed approach, it’s a magnet for healers and seekers of all kinds, that want to connect with themselves or just with nature. Rainforest meets the sea, dolphins frolic in turquoise waters, and people from all backgrounds gather here for short or permanent breaks.
Compared to our previous destinations, Byron offers a more western approach to wellness and spirituality, adding diverse alternative health therapies to the traditional menu. Like a diet of juices and mineral broth, herbal teas and ionised water, to detox your body and get rid of toxins by fasting under the professional supervision of naturopaths and healers. Colonic hydrotherapy is another treatment you can find in many spas, used to clear out years of debris blockages in your digestive system.
These therapies are really focused on urban-dwellers, and in the case of Byron, we can say that wellness and holiday are spoken in the same sentence, as you need to make a conscious effort to stop from your daily activities and embrace these experiences.
For all crystals lovers, Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens cannot be missed, the home of the biggest and most beautiful crystals in the world. A spiritual sanctuary where you can enjoy meditation in the Enchanted Cave, find peace and wander through the sacred gardens full of hidden gems like the amethyst rock wall, the labyrinth and crystals, some dating back to 500 million years. The experience must be amazing even if you don’t appreciate the power of stones. You just need to sit and nurture your sight following the scenic journey.
Things to find in this magical place are: ancient amethyst cave, giant crystals, Wings of Eternity mural, 5 hectares of botanical Shambhala Gardens and rainforest, the largest stone Blessing Buddha in Australia, the World Peace Stupa (a project blessed by the Dalai Lama), Crystal Experience.
Nature has an important role in Byron, and if you want to connect with it, many interesting options are open to tourists.
Along surfing at The Pass, experience one of the many Byron Bay kayaking with dolphins tour guides. You can have the chance to get up close to dolphins, sea turtles and even whales on their annual migration north through Byron’s Ocean waters. A bit of history here, Byron Bay was famous in the Sixties for 3 things - whaling, meat and surfing. Meat is no longer part of it, but seeing whales and dolphins during their migration along the coast, is. Same for surfing. Thanks to the 7 major breaks there are always waves in Byron Bay. Therefore one of the most popular surf spots in Australia and overseas that brings many visitors in.
Go to The Sanctuary, as the Tree Sanctuary is know to many locals. A chunk of preserved rainforest in the area of New South Wales that was once covered in. Visit the place and meditate with the sound of birdsong.
Watch the sunrise from Byron Bay Lighthouse and take part in one of the many funky workshops held at Arts Factory Lodge. Their motto is: relax, rejuvenate, recycle! Maybe a hippie accommodation stuck in a time capsule but it reflects the cultural spirit that Byron was built upon with lots of yoga and meditation classes.
Women need a tribe, and Byron Bay thrives in female circles where you can revive the ancient sisterhood and learn to create strong female bonds and relationships, immersed in the beauty of the bay.
Wow, what a destination. Really, what can you ask more from a place?
Relax, rejuvenate and enjoy
✒ BY MARGHERITA ANTINORI