Located not far from the NSW/QLD border, Byron Bay is a popular holiday destination and it's easy to see why, this little coastal town has so much to offer! From shopping to surfing, scuba diving and whale watching, chill out at your accommodation or drive to the many nearby attractions, there is something for everyone at Byron Bay. Fun fact, the metalcore band Parkway Drive call Byron Bay home!
When I found out I won a voucher to stay at the beautiful, adults only retreat Aabi's at Byron, I didn't hesitate to contact my best friend Pippa to organise a girls trip! Aabi's at Byron is everything you could want in accommodation! I'm talking relaxing and romantic, central and convenient, private and luxurious, oh and did I mention it's exclusive to adults only?!
Rooms are spacious yet feel cosy, there is on site secured parking, a separate guest room, BBQ cabana with outdoor kitchen, 12 meter swimming pool and heated spa. Walking around Aabi's at Byron you feel like you're in a tropical paradise! We stayed two nights but could have very easily stayed more!
Now, we could have spent the whole day at Aabi's but with so much to see and do in and around Byron we wanted to fit as much in as we could!
I should probably mention that I flew up to Brisbane to meet up with my friend and we then drove down to Byron Bay, we had time to kill before checking in so we made a detour to Mountview Alpaca Farm and we were in HEAVEN! Mountview Alpaca Farm is just under a 2 hour drive from Byron Bay but well worth the visit if you have the time!
Arriving at the farm, we were quick to make our way to the desk where we paid $23 each, with alpaca food included, to have a 15 minute experience with an alpaca all to ourselves! They also offer 30 minute and 60 minute experiences AND pizza and picnics with the alpacas! I'm definitely taking up that experience on my next visit, how could you say no to lunch with an alpaca?!
We were paired up with the ever so handsome Cocoa, we could have had an alpaca each but were more than happy to share. Cocoa was polite, gentle and very patient with our many photos! We took him for a walk through the vineyards and spent time really admiring his characteristics. You can check out the other gorgeous alpacas here!
After a sad goodbye to Cocoa and the rest of the alpacas we continued to make our way down to Byron. Checking into Aabi's we spent the rest of the afternoon chilling out. We took the short drive into the heart of Byron Bay where there is food and shops galore! Pubs, restaurants, ice creameries, boutique clothes, locally hand made goods, there is something for everyone in Byron Bay!
Having a blissful night's sleep at Aabi's we were ready for a day of adventure! Pippa and I LOVE animals so we decided to head over to The Farm Byron Bay. With free entry and full range to roam across 80 acres of countryside there is plenty to discover for all ages! You can even take your four legged friend, as long as they are kept on a lead and away from the restaurant area.
Meet heritage black pigs and chickens, check out the bee hives from a safe distance, wander through the fields of macadamia and pecan trees, kids can even enjoy some time on the playground. This is a real working farm so why not take the opportunity to book yourself a guided tour and experience first hand knowledge on their unique farming practices!
Treat yourself to a delicious meal of breakfast, lunch or dinner at their on site cafe Three Blue Ducks, where their produce is locally sourced. Short on time to dine in? There is plenty of local produce available to buy to enjoy elsewhere! There is even a small nursery on site with gorgeous plants available to purchase!
Another lazy afternoon found us wandering the street of Byron Bay feeding our faces and checking out some boutiques. As the sun started to set we took a drive up to Cape Byron Lighthouse, for convenience we paid a small fee to park up the top to save us walking the long hill but wow, the views are just amazing! You have 360 views of the ocean and surrounding bushland, during whale season you have the best seats in the house with many lookout points, you can see so far out over the ocean you are guaranteed to never miss a whale!
Another undisturbed sleep was had and the following morning we checked out of Aabi's at Byron. Heading back up to Brisbane we made another detour, this one is only about a 30 minute drive from Byron Bay and would have to be the highlight of the trip for me, the absolutely stunning Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens!
This magical sanctuary is every crystal lover's dream and is home to two of the tallest crystals on earth! Entering the gardens I was instantly hit with a sensation of calm and peace, everywhere you look there is beauty and soothing sounds!
The gardens have different sections, all with a beautiful story to tell. Sit inside the Dragon Egg, and incredibly beautiful 10 tonne, 120 million year old geode that came from Uruguay! Pop your head inside The Enchanted Cave, another 120 million year old geode that weighs over 20,000kgs! Immerse yourself in it's rich, deep purple colour.
Walk up to a rare, sacred monument, a Kalachakra Stupa, only one of seven in the world and the only Stupa in the southern hemisphere! Tibetans believe that great benefit can be gained from walking clockwise around the Stupa!
Set your pace along the Buddha Walk where you will discover giant crystals, lush tropical gardens, enormous statues, a bamboo forest and beautiful spaces to meditate. These statues are hand carved from volcanic rock and guests are welcome to leave coin offerings on the statues which are then sent to a Tibetan Kindergarten in Northern India to help preserve the Tibetan culture!
Of course, there is the absolutely magical Crystal Guardians, the world's tallest geodes standing at an impressive 5.5 meters! Stand between the Crystal Guardians and absorb it's beauty and feel it's magical presence!
There is so much to discover at Crystal Castle, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to appreciate all of it! With a cafe on site and a very impressive souvenir shop, you could very easily spend hours here but that's okay, it is WELL worth it!