There is something for everyone at Byron Bay, but most refreshing of all, is it’s a place where kids can be kids and everyone leaves feeling rested and relaxed.
Sure, for a relaxing break away Byron Bay has no shortage of beautiful places to stay – The Atlantic, Byron at Byron, Elements of Byron, the list goes on. But if you choose to try your luck at camping, you will not be disappointed with the Suffolk Beachfront Caravan Park.
Back in July, my family and I got to enjoy a week of camping at this quiet holiday park located a short drive from Byron Bay’s city centre (<8km). The best bit about hitching your tent in Suffolk Park is you get to fall asleep and wake up listening to the sound of the crashing waves. Yep, it’s located right next to Tallow Beach and the kids (and you) will love it. Just remember to keep your food secure always, as the bush turkeys aren’t shy and are always looking for something to eat.
This holiday park is super-friendly and quiet enough for kids to ride their scooters or bikes around – perfect for my son Jack who had recently upgraded from a balance bike to a push bike and was learning to use peddles for the first time. There is also a community hall located at the entrance that offers morning yoga sessions from 6.30-7.30am run by Yoga Collective. All levels are welcome and you pay what you can (there was an avocado in the donation bowl one morning I attended, but the suggested donation is $10-$20).
The Suffolk Beachfront Caravan Park is 500m from a dog exercise area if you plan on camping with your pooch and it’s also a short walk to the Suffolk Bakery where you can grab great coffee and jam-packed salad rolls (the best I’ve tasted in a long time!). There are also plenty of food options for the kids. Along your walk, you might find a crate of homegrown avocados for $1. Place your money in the honesty box and enjoy.
There is so much to do in Byron Bay and a week just isn’t long enough to get through it all, but here’s a snapshot of the activities we did with our kids.
The Beaches: Take your pick from Tallow Beach, Watego’s Beach, Clarke’s Beach, Main Beach (patrolled year round) or Belongil Beach. In July, it was still warm enough to swim and even if it wasn’t, Jack and Lucy weren’t going to stay out of the water. They played and strolled along the beach for hours. Lucy even enjoyed watching the sunrise on Tallow Beach.
Fish and Chips On The Foreshore: Grab some takeaway fish and chips from Fishheads or Fishmongers and head down to the foreshore to watch the evening entertainment and listen to the waves crashing. Your kids will love it.
Lighthouse: The walk to the Lighthouse is pretty stunning, but a little too far when you have kids that are 3 years old and 16 months. For those with young kids, there is parking on the way up to the lighthouse, as well as at the top. At the lighthouse there’s plenty of space for the kids to run around and if you’re luck enough you might even see dolphins or whales. The lighthouse is pretty popular and parking is a little limited, so if you’re driving it’s best to see the lighthouse early in the day.
Byron Bay Markets: These markets are on the 1st Sunday of every month and are full of food, fresh produce, arts and crafts, clothes and more. Kids can get their faces painted and there are lots of cute clothes and toys to choose from.
The Farm Byron Bay: Whether you are looking for something delicious to eat, wish to learn about how food is grown and produced, or are looking to get up and close with some animals, The Farm has got you covered. The Farm is a working farm that also has a collection of micro-businesses such as the Three Blue Ducks Restaurant and Produce Store, Flowers at the Farm and The Bread Social. There is plenty of space for the kids to run around (just try getting them off the beautiful wooden play equipment) and you can also sign up for a guided tour around the farm.
Mullumbimby Farmers Markets: Friday mornings between 7-11am are for heading to Mullumbimby for the Farmers Markets. The stand out for us was the fresh fruit – apples, bananas, blueberries and strawberries. There’s also the Rainbow Fruit Flats stall with real fruit ice blocks and delicious chocolate-coated frozen strawberries, mangos and bananas. We also found some great coffee shops in the city centre – The Empire and Rock and Roll Coffee Company.
After a week we were all feeling pretty rested and relaxed. And you know the camping trip has been a success when your three-year old tells you “I want to grow up here”. Byron Bay, we’ll be seeing you next year (and every year after that).