by Barbara Ann Weibel at Hole In The Donut
Years ago, Byron Bay, located about 480 miles north of Sydney, Australia, was discovered by hippies. They came for a week and stayed forever, leaving their indelible imprint on the town. Although the hippies have long since grown up or moved away, the laid back alternative lifestyle that persists to this day has made this small town of 30,000 residents the third most popular holiday spot in the country. Byron Bay hosts events such as yoga retreats, pagan gatherings, and music festivals that attract an eclectic mix of backpackers, surfers and musicians, as well as the affluent baby-boomer contingent. But without a doubt, the best part of Byron Bay is its beautiful beaches.
At Main Beach, which directly fronts the town, a deep turquoise ocean laps gently upon a wide golden-pink expanse of sand. During the day the beach is the domain of surfers and sunbathers; Byron Bay is reputed to have some of the best waves in Australia and it certainly has some of the softest, deepest sand. But each night when the sun descends behind the hills, throwing rays up into the evening sky like searchlights in a perfect arc, everyone turns out to witness exquisite sunsets that morph from pink to gold to orange, before darkening to a deep purple that briefly precedes the inky night. This is the other wonder of Byron Bay – night after night, nature paints a dazzling palette over what may well be the world’s most beautiful beach.
Photos courtesy of Barbara Weibel