A self-professed tropical addict and soulful storyteller, Sarah Royall has carved out a career in wanderlust-worthy travel content with her digital brand Salty Luxe. 'Sez' and her partner Matt have made a habit of hopping between the world's most exotic tropical destinations, from the remote islands of French Polynesia to the deepest depths of the Burmese jungle. Catching them at home between their seemingly endless adventures, we made the most of the rare opportunity to dig deep and ask Sez for an insider's guide to her beautiful home town of Byron Bay.
Sarah's Favourite Local Brands
Byron is a mecca of creativity, and is bursting at the seams with incredible people and brands. For a small coastal town it sure packs a punch and it's certainly leading the way in the sustainability space too! Among some of my favourite local brands are SPELL & The Gypsy (who need no introduction), Hope & May (perfect if you're into homewares & exotic handpicked treasures), McTavish Surf (consciously designed clothing & surfboards), Rove, Coconut Bowls, Rowie, Yoli & Otis, Zulu & Zephyr, Arnhem, Kivari, Saint Helena, Afends, Auguste & St Agni.
Local Tip - don't miss the arts & industrial estate where you can visit some of these stores and shop vintage treasures, galleries & eat great food.
Where Sarah Loves To Stay
I really love The Atlantic. It's a beautiful coastal space with everything you need for a home away from home. We also recently stayed at 'Baywatch on Wategos' which was insane and surely one of the coolest retro style abodes in Australia. We even watched whales cruising through while we had our morning coffee. I've stayed a few times at 'The Manor' with my family, which is beautiful, and the boutique Bask & Stow is perfect for couples.
Temple Farm House is also one of my favourites, an incredible Hinterland property perfect for a getaway surrounded by nature. For a luxe resort feel, check out Byron at Byron and Elements. I also can't go past some of the amazing stays available on Airbnb -we've done glamping tents, surf shacks and even stayed in an airstream in the hinterland.
A Few Hidden Spots
I can't tell all, because finding them is half the fun. But don't leave without checking out Killen Falls, Broken Head Beach, Little Wategos, Cosy Corner and take a drive into the Hinterland for sure!
Experience The Real Byron Bay
Byron is incredible and there is so much to do, but don't try to do everything. Approaching this very special and spiritual place with a chilled out vibe is going to get you the real deal. Cheer up, chill out, slow down.
The Best Local Eats
If you're into food, the Northern Rivers Region has some of the freshest and best eats in the world. A subtropical climate and our lush hinterland provide access to plenty of organic and biodynamic farms, so seasonal, fresh, next-level food is the norm. There are so many good places to eat (honestly) but my forever favourites are Woods, Il Buco (best pizza ever) The Pressed Pantry, Barefoot Roasters, Harvest Deli, Treehouse, Topshop, Lightyears and Doma Japanese.
You can't miss the street tacos from Chihuahua, smoothie bowls from Bare Blends & Combi, or a juicy burger and beer from Main Street Burger. For a special occasion I would highly recommend starting your day at sunrise with a private breakfast at the lighthouse with Toast the Sun, incredible!
Local tip - don't miss the Byron Farmer's Market every Thursday. Take a reusable coffee cup and definitely don't have breakfast before you go! Stock up on fresh fruit & veg, chat to farmers, listen to tunes and enjoy a fresh croissant by Scratch Patisserie.
Words & photography by Sarah Royall