The Foodie Playground in Byron Bay | Expedia Australia Travel Blog

The Foodie Playground in Byron Bay

The Foodie Playground in Byron Bay

Between the December influx of schoolies, toolies and year-round Hippies, Byron Bay can get crowded. That doesn’t stop this seaside town being one of the most popular summer holiday spots along the NSW coast.

There’s one spot where people will go out of their way to be in the crowds.

The Byron Farmers Markets take place on Thursday mornings in Butler St Reserve, behind the train station and just a block from the main drag, Jonson St.

Early on a sunny Thursday morning, locals and a smattering of tourists are rushing to their favourite stalls before they sell out.

By the time I reach the Stone Fruit stall, the last pink-blushed peaches are tucked into wicker shopper baskets right in front of my eyes. These are the first stone fruits of the season, picked from the orchard yesterday, and they’re hot property. Peering into a box of seconds, the slightly bruised fruits give off a sweet aroma that smells like summer, and is impossible to resist. Juice dribbles down my chin as I tuck in. At the next stall, the Byron Bay Muffin Men have sold out of Banana muffins but I’m content with a fluffy dairy free carrot cake.

With a basket to fill, we dash around the stalls to check out what’s on offer and breathe a sigh of relief. There’s plenty of fresh Byron Bay Pork chops, bags of The Witches Broom Stick’s mushrooms are still for sale and Rainforest Foods have brought enough homemade macadamia spread (like peanut butter but with much better health benefits) to feed an army.

Regulars know to get here early, arriving in droves to support the all-local stall-holders, who’ve come from the Byron Bay Hinterlands to sell their wares.

It’s the worst kept secret of the town and the team at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa are doing their bit to make sure the word gets out. Every Thursday head chef Gavin Hughes leads a free market tour, taking guests down to the stalls early and showing them what the region has to offer. He stocks the restaurant’s kitchens while he’s at it, sourcing as much as he can from the local area.

While you’re at The Byron at Byron it’s easy to see those local touches – from crunchy Brookfarm muesli at breakfast to the decadent local macadamia oil used at the Spa. The hotel is keen to show off the area, and a rainforest regeneration program sees the self-serviced villas tucked into pockets of leafy bush land.

Boardwalks connect the rooms to the rest of the resort and a lucky few see koalas wandering through the rainforest. Everyone sees (and hears) the resident bush turkeys as they crash about in the underbrush. For such a light-footed animal, they make enough noise for an elephant. A cheeky chick manages to sneak into the pool area but he’s quickly shooed back to the rainforest.

The birdsong wakes you early at The Byron at Byron, especially if you’ve kept the shutters open, but that just means you’re up in time for the daily 8am yoga class.

After finding inner peace and the buffet breakfast, I’m ready to hang out by the pool but there’s just too much to do. A hike to the lighthouse, with a stop at local caffeine and burger hotspot The Top Shop, and a trip out to neighbouring Bangalow for hatted nosh at Uptown are all on the itinerary.

Expedia’s Aussie travellers spend around 3-5 days in Byron Bay and you’ll need that time to squeeze in a visit to the beach, a yoga session or two and of course to eat all your fresh veggies from the markets. For more ideas on where to go and stay, check out Expedia’s Byron Bay Travel Guide.

Images by Lisa Perkovic 

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Lisa Perkovic

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