Rainy Day in Byron Bay
with Sandip Hor
Its 4am in the morning.
The mobile alarm wakes me up to get ready for a 4.30 am pick up to go for a hot air balloon ride to see from the top how the first rays of the rising sun add color below to the lush green hinterland of Byron Bay.
While getting ready the mobile beeps and I notice a message notifying the cancellation of the adventure due to imminent stormy weather and heavy rainfall.
Utter disappointment grips me. Having no other alternative I go back to sleep again.
Couple of hours later, sound of rainwater falling on the trees wakes me up. I walk up to the rainforest surrounded balcony of my suite and see heavy downpour washing the world in front of me. Looking at the weather forecast on my mobile I read nothing but rain for today. I sense cancellation of all my other activities planned for the day.
Surely didn’t expect this to happen to me at a thriving place like Byron Bay – Australia’s most easterly point and a sought after east coast destination loved by all from Bohemians and aristocrats to backpackers and celebrities like Hollywood star, Chris Hemsworth.
The destination offers something for everyone. Besides the balloon ride followed by breakfast at the famous Blue Three Ducks restaurant at the Farm, my itinerary included kayaking with the dolphins at the bay, walking up to the bottom of Minyon Falls for a dip into the swimming hole there and galloping on a horseback along the serene coastline to see how the sun dips into the water. In between, I had plans to laze at one of Byron’s famous beaches and visit one of Farmers Market to check on the local produce. These are all ‘must do’ activities for visitors.
So what to do on a rainy day like this? Get extremely bored and frustrated is perhaps the only option unless staying at the Crystalbrook Byron – a well-known resort which besides providing luxury accommodation also offers in-house activities to keep guest time occupied.
Byron Bay is unquestionably the nation’s wellness capital. The township is dotted with hubs offering health and wellbeing routines from regular meditation classes, yoga practices and pilate lessons to Ayurveda treatments, haute-health remedies and detox therapies to clean and revitalise one’s inner shape.
Most accommodation outlets have wellness weaved into their framework. At Crystalbrook Byron, a deep breath of clean rainforest air is an admirable way to begin a soothing escape. Their 92 suites are all dotted inside 45 acres of subtropical vegetation where birds sing in the morning to wake up guests if not raining profusely. The resort’s wellness enchantments revolve around daily yoga sessions, swimming in an elegant infinity pool, luxurious spa treatments and healthy cuisine options at the in-house restaurants, all made from fresh local produces.
MAKING THE DAY DYNAMIC
So to make the day dynamic , the first thing I do is join the complementary yoga session, generally held outdoors but on wet days gets shifted to an isolated indoor venue where you can hear the rain falling but don’t get wet. Feeling mindfully charged after the session I go for a long breakfast at the resort’s signature restaurant Forest to get charged gastronomically.
By then its late morning and time strike for my pre-booked wellness treatment at the resort’s Eléme Day Spa that offers restorative treatments with like-minded products reflecting their passion for natural healing.
Their menu is long and varied to suit everyone’s personal need. I opt for the 90min ‘Bejewelled by the Sea’ treatment. Before entering the spa room, I go for 10 min sauna to get my body ready for the treatment where the therapist kneads warm lava shells into my tense muscles. Truly very relaxing. At the end of the procedure a sense of lightness fills my body. The therapist tells me the lava shells massage induces fresh blood flow through the body, boosting lymphatic circulation and elimination of toxins.
Rest of the day I spend sipping fresh-lime soda at the Veranda restaurant overlooking the infinity pool, making new friends by talking to other guests , reading a book, doing some work from my room balcony facing the rainforest and dozing off there while listening to the sound of falling rain.
At some point I pleasingly discover there is a kind of joy and restfulness from doing nothing, while the tranquil environment engulfing the resort aid to get my urbanised mind, body and soul detoxed and revitalised.
I go to bed at night thinking after all it hasn’t been a bad day at all.
Getting There – Byron Bay by road is 8 hours away from Sydney, 2 hours from Brisbane and 1.5 hours from Gold Coast. Nearest airport is Ballina 30 mins away. Regular direct flights from Sydney touch there. If flying from other Aussie cities , perhaps it is best to reach Brisbane or Gold Coast.
Stay – Combining wellness, luxury natural setting and comfort, rain or no rain Crystalbrook Byron (www.crystalbrookcollection.com/byron) is a good choice
Rainclouds gathering over the iconic lighthouse
Breakfast at the Verandah; Yoga at Crystalbrook Byron; My office on a rainy day, Overlooking the Infinity Pool at the Verandah restaurant; Healthy breakfast; Wellness treatment at Crystalbrook Byron