Situated at the end of a long, sweeping bay, the vibrant township of BYRON BAY boasts 30km of almost unbroken sandy beaches and is high on most travellers’ lists. The area is popular with surfers partly because its beaches face in all directions, so there’s almost always one with a good swell; conversely, you can usually find somewhere for a calmer swim.

Once a favourite with barefoot hippies, Byron’s small-community feel and bohemian atmosphere have been disappearing over the past few years, and it now has stylish hotels, restaurants and bars, lively pubs and chic boutiques. The town also offers a huge variety of alternative therapies, New Age bookshops, crystals, palmists and tarot readers – all with a good dose of capitalism, as prices are hiked up during the lucrative summer months. The alternative culture attracts artists and artisans in droves, and galleries and artists’ studios abound.