When it’s time to escape with the girls, there’s no better place than Northern NSW. From boutique shopping in Byron Bay to relaxing at a seaside spa in the Tweed region, here are the best things to do on a girls’ weekend.
Hop in a hot air balloon
There’s only one reason to wake up at the crack of dawn during a girls’ weekend in Northern NSW and that’s for a sunrise hot air balloon ride. Byron Bay Ballooning has been offering sunrise balloon flights since 2005 and no two mornings are the same. However, every day you can expect to witness the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean as you see stunning Byron Bay and the surrounding hinterland awash with a golden glow. The flight lasts for approximately one hour and then you get to enjoy the Celebration Breakfast at The Farm’s illustrious Three Blue Ducks restaurant. We’re big fans of The Farm and offer our own long lunch experience.
Relax at a day spa
Look, it’s basically mandatory to head to a day spa during a girls’ weekend. We don’t make the rules! Fortunately, Northern NSW is home to too many spas, if that’s a thing. In the Tweed region, you’ll find Halcyon Spa at Halcyon House and The Spa at Salt at Peppers Salt Resort. The latter features an Elements Lounge based on Mother Nature’s key elements. Enjoy a rejuvenating experience with a mineral hydrotherapy spa, LED light therapy, infrared saunas and a salt meditation room.
Further down the coast in Byron Bay, you can take your pick from luxurious day spas. Co-owned by Olivia Newton-John, Gaia Retreat and Spa features one of Australia’s most well-known spas. Their day spa menu is brimming with signature facials and specialty massages. Other worthwhile options include Eléme Day Spa at Crystalbrook Byron and Osprey Spa at Elements of Byron.
Shop til you drop
People say you should pack an empty suitcase when you visit Byron Bay and they’re not wrong. It may be a small coastal town, but its streets are lined with amazing boutiques. You can’t miss Spell & The Gypsy Collective, Spell’s stunning flagship store. Then head to St. Agni for the most exquisite handmade leather footwear and Mr Vintage for, you guessed it, the best vintage treasures. Finally, Habitat is an emporium selling a range of handcrafted accessories and clothing from local artisans, with all profits benefiting Byron’s homeless community.
Scope out the hinterland’s most charming towns
While you can easily spend an entire girls’ weekend in Byron Bay, rent a car and go exploring its surrounding hinterland towns. Newrybar is home to Australia’s oldest bakery, which is now incorporated into the award-winning deli and restaurant, Harvest. Just outside of Tumbulgum is Husk Distillery, which is home to the infamous Ink Gin. Meanwhile, art lovers will want to go gallery hopping in Murwillumbah and Bangalow’s main street is lined with cute eateries and boutiques.
Dine and drink in style
Northern NSW has as many delicious dining options as it does day spas. We would know, seeing as we visit several on our gourmet food and drink tours. But Byron is positively overflowing with award-winning restaurants, epic cocktail bars and brunch spots. We’ve already mentioned the fan favourite, The Farm. But another not-to-be-missed spot is Forest, Byron’s most eco-friendly restaurant. In neighbouring Brunswick Heads, no one does fine dining like Fleet, while Cadeau serves French-inspired fare. If you’re in the Tweed region, enjoy tacos and cocktails at Lolita’s Mexican Cantina or river and hinterland views from the newly-hatted restaurant, Tweed River House.