Sustainability, eco-friendliness, minimalism, slow fashion, less waste, veganism, plastic-free are all so important topics more people need to get involved with.
Still, Influencers with new outfits daily, holding animal-cruelty make-up into the camera and earning money for promoting brands that exploit their workers and risk their lives. They jet around the world living in the most luxurious hotels and resorts and the only value they give to their followers is living the life everyone else dreams of.
I know they post great pictures, make everything look beautiful and I don’t want to hate on them. I just described this as the complete negative example and luckily most Influencers have some sort of positive value they spread.
But if you clicked on this blog post it means you are interested in other topics, in things that are far more important than pretty looks and money and that also gives you a purpose in life: to help save the future of our planet.
Media is a wonderful tool to spread awareness, information, motivation, inspiration and tips. Now we just need to give those people that have an important message, a positive impact and valuable information and tips to share more attention.
I love Instagram for my daily inspiration, education and motivation and the cool thing is, that there are already so many awesome accounts sharing important, helpful and still pretty and inspirational pictures and videos on their story and feed.
Nici is a German blogger and currently one of my favourites! She shares everything around less waste, veganism and minimalism of her daily life in her story and feed and I love that she always mentions that she isn’t perfect herself and that sustainability is always a journey.
Aniahimsajust like her Instagram, I also love Anina’s blog. Very informative and I like her structured and interesting way to write.
I love listening and learning while cooking, cleaning or sunbathing and I’ve been completely obsessed with the podcast Chappedlipspodcast. Super entertaining, informative and many facts I didn’t know before.
I haven’t watched all of them myself, but they are on my list as soon as I have Netflix again.
The true cost
Before the Flood
A Plastic Ocean
More than Honey
How to Change the World
Who do you get inspired, motivated and educated by? What Podcast, Documentary do I need to see/listen or who is your favourite sustainable Influencer?
Please tell me, I would love to follow more people that try to make a difference in the world and have a positive impact on their Followers and I really want to be one of them myself.
Byron is for sure a magical place. I can’t really tell if it’s my favourite as I also loved Bondi Beach in Sydney a lot and I had one of the best times in Melbourne with my first friends, as well as on my Surf Camp and the Sunshine Coast has a special place in my heart as well, but it’s on the top list for sure.
I want to tell you about the best places to go to, what to do, where to eat, to shop and to stay in Byron as well as do a little diary and story-telling from the three times and 10 days in total that I spend in Byron Bay.
The first time I went there was with my cousin travelling from Sydney to Brisbane together when she visited me for three weeks. We spend three days there and that was the first time I fell in love for a bit.
When my parents visited me for three weeks over Christmas and New Year’s and we travelled down the East Coast from Cairns to Sydney we also stopped in Byron for one night and even though it was suuuper crowded (because it was holiday season), we fell in love all over.
My third (and probably last time for now) was on my own. Perfect summer weather, great people in my dorm and I had 6 super fun days. I didn’t spend one day alone and it was nice to hang out with others 24/7 after lots of me-time in Sydney and Newcastle.
I could not have been luckier with my 10-bed-dorm as I had 5 people in there, that I can call my friends now. A German and a Spanish girl and three boys from Canada, Sweden and the Netherlands. We had lots of fun times at the beach, walking to the lighthouse for sunrise or sunset, surfing and playing in the waves, playing cards and drinking games at the beach, picnicking with the best view over the beach and the lighthouse and getting some amazing food from the awesome food places Byron has to offer, watching movies at the hostel, partying and having midnight pizza and crêpes – it was a wonderful time that I’ll keep in my memories forever.
Where to Stay
Hostel I stayed at the Nomads Hostel for 6 nights because it is pretty cheap and super well located. Right in the centre, 3 minutes to the beach, one to Aldi, 4 minutes to Woolworths, it’s not the cleanest but still fine, the rooms and common areas are big and nice and they offer a lot of free activities, food etc. Also, the breakfast is great (toast, sweet spreads, cornflakes and fruit! Which is not common).
AirBnB With my cousin I stayed in a really nice Airbnb that is around 8 minutes by bus or 12 minutes by Bike from the city centre. It’s not that much more expensive than a hostel and it was really nice. I am sure there are a ton of cute Airbnb’s around Byron but you need to book early, especially in the season because Byron is a popular town.
Campground When I was travelling with my family, we stayed at the campground in Byron (20 minutes by foot to the centre), Belongil Fields Caravan Park, which I cannot recommend at all. It was the most expensive one we stayed at and the worst of all. No warm water to shower, super small spaces and just not worth the money at all. They know that people will book it because it is one of two near Byron and Tourists need to stay somewhere, but it’s sad that they don’t make an effort at all. Especially for the money they take.
Where to Shop
Cowper St is the main street in Byron and there are lots of restaurants, bars, cafés and of course shops, as well as in the streets branching off from it. You can find the main brands and surf/bikini stores there, but also some beautiful small and unique boutiques that sell wonderful, boho clothes, furniture, accessories and more. I fell in love with so many pieces, but it can get pretty expensive in these small stores.
Where to Eat
I luckily got to try a few nice restaurants, cafés and bistros in Byron and everything I had was just amazing. Byron really has a lot of great places that are unique and have a lot of charm.
No Bones is a completely vegan gourmet restaurant and cocktail bar where I probably had the best vegan burger in my life as well as an amazing peach parfait and blueberry cheesecake for dessert. Their local Kambucha was really yummy as well and the waitresses were very friendly. Overall the restaurant just had an amazing alternative but still elevated vibe and I can only recommend going there. My brother really liked the burger as well and my dad was in love with the vegan pawns he had. This place is really amazing to show non-vegan/veggie people how good kind food can be.
Combi Café is one of these beautiful, hip and boho cafés where you can get Acai Bowls, Avo toast, Smoothies and all that good stuff. The interior is a dream and my breakfast was as well. I had a vegan toasty with avo, vegan cheese, spinach, pumpkin and olive oil between sourdough that was amazing and the best vegan muffin I ever had with pear, lots of cinnamon, chia seeds, dried figs and nuts.
Orgasmic Falafel When you are lucky, this place is giving out sample falafels on the main street to taste and we went there one night to get takeaway vegan pita’s with hummus, falafel, some veggies and a nice sauce to bring to the beach. The falafels are so crispy and probably the best ones I ever ate and the boys I was with also loved the vegan pitas.
Miss Margarita is a Mexican restaurant on the main street close to the beach and I was told it is the highest ranked restaurant on TripAdvisor. It took pretty long to get a table so I would recommend reserving before, but it was so worth it. The place is not just super unique and has a great Mexican vintage vibe, the food was really amazing too. I had a zucchini and mushroom Burrito and it was definitely the best one I ever had. Such a great flavour and the combo of roasted zucchini and mushrooms was amazing.
Crêpes There is a very popular crêpe place at Spar in Byron and you literally see hundreds of people eating them every day on the streets. So we obviously needed to try them and we didn’t get disappointed. Crêpes are pretty expensive in Australia compared to Europe but we got a strawberry one with dark chocolate and it was so good. Super creamy, still cross and the combo of warm melted chocolate and fresh strawberries is just a dream.
Acai Obviously I needed to have Acai before/in between a hot beach day and literally every café/shop sells them. They cost around 13-16$ but there was one place that had them for 10$. It wasn’t the best one I had, but still good and because they used lots of muesli to fill up the bowl, it made you full for longer.
Fresh Coconuts Many places also sell fresh coconuts, but there is a guy at the main beach that sells really amazing fresh cocos. He freshly cuts them open for you, has paper straws and when you finished the water he cuts them completely open and cuts the coconut meat out so that you can eat it as well. It was the first time for me trying a fresh coconut and I already love the store bought coconut water, but this one was a dream!
Other great places that I want to go to next time are Folk and Byron Bay General Store.
What to do
There a plenty of things to do in and around Byron Bay. The most popular ones are day trips to Nimbin (the weed Mecca in Australia), diving and snorkelling, kayaking with dolphins, hiring surfboards, stand up paddle boards or kayaks and walking to the lighthouse.
The lighthouse walk should be a must for everyone visiting Byron Bay as it is super famous and beautiful. Not just at the destination, but also the way up and down. Especially when you take the walk at the coast/beach and not through the rainforest or at the street (even though they are shorter). First, you walk along the main beach, then up some small hills to get to Wategos beach, which is a dream for surfers in the morning and then some more hills until you arrive at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland and head to the lighthouse. If you are lucky you can spot turtles, dolphins or whales in the ocean and especially around sunrise and sunset the light is beautiful. I did the hike twice at daytime, once for sunset and once for sunrise and it was always a great experience. Especially when you can jump in the refreshing water afterwards to cool down again.
The beaches in/around Byron are super beautiful and as they are pretty big/long you can always find a nice calm spot to relax. The water has an amazing temperature, just right to stay in for long but still cold enough to cool you down and the waves are great to play and jump in. If you go at the right time and to the right spots surfing is great as well, I just wasn’t lucky to experience that…If you walk down the main road until the end you find the main beach to your right side and the dog beach to your left (both beautiful), a bit further along the coast in the direction of the lighthouse is Wategos Beach and Tallow Beach on the other side of the cap is wonderful as well and super empty.
It was always my dream to ride a horse at the beach and not far from Byron Bay, at Seven Mile beach it is possible. I booked a two-hour beach ride with Sea Horses Byron Bay and I can highly recommend them. I got the chance to help the owner making the horses ready and driving them to the beach as well as helping with the “after-riding-work” bringing them home, showering and feeding them. Most horses are rescued from the meat industry and live a wonderful life in a big open forest space now. You can tell that the owner really loves them by how she cares for them. They look super healthy, have a wonderful, spacious and natural home, get great food and get pauses from riding regularly. I spend almost the whole day on the ranch and riding and had an awesome and fun experience. It costs 140$ which is a lot, but after seeing how well the horses get looked after, I can say that it was totally worth it.
They say that surfing is awesome in Byron Bay. Especially when you go in the morning and know some nice spots with great waves, but I sadly didn’t get the chance. The Nomads hostel rents surfboards as well as many shops in the city and near the beach.
Nightlife is great in Byron, but a little different than in other backpacker hotspots. There are two clubs (Woodie’s and Cheeky Monkeys) where you can party every night and a lot of cool bars with live music, but Byron Bay is more about the street artists that are playing everywhere on the streets and especially at the park at the main beach. You get an amazing view over the beach, sea and lighthouse and can listen to some wonderful musicians while picnicking, drinking or playing card games with friends. There is also a van that does a silent disco at the beach with headphones which is super fun.
Near the Arts Centre in the western part if Byron there is a Yoga Retreat place that does daily yoga lessons taught by future yoga teachers that are practising teaching for only 5$ for 90 minutes, which is super cheap.
I’ve been three times and I still want to go back because there is still cafés I haven’t tried, waves I haven’t caught and beach days to enjoy… Byron is a dream and I can only recommend to go there if you love this beautiful alternative hippie vibe!
This year was a very special New Year’s Eve because we started the year with fireworks at the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney!
You might have seen the famous fireworks on TV several times already because they show them every year. Not just because Sydney is the first big City celebrating into the new year every year, but also because the scenery of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House makes an amazing location.
I was not just lucky enough to have my family over for three weeks in Australia and not having to be without them for Christmas, but we also got to end our road trip from Cairns south to Sydney on New Year’s Eve to see the fireworks at the harbour.
Our New Year’s Eve Day
We already arrived in Sydney on the 30th and stayed the last night in our camper at Burwood Park where it wasn’t prohibited to stay overnight.
The next morning we checked into our rooms in Burwood at Boronia Lodge, left our camper and went straight into the city centre. Luckily Burwood is only 20 minutes away from the city centre.
We had lunch in the city and walked to The Rocks where we had tickets for a cordoned area with a great view over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera that where FREE! You only need to be quick.
All the areas with the best views are cordoned for New Year’s. For some, you have to pay lot’s of money (the cheapest were around 400$ including food), for the Campbells Cove you just need to be quick to get the tickets (we already got them in September).
After we checked how the land lies because we didn’t know how many people are going to be there / if the view would only be good from specific places that you need to save early etc. we went to get an afternoon snack and some sandwiches for dinner to take away as there weren’t that many food options on the venue area.
From around 4pm we started waiting… because we didn’t have that much information about how the afternoon/evening in Sydney will take place, we had to be there early and wait a lot – but you will be lucky enough to have some more knowledge after reading my blog post and you can improve from our mistakes/experiences!
Unfortunately, it started raining very hard at around 7pm and we couldn’t stay seated. Luckily there was a bridge on our venue location where everyone looked for shelter from the rain and storm. We also were very lucky that it was still warm because we were not prepared at all and only improvised a rain cape from a garbage bag that kept us dry and warm.
At 9pm there was the first fireworks for the kids which was already amazing and some families also left afterwards.
We had a few more rain showers and at around 22pm it started to get fuller because they close the gates for the area at 22.30pm. But there was still enough space to sit down and walk around comfortably.
From our place, we could see that that the streets leading to the Harbour through the Rocks where packed. Like really packed. So we were very thankful for our safe space and also the bridge saved us a lot.
All the hours of waiting were very exhausting because there wasn’t a lot of distraction and if we would have known how things work before, we for sure wouldn’t have arrived that early.
Then it was FINALLY 12pm and the amazing firework started. The firework locations are spread over the whole water area in Sydney and there are no private fireworks allowed (obviously), but the Harbour and Opera view, of course, is the prettiest. It’s just a great show and location!
After the fireworks, EVERYONE is trying to get to the tram stations as quick as possible and you can’t believe how many people are there. All the streets are packed with people walking in the same direction. It is insane and you can only be thankful that glass bottles and alcohol is prohibited – otherwise, it wouldn’t work out as relaxed!
You can’t really do something to get home quick. It’s just not possible. Everything is crowded and even though there are lots of trams departing they can’t bundle off these millions of humans fast.
in the whole city centre area, glass bottles and alcohol are prohibited and the police (that is very present the whole evening) is allowed to check your bags
the streets of the CBD, as well as the Harbour Bridge, are blocked for vehicles from the afternoon on until late at night
around 2 million people watch the fireworks at the harbour in Syndey (even more than in New York!) and they all want to leave after the show – don’t even think about getting a taxi/uber or the tram at Circular Quay right away (as long as you don’t stand next to the station while watching the fireworks. When you are close to the Harbour, everyone else behind you will get there before)
restaurants and bars might close earlier to prepare for their evening dinners (prebooked way in advance and pretty expensive)
they start selling the tickets about in September and you need to be really quick. You can sign up for their e-mail newsletter and be the first to tell when they start selling
arrive by tram and walk to the Campbells Cove from Circular Quay – driving by car is just way too stressful when everyone wants to go home and also lots of streets are closed
when the weather is supposed to be bad/rainy, lot’s of people that got tickets look for different options or only arrive at around 22pm, but when the weather is good the venue is reaching its capacity at around 5pm, they close the entry at 22.30pm
they say they have food and drinks for sale, but there were only 2 stalls and you are allowed to bring your own food and unalcoholic drinks
take reusable non-glass bottles to refill so you don’t have to buy their expensive water
take blankets, card games, snacks, jackets to survive all the waiting
don’t arrive too late (besides that you won’t get a good place) but it also will be hard to get through the crowds to the entry of the venue
It was an amazing experience and I would never want to miss it, but I have to say that it was also very exhausting and I would not want to do it the same way every year. I am more a person for a chilled dinner with friends and watching the fireworks from distance.
What was your craziest New Year’s experience? How do you like to celebrate the new year? How did you this year? Would you like to see Sydney’s fireworks for New Year’s one day?