I first visited Byron Bay in 2006 for a week's holiday with my partner (wow we were still in our 20's!). Since then, it's a place we always come back to every few years. Usually just after the New Year's peak, when things begin to calm down a little.
Byron Bay has a little something for everyone. Beautiful beaches, great eateries, eclectic shopping, beautiful scenery and lots of great spots to visit in the hinterland. It has a bohemian vibe that you can amp up or amp down depending on where and when you stay.
This visit we stayed with the gorgeous, serene Atlantic Byron Bay where you can unwind and chill, but still be moments from the centre of town.
On this visit, I really wanted to capture some iconic shots of Byron, focussing on the gorgeous beach and the famous lighthouse.
The lighthouse stands on a headland that is the most easterly point in Australia, and is an iconic landmark. There are three main ways to access it: you can drive almost to the top and hope to find parking, walk through the rain forest along a path from the road (appx 1 hour), or walk along the beach to either Wategos beach or Little Wategos beach and climb the path up.
I drove up for a sunrise shot (left, completely overcast but atmospheric) and walked along the beach (middle and right) for sunset, taking the opportunity for lots of beach shots along the way.
One morning I tried my luck with the Byron Bay Ballooning Co and went on a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the town. It was absolutely magical! Watching the sun rise over the headland in almost complete silence, floating over the town was incredible.
Drone photography can now bring us these images, but to experience it with your own eyes cannot be beaten.
After the flight there was a sumptuous and never ending buffet breakfast at the airport base.
There are so many gorgeous beaches in the area I wanted to capture the feeling of walking along stretches of sand and shallow tides. My favourite three images give different feelings. The last golden rays of the afternoon drenching the beach, the dark silhouette of a fisherman surveying the waves, and figures disappearing into the morning fog.
Another moment I wanted to capture was surfers in the late afternoon sun, moving through the waves or waiting for the next wave. I wanted a sense of anticipation and movement through the frame.
Being the most easterly point of Australia there are some stark cliffs and rock formations under the Byron Bay Lighthouse that can see some powerful waves from the open ocean. You can lose yourself for hours watching powerful waves smashing against the rocks, and marvelling at the bravery(?) of some of the fishermen who perch on the edges!