Postcards / Travel

Music Editor, Alys Hale, seeks serenity and sanctuary during the chaos of Splendour in the Grass

Byron Bay has made itself the centre of wellness. There is something about the air as you walk down Belongil Beach, it permeates your being and induces a sense of wonder. I thought stepping away from the city might allow more space to breathe, but after a weekend at one of the world’s wettest festivals – Splendour in the Grass 2022 – the sentiment felt laughable. In between interviews with Amyl and the Sniffers, Bad Dreams, Pricie and Budjerah, my lover and I sought refuge instead at Elements. Perfectly located, Elements of Byron, is close enough to Byron for you to access all the town has to offer, whilst providing enough distance to feel as though one has space to meditate and reflect in a serene sanctuary. Being English, I chose to meditate in the bath.

The connection to nature is something that my body was craving, especially after witnessing mother nature’s incredible rainfall at Splendour in the Grass. So we took cruises in our borrowed Ute through the Hinterland, collecting various waifs and strays, whilst watching the scenery unfold before us. Elements of Byron extends across fifty acres of verdant rainforest with interconnecting tea tree creeks, lakes and ponds and provides a beautiful rainforest track that grants private access to Byron Bay’s iconic Belongil beach. Sitting there, watching a person much braver than I take a winter swim, all felt right with the world.

Byron Bay offers up many fine eateries, however, while any restaurant that serves Radikon will be my first choice, Element’s restaurant, Azure Bar and Grill, provides seasonal produce with excellent wine pairings (the perfectly cooked steak and oysters with finger lime and ponzu dressing are not to be missed). That said, the kitchen’s provided in the villas are well equipped if you consider yourself a chef. We look a few trips to The Bay Grocer and Lune Wine Bar in Byron and prepared simple meals with excellent natural wine.

As winter sun flooded the room and refracted rainbows skated the walls, I mused from a bed that could have honestly catered for three people, as to what I wanted to know from other artists that day. How was Byron making them feel? Byron provided me with the perfect oxymoron, wild conversations with wilder artists, and space to let their insights reverberate in my mind. For those seeking wellness, restoration and natural beauty, Byron is your safe haven protecting the local environment and your own peace of mind. For those seeking adventure and art, it’s only around the corner.

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