Destinations

Planning a babymoon? Here's why Byron Bay makes for the ultimate last hurrah

How to go out with a stylish, child-free bang!

By Bella Brennan
Ask any soon-to-be first-time parent how they're feeling about their impending membership to Club Baby and they'll happily tell you it's an exhilarating mix of pure joy and total fear.
Soon, you're going to be responsible for keeping alive a tiny human and that's A LOT for your brain to process.
So what better way to prepare for parenthood than by treating yourself to a holiday so indulgent you'll never be able to recreate it with kids.
Booking a week in Byron Bay, NSW in late March was a no-brainer.
Not only is it the spiritual home of Australia's ultimate boho glamour couple, Chris Hemsworth and Elsa pataky, but the water was still warm and we had the beaches completely to ourselves as it wasn't peak season.

Beach-side bliss

Our first two nights were spent at the beautiful boutique hotel, Raes on Wategoes. The exclusive resort, which underwent a huge refurbishment in 2017, is one of Australia's most well-known haunts and believe me, it 100% lives up to the hype.
This is the perfect location for a special occasion - be it a babymoon, honeymoon or anniversary.
As soon as we arrive, it's as if we've walked into a dreamy, beach-side sanctuary that we never want to leave. I lose count at how many times my partner and I stare at each other and simply gasp, "Wow!"
Welcome to Raes, a little slice of heaven in the heart of Byron Bay. (Image: Sean Fennessy)
Our room is a chic, sun-drenched penthouse featuring marble floors, an enormous day bed, a spacious balcony overlooking Wategoes beach and an inviting king-sized bed with crisp white linen which will be perfect for my final rounds of guilt-free sleep-ins.
We start each morning at Raes with a wake-up dip at Wategoes beach, which is literally on our doorstep before heading to the restaurant for an à la carte breakfast.
Yep, I'm really going out with a hedonistic bang and will no doubt look back at this ridiculously decadent morning routine with pure astonishment in just a few months time when my life is ruled by two-hourly feed cycles, burping and nappy changes.
If you need me, you'll find me in my robe curled up in my waffle robe on the sun lounger. (Image: Sean Fennessy)

Treat yourself

With two mornings here, naturally I went savoury for the first breakfast and sweet for the next. Their avocado on toast with locally-sourced Bangalow bacon was rivalled only by the epic buttermilk blueberry pancakes. Picking which breakky I preferred would be like choosing a favourite child but it's safe to say they were both sublime.
Of course, when the breakfast is this good you make a dinner reservation at Raes quick smart to try out their evening menu.
We score one of the best seats in the house and have the VIP vantage point to watch the sunset over the ocean before tucking into the Saltbush agnolotti with oyster mushrooms and stracciatella and the Fraser Island crab spaghetti with smoked tomatoes and sorrel.
THIS is the jaw-dropping view from the restaurant at Raes! (Image: Sean Fennessy)
Luckily our room is just around the corner and I roll can home and indulge in a little #RobeLyfe before calling it a night.
You can't go to Raes and not make the most of their private pool, which is surrounded by a lush tropical garden and looks like a Californian mansion straight out of an episode of The OC.
But the best way to cap off your stay is with a treatment at their spa. I went all out and booked a 90 minute pregnancy massage, which was SO damn good it literally felt like ten minutes.
After an hour-and-a-half of pure pampering, my bump and I literally floated out of there.
Grab a bungalow and a mocktail and watch the hours vanish because if you're going to read about reflux, you may as well do it here. (Image: Sean Fennessy)

Those Hemsworths are onto something!

It's little wonder Byron Bay has become the stomping ground for names like Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky.
The Hollywood power couple, who are in the midst of $9 million renovations on their Broken Head property, have set a trend among the A-list set both locally and internationally.
Matt Damon can't get enough of Byron Bay hangs with his bestie Chris, Margot Robbie married Tom Ackerley in hinterlands of Ewingsdale, as did Bachelor favourites Sam Wood and Snezana Marokoski, while TV WEEK Gold Logie winner Carrie Bickmore and her partner Chris Walker have a holiday house near Clarkes beach.
Chris and Elsa are the poster couple for the sweet, sweet Byron life. (Image: @elsapatakyconfidential/Instagram)
When you're not beach-hopping or waddling up the iconic Byron Bay lighthouse walk, you can shop up a storm at Elsa's favourite label Spell and the Gypsy Collective and purchase a whole new Elsa-inspired wardrobe you'll probably never wear back in the real world.
Alternatively, you can eat your way around town and if you're lucky, you may just spot an A-list star living their best Byron life while you're at it.
Bay Lane in the centre of Byron boasts a slew of trendy restaurants and wine bars, like the newly-launched Supernatural - Byron's first-ever natural wine bar with a diverse and surprising offering of over 50 natural wines - just because you can't have a drink doesn't mean your partner can't enjoy a tipple! A long lunch at Byron classics like The Farm or Harvest are also a must.
But our best meal of the trip was at Byron's buzzing Vietnamese eatery, Light Years. Their fried eggplant was out-of-this-world delicious while their turmeric and coconut cauliflower curry really hit the spot.
Have you ever, ever felt like this? Catching my breath after waddling up to the Byron Bay lighthouse. (Image: Supplied)

The jungle book

Our final few nights of the trip were spent at The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, a luxurious resort which feels like you've stepped straight into a secluded tropical rainforest in the middle of Bali, when in fact you're only a few minutes from the centre of town.
Set on 45 acres of lush rainforest, the Byron at Byron's incredible babymoon package was the perfect way to farewell our final child-free days.
The resort's nourishing babymoon package is tailored to make sure parents-to-be can unwind and relax in each other's company. (Image: The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa)
The package includes three nights accommodation in a Superior Suite, breakfast at The Restaurant, a welcome hamper of Natures Child organic goodies for your bub, a complimentary in-house movie but perhaps the best perk of the deal? The couples' massage at their world-renowned spa, which offers s a pregnancy massage for us mums-to-be, as well as a remedial massage for your partner.
There's also a daily yoga class every morning to stretch out the stress in preparation of welcoming your new bundle of joy into the world.
The wooden boardwalk snakes through the resort's lush rainforest (Image: Supplied)
The beach is just a short walk away or you can explore the hotel's very own rainforest with a bush walk along their wooden boardwalks.
After three nights in this blissful setting, I'm as ready as I'll ever be for this baby and can't wait to come back to Byron as a family-of-three!
The Byron at Byron's nourishing babymoon package is one of the best in the country. (Image: The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa)