roadtrip

Roadtrip Detour: Stone & Wood Brewery, Byron Bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

Visiting craft breweries became a bit of a habit for us on our east coast roadtrip. First up, it was Murrays Craft Brewing Co in Port Stephens, and today I’m going to tell you about our quick pitstop at Stone & Wood in Byron Bay.

Stone & Wood was born and raised in Byron, and very proud of it. We visited their original brewery in the industrial part of town, home to their cellar door and tasting room. In 2014, at the ripe old age of 6, they had grown too big for their boots and had to open another brewery about 45 minutes north of Byron. Now the only brewing that happens in Byron is exclusively for their special release beers. Fancy.

At the Byron brewery, they run tours twice daily and we rocked up right on time for the 11am start. Maybe it was the earlier time of day, but we were the only people there and had the whole place to ourselves. In my opinion, it’s never too early for beer when you’re on holidays, so we started with a schooner of the Garden Ale before a quick whip around the brewery and a tasting of 5 of their beers – all for $10.

Of course, my favourite was their limited release Cloud Catcher, which is no longer available. However, a close second would have to be their Garden Ale – and the good news is that it’s part of their core range and available all year round. Easy drinking and perfect for those summer nights spent drinking on the balcony with friends.

If you’re a beer drinker and in the area, drop by the brewery and say hi to the Stone & Wood boys. They are super friendly and more than happy to talk beer and Byron with anyone that comes in.

You can find them at 4 Boronia Place in Byron Bay, or on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

stone wood brewery byron bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

A Quick Guide to Byron Bay

byron bay guide

After more than 1000 kilometres, 11 hours of driving, 2 overnight pitstops and more than a few snapchat selfies, we made it to Byron Bay.

To be honest, when we left Canberra we didn’t really know if we were going to make it that far up the coast, but I am so glad that we did. It was the first time either of us had been to Byron Bay and, despite being ill-prepared to camp (not bringing mattresses was a rookie mistake), we were pleasantly surprised at how much we loved it.

With it’s chilled vibes, beautiful beaches and great nightlife (happy hour anyone?), Byron lives up to it’s name, but isn’t over the top tourist tacky like I thought it might be. We only had two nights there and when it came time to leave for the drive back home, we wished we had more.

Here are a few of the things we would suggest to anyone who finds themselves in this cute hippy town for a couple of days:

1. Go to the markets

I’m told the weekend markets in Byron are probably the best, but we happened to be there on a Thursday and Thursday in Byron means an early morning trip to the Farmers Market for breakfast. We tried a little bit of everything – delicious pastries, healthy smoothies, frozen fruit, and, of course, that necessary morning coffee. I love a good mix and match breakfast and the Byron Bay Farmers Market is the perfect place to get it.

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

2. Swim in the ocean

The warm water of the Byron Bay beaches was a welcome change from my usual ocean experience. Being a Canberran, I’ve never quite been on board with swimming in the year-round ice cold waters of the NSW South Coast. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but the water up north is much warmer and, in my opinion, a whole lot more pleasant in those initial moments when the water first hits your thighs.

byron bay guide

3. Head up the hill to the Lighthouse

It was whale migration season when we were there, which means whales could be seen hanging out, playing around and splashing each other in plain view from the coastline – no boats needed. With views out to the ocean in almost every direction, the Lighthouse was the perfect place to watch them play. It was pretty special, but whales or no whales, the Lighthouse is worth a look no matter what. You can drive up there if you want, but I recommend taking the time and walking up along the headland. It’s a big walk, but oh so worth it. And don’t forget to look up, you might even spot an eagle.

– Bec x

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

Roadtrip Detour: Murray’s Craft Brewing Co

murrays beer

What better roadtrip detour than a sneaky little pitstop at a brewery? *

I’m not a huge beer drinker, but I’m a fan of Australian craft beer and, as long as it’s not too dark and heavy (get that Guinness away from me), I enjoy a nice cold one every now and then.

On our way from Newcastle to Port Macquarie, Matt and I called in at the headquarters of Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. We tasted a few of their beers, had some lunch and went for a quick spin around the brewery to see where all the magic happens.

I’m certainly no beer expert, but I know what I like when I try it and I liked most of what I tried at Murray’s. The “Fred IPA” was definitely a favourite and you know I can’t go past a cute label.

If you’re in the area and after a chilled afternoon with a few beers in hand, you can find Murray’s Craft Brewing Co at Bobs Farm in Port Stephens. If you’re not in the area, but want some more info about where to find their beer, Murray’s is also online and on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

*Obviously Matt pulled the short straw (as always) and was the designated driver. Don’t drink and drive kids. It’s not cool.

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

A Morning in Newcastle

newcastle

We all love a good roadtrip. There’s something almost nostalgic about jumping in the car, windows down, your favourite tunes pumping, and driving with no real destination in mind.

Let’s be real though – 6 hour long car trips are never that glamorous, but they can still be fun. Matt and I recently spent a week on the road, up the east coast to Byron Bay and back again. We had no set plan, just the desire to make it to Byron if we could.

Our first stop was Newcastle, so we gave our friends Pratham and Avril exactly one night’s notice that we were coming. Lucky they’re awesome.

Every time I visit Newcastle, I like it more and more. After our first visit earlier this year, I wrote a little weekend guide and it still holds true. This time we only had one morning, but we still managed to walk everywhere, eat brunch, drink coffee and even grab a couple of cakes for the road on our way out of town.

newcastle three monkeys cafe

If you only have one morning in Newcastle, here is what I suggest. If the sun is shining, start your day at the Newcastle Memorial Walk. The walkway follows the cliff edge and has great views overlooking the coastline. It only opened earlier this year and is a good little walk to get you hungry before breakfast.

There are plenty of good cafes in Newcastle, so brunch is a must. This time we tried Three Monkeys Cafe on Darby Street and it didn’t disappoint. I can recommend the quinoa porridge, but don’t be fooled by the quinoa. It’s vanilla infused and served with caramelised banana, strawberries and mascarpone – there isn’t anything healthy about this porridge.

Finally, before you leave town, head to Hello Naomi on King Street and grab some cakes for the road. We missed out last time we were in Newcastle and I was disappointed for good reason. This time, we made a special pitstop and had no regrets when the afternoon sugar cravings set in.

– Bec x

newcastle

newcastle

newcastle

newcastle

newcastle

newcastle

newcastle

newcastle three monkeys cafe

newcastle three monkeys cafe

newcastle hello naomi

newcastle hello naomi

Roadtrip Detour: Cactus Country

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I really like cacti and succulents. Despite killing my first ever cactus earlier this year (apparently they don’t really like water), my succulent collection has been growing alongside my obsession with anything cactus-related for a while now. They are cool plants – unusual and fun to look at, interesting in a nonchalant kind of way and all just a little bit different.

So you can imagine my excitement when Matt and I found ourselves at a little place called Cactus Country on our way back from Echuca a few weeks ago. Cactus Country is 10 acres of cactus. Honestly. 10 acres. It’s incredible. If you like cacti or succulents, you should go.

Cactus lovers can find Cactus Country at 4986 Murray Valley Highway near Strathmerton in Victoria.

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