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This Is Northern New South Wales


_JCA7767_JCA7722 _JCA7725_JCA7775Waking up on our first morning at Birdsong at the Garden Burees, it’s immediately apparent where the rustic little cottage got its name. The cottage is set high on a hillside so our room looks out amongst the tree tops and we’re surrounded by the sweet song of a thousand birds. I’m alone with my one year old, (my partner has gone for a morning surf) and we’re lying in bed, enveloped in white sheets. I’m in staycation heaven!

You may think it’s odd, but we live on an acerage in Broken Head, not 10 minutes drive from Byron Bay’s Garden Burees. We have very busy lives and rather than get-away we usually choose to ‘staycation’ in our own hometown.

The Garden Burees is everything that is wonderful about old Byron. A wee village of seven apartments, each unique in structure and each with it’s own rustic character. Like other parts of the Arts Factory there’s a Balinese undertone to the mini-village, but it feels more like the lost village in the Balinese rainforest than a manicured Balinese Villa – and I mean this in a good way.

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It’s like you stumbled upon Byron in it’s heyday, before 5 star eco-resorts were invented. Back when the Treehouse was the still the Belongil Beach Café, and Topshop was still a little Milkbar. I posted a pic of the cottage on Instagram and one of our followers commented “My old house where my first two boys were born!” You can feel there’s some history there.

The cottage is an almost adobe-like structure, with its white rendered walls and exposed wooden beams, and is surrounded by huge fig trees, palms and paperbarks. A lone palm grows right through a whole in our deck. I love that lovely blurred line where it’s hard to see where the trees end and our Stay-cation begins.

On our last night we slumbered in the converted verandah that overlooks the shanty town of tents in the Arts Factory. The rhythmic heartbeat of a drum circle drifted up to us, reminding us “You’re in Byron still”. And really, there’s no place we’d rather be.