Detailed reviews of luxury & eclectic properties worldwide. Plus, local destination guides and travel insights.

Retreat Review: Blackbird Byron Bay

Blackbird Byron is an adults-only hideaway perched in the rolling hills of the Byron Bay hinterland. Its picture postcard location is easily accessible off the Pacific Highway, simply take the Mullumbimby turn-off and inhale the fresh mountain air as you wind your way to this dreamy destination.

The Initiation

The property owners, James & Stella (ex-Sydney) relocated to the shire in order to swap a hectic city schedule for a more laid back lifestyle. Ultimately what they have created here is a tranquil place to connect with nature and forget about life’s everyday stresses. Three standalone pavilions face due east, each with remarkable views of dense sub-tropical forestry stretching toward an oceanic horizon.


I arrive to Blackbird Byron and am immediately gifted a stunning sunset. Watching the famed Byron Bay lighthouse blinkering in the distance as Julian Rocks (a local dive hot spot) steadily disappears in a veneer of pastel blue and pink hued dusk sky is a moment I inherently know will stay with me forever.

Blackbird has definitely captured the market for travellers seeking a private escape away from the hordes of visitors that gravitate to the buzz of Byron Bay. Given only a few guests are able to stay here at any given time, you’re bound to experience a serene retreat vibe. It’s a low-numbers game, right.


The magnesium mineral infinity pool has caught my eye, how could it not with its brilliant design and pride of placement overlooking the hinterland vista. I dive in and allow the weightlessness to envelope me, I’m semi-submerged and facing the sky, I spot the first star of the night and make a wish to return to Blackbird again, even though my stay is just now at the beginning!

Byron Bay Hinterland Accommodation

Talk about impeccable design! Asides from the breathtaking views of Cape Byron your eyes will automatically draw toward your pavilion’s articulate and minimalist furnishings. Two people fit comfortably within this perceivably modern yet flatteringly rural architecture.

Expect; detailed tile work and exposed brass bathroom fixtures, luxe natural fibre kimonos – ideal for lounging, dreamy linen on a king-size bed (that looks straight out to the Pacific Ocean horizon) and unobtrusive tech additions such as; a flat screen tv, air con, Wi-Fi and a portable speaker.


Praising accolades have come in thick and fast for Blackbird. When I commend James on his property’s deserved rise to a ‘must stay’ Byron Bay hinterland holiday destination, he casually remarks that its surge in popularity has surprised him. You see, James and Stella has envisioned that Blackbird would make a great country life meets seaside escape but figured it would take some time for the to catch on. Boy were they wrong. No sooner had I (reluctantly) checked out of Blackbird I noticed a glowing Blackbird report front and centre of the Australian Financial Review’s leisure section.

Then, just a few days later I spy the unmistakably stylish retreat has graced the pages of the Sydney Morning Heralds ‘Weekender’ travel edition. Ain’t no doubt about it, the Blackbird Byron secret is well and truly out. The elements of relaxed exclusivity amid a casual nature setting have brilliantly merged to make a stay at Blackbird Byron even more desirable.

DSC08348Byron Bay – Beach & Hinterland Dining:

Upon arrival expect to be greeted by your host and presented with a pleasingly moorish cheese board and refreshing beverages (French rose for me and a champagne flute for my friend). A spacious communal dining area (overlooking the fantastic hinterland vistas) is available for guest use throughout their adults only hideaway holiday too.

Mornings begin at a leisurely pace, simply saunter up to the pool area /come dining space and enjoy a fresh breakfast prepared with gourmet ingredients from the surrounding regions. Tip; the locally roasted Moonshine coffee sure gets my vote. Being the best adults-only retreat in Byron Bay also equates to the complete serenity of the morning, as in there are no noisy children to interrupt the dawn.

With an abundance of world-class eateries in the shire, guests are easily lured out for an unhurried lunch and/or an evening dinner at the nearby dining hot spots of Bangalow, Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and, of course, Mullumbimby itself is but a short drive away. I wholeheartedly recommend any of the following establishments for a memorable dining experience.

Harvest Newrybar – a true leader in innovative farm-to-plate produce, expert chefs, excellent floor staff and one of the best balconies for admiring the quaint village setting abound.

Beach at Byron Bay – a must-visit eatery with uninterrupted seaside views over Clarkes Beach. This place is my go-to zone for gourmet breakfasts, celebratory lunches and romantic dinners.

Milk and Honey Mullumbimby – for delectable woodfired pizza’s loaded with flavour. Tuck into the pork and fennel sausage pizza with mozzarella, tomato, red onion, fennel parmesan chili. Bellissimo.


Byron Bay Hinterland Activities:

Okay, so you’ve chosen Blackbird because you most likely want to bail out from the hustle & bustle and reconnect with nature in a luxe manner. Perfect, because guests are encouraged to do as little as they like here. Scenic drives, waterfall hikes and day spa treatments are all on offer at this country-meets-coastal retreat. Or, stay horizontal by the magnesium pool with a book at hand if that’s more your style. Hint; ask your welcoming hosts to guide you to the secluded watering hole accessible via a semi-steep but easily reached incline right above Blackbird. And, weather permitting you’ll be greeted with a Zen-like waterfall scene.

In-room massage treatments can be arranged upon request or venture toward Mullum for a holistic body treatment at Kiva day spa. Touted as Byron’s premier garden day spa, this magical oasis is set amongst a bamboo grove surrounded by spas and pools. My hour massage here was a divine body, mind and soul trip and I’m confident yours will be too.

All in all, a visit to Blackbird is your opportunity to escape the ordinary and indulge yourself in a luxurious hinterland retreat. What better way to experience the relaxing and often healing energy that mother nature, and in particular the hinterland of Byron Bay, never fails to share with her friends.


Up in the Byron Hinterland, Blackbird has created a special place where time slows down. Where the noise and demands of life drop away and you can tune in again to what’s important. On a private road, with just a few pavilions, this adults-only site is quiet and secluded enough for you to fully relax and recharge.

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