Taliah Lowry was about to buy a property in the hills overlooking Byron Bay but changed her mind when she spied three funnel web spiders in the pool. As luck would have it, a few days later she found an original fisherman's cottage closer to town and the beach. The place had everything she was looking for, and soon transformed it into a character-filled home for her family of five.

However, Taliah enjoys renovating. She's transformed more than six properties in just over 10 years. And so she made the The Cottage available as holiday accommodation, and started a new project.

Here she shares some of her recommendations for any stay in Byron Bay.

Breakfast Bayleaf, Roadhouse or the newly refurbished Beach, which used to be called The Beach Cafe. 
Dinner Fleet in Brunswick, Roadhouse, St Elmo's, The Italian at Pacific.

Food The Farm, Green Garage, Santos, Baz and Shaz, and always the farmers' market in Byron or Mullum. 

- Farmers' market Byron on Thursdays 7-11 or Mullumbimby farmers' market on Fridays. 
- The surf festival, writers festival, beach front markets, Bangalow markets, Billy car derby, old and gold in Brunswick. 

Best day out is brunch at Harvest then a short drive to Killen Falls, with a picnic and some good friends. 

Best little walk is the rainforest walk from Broken Head caravan park to Kings Beach. Easy walk and gorgeous picnic areas, often no one in sight. 

Best beach day is always Whites Beach off the dirt road near Broken Head. It's a long hike down but worth it. Best beach in the world. 

Best place for lunch is the Doma Cafe in Federal - Japanese inspired and casual outdoor setting. My favourite! And it's always nice to stop in Bangalow on the way back for a little shopping. The new little shopping area near Bisque is divine with local fashion, ceramics, florist and cafe.

Best hair salon is Mudhoney in Bangalow. 

images courtesy of byron beach abodes; portrait chris warnes/warnes & walton