Good Omens in Byron Bay

Byron bay NSW

We booked seven nights in Byron Bay, and the sun was shining when we rolled into town. It was a good omen, I thought, while fighting the crowd in the surf for a piece of wave.

The next day I dropped my phone on the concrete floor of the camp kitchen, smashing the screen. It still works, but I was disappointed.

Not such a good omen.

Especially when I returned to the tent and my favorite maxi dress caught on a tent peg, tearing a split into the bottom. I stitched it up, terribly, and tried to convince myself it was fine.

That afternoon we went for a happy hour beer at Balcony Bar. We were sitting on the balcony (obvs), sipping our beers, enjoying the pretty white and navy decor, when I felt something release around my waist.

The elastic band cinching the stitched-up maxi dress around my midline had snapped, rendering the dress sloppy and sacklike. The tear was suddenly a minor concern.

Byron organics
Maybe fewer beers, more Byron Bay smoothies and that elastic would still be intact.

When we got back to the tent that night, it was to the discovery that a bush turkey had torn into our rice, which we had foolishly left outside. For the next several days aggressive bush turkeys congregated at our campsite, scratching at the ground for lost grains.

Then the rain rolled in, lashing our tarp, pooling on the tent, and refusing to leave for five days.


I was forced to admit that the sunshine hadn’t been an omen at all. It had just been a lucky break, and we should never, ever take nice days for granted.

Because have you ever been camping in the rain? It sucks. Your feet are always wet and the beach doesn’t look quite as appealing. I tried to tell myself that still, I was lucky to be here in Byron, without a care besides keeping dry.

It doesn’t feel lucky when you’re lying in bed and you have to pee but that means 1) putting on outside clothes and 2) walking three minutes in the rain to get to the toilet block. I learned a lot about what my bladder can handle that week.

But the great thing about camping in the rain is that it forces you out anyway. As unappealing as it may be to venture out in the wet, it is much less appealing to stay in a dark tent purely for the sake of staying dry.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for the rain, I would never have seen the good omens of Byron.

Byron Love sign
Aww thanks Byron, I love you too.

While walking back from a coffee shop, umbrella in hand, eyes trained on the ground to avoid puddles, I caught a flash of orange.

TWO flashes of orange.

There, in a puddle, were TWO TWENTY DOLLAR BILLS.

Yes. I found FORTY DOLLARS in a puddle.

I felt guilty picking up the money and stuffing it into my purse. I had done a cursory glance around, but there was no one who appeared to be missing 40 bucks (no, I don’t know what that kind of person might look like either). Also if I hadn’t picked it up, someone else would have.

So I was forty bucks richer, which paid for our afternoon trip to the Stone & Wood brewery.

tasting paddle craft beer

That evening we happened to be on the beach as the sun was setting, a scene that is always irresistible to me. Like the rest of the crowd, I had my phone up, photographing the setting sun through the clearing rain.

sunset Byron Bay
I know it doesn’t look like it was raining but it was, I swear.

When I turned back to face the lighthouse three minutes later, I saw this.

rainbow byron bay
Wait for it…

Which was quickly followed by THIS.

two rainbows

And between the rainbow extravaganza and the forty bucks, I didn’t care too much about the rain anymore.

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  1. Hey Lauren, these photos are so amazing!!! 🙂 Double rainbow means good luck. Hope you and Jared will have a good time in Byron Bay. x

    1. Janet!! Thanks for reading 🙂 We had a great time in Byron even with the rain. Now we’re in Brisbane and it’s really sunny. Hope everything is good for you.

  2. I was stressed and then so relieved once you got the (technically) free beer and double rainbows. That would totally make my day, too. It always turns around in the end.

    1. Also now I have a false hope that I will find more cash in puddles so I walk while staring at the ground. But! It has been proven to happen.

  3. It is pouring rain here in Chicago today so I’m hoping that I get the same luck you did. Byron Bay looks like it was worth waiting out the rain for! (and free beers obviously)

  4. Wow, Lauren. I wish I was there to help sew your ripped clothes! And your cracked screen I phone….mine fell to the floor, too, two weeks ago and the screen cracked. It is fixed now but still. I know how that feels. Hope you get more better days ahead. And many more happy rainbows.

  5. Free money is the best! Especially when it’s used for breweries! Your photos from the beach are beautiful; definitely can’t even tell that it’s raining.

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