Byron Bay has to be one of the most beautiful locations in Australia with some of the most amazing beaches & night life that puts most capital cities to shame.
The town has several beaches that are popular for surfing. It is popular with both domestic and international tourists, including backpackers, who travel along the East Australian coast. The area is also very well regarded for its wildlife and commitment to maintaining the natural enviroment. A boardwalk runs from the center of town to the Cape Byron lighthouse. This allows visitors to walk and cycle to the lighthouse which is the most easterly point in Australia.
Temperate and tropical waters merge at Byron Bay, making it a popular area for scuba diving and snorkeling. Most diving is done at Julian Rocks which is part of the recently established Cape Byron Marine Park and only a few minutes boat ride from Main Beach.
Travellers from Australia & all over the world come to Byron Bay for one main reason, the beaches.
The beaches in Byron are some of the best not only in Australia but the world. It is definitely recommended if you are spending some time in Australia to check out theses beautiful natural wonders.
Stretching from Byron Bay north to Belongil Creek and beyond, Belongil is partly dog-friendly. Belongil Creek harbours a colony of rare Little Terns (Sea Birds), and care must be taken not to disturb them in any way. Just north of the rock wall at Byron Bay is the wreck of the SS Wollongbar, a great place to explore with a mask and snorkel when the sea is calm. Parts of Belongil beach are ‘clothes optional’
More a surf break created by the wreck of the SS Wollongbar. Located just off the Main Beach car park at the end of Jonson Street.
This is the main beach directly in front of the town of Byron Bay, and continuing southward (actually eastward) to Clarkes Beach. Main Beach is dominated by the Surf Club and is patrolled by Surf Lifesavers in summer. Swim between the flags and always wear a hat and sunscreen. From here you can snorkel out to the Tassie II, a wreck off the coast.
Filling the space between Main Beach and The Pass, Clarkes Beach is north-facing and idyllic most of the year. Only when the northerlies blow does Clarkes become less than perfect. An extra surf-lifesaving team patrols this beach in summer. The Bay here is ideal for windsurfing, body-boarding and paragliding. In winter humpback whales have been known to frolic with their calves on their way back to the Antarctic.
The Pass is a gap between Fisherman’s Lookout and the headland. It is the most popular surf break on the north coast, but also where the dive boats launch, so be careful. Fisherman’s Lookout is a wooden platform from where you can check out the surf as well as the fish.
Just over a small headland from Clarkes, and sometimes accessible by the beach, Watego’s is a sheltered north-facing beach very popular all the year round. Free electric barbecues and picnic tables complete the picture. Northerly swells make Watego’s Beach ideal for malibus. Access via Lighthouse Road and turn left into Brooke Drive.
Little Wategos Beach.
At the end of the Cape, Little Wategos is a great rock fishing spot. Inaccessible by car (you have to walk over the path from Wategos or down from the lighthouse precinct) Little Wategos is overlooked by the lighthouse and most easterly point. A lovely sheltered spot for sunbathing and swimming.
Tucked under the south side of Cape Byron, Cosy Corner is a nice sheltered spot when the northerlies are blowing. Now protected by the Arakwal National Park, the beach is accessible down Tallow Beach Road, where you’ll have to pay National Parks $6 to park your car. Beware of the surf here, as it is sometimes subject to strong rips. From here you can see the hang-gliders swooping from their launching pad overhead
Stretching south from Cosy Corner to Broken Head, Tallow Beach is good for beach fishing. The surf here is choppy and erratic, so beware. Tallow Beach is accessible by walking south from Cosy Corner, or from several small car parks off Alcorn Street in Suffolk Park, and is dog-friendly for several kilometres. Access through Suffolk Park, via Clifford Street, off Broken Head Road just south of Byron Bay.
Apart from the beautiful beaches, Byron is also know for it’s awesome night life. There are 4 must go spots in the Byron night life scene.
The Beach Hotel
The mother ship of all pubs is close to the main beach and has an infectious atmosphere that makes everyone your best mate. There’s live music and DJs some nights and it is also a wonderful place for a meal.
The Great Northern.
You wont need fancy clothes or brushed hair at this true Australian pub. This pub would have to be the heart and soul of Byron bay. You can catch live music most nights and with headline acts from Australia and all over the world playing.
This two-storey club thrashes about to indie rock, doof doof and fusion. Mondays is backpacker night so drinks are cheap & the music is loud.
Last and certainly not least we have cheeky monkeys , this is one of the most lively bar/nightclub in Byron Bay. Dancing on tables, wet T-shirt comps & cheap drinks are a nightly occurrence at this lively backpacker bar, and is definitely a must see to anyone passing through.
This is one thing that Byron does not have a shortage of.
Your options when it comes to accommodation in Byron are endless, from budget options like Camp sites & Back packer Hostels through to 10 room mansions on the beach there is something for every one no matter what your budget is.
First Sun Holiday Park.
Sites Start from $48.00
First Sun Holiday Park, located on the beach front at beautiful Byron Bay, offers you everything Byron Bay is world renowned for literally metres from your cabin, lodge, hut, caravan or tent.
Nomads Backpackers .
Rooms start from $32.00
Nomads Byron Bay is a purpose built hostel which boasts a fantastic central location, and only 3 minutes walk to the beach. Located on Lawson Lane behind the iconic Great Northern Hotel, Nomads Byron Bay offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all types of backpackers, travellers and budgets.
Rooms start from $30.00
At Aquarius Backpackers Byron Bay they have a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. From self-contained apartments, budget private rooms and spacious dorm rooms. You should be able to find a room to put your head down and get some rest after a busy day of shopping, surfing and soaking up the unique Byron Bay atmosphere. Free overnight off street parking and free baggage storage (max 12hrs) is available to Aquarius guests. They also have an onsite security guard after hours to help you if any issues should arise or for late check in’s.
Byron Bay YHA.
Rooms start from $30.00
Byron Bay YHA is one of the most centrally located backpacker hostel in Byron Bay. Just a few hundred metres from the beach and right in the heart of the town.
The large, comfortable common areas and kitchen overlook the inviting swimming pool and BBQ. While the surrounding deck makes for the perfect spot to relax and unwind at the end of the day. When you’re not relaxing by the pool make use of the surfboards or body boards available at the hostel.
Back Packers Inn Byron Bay.
Rooms start from $24.00
The friendly Reception Desk will check you in and provide all you need to ensure your stay is comfy, safe – and hopefully a long one! With a quick phone call, we arrange free Pick Up from town when you arrive or Drop-Off when you leave – but remember when you leave Byron Bay you are going nowhere!
Main Beach Back Packers.
Approximate Cost Per Night: $25.00
Main Beach Backpackers is a modern, clean, state of the art place to park your pack. We offer various styles of accommodation including large air conditioned dorms, smaller mixed and single sex dorms, also doubles and en-suite rooms.
How to get there
The closest major city and airport to Byron Bay is the Gold Coast. From the Gold Coast airport transfer buses run about every hour. It takes about 40 minutes from the Gold Coast airport to get to Byron Bay. For more information on how to get to Byron Bay. Check out this link here.
Things to do
There is so much to see and do around Byron that you will probably find it hard to fit it all in.
Here is just a small selection of the activities available to you down in Byron Bay and approximate Costs involved.
Scuba Dive Byron Bay.
Approximate Cost: $160.00
Contact: 1300 935 532
Julian Rocks Marine Reserve is the jewel of the Cape Byron Marine Park. This rocky outcrop is fast becoming one of the most popular diving and snorkelling destinations in Australia. Here you can swim with tropical species found on the Great Barrier Reef as well animals from Australia’s deep Southern Ocean.
Julian Rocks Marine Reserve is home to three different species of sea turtle, an assortment of rays, hard and soft corals, friendly wobbegong sharks and over five hundred different species of fish. All of this is only a five-minute boat ride from Byron Bay.
Learn To Surf Byron Bay
Approximate Cost: $65.00
Contact: 1800 70 72 74
Come and join in the fun and adventure of surfing in some of the best waves in the world. Byron Bay Surf School is the original surf school in Byron Bay and teaches lessons from the absolute beginner to the advanced surfer.
Grasshoppers Nimbin Tour.
Approximate Cost: $49.00
Contact: 0438 269 076
The Grasshoppers Nimbin Tour is a full, fun-packed day out, taking you through the stunning scenery of the Byron Bay hinterland to the famous town of Nimbin .
At Nimbin you have about an hour to explore the colourful shops and cafes. It’s then on to some of Australia’s most beautiful and lush rainforests. We visit beautiful Minyon Falls with breath-taking views & rainforests with an abundance of wildlife. They also visit an historical Aussie pub where you can quench your thirst with an ale and get to know the others on the tour.
Cape Byron Kayak Tours.
Approximate Cost: $69.00
Contact:(02) 6680 9555
Cape Byron Kayaks ‘Byron’s Original Sea Kayak Tours – Enjoy Byron Bay from a whole new perspective! Paddle your own kayak to see dolphins, turtles & whales on our guided tour. Learn about all you see from our knowledgeable guides.
Byron Bay Night Vision Tour.
Approximate Cost: $90.00
Utilising high quality night vision goggles, we’ll take you on a highly memorable walk through the habitats of nocturnal animals to observe them at their most active, then onwards to see a colony of glow worms illuminated in the dark of night – and cap it all off with a tasty hot chocolate at the top of Minyon Falls as we relax and gaze up at the clear, starry night sky.
An animal lover’s heaven, we’ll typically see a variety of cute and cuddly wildlife on the trip including Possums, Pademelons, Bandicoots, Tawny Frogmouths and Frogs as well as the occasional Koala and Owl, with more animal sightings during less moonlit periods. All equipment is provided, so simply bring your sense of adventure and enjoy this unbelievably unique tour.
Byron Bay Writers Festival.
When: August 2015
The Byron Bay Writers’ Festival had its beginnings in 1997, when a small group of locals led by Chris Hanley wondered whether authors might accept an invitation to spend a winter’s weekend in Byron Bay. They did, and an audience of two hundred locals enjoyed a gathering of fifty Australian writers. Since then, the Festival has grown from a single venue event to fill four huge marquees and venues around town and sells 45,000 individual tickets. The guest list now numbers more than one hundred and over the years the most significant and respected contemporary Australian writers have participated through lectures, lunches, panels, conversations, launches and readings.
When: October 2015
The Boomerang Festival is the first of its kind, never has an Indigenous festival of this holistic calibre been so accessible, featuring an array of music, dance, theatre, comedy, film and visual arts, along with cultural knowledge exchanges and thought provoking conversations.
Boomerang features the very best our original culture has to offer in the arts, culture and ideas, as well as emerging musicians, artists and dancers, theatre and much more. Past performances have included legendary singer-songwriter Archie Roach and Elcho Island, singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu as well as a packed program of music, dance, visual art and discussion. The traditional owners from the Arakwal Bundjalung land of northern New South Wales welcome performers and fans to the festival grounds.
Byron Bay International Film Festival
When: March 2015
Held over over 10 glorious days across 5 venues, the Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF) is a platform for outstanding independent film talent, showcasing a uniquely rich and diverse program of entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking films. It’s a festival that fuses artistry, education and innovation, enhancing our worldview and collective social dialogue through the power and storytelling of film.
Bluesfest Byron Bay
When: April 2015
The Byron Bay Blues Festival or Bluesfest is Australia’s premiere Blues & Roots Music Festival with more than 200 performances of the best blues, roots, folk, soul and world artists. In addition to seven all weather performance stages, there are licensed bars, undercover food courts, food and market stalls. Starting from humble beginnings back in 1990 the festival quickly outgrew its birthplace at the Arts Factory on Skinners Shoot Road in Byron Bay. The festival has since had various homes including the local rugby grounds at Red Devil Park and Belongil Fields which are both just a few minutes drive from the town centre. The festival found a more permanent home from 2010 when it moved to the old Tyagarah Ti Tree farm situated around 15 minutes north west of Byron Bay. The 300 acre farm was purchased in 2007 and was transformed into a dedicated festival site which now hosts a handful of festivals throughout the year.
Splendour in the grass.
When: July 2015
Considered to be Australia’s biggest winter music festival, Splendour has evolved from a boutique one day festival held at The Byron Parkland’s on the outskirts of Byron to a three day extravaganza of big name bands. Splendour is usually held on the last weekend of July or the first weekend in August.
The Byron Bay surf festival.
When: October 2015
The Byron Bay Surf Festival is a three day fusion of surf culture now, including surfing, art, music, film and lifestyle. The festival is non-competitive and brings together people that want to celebrate surfing and the associated culture of art, music, film, literature, surfboard design and environmentally friendly and sustainable surf craft.
Byron Bay Latin Fiesta.
When: October 2015
The annual Byron Latin Fiesta is a weekend celebration of Latin dance and music held annually over four nights and three days. The fiesta’s focus is on the essence of Latin music and dance and it take’s a grass roots approach to what it offers. Byron Bay has a long history of a grass roots approach.
The event creates an opportunity for the Latin dance industry and the community to come together through an authentic experience of Latin music and dance, hoping to expand the awareness of Latin culture on the north coast of NSW and help the Latin dance industry grow as a whole in Australia and Internationally.
Free Things To Do
Byron Bay Light House Walk.
Probably the most famous thing to do is to take the time to walk to the iconic Byron Bay Lighthouse. The walk to the top takes about an hour and is filled with some of the most scenic views and beautiful beaches you can find around Byron Bay.
Although the first time I walked up to the lighthouse it did show how unfit I was, reaching the most easterly point of Australia is an accomplishment in itself. During winter you have the chance to see the migrating humpback whales, which is an awesome experience. Other than that nearly every time I have been up at the lighthouse I’ve seen dolphins and if you really have a keen eye you could see the odd turtle or two.
Byron Bay Markets.
The market offers a great range of hand crafted wares, artworks, locally-grown produce and many stalls with foods and drinks. You can also make your own candle or shirt with the background music from a local band while you do it. The market is always busy with all kinds of people; families, hippies, backpackers, everyone is there on Sunday morning.
Nightcap National Park
Nightcap National Park is another one of the nice things to do in Byron Bay. It’s part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. It has ancient rainforests, waterways and spectacular views over the 20 million year-old Wollumbin shield volcano and a lot of walking tracks.
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