Arguably Australia’s most famous town, Byron Bay has a lot to offer. There are plenty of things to do in Byron Bay for foodies, adventurers, shoppers and socialites! Once a sleepy little coastal town, Byron Bay is clearly on the map as an international holiday destination. Pre-COVID Byron was attracting over 2 million tourists a year. While our international borders are closed during COVID and Aussies are restricted in where they can travel, many Australians are discovering and re-discovering Byron.
This blog post has been written after years of Byron day trips, weekend trips to see friends and events to celebrate significant milestones. All of the best things to do in Byron Bay are highlighted with special help from some of my well-visited Byron friends.
Things to do in town
There are a bunch of things to do within the town centre of Byron Bay. This section of the blog post covers all the things to do in Byron Bay’s town centre or within walking distance from town.
Cape Byron Lighthouse walk
Of all the things to do in Byron Bay – the Cape Byron lighthouse walk is a clear favourite. Allow two hours to complete the Cape Byron lighthouse walk. It’s a 3.7km loop track that starts close to town beginning through the rainforest with bangalow palms and native Australian plants. The next stage of the trail follows the coastline along the clifftops providing stunning views over the ocean, Byron Hinterland and onto Mount Warning.
Best to avoid during the heat of the day and take water, good shoes and sunscreen. Parking can be difficult to find during peak times of the day. If you’re lucky you might see dolphins from any of the vantage points or whales during the migration period (July and September)
Sunrise at the Cape Byron Lighthouse
As the most easterly point of Australia, Cape Byron Lighthouse is a special place to see the first light of the day. Combine with the Byron Lighthouse walk afterwards.
Byron is known for great shopping and is home to many great designers and entrepreneurs. You’ll thoroughly enjoy the variety of high end clothing, home wares, furniture and gifts. Start in the Byron town centre but the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate is also worth checking out.
Enjoy food from local cafes and restaurants
The Byron food scene is fast becoming known as Australia’s food capital. There are endless cafes and restaurants, many of them vegan or ethically focused. You’ll need at least a week or two to truly explore the ins and outs of this foodie town.
For all you need to know about Byron’s food scene read my blog post on Byron’s best cafes and restaurants. (COMING SOON)
Byron Farmers Market
Join the locals on Thursday mornings between 7-11am on Ewingsdale Road for your fresh, local and sustainable produce. The Byron Farmers Market draws in quite the crowd. Stalls include a range of locally grown fruit and vegetables, farm fresh eggs, honey, seafood and other meat. It’s also a great way to support local farmers and businesses.
Visit the beaches
Known for its beaches and surfing, Byron has over 30km of coastline and pristine beaches. There’s nearly a beach for every purpose. If the crowds bother you try for Lennox Head and Ballina. If it’s surfing try The Pass, Belongil Beach, The Wreck or Wategos. If it’s convenience though, Main Beach is located at the end of Byron’s main street and is patrolled by life guards.
Wategoes is Byron’s most easterly beach is also one of the most beautiful. Spending time at the beach is a must in your list of things to do in Byron Bay.
Learn to surf
Byron has some great waves for beginners. For those looking to surf while in town try The Pass, The Wreck, Belongil Beach or Wategos. There’s also a number of breaks outside of town worth checking out too.
It’s not hard to find the surf-schools in town if you are hoping to learn to surf.
Humpback whales migrate north and then south in July and September. Watch for them from the lighthouse or jump on one of the local charters for a whale watching tour.
Byron sells the sea kayaking experience with a 90% chance of seeing dolphins. Enjoy a morning or afternoon paddle depending on the weather admiring Byron’s stunning coastline from the water.
Dive or snorkel Julian Rocks
Diving or snorkelling off Byron is also worth checking out. The Julian Rocks Marine Reserve is home to diverse marine life due to the warm and cold-water currents that meet here. Julian Rocks was rated by Australian Geographic as one of the top ten snorkelling spots in the country. Divers are likely to see manta rays, turtles and a bunch of micros like nudibranchs. There’s a high likelihood of seeing sharks too.
Personally, I recall about ten grey nurse sharks the day I went diving off Julian Rocks. They are very docile and herbivores, spending most of their time laying on the ocean floor.
Things to do outside Byron Bay
Just outside of town, there are a number of things to do in Byron Bay which require a short drive. They are all high on the Byron visitor’s to-do list!
A popular place to sky dive with coastline and hinterland views as you free fall at over 200 kilometres per hour.
Hot air ballooning
The Byron Hinterland is a very special sight to be seen from the air. The Byron Bay hot air ballooning experience is best known for it’s breathtaking views of lush green hinterland and farms which meet the sparking Pacific Ocean.
As the highest peak in the area, Mount Warning makes for a popular place to catch sunrise. You will need to get up to catch the first light. Allow 1.5 hours to reach the trip, be sure to take good walking sure and know that the last stretch involves pulling yourself up by a chain.
There’s a few waterfalls in the area that are worth checking out. Minyon Falls and Killen Falls are just a short drive from town, making you feel like you are deep in nature.
Explore the heritage town of Bangalow for boutique shopping, homewares, high quality food and great coffee. The Bangalow markets are also very popular. They are the 4th Sunday or every month.
For a quaint and tiny village, Newrybar has quite a bit to offer. Home to Harvest, famous for its restaurant, bakery and deli. The village also features homewares and clothing stores worth checking out.
The Crystal Castle makes for an enjoyable day out. Take one of the property’s walks including the extensive 5 hectares of the Shambhala Gardens, admire some of the world’s largest crystals, have fun at the Lotus Cafe or have a psychic reading or aura photo taken.
Where to treat yourself in Byron Bay
In the quiet corner of the Byron Industrial Estate, find a tranquil moment of stillness at Comma. For a special pamper experience Comma offers massages, facials and aromatherapy.
Nimbus & Co
For a private infrared sauna experience, Nimbus & Co has a number
Edwards & Co
Some of the best in the biz – Edwards & Co have salons across Australia. Best known for their colour technique and producing those natural beach blondes.
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