There's not enough time in the world to fully take in the wonders of Byron Bay. This is arguably one of our favorite places on the East Coast of Australia and the day we had to eventually leave the Aussie Beach Town we were truly heartbroken.
Byron Bay is a beautiful chilled out beach town that offers some of the best surfing spots, restaurants and is just a short drive away from rainforests full of lush waterfalls and towns. The best part about Byron is that you can spend your time here exploring a new area every day or simply bum out on the beach for hours, but whichever route you decide to take you'll find your time in Byron Bay fulfilling. We spent five days ourselves in Byron and enjoyed both lifestyles.
We didn't plan far in advance, but rather waited to see where each day took us. After a week of road-trips and spending our nights in a tent, Byron Bay was a relaxation retreat for us. Below is a collection of places and activities in Byron Bay that you are bound to love.
If you are living the backpacker life and hopping from one hostel to another, you must stay in Aquarius Backpacker Resort in Byron.
This place is amazing and is great for meeting fellow likeminded travelers who are looking to explore the beach and dive into Byron's social scene. They provide guests with free dinner every evening and upon arrival you'll receive two drink tokens to use at their bar. Their happy hour prices are incredibly low and every night they have a themed party. Fair warning, this place is not for the light hearted. Every night they offer a free activity for our guests including: trivia, live DJ’s, karaoke and jelly wrestling....yes, jelly wrestling.
If you need a break and want to spoil yourself, reserve a bed at the stunning Elements of Byron. The hotel feature a health spa, lagoon swimming pool and a private beach lounge!
For more of an upscale location, The Atlantic is a boutique residence whose location is unbeatable. Tucker privately behind sky high palms, the Atlantic provides open fire pits on grassy lawns, pools and local cafes.
BYRON BAY LIGHTHOUSE
Walking to the infamous Byron Bay Lighthouse should be the first thing you do. Not only can you take in the amazing views from Australia's most easterly point, but it gives you a great lay out of the area. The beach to the left is Main Beach and the beach to the right is Tallows Beach, but we will talk more about these beaches later on.
The walking trail takes about an hour and a half and begins at Main Beach. We timed out our time so that we would make it up there by sunset. Some people make it a point to experience the view at sunrise, but we are not early risers nor do we particularly enjoy waking up earlier than we have to.
On the way up you can see the sky changing colors and beautiful bright shades of pink and blue reflect off of the shoreline. We were blessed to see a wild koala sleeping in a tree...this was our first sighting of a koala so we spent a good amount of time of our trek just staring at this cute bear.
We had time to spare before sunset so we took a slight detour on the way up to Fisherman's Lookout. Honestly, we much preferred the views from here than we did the lighthouse. It takes about twenty minutes and the stairs you have to climb to get there are brutal, but the view is well worth it and you can even see local fisherman trying to catch all sorts of fish and crabs or afternoon surfers hitting the waves at The Pass. If you're lucky, you can even spot some whales breaching.
Once you've reached the top, find a nice spot on the green to enjoy the sunset at its finest. There will most likely be a good amount of people there with the same idea that you had so bring a blanket, make some friends, open a bottle of wine and have a picnic.
As the eastern most point, the Lighthouse is technically the first point to see the sun and greeting the pastel shades lighting up during your stay is definitely worth while.
Byron Bay is surrounded by beaches known for their hipster surfer vibes and diverse wildlife. The beaches offer a variety of activities including surfing lessons, long coastal walks, whale watching, kayaking with dolphins, snorkeling with sea turtles, and fishing! You may think that visiting all of Byron's beaches can be quite redundant but each one is special in its own way and can offer a unique experience. Listed below are Byron's top 10 beaches!
The most iconic stretch of sand belongs to Main Beach which is an attraction within itself. It's conveniently located adjacent to Byron Bay's town center and was across the street from where we were staying. It's a long wide curve of soft white sand with a mountain backdrop. This beach attracts plenty of locals and tourists alike, however, because the beach is so vast, there is plenty of space for you to lay out and enjoy the rays while still thinking you are on a private beach.
2. The Pass
If you walk down Main Beach to the right, you'll arrive at The Path. This renowned point break has some of the most amazing views perfect for picnics to watch surfers and dolphins riding the waves. If you're lucky you can often see whales breaching as they pass by close to shore undertaking their annual migration to their northern breeding grounds on the Great Barrier Reed in Queensland and Antarctica.
3. The Wreck
Named after the infamous 1921 shipwreck of the SS Wollongbar, the Wreck is located just north of the seawall and is considered to be a popular surf spot for less experienced surfers. Depending on the tide, you can oftentimes see the ship protruding above the water line!
4. Tallows Beach
This was our favorite beach in Byron. Incredibly secluded, you can enjoy splashing in the shallow waters or surf with the dolphins. There are rocks to the left that you can climb (if you're flip flops provide enough support) that lead to a small path to a great fishing spot as well as a lookout to spot humpback whales and dolphins!
Tallow Beach is situated to the south of Cape Byron and directly behind the Arakwal National Park making it ideal for long beach walks, surfing, whale watching and fishing. The stretch of beach is so long and secluded that you'll most likely have the beach to yourself out there.
The Arakwal National Park is co managed by the Arakwal Aboriginal community to preserve its importance to the indigenous community, native wildlife and migratory birds. The National park comprises the beach, sand dunes, heath and forest backdrop and is well worth exploring.
Tip: There is a parking lot at this beach but it will cost you and there are also no surf companies posted here. If you've come to this beach to surf, we suggest taking a car between a few people so that you can split up the parking fee and bring along your surfboard. If you're not surfing...just walk to this beach. The walk is quite nice and is relatively easy from the town center.
Speaking of secluded beaches, Belongii is perfect for a relaxed day of soft sand and calm waters.
This beach is one of the most beautiful in all of Byron. A Cove of white sand and turquoise waters with a backdrop of greenery within the trees...you can't ask for better scenery! Be sure to get a head start and beat the morning traffic to this popular spot. If you want to exercise your legs a bit, the cliff walk to the lighthouse is easily accessible from this beaches. Pack some gourmet goodies and a blanket and spend a few hours on the grass watching the waves crash against the shore. There are also BBQ facilities here and often a coffee van on the weekend!
A great spot for families and nature buffs, this beach has a campground situated right on the waterfront. The cluster of rocks by the pass makes it a great spot for snorkeling.
8. Cosy Corner
Tucking in just under the souther side of Cape Byron, Cosy Corner provides shelter against northern winds letting tourists and locals come in all kinds of weather conditions!
9. Little Wategos
This beach has a beautiful busy backdrop, large pebbles and gorgeous soft sand as you make your way down the coastal walkway to this secluded quiet spot.
10. Whites Beach
Located about 10 kilometres south, Whites Beach remains the most pristine on the north coast to take a dip. Depending on which side you come down from, you may have to scramble down a sharp cliff to get to your destination, Whites Beach has shallow
Blue green waters surrounded by forested cliffs and can be completely deserted.
Mount Warning is the highest point in the eastern most region. If you time your hike well you can see where the sun first hits mainland Australia. Considered one of the 10 best mountain climbs in Australia, the experience is unforgettable with the summit offering 360 panoramic views. Here, the mountain’s volcanic origins are apparent with Mount Warning the central vent of an ancient volcano. You're able to camp on the mountain at night so if waking up early before sunrise to do a hike on top of the mountain isn't really your thing, you can always go up the night before and open your tent to the beautiful sunrise.
In a secluded location found about 20 minutes from the town, this oasis is far from being a tourism trap. The falls are one of the best places you can ask for if you're looking for a place to relax, swim and explore. If you're feeling adventurous you can explore the cave underneath the waterfall.
3. Minyon Falls
Minyon Falls is about 20 minutes inland and is an incredible 100 metre high plunge waterfall that sits deep within the Nightcap Range national park. There is a platform at the top that juts over the cliff overlooking the ancient rainforest. If you're into hiking, make the 4 kilometer trek to the base of the falls to see a hidden pool that you can swim in!
4. Whian Whian Falls
Traveling on from Minyon down the Whian Whian road, you'll find the three meter high wall of rocks that cascades down into a watering hole. The falls are hidden within a dense rainforest so it can be tricky to find but well worth the search!
5. Julian Rocks
Julian Rocks, 2.5 km from Byron Bay's shore consists of remains of a volcanic eruption more than 20 million years ago. It is an extension of Cape Byron separated by water and forms a most unique marine reserve, providing shelter and food for more than 500 tropical and temperate fish species alone. This place is awesome for snorkeling and diving to see three species of sea turtles, thousands of fish, and sharks!
Tucked away in the hills west of Byron Bay, Nimbin is a hippie destination set in a lush setting of farmland and forest. Nimbin is usually a hit or miss for people, but if you have the time..a day trip to Nimbin too see the intriguing and quirky Town is well worth it. Nimbin has an amazing array of cafes and shops that you can peruse through while getting In touch with your hippie side.
Byron Bay is an amazing place and the moment you arrive in this beautiful beach town you'll instantly feel relaxed. Their chilled out surfer culture appeals to all age groups and is representative of the never ending summer that every vacationer dreams about.