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Best Things To Do in Byron Bay: 10 Places You Can’t Miss

Byron Bay is known for its beautiful beaches, laid back vibe, sun, and surfing spots, but these aren’t the only attractions you can find here.

Apart from the beaches, the markets, farms, hip cafès, and incredible opportunities for day trips are what make Byron Bay special and the reasons to include it in your East Coast road trip itinerary. Check out the 10 best things to do in Byron Bay.

Have Some Water Fun

Byron Bay is one of the spots in Australia where the waves never disappoint, and surfers will always get the chance to surf on massive waves. However, if it is your first time with the surfing, then you must take lessons with a proper instructor or you really risk getting hurt because of how powerful the waves can be here.

Another fun activity anyone can do is paddle boarding. Imagine You can also go kayaking with your family or friends,  or take a boat trip boating to see the dolphins if you feel like being lazy.

Visit Byron Bay’s Most Instagrammable Cafès

One of the “coolest” destinations in Australia, Byron Bay has seen tons of trendy and hipster cafès and restaurants popping up in the last few years. Have a fresh breakfast at Bayleaf (go early because it can get packed!), some great coffee or a burger at Top Shop, or organic, vegetarian dishes at Folk.

Snorkel at Julian Rocks Marine Reserve

If you love marine life, then get your chance to interact with around 500 species of fishes, turtles, and the Grey Nurse shark at Julian Rocks Marine Reserve. The marine reserve is a very special place, and one of the few where you can swim with both species from the Great Barrier Reef and the Southern Ocean. Julian Rocks is famous among divers, but snorkeling here will also be an amazing experience if you don’t want to dive.

Relax at the Beach

There are nine beaches in the Byron Bay, and you can either choose one to get lazy while sunbathing or you can explore all of them.

Head to Main Beach, the most popular and close to the city center, which is the typical postcard-perfect Australian beach with white sand and turquoise water. Surfers will want to head to The Pass, and those who prefer a quieter and stunning beach should go to Wategos Beach.

Go Glamping in Byron Bay

You might already know that I love love glamping and staying in special places such as luxury treehouse cabins. So imagine how excited I was when I discovered that glamping in Byron Bay is a thing!

The Village Glamping lets you sleep in a real bed while staying in a luxurious tipi tent. Silk Pavilions offers Thai-style eco villas and tented safari-style glamping suites, it’s located in the rainforest near Byron Bay and provides the perfect glamping experience if all you want is silence and relaxation.

There are also a variety of companies that offer the complete setup for your glamping experience, and let you choose where you set up camp, such as Breezy Belle Adventures and Pitch Luxury Camping.

Go Whale Watching in Byron Bay

From the 60’s the Byron Bay has been the centre of attention due to the presence of whales. Although in the early days this place served as a slaughterhouse for the whales, things have changed now and people travel here to witness the whales swimming in the waters of Byron Bay along with dolphins during the migration season.

If you want to watch the beautiful and gigantic whales, you have to be here at the right time between June and November. At this time every year, the humpback whales travel near the shores of Byron Bay towards their destination to the Great Barrier Reef for the breeding season, and then back to Antarctica.

Make sure you book a tour with an eco-sustainable tour operator that will make sure whales are not disturbed. You can even get closer to these wonderful animals by booking a kayak tour instead of a cruise.

Visits the local markets of Byron Bay

The local markets of Byron Bay always attract the tourist to buy the local produce and artisan works. There is a different market on the different days at various locations in Byron Bay, and you would definitely love to explore all of them.

Don’t miss the Byron Artisan Market, held every Saturday evening between October and April, where you can find all kinds of crafts and accessories, most of them coming from local artists that really care about sustainability and ethical sourcing.

The Byron Bay Community Market is held every Sunday evening and offers food and all sorts of things for sale, and it’s a great way to spend a Sunday night.

Hike to the Byron Bay Lighthouse

Image by Bernard Spragg via Flickr

When in Byron Bay, you can’t miss a visit to the lighthouse. Byron Bay Lighthouse at Cape Byron is situated in the easternmost part of Australia and is considered beautiful lighthouses in the country.

You can drive to the top, but I recommend you walk through the trail that start from Clarkes beach for mesmerizing views of the ocean and the rainforest. The loop is 3.7km long, so plan to walk for a couple of hours if you want to stop for pictures (and you will!).

Experience Byron Bay’s nightlife

From the 1960s to date, the town of Byron Bay has developed itself from a hippie town to a modern, trendy town. If you want to enjoy the nightlife while your stay in Byron Bay, there are plenty of nightclubs and pubs to make your night fun-filled.

Choose La La Land if a trendy place that is both elegant and exotic (the interiors are a mix of Asian, African, and Latinos influences) is your thing. Woody’s Surf Shack is an institution; the atmosphere is casual with vintage surfboards and graffiti decorating the place, and the party really goes down here till the early morning.

Reconnect with nature at The Farm

For a day out in the nature, visit The Farm, an 80-acre large working farm which offers all sorts of activities from walking farm tours, adult farming workshops, horseback riding, and all sort of activities for kids. You should also stop for lunch at the Three Blue Ducks restaurant that only uses organic, sustainably farmed and local ingredients. You can even ask for a hamper and have your own gourmet picnic on the grounds of the farm.

Planning Your Trip to Byron Bay

In Byron Bay you can find accommodation options for all budget, but also some incredibly beautiful hotels. If you have some money to splurge, stay at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa or the boutique hotel The Atlantic. Check out Kayak to find the perfect hotel in Byron Bay for your stay.

If you are planning a road trip around Australia’s East Coast, renting a car will be the easiest way to get around, but you can also decide to be more eco-friendly and travel by bus.

For getting to Byron Bay, you can fly to either Gold Coast Airport, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport or Brisbane Airport, located two hours away. Shuttle services available from Brisbane airport make the transfer very easy.

The easternmost point of the mainland Australia, Byron Bay will conquer you with its lively atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and rugged landscapes. Have you bought your ticket yet?

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.