Whether you’re pursuing relaxation or adventure, Byron Bay is the ideal place for your next holiday.
Located in the easternmost part of New South Wales, Australia, Byron Bay is a warm slice of paradise with plenty of surfing beaches and lush, tropical forests.
Walk the Cape Byron Trail to the famous lighthouse, kayak with dolphins, shop the markets and dance the night away at a music festival.
Make your Byron Bay holiday memorable with this list of recommendations.
Top things to do in Byron Bay
Visit the Cape Byron lighthouse
Located on Australia's easternmost point, Cape Byron Lighthouse has beaconed ships since 1901. The lighthouse is a 45-minute walk from the main beach and an ideal spot to watch the sunrise and sunset.
Visit the maritime museum and venture to the top of the lighthouse with a guided tour operating from 10am to 3pm. If it’s the right season, you can catch a glimpse of dolphins and whales frolicking in the ocean.
Parking is limited, so plan ahead to enjoy a sunset-view with an icecream from the cafe. It’s worth taking sunglasses and a jacket to protect you from the elements.
Have a blast in Bluesfest
Bluesfest launched in 1990 as a 3-day musical festival over the Easter weekend and is now the most popular event in Byron Bay. With humble beginnings at the Arts Factory Lodge, it’s found a permanent home at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm.
The festival has played host to many internationally renowned artists over its history. Alongside the music you can also indulge in culinary and shopping experiences within the precinct. Ticket options range from 1-5 days and camping is available on-site, but shuttle buses, taxis and ubers are accessible to and from nearby accommodation.
Get festive at Splendour in the Grass
Held in the North Byron Parklands, Splendour in the Grass is Australia's favourite winter festival held over three full days. Providing a fantastic line-up of local and international acts across multiple stages, the hardest part is sorting your timetable.
Need a break from the band-to-band moshing? Check out the Tipi Forest, Global Village, Splendour Forum, The Bohemian Lounge, Comedy Club or the ‘Little Splendour’ zone for toddlers to keep the whole family entertained. Rally your crew, book your festival and camping tickets in advance and grab a pair of gumboots for the Splendour-bender.
Enjoy the beaches
Byron’s main beach is located directly in front of the township and continues south-east toward Clarke’s Beach and the lighthouse.
Enjoy a beverage in the sun, join a dolphin sea kayaking tour or snorkel near the Tassie II, a shipwreck from World War II.
Want to escape the crowd? Visit local favourites Wategos and Tallows Beach. For shallow, blue waters and nudged forested cliffs head to Whites Beach and soak up panoramic views from Cape Byron to Lennox Head at Broken Head Beach.
Try your hand at golf
Byron Bay is a golfer’s paradise. Byron Bay Golf Club is a popular green, with spectacular lighthouse views and lush vegetation surrounding the fairway. It’s quite hilly and tight in some areas so it’s a challenging course to hone your skills.
Most Byron Bay golf courses offer high-quality food and services, along with picturesque surroundings where the occasional echidna and koala can be spotted.
Image: Byron Markets
When you’re not relaxing on the beach or sampling delicious food, Byron Bay is the place to explore local fashion and souvenirs.
Shopping in Byron Bay doesn’t disappoint, from the boutiques along Jonson, Lawson and Fletcher Streets to the quaint vintage finds of Bangalow and the Arts and Industry Estate.
The community market at Butler Street offers a variety of locally-made jewellery and homewares at affordable prices.
Explore the Byron Bay hinterland
Head off the beaten track and explore the remote seaside towns, beaches and hinterland. The neighbouring towns of Coopers, Newrybar and Nimbin are a good place to start, before checking out the secluded Whites Beach and Broken Head.
Take a long drive through the Whian-Whian State Forest from the southern end of the Tweed volcano. The eucalyptus rainforest provides an opportunity to spot native Australian flora and fauna like kangaroos and koalas.
Visit the waterfalls
Byron Bay has numerous waterfalls along its rivers and creeks, if you can find them. Killen Falls is 20 minutes from town and is a great swimming spot on the Emigrant Creek, where a 10-metre waterfall hides a secluded cave. Dalwood Falls has large natural swimming holes, calm waterfalls and rocks to sunbathe.
Located inside Nightcap National Park is Minyon Falls, offering a beautiful walking trail through the rainforest and an opportunity to sight native animals like the endangered Fleay’s barred frog. If you enjoy hiking, trek the 7.5km loop around Minyon Falls. But the terrain is steep and rough in parts, so it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Dive at the coral reefs
Home to over four hundred species of fish and a variety of tropical marine life such as manta rays and turtles, Julian Rocks Marine Reserve is the most popular diving site.
There are a plenty of diving clubs offering certified diving tours for experts and beginners, with scuba instructors and equipment to ensure a safe and immersive experience.
Catch a wave
Splendid beaches with calm, clear waters make Byron Bay the ideal surfing destination for beginners. Rent a surfboard and take up surfing lessons with a suitable instructor.
If you have more experience Belongil Beach is good for all level surfers, while the Wreck is a favourite among locals.
If you're not into surfing but still want to get in the water try your hand at kayaking.