The laid-back Australian beach town of Byron Bay has a calendar packed with world-class festivals. Whether you’re into art, independent film, spiritual healing, music or surfing, here are seven must-visit Byron Bay festivals to experience in this sun-soaked coastal hub.
Get your groove on at the Byron Bay Bluesfest
When: Over the long Easter weekend
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Where: Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm
If you love blues and roots music, head to Tyagarah farm for Byron Bay Bluesfest. Since launching in 1990, the festival has attracted some of the genre’s top talent, including James Brown, Joss Stone, Bob Dylan and Mary J. Blige. The five-day event features over 200 acts performing across multiple stages, as well as food stalls, licensed bars and beer gardens. Creators have even launched a First Nations Boomerang festival in conjunction with Bluesfest to celebrate Bundjalung culture with traditional music, dance and art.
Watch independent flicks at the Byron Bay International Film Festival
Where: Multiple Byron Bay venues
Australia’s largest regional film festival showcases the work of independent filmmakers from over 40 countries. The Byron Bay International Film Festival is known for its friendly vibe and open audiences, so settle in for 10 days of film spanning multiple genres – from documentary to the environment, human rights, music, surf and even virtual reality. Get the full industry experience with red carpets, networking at the sunset bar and opening and closing parties attended by film talent.
Nourish your body and soul at Byron Bay Starlight Festival
Where: A&I Hall, Bangalow
Starlight is a spirituality-themed festival that embodies the true essence of Byron Bay, aiming to nourish your body and soul. Experience crystal singing bowl sessions, all-day yoga classes with acclaimed instructors, psychic readings and shamanic practices. Throughout the four-day festival, listen to expert speakers and take part in workshops on health, sustainability and healing. When you’re not blissing out, browse the wellness market for natural products and gorge on gourmet vegan food.
Catch some waves at the Byron Bay Surf Festival
Where: Various Byron Bay locations
Byron’s honey-hued beaches and rolling waves have long been a magnet for the surfing community. This culture is honoured at the annual Byron Bay Surf Festival with two days of surf demos as well as live music, films and markets. Compete in the Wategos Wizards competition and watch some of the world’s best surfers show off their skills at the Freestyle and Stoke Surf Sessions. You can also take part in beach cleanups and relax with a beer at the sunset cinema or Surf Legends Lounge.
Camp out at the Falls Music and Art Festival
When: December to January
Where: North Byron Parklands
The idea for this famous music and art festival was born around a campfire in Falls Farm, Lorne, back in 1993. Since then, the Falls Festival has morphed into one of Australia’s biggest festivals with multi-day camping events taking place in Tasmania, Byron Bay and Lorne around New Year’s Eve. Camp out at the North Byron Parklands and catch as many of the 60-plus acts as you can, including international music stars, undiscovered local bands, comedians and theatre shows.
Get creative at the Byron Writers Festival
Where: Elements of Byron
Are you a budding writer? Then don’t miss this three-day festival that brings together hundreds of writers at a beachside location to salute the power of storytelling. The Byron Writers Festival has been running for over 20 years and offers a timetable filled with writing workshops and stellar literary speakers. Talks are held over six stages covering topics such as memoir, fiction, music, health and politics.
Experience a winter music extravaganza at Splendour in the Grass
Where: North Byron Parklands
Splendour in the Grass is one of Australia’s biggest winter music festivals. Come for three days of music mayhem at Byron Bay Parklands, where over 100 acts perform across three main stages and numerous smaller pitches. This NME Award-nominated festival caters to all music fans, from rap to psychedelic and mainstream pop. Join 30,000 revellers to camp, take part in dance and circus workshops, peruse the craft markets and enjoy art installations and food trucks.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.