The Best Things to Do in Byron Bay, Australia

Discover what makes Byron Bay so unique
Discover what makes Byron Bay so unique | © Michael Kuehl / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Stephanie Andrews
22 September 2020

Byron Bay is a world where surf culture, spiritual retreats and boat-to-table dining combine in an environment rich with subtropical weather, diverse wildlife and unreal coastal views. Whether you’re looking for a spiritual, cultural or sporty escape, Culture Trip’s local insiders can help – here, they share their favourite things to do in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

Cape Byron walking track

Hiking Trail
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Lighthouse in Byron Bay with Blue Skies, New South Wales, Australia
© Remi Follet / Alamy Stock Photo

Discover Bryon Bay’s striking natural wonders as you trek along the nearly 4km (2mi) Cape Byron walking track, which leads you around the area’s rich and diverse topography, from rainforests to sea cliffs, as well as the cape’s famous lighthouse. From May to October, Cape Byron is also a prime whale- and dolphin-watching spot. You’ll find a small café at the lighthouse, perfect for a quick bite and drink before tackling the rest of the track. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit for a refreshing dip at Wategos Beach. Recommended by local insider Sarah Reid

Creature Yoga

Yoga Studio
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There’s yoga, and then there’s Creature Yoga. Its big, light-filled studio in the Arts & Industry Estate welcomes you to a world where you can take part in more than 20 classes held each week in everything from yin to vinyasa. It also hosts special workshops led by some of the most respected yoga instructors in the world, as well as teacher training for the serious yogis. Drop by for a single class, buy a pass or even try one of its five live-stream classes held weekly. All levels are welcome. Recommended by local insider Sarah Reid

Scuba diving at Julian Rocks

Sports Center
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Sea Turtle Green Turtle Julian Rocks Byron Bay
© Ashley Missen / Alamy Stock Photo

Want to spend your day swimming alongside sea turtles, grey nurse sharks and eagle rays? If so, 2.5km (1.5mi) outside Cape Byron you’ll find Julian Rocks Marine Reserve (traditionally referred to as Nguthungulli), one of Australia’s top dive sites. Julian Rocks comprises two ancient rock islets surrounded by peaceful, cerulean waters home to more than 1,000 marine species. There are six diving locations, providing options for all levels, including expert divers. Recommended by local insider Sarah Reid

Style Surfing Byron Bay

School
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Are you ready to tackle Byron’s famous waves? If you need a little help from the masters first, visit Style Surfing, one of the top surf schools in Byron Bay. This local, family-owned school has been hanging ten since the ’70s. Expert surfers Gaz Morgan and V will provide the equipment and take you to some of the safest and best spots in Byron Bay to surf. All you have to do is get ready to have some fun. Recommended by local insider Amy Blyth

Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens

Architectural Landmark, Botanical Garden
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The Amethyst Gateway and Ganesh statue at Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens which are close to Byron Bay.
© Loop Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Did you know that Byron Bay is considered the spiritual and healing capital of Australia? If you want to go on a spiritual adventure, the Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens is an excellent place to do so. Wander the peaceful botanical gardens peppered with some of the world’s largest and most impressive crystals, including the smoky quartz geodes, and don’t miss the Buddha Walk and Labyrinth. The Crystal Castle also plays host to sound healing and meditation classes in the Enchanted Cave, as well as daily tarot card readings. Recommended by local insider Amy Blyth

Gaia Retreat and Spa

Spa
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It would be nearly impossible not to find your Zen on 10ha (25 acres) of Byron Bay’s lush countryside. The Gaia Retreat and Spa, co-founded by Olivia Newton-John, is an award-winning wellness escape and one of the world’s top spas. It offers holistic pampering spa treatments along with yoga, tai chi classes and psychic readings. If you’re looking to disconnect and recharge in peace, check into one of its suites for a weekend pampering session, complete with breathtaking seaside views and organic, locally sourced meals. Recommended by local insider Amy Blyth

These recommendations were updated on September 22, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.