Cape Byron Lighthouse is perhaps Byron Bay’s most popular tourist attraction. Established at the beginning of the 19th-century, the lighthouse is Australia’s most easterly point. Keepers operated the lighthouse until 1989, but now its automated light shines bright. Be one of the first in Australia to see the sunrise from Cape Byron Lighthouse, then do the coastal walk. The Lighthouse Trail stretches from the lighthouse to Byron Bay’s Main Beach. Don’t forget to detour to Fisherman’s Lookout to see the surfers at The Pass too.
Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia, +61 2 6620 9300
Spend some time being pampered in Byron Bay. Elements of Byron is one of the town’s most luxurious accommodation options. The onsite Osprey Spa has four elements: rituals (treatment packages), face treatments, body treatments, and yoga and meditation classes. The Byron at Byron is another exclusive resort and spa that offers massages, facials, and men-specific treatments. Nestled in the Hinterland is also Gaia Retreat and Spa, which has a day spa onsite.
To complement Byron Bay’s relaxed vibe, there are many independent cafes and restaurants in town serving a range of organic meals and drinks. Combi is known primarily as an Instagrammer’s dream, but its menu is just as good. It includes organic coffee and tea, a selection of raw cakes, and super bowls too pretty to eat. Folk is an organic, ethical and plant-based cafe that’s been featured in Vogue, Gourmet Traveler, and Conde Nast Traveler too.
The Farm Byron Bay is an “80-acre working farm [that] is home to a community of growers, producers, eateries, and educators who share a passion for growing food using traditional, sustainable methods that are 100% spray and chemical free.” It’s a great place for everyone, including families, as children can check out the animals and have an adventure on the playground. Adults will love visiting the Three Blue Ducks restaurant and produce store, which focuses on serving sustainable food that’s primarily produced on the farm.
Byron Bay is on the coast, so it would be cruel not to partake in a watersport or two. Firstly, there are many surf schools for beginners. But for everyone else, check out Belongil Beach, the right-hand break at The Pass, or local favourite—The Wreck. Popular water-based tours to do in Byron Bay include sea kayaking with dolphins, and whale-watching. Finally, divers will want to visit Julian Rocks, which is known worldwide for its incredible marine life. Grey nurse sharks frequent the dive site during the winter months too.
Byron Bay is home to many fantastic boutiques and stores. Interior design lovers will want to visit Island Luxe, which features a lot of imported luxurious goods. Lonely Planet calls Spell & The Gypsy Collective’s 60s-inspired outfits the “unofficial uniform of Byron.” The brand’s boho designs have a lot of fans—864,000 of them in fact on Instagram. Another great place to do some shopping is at the area’s many markets. The Channon Market, which is now known as one of Australia’s most vibrant markets, occurs every second Sunday of the month.
Spell Boutique, 15 Browning Street, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia, +61 455 028 150
Although it’s not a capital city, Byron Bay actually hosts some of Australia’s best annual festivals. The most popular is undeniably Splendour in the Grass, which is a three-day musical extravaganza featuring some of the world’s best artists. The 2017 lineup included The XX, Queens of the Stone Age, Banks, Peking Duk, Haim, and many more. Byron Bay Bluesfest is held every Easter long weekend. The 2018 festival features Lionel Richie, Kesha, and Seal among others. Finally, the annual Byron Writers Festival “is Australia’s largest and leading regional celebration of storytelling, literature, and ideas.”
The Byron Bay Hinterland is a lush and mountainous escape from the beach. There’s a lot of produce thriving in the region’s mild climate, including macadamia trees, coffee plants, and many fruit trees. Some of the Hinterland’s popular spots include Harvest restaurant, deli and bakery in Newrybar. All produce is sourced locally, or from the owners’ personal garden. Bangalow’s main shopping street features a mixture of stores selling fashion, homewares, arts, and antiques. Alstonville is also the town to visit to taste macadamia nuts straight from the source.
Byron Bay may be small, but it’s home to a lot of beaches. Main Beach is coincidentally the main, and most popular, beach in town, particularly at sunset. Clarkes Beach is a great spot to swim with children, and it’s only a 10-minute walk from the centre of town. Wategos and Little Wategos Beach are known for being sheltered and for their crystal clear water. Other options include Belongil Beach and Tallow Beach, which is good for beach fishing.
There are two fantastic breweries in Byron Bay, which are great places to relax after a day in the sun and surf. The aptly named Byron Bay Brewery has a large selection of beers, as well as a restaurant, beer garden, and live entertainment. Its beer selection includes an IPA, dark lager, and red lager. Meanwhile, its competition is Stone & Wood, which is proud to be a 100% independent regional brewer. Stone & Wood has a solid reputation in Australia, so stop by for a beer and a tour when in Byron Bay.