Byron Bay is a town that manages to combine the carefree finesse of the 60’s with modern day cool. You can join the crew of board toting wave riders at local legendary surf breaks or disappear into the hinterland on an afternoon road trip in search of old wares and beautiful food. Hike up to the Byron Bay Lighthouse and soak up the last of the rays setting over Mount Warning.
BYRON BAY'S BEACHES
Main Beach is the perfect spot for swimming and lounging in the sun. Either side of Main Beach you can walk along to Clarkes and Belongil Beaches. You can set up camp underneath the palm fringes or take a beach umbrella and spend the day.
Whether you’re a soul surfer or surf school novice The Pass is Byron’s most famous. A combination of white sand and glassy turquoise water its not surprising that perfect right handers peeling down the beach draw a crowd.
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches, Wategos is surrounded by lush rainforest, it’s Byron Bay’s most exclusive beachfront suburb. It’s popular with the laid back long boarders who flock to this break and is a highlight on the scenic walk to the Byron Bay Lighthouse.
Byron Bay Lighthouse
Embark on a hike that winds through rainforest, beach and cliff tops, arriving at the Cape Byron Lighthouse summit, the most easterly point of Australia. Take in the view once you reach the headland, spot dolphins and turtles. Cape Byron is listed as one of the best vantage points to view the Humpback whales in the winter season.
A leisurely stroll along Main beach will take you to the end of the bay known as The Pass. Best at low tide, you can climb the stairway to Fisherman’s Lookout for a panoramic ocean view, watch the surfers below and capture some amazing photos.
Leave yourself an hour before sunset to take a walk along Belongil beach, to the left of Main Beach. On the way back, stop off at The Wreck and take in the drumming circle (Friday – Sunday, sometimes weekdays) where local troupadours and rhythm makers come to drum, dance and shake off the day.
Byron Bay is buzzing with restaurants and cafés, for a small town we are blessed with incredible culinary delights. For the most amazing healthy feasts, We Are Combi (pictured) and Bay Leaf Cafe are a must for breakfast or lunch. The Balcony for happy hour oysters and cocktails or Chihauau Tacquaria for amazing tacos.
Skip the tourist traps and discover the hidden spots where the locals like to hang out. Sometimes you just want quick, casual and authentic eats, so if it’s a burger you’re after head up to The Top Shop. For a feast of Mexican and a happy hour cocktail it’s Miss Margarita’s or St Elmos (pictured) for a night of tapas and good wine.
Out and about
Head off on one of The Atlantic bikes on a culinary adventure and see a little more of Byron. The Farm on the outskirts of Byron combines a working farm with a produce store, flower shop, café, bakery and restaurant. Folk Cafe, 100 Mile Table and The Roadhouse are all favourites with the locals.
MARKETS & STORES
Don’t miss the vibrant scene every Thursday morning from 7 – 11am where you can stock up on organic fruit, veggies and local products including honey, macadamia nuts and sourdough loaves. It’s worth going for a brown paper bag breakfast, fresh muffins, local coffee, listen to some music and get caught up in the local vibe.
Byron Bay Community Markets
From local produce to crystal jewellery, the Byron Bay Community Markets are a colourful tapestry of all that’s good about the Bay. Over 100 stallholders sell arts and crafts, there are musicians to entertain and delicious food stalls to tempt you. The markets are held on the 1st Sunday of every month from about 8am – 3pm.
Ahoy Trader, Island Luxe Tribe, Liberty Co, 11.11, Hope & May, Spell & the Gypsy Collective and Nikau to name a few, are all unique to Byron and worth a shopping fix. We also recommend exploring the town to discover an eclectic mix of fashion, crystals and homewares and the not to be missed Mary Ryans book store.
Harvest is forever our go-to suggestion for a scenic drive followed by a long lunch, then pop next door and peruse local gourmet goods at their Bakery and Deli. Next door you’ll find Driftlab and across the road Newrybar Merchants, a creative collective of local artisans in a charming 1890s dwelling turned concept store.
The main street of Bangalow is lined with cafes and eclectic stores, including our favourites – Our Corner Store and Island Luxe. Behind the Bangalow Pub in the side street you’ll find Bisque, Anna Karina Ceramics Studio and Woods Cafe for a healthy lunch along the way.
This little coastal town north of Byron Bay is a 15-minute drive from The Atlantic and is the home of the infamous “must book ahead” Fleet Restaurant. The Picture House, Tableview and Yami cafes are also worth the drive. Brunswick is set between the ocean and a crystal clear river, so it’s also an ideal day trip for some paddle boarding or kayaking.
The pilgrimage to the country town of Federal (around 40 minutes drive from Byron Bay) for lunch at Doma is well worth it for rustic, home-style Japanese dishes in a relaxed outdoor setting. Be sure to order the tempura and cone-shaped hand rolls made with organic brown rice.
Australia’s “Biggest Little Town”, Mullumbimby is a 20-minute drive north of Byron Bay. Meander around the vintage, craft and health food stores before Japanese at Izakaya Yu or wood fire pizza at Milk & Honey – restaurants Byron locals make the drive for in what is becoming known as a hub for food-lovers.