Planning a trip through Australia and what to do in Byron Bay? Look no further. I’ve put together this awesome travel guide to provide all the inspiration and information you’ll need.
Byron Bay is one of the most unusual places anywhere I have been in Australia. It’s a place you wouldn’t think would be so popular, but I can tell you why people flock to this small coastal town daily. Long before Byron Bay was put on the world map by Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon, it kicked it with the cool kids. So sorry, guys, you didn’t make the town what it is today.
Byron Bay is where people can express their feelings, be free, and do whatever they want, so long as it doesn’t involve not paying the parking meter. This town has a whole lot of “I can dress, express and feel however I want,” and it’s kind of epic to see.
Okay, other than wanting to be free and expressing your feelings, I’m sure you’re thinking, “What is there to do in Byron Bay?”. This town has plenty to do, from many beaches, local produce, surfing, coffee, and sunrises, to just relaxing at Wategos Beach. And damn, it’s good to arrive in Byron Bay, wax the board, and head for the sea to wash away all of the worries.
Also, be sure to check out my guide on the 19 Best Airbnbs in Byron Bay to find the perfect accommodation while you’re visiting Byron Bay.
THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BYRON BAY – BYRON BAY ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
Without further ado, let’s look at some fun things to do in Byron Bay, Australia.
1) ENJOY LOCAL PRODUCE
Byron Bay has seemingly become New South Wales’ prime food bowl for everything organic, vegan, vegetarian, and everything. This is a very health-conscious place, so expect to find produce grown locally on the menus of most cafes and restaurants, and that is the same as seafood, poultry, and livestock, all being grown locally.
A success story comes in the form of The Farm, a restaurant that operates seven days a week where everything is grown on-site, including the beer, which is brewed on-site using local ingredients.
2) VISIT THE EAST COAST AND SEE AUSTRALIA’S MOST EASTERLY POINT
Byron Bay is home to the easternmost point in Australia and is one of the first places in the country where you’ll see the sun. And other than saying that “I’ve been to Australia’s most easterly point,” which is classic, that’s not all that sits upon this coastal town.
At the easternmost point, Cape Byron is considered one of the best things to see in Byron Bay.
The location is just a few miles from Byron Bay Beach, and you can stand on it too. While here, take the opportunity to gaze upon the South Pacific Ocean and embrace being out in nature. After all, that’s why you chose to visit Byron Bay, right?
You’ll have to get to Byron Cape Lighthouse. Once you’ve reached the iconic spot, head to its eastern side to look for the map. Follow it to the point 656 feet from your location, and walk on the winding path. The pathway here offers provides alternating scenery on either side. One side features the breathtaking ocean, and the other is teeming with vegetation.
You’ll notice shortly ahead of you that there’s a patch of small green to take a breather — this is when you’ve arrived at the point. Once here, take the time to snap some Instagram-worthy pictures or just gaze upon the majestic waters ahead.
If you’re seeking daring things to do, Byron has got you covered. Continue down the path for incredible oceanfront views.
3) VIST THE FAMOUS CAPE BYRON LIGHTHOUSE
I don’t know how often I have visited the Cape Byron Lighthouse, but I always see it from a different angle, making it quite refreshing. And this is despite the busloads of people you’ll see.
Cape Byron Lighthouse is the first thing you will see when driving into Byron Bay, as it can be seen from a long way away, as that is the intention of a lighthouse.
At certain times throughout the day, ranger-guided tours operate within the lighthouse. Otherwise, a small house at the bottom of the stairs holds a stack of information on the lighthouse, marine animals, and the history of Byron Bay.
There’s also the Byron Bay Lighthouse walk (or the Cape Byron Lighthouse walk), a 1.9-mile out-and-back trail with various spots and lookouts.
4) GET A SURFING LESSON
With amazing beaches, Byron Bay is becoming increasingly popular with tourists seeking the thrill of catching a wave. And don’t get me wrong, but being able to say Byron Bay was the first place I caught a wave is pretty epic.
There are countless places to hire boards if you want to go out alone. However, if you want professional advice, I’d recommend booking a lesson. Below I’ve included a few top-rated classes that would be perfect for new surfers.
Byron Bay and Lennox Heads are great places to learn to surf due to a generally small swell at the main beaches with very few rocks and other hazards. If you are a keen and experienced surfer, Byron Bay has a few great spots at Broken Head, only a 10-minute drive south of Byron Bay.
- Byron Bay: 2-Hour Small Group Surf Lesson – “You’ll have the surfing experience of a lifetime in the #1 place in Australia to learn to surf! Meet the Byron Bay Surf School staff at a Carpark in Town in Byron Bay, where the waves are best for lessons. We will fit you out with a wetsuit and a suitable-sized surfboard. We are one of the only surf schools licensed to teach surf lessons in Byron Bay.
- Price: $49.63 (Read Reviews & Check Availability)
5) GO WHALE WATCHING IN BYRON BAY
One of the best things to do in Byron Bay is whale watching. The New South Wales town is one of the prime spots to spot Humpback Whales as they migrate north during winter. Whales can get very close to the cliffs of the Cape Byron Lighthouse, which is incredible to see.
If you don’t get the chance to see whales in the coastal town during the winter months, don’t worry, as pods of bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, and schools of fish are commonly seen frolicking in the beautiful seas below.
- Byron Bay Premium Whale Watch Cruise with Marine Biologist: “Encounter astonishing humpback whales in their natural habitat as they migrate past the breathtaking coastline between Ballina and Byron Bay. Departing from Ballina’s Richmond River, visit the pristine waters of Cape Byron Marine Park.”
- Price: $84.35 (Read Reviews & Check Availability)
6) GO KAYAKING IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN
Kayaking around the waters of Byron Bay is an enriching experience and one of the most spectacular places to do so, especially during a warm summer sunrise. As you might have already gathered, water is essential to Byron Bay’s lifestyle.
Guided tours prime themselves on guaranteeing that you see a whale, dolphin, or sea turtle during your kayak; otherwise, it’s a money-back thing. Not far offshore of Clarkes Beach is Julian Rocks, a marine reserve where Grey Nurse sharks go to breed. Julian Rocks is one of the best scuba diving spots in Byron Bay, with an abundant array of sea life, including the cuddly Wobbegong shark and moray eels.
Most kayak tour operators are lined up along the grassy section of Clarkes Beach 7 days a week, so drop in to see which tour is best for you. Just bear in mind that tours can be canceled due to big waves and wind.
- Kayak with Dolphins Tour: BESTSELLER “Enjoy paddling your sea kayak through the surf and later ride some of Australia’s most famous waves in Byron Bay. Get up close and personal with friendly bottlenose dolphins and discover how inquisitive they can be. Spot sea turtles and marvel at the size of the majestic humpback whales as they migrate through beautiful Byron Bay. There is a 90% chance of seeing dolphins on this tour and if you don’t see them you can come again another time for free.”
- Price: $58.20 (Read Reviews & Check Availability)
7) WATEGOS BEACH
Wategos Beach is one of the best Byron Bay places to visit and the most loved beach; the place where locals love to hang out. This beach is lined with lush pandanus palms, while craggy rocks are scattered throughout the rolling turquoise waters.
Wategos Beach is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but it has a thing with Instagram and Facebook, so when someone is visiting this beach, it is a must-do in Byron Bay to check in your location, which I find quite funny. Plus, this unique spot has a reputation for being the place where all of the celebrities hang out.
Other than that, the beach holds exceptional views of Mount Warning in the distance, which can be seen from the beach or by taking a flight of stairs to Fisherman’s Lookout, which is superbly popular.
8) VISIT CLARKES BEACH
Just a minute away from Main Beach is Clarkes Beach. This is the town’s longest beach and the most popular, as it’s one of the best places to visit in Byron Bay. With the occasional good surf break to prime stretches of beach, the beach is also fit for a game of football or cricket.
This chill-out place holds yoga sessions on a daily basis as the sunrises over the ocean. Plus, the sunsets here are popular with tourists, with them gazing towards Mount Warning as a golden glow expands over these southern skies.
On regular occasions, busking is a big thing at Apex Park adjacent to Clarkes Beach. Music in Byron Bay is very chilled and the perfect way to end the day, listening to tunes and waves crashing onto the beach below.
9) VISIT NIGHTCAP NATIONAL PARK
An hour or so drive from Byron Bay is Nightcap National Park, a stunning national park packed with lush rainforest. The almost 20,000-acre park is a hiker’s paradise, with plenty of enchanting rainforest trails to try out. Plus, the views from certain spots aren’t too shabby, either. One of these spots is Minyon Falls Lookout.
Getting to Minyon Falls Lookout is quick and easy, requiring you to hike 20 minutes on a mostly flat trail. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a beginner, this journey is easy for people of all fitness levels. Now, after 20 minutes or so, you’ll find the lookout at the top of a cliff. It is here where you’ll get to take in panoramic views of Minyon Falls and the beautiful rainforest. Plus, when the skies are clear, you’ll get to see the vast Pacific Ocean in the distance.
That said, you don’t have to trek here for 20 minutes only to return to where you came from. This spot is a great place to relax and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Minyon Falls Lookout not only gifts you impressive views, but it’s also perfect if you’re interested in rainforest ecology.
Here are some fun things to do in the area:
- Visit the Nightcap National Park Discovery Center: Speaking of ecology, the Discovery Center is an excellent spot for those looking to glean knowledge about the park’s history and wildlife.
- Go camping: Whether you’re on a romantic trip, or are solo traveling, consider camping in the park and enjoying a night under the stars.
- Go birdwatching: With over 300 bird species in the park, Nightcap National Park is a lovely place to see the birds. Some of these include regent bowerbirds, red goshawks, and rufous scrub birds.
10) LENNOX HEADS
Byron Bay can be overwhelming at times, but Lennox Heads is the complete opposite, a true hidden gem often missed by the hordes of tourists flocking to Byron Bay’s shores.
Lennox Heads is a short 15 to 20-minute drive south of Byron Bay, where beaches are often left soulless, and cafes are filled with aromatic hues of coffee. If you thought Byron Bay was chilled out, get to Lennox Heads.
Lake Ainsworth is a popular family destination with an array of outdoor recreational activities such as SUP boarding, kayaking, and swimming available. At the other end of town is Pat Morton Lookout, an exceptional place that oversees Lennox Heads, Byron Bay to the north, and Skenners Head to the south.
11) GO SKY DIVING
There are so many places to skydive in Australia, but Byron Bay is considered one of the best. What’s not good about plummeting from 15,000 feet over the stunning coastline of Byron Bay?
Skydiving hasn’t ever really come up on my radar, but if you get the chance to do it on Australia’s east coast, you won’t regret it. Sky diving at Byron Bay gives an epic bird’s eye view of golden beaches, lush farmlands, and rolling waves, all while falling at terminal velocity.
Check out Skydive Byron Bay for more details on pricing, information, and more. “Skydive at Byron Bay’s closest beach skydive for the ultimate adrenaline rush. You’ll drop from an extreme altitude of up to 15,000 feet and freefall at over 124 miles/hour for up to an insane 60 seconds, then float under canopy over Byron Bay for 5-7 minutes soaking up the spectacular beach and hinterland views, all the way to Brisbane, the Gold Coast and beyond.
Skydiving Byron Bay is the skydiving experience of a lifetime – so escape the ordinary and live life on a high with our friendly Byron Bay skydiving crew. Once you’re back on solid ground, relive the thrill over and over again with our awesome video and photo packages!”
12) WATCH A CLASSIC BYRON BAY SUNSET
I am a sucker for a good Australian sunset, and Byron Bay is a top place for viewing such beauty. The most popular spot for sunset is Clarkes Beach, down near the caravan park, as a stretch of beach dwindles off into a late afternoon sea spray haze. Mount Warning in the distance at this time of day is amazing.
The other top spot for sunset is no other place than Cape Byron Lighthouse, which overlooks Wategos Beach, Clarkes Beach, and Byron Bay. Sunsets from here are unlike any other in Byron Bay, but make sure to get a spot early, as the viewing area is known to get very busy.
One of the most photographed spots is at the top of Cape Byron Lighthouse, where views of Tallow Beach extend right down to Suffolk Park and Broken Head; sunsets from here are breathtaking, so have that camera of yours ready.
13) ENJOY AN EARLY MORNING COASTAL WALK
Byron Bay’s number one thing to do is the coastal walk from Byron Bay to Cape Byron Lighthouse is an easy 2.5-mile loop with a few steep sections towards the lighthouse.
Why this walk is so amazing comes down to a few things; firstly, the views are exceptional as you stroll past Clarkes Beach, The Pass, and down along Wategos Beach and into Cape Byron Conservation Area. Bush Turkeys are commonly seen scraping leaf litter along the ground, often not knowing people are there watching.
As you stroll along the coast, surfers are often paddling out for morning carves, or swimmers embrace the chill of the water and do laps of the beach. Dolphins and turtles are commonly seen in the shallow bays below the Cape Byron walking track, so keep an eye out for them.
The Pass is a section of the coast that is popular with great cafes, so be sure to get a caffeine fix before pressing onto the track leading up to the lighthouse. Around three hundred feet before the lighthouse are various viewing spots, which is a prime place for whale and dolphin watching and also serves as a good place to catch your breath.
Once at the Cape Byron Lighthouse, there are awesome 360-degree views and a café if you need more coffee or a spot for breakfast. The track continues back down the hill and through the lush forest of the Cape Byron Conservation Area, eventually taking you back to where the walk began. The whole loop track takes about 2 to 3 hours.
14) VIST THE BYRON BAY FARMERS MARKET
Every Thursday, Byron Bay has a local growers’ market at the football fields behind the main street, where fresh produce ranging from vegetables, fruits, milk, bread, eggs, cheese, and coffee can be bought at a very cheap price.
Byron Bay’s cafes are quite expensive and often turn me away from dining out for a morning feast, so if it’s a Thursday, I will head down to the markets and get everything I need for a big cook up, and less than half the price of what you’d pay in a café.
The markets also have live music, so grab a cup of coffee and have a dance… it’s the best way to get energized and ready for the best things to do in Byron Bay.
Tip: If you’re in Byron Bay during the weekend, then the Byron Bay Community Market is worth a stop on Sundays.
15) HIRE AN ELECTRIC BIKE AND RIDE TO YOUR BYRON BAY ACTIVITIES
Byron Bay is a very environmentally friendly place, and the locals prefer to get around on a bike, skateboard, or public transport. But after my last visit, I checked out the many places to visit in Byron Bay by using an electric bike. I had never used an e-bike before, and damn, it was amazing. I was reaching speeds of 31 miles per hour, cruising up steep hills, all while getting friendly smiles from the people that I passed.
I ended up hiring a bike with Sunshine Cycles, a local company a few miles out of Byron Bay, and it was the best way of getting around the town. The bikes themselves are pretty awesome, with a speedometer, electric motor, and pedals that are barely used. The bikes look like Harley Davidsons, which totally fits in with Byron Bay’s vibe.
16) ENJOY LOCAL MUSIC
Almost on a nightly basis, Byron Bay has a gig at one of its many pubs, clubs, or street corners. If you’re looking for great vibes and awesome things to do, Byron Bay has you covered. Every time I am in Byron Bay, I end up at least one gig, and the vibe is always a good one. Here are some of the best places to catch live music:
The Rails – is an old railway track station with a train track still in position although not used. Music and beer here go hand in hand, especially from Thursdays to Sundays, so pop in for a swell time.
The Northern – has some of the biggest bands play, including local legends Angus Stone, The Babe Rainbow, and Ziggy Alberts.
Splendour in the Grass – happens once a year and is considered Australia’s best 3-day music event, which takes place in North Byron Parkland. International acts such as Tame Impala and Childish Gambino to local bands such as The Dune Rats ascend for what is one of the most anticipated weekends of the year.
Busking – is everywhere in Byron Bay from sunrise till late at night, with most street corners, alleyways, and beachside spots jamming with music. Got a spare $1? Give these legends a tip because Byron Bay never lets down for music.
Since forever, Byron Bay has become the number 1 spot in Australia to learn yoga or to pretend to know what you are doing. Almost every hotel or backpacker has a yoga class with sessions available for beginners all the way up to the pros.
One of the best yoga classes I have seen in Byron Bay is a sunrise beach session. Keen to limber up? Well, then, head to Byron Bay.
Here are a few yoga studios you can check out:
18) DINING OUT
Byron Bay has no shortage of places to eat, from local cuisines to international delicacies. Here’s a list of my go-to spots.
- Miss Margarita – is your epic Mexican dining place, and the burritos are going to make you drool.
- Combi – is the top breakfast joint with your acai bowls, turmeric chai lattes, and everything you need to get a kick start to the day!
- Barefoot Brew Room – is a small, comfortable coffee shop with a fine brew located on Lateen Lane. It can be hard to find, so keep an eye out!
Check out this fun guide on Where to eat and drink in Byron Bay: the ultimate Vogue guide for some more delicious info.
Going on a brewery mission in the warm of the summer is one of my favorite things to do in Byron Bay, as the beer is so fresh and full of hoppy goodness. Byron Bay has become a hotspot for beer, with small-batch brews becoming Byron’s number 1 drink.
- Stone and Wood – have taken Australia by storm and produce a mean Pacific Ale along with an exceptional array of lagers, IPA, and everything in between.
- Byron Bay Brewery – which is located next to the Arts Factory, is the place to go when you want live music, exceptional food, and a top-drop dark beer.
If you can’t make it to one of these breweries, don’t worry, as most pubs in Byron Bay stock these tasty beers.
AM I MISSING ANY EPIC THINGS TO DO IN BYRON BAY?
I absolutely adore this small hippy paradise and can’t wait to get to the Gold Coast. If you’ve been recently and think I need to add any attractions, tours, day trips, national parks, surf spots, restaurants, bar crawls, or whatever else you love, I’d love to keep this article up to date with the best things to do in Byron Bay.
WHERE TO STAY IN BYRON BAY – BEST ACCOMMODATION
Byron Bay has no shortage of accommodation, and in order to keep up with the rising number of tourists, more and more spots are becoming available for you to rest your head. Here are my best stays for every budget;
- The Art’s Factory – was famous even before The Inbetweeners filmed a scene for one of their movies there. With teepees, dorm rooms, forests, and a swamp, this place will ensure that you get your fix of Byron Bay without ever having to leave the grounds. The Art’s Factory also has a brewery right next to the entrance, with some top-quality beers available 7 days a week. Prices start at $36 AUD.
- Byron Bay YHA – is your typical budget hostel; it’s within walking distance of the beach and everything you need in Byron Bay. Prices start at $35 AUD.
- Sunrise Guesthouse – is a stunning yet laidback accommodation just 1.6 miles from Main Beach. If you’re looking for a chic place to stay in Byron Bay with home-away-from-home comforts, Sunrise Guesthouse is calling your name. Prices start at $224 AUD.
PLANNING A TRIP TO AUSTRALIA?
I’ve spent HEAPS of time down under, and my travel blog is filled with articles and travel guides just like this. Check out a couple of them below, and feel free to reach out to me if you ever have any questions!
- Top 17 Tips For Traveling the East Coast of Australia
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