The relaxation capital of Australia
Think Byron Bay, and you envisage a place bursting with good vibes, a health-conscious way of life and a bohemian view of the world. Say Byron Bay, and devotees will tell you you’re in for a treat: beautiful surf beaches, relaxed organic-leaning dining, and a slower way of life.
When you add the multitude of relaxation therapies on offer, you have a modern utopia in the making. One that's proving very attractive to international celebrities. Must-tries include yoga classes, long walks to discover the hinterland, and perhaps even a trip to hippie hotspot Nimbin, 70km away. Your Byron Bay holiday can be as chilled or as active as you like. Once you go, you may never want to leave.
Things to do: Byron Bay
Visit Cape Byron Lighthouse
Cape Byron Lighthouse is a Byron Bay icon, dating back to 1899. It's Australia's most easterly point, serving up stunning sunrises. Do the surrounding rugged headland walk, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning ocean views. Cape Byron Headland is a great spot for watching dolphins, turtles, surfers and humpback whales. Want to experience the lifestyle of a former lighthouse keeper? Stay in one of the fully refurbished, heritage-listed lighthouse cottages.
Explore Cape Byron Marine Park
The Byron Bay region really is a heavenly piece of landscape. The Cape Byron Marine Park covers about 22,000ha, running from Brunswick Heads in the north to Lennox Head in the south. It is wild and well preserved, and home to a range of marine habitats that sea birds, sea turtles, plants and fish. The park is studded with beautiful beaches and inlets, perfect for boating and fishing. This is also prime dolphin and whale watching territory – always a magical sight.
Catch a music festival
Byron Bay has established itself as one of Australia's music festival capitals. It hosts the epic Bluesfest in April, the Byron Music Festival in June and Splendour in the Grass in July. The Falls Festival kicks off at the end of December for a huge New Year's Eve party. Many of these festivals are multi-day events with campsites, street food and markets, drawing major crowds from across the country. They all attract the best of homegrown and international acts and include a load of sideshows and fringe events. Check out nearby Bangalow’s festival calendar too.
Picnic at Wategos Beach
Wategos Beach is a beautiful, sheltered little beach. This arc of beachside relaxation has barbecues and picnic tables, so buy yourself some unbeatable local produce and picnic by the shore. There are grassy areas to relax on too. The waves are pretty gentle, ideal for surfing beginners. There are also steps leading up to the lighthouse if you want to get some extra exercise in. At the end of the cape, you’ll find Little Wategos. This tiny beach is Australia’s most easterly. It’s nicely protected and good for rock fishing too.
Image credit: Destination NSW
Get lost in the markets
From farmers markets to flea markets and sensational arts and crafts, Byron’s markets are legendary. No surprise, considering it’s such a creative area with an interest in the organic and the handmade. The three main markets in the area are Byron Bay, The Channon and Bangalow, although there’s a constant rotation of smaller ones too. They’re a vibrant community experience, with live entertainment, kids activities, sizzling street food and a wide range of stalls to browse. Pick up some one-off pieces from local artisans, along with an armful of local produce for your next picnic.
Image credit: Destination NSW
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport (BNK)
Distance to Byron Bay 23km
Taxi A taxi to Byron Bay will cost about AUD $100-120 and take around 25 minutes.
Shuttle A number of companies offer airport transfers to Byron, costing around AUD $25 one-way per adult.
Bus Blanch’s Bus Company route 640 goes from the airport to Ballina, Lennox Head, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby for around AUD $8.Back to top
When to go
Located on the most easterly point of mainland Australia, Byron Bay has a subtropical climate, and you can expect hot, rainy summers and cool, dry winters. The annual average maximum temperature is 24°C (75°F), and the annual average minimum is 17°C (62°F). There isn't really a bad time to go.
Rainfall is at its heaviest January–March (the yearly average is 9.9 days of rainfall per month), but Byron is not a place that stops when it rains; in fact, they encourage you to relax most when it’s wet out! There are year-round eco-cruises, or you can unwind at a yoga class.Back to top
Blanch’s Bus Company runs services around Ballina, Lennox Head, Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads.Back to top