The relaxation capital of Australia awaits
Think Byron Bay, and you envisage a place laden with good vibes, a health-conscious way of life and a bohemian view of the world you’ll soon want to adopt. Say Byron Bay, and devotees will tell you you’re in for a treat: beautiful, surfable beaches, relaxed dining experiences with an emphasis on the organic, and a slower way of life – the perfect antidote for the burnt-out soul. Add relaxation therapies and friendly Byron folk, and you have a modern utopia. Must-tries include yoga classes, long walks to discover the hinterland, perhaps even a trip to Nimbin (70km away). It’s as chilled or as active as you like.
Things to do
A piece of the action
If you’ve come here for adventure, Byron is your place. Ride a microlight for the sensation of an open-cockpit flight; bike or hike with Byron Bay Adventure Tours (from hinterland to sunrise-walking tours); take a kayaking tour with dolphins and whales in the afternoon; or go on an overnight camping adventure to climb Mount Warning at dawn.
Life's a beach
Wategos Beach and Rae’s on Wategos are both iconic and complement one another when a serving of Zen is on the menu. Home to just seven rooms, boutique hotel Rae’s boasts the utmost in luxurious beachfront accommodation and personalised service. Not staying? Come for an unforgettable meal or indulge in a day-spa treatment. If you’re coming to take in the waves or lie on the beach, Watego’s Beach is heavenly.
Now hear this
Byron Bay has established itself as one of Australia's music festival hotspots, with Bluesfest opens in new window rin April, Splendour in the Grass opens in new window in July, and the Falls Festival opens in new window kicking off at the end of December for a huge New Year's Eve party. They all attract the best of homegrown and international acts and include a load of sideshows and fringe events. Boomerang Festival opens in new window features an array of Indigenous music, dance, theatre, comedy, film and visual arts.
On the wild side
Cape Byron Marine Park opens in new window covers about 22,000ha, extending from Brunswick Heads in the north to Lennox Head in the south. Incorporating a range of marine habitats, the park is home to many species of dolphin and fish, sea birds and marine plants, as well as endangered sharks and sea turtles.
Shine a light
Byron Bay Lighthouse opens in new window is a Byron Bay icon, dating back to 1899. 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.
Byron Bay 23km
Travel time 25 minutes
Taxi Approx AUD $85
Shuttle bus AUD $20 (adult), AUD $12 (child); journey takes 40 minutes. Blanch’s bus route 640 goes to Ballina, Lennox Head, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby from AUD $3.80 (adult).
Travel time 7 minutes
Taxi Approx AUD $16Back to top
When to go
At 772km from Sydney (9 hours’ drive, or a 75-minute flight), Byron Bay is located on the most easterly point of mainland Australia. It has a subtropical climate, and you can expect hot, rainy summers and cool, dry winters. The annual average maximum temperature here is 24°C (75°F), and the annual average minimum is 17°C (62°F).
Rainfall is at its heaviest in January-March, and 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 the Byron Yoga Centre via a yoga class, a retreat or even a teacher-training course.Back to top