Byron Bay Destination Guide
Byron Bay Holidays
Byron Bay holidays used to be the exclusive domain of backpackers and surfers. However, the town's scenic location and growing reputation as a family-friendly beach haven have made it an increasingly popular destination with visitors from all backgrounds. Boasting a sun-drenched climate, long sandy beaches and a welcoming community vibe, Byron Bay is a perfect beach addition to any east coast holiday. Whether you're looking to relax on the sands, learn to surf or indulge your artistic side, Byron Bay offers a wide range of activities to suit every itinerary.
The town's beaches are its main attraction. Enjoying long days in the sun is one of the most popular things to do in Byron Bay witht he centrally-located Main Beach acting as a favourite summer hangout. Nearby, Wategos Beach is popular with longboard surfers taking advantage of its small swell and less crowded breaks. Tallow Beach is the main surfing beach in town and attracts visitors from far and wide, while secluded Belongil Beach is popular with those looking to escape the crowds. The Cape Byron Lighthouse, built in 1901, juts out into the Pacific Ocean as the easternmost point of the Australian mainland.
Home to a surprisingly large international community, Byron Bay restaurants tend to reflect the town's cosmopolitan diversity. An enduring favourite is French restaurant The Petit Snail, owned and operated by an expat couple serving traditional French food with a typical Gallic flourish. Seafood restaurants enjoy a predictably brisk trade, with the aptly-named Fishmongers tucked away in a back alley just off Main Beach. The nearby Beach Hotel offers sweeping views over the coast from its cosy outside terrace and is packed with revellers on Friday and Saturday nights. The Railway Friendly Bar is another favourite watering hole, while the Byron Bay Brewery enjoys a growing reputation for its popular microbrews.
Where to Stay
A long established stopover on the backpacker trail, Byron Bay accommodation is typically relaxed although there are a few luxury resorts available. Boutique accommodation is plentiful and features such favourites as the laid-back Ruskin House Bed and Breakfast and the Balinese-inspired villas at the Garden Burees Luxury Retreat. Self-catered apartments are another popular option, with many holiday rentals located just a stone's throw from Byron's best beaches.
Home to a flourishing arts and crafts scene, Byron Bay shopping focuses on sustainable wares and genuine handcrafted goods. Local businesses proudly display 'Made in Byron' labels to advertise the provenance of their products and the town has a reputation for producing high-quality merchandise. The best place to find it is along the main shopping thoroughfare of Jonson Street, which houses an eclectic range of souvenir stores, clothing outlets and boutique arcades. Typical souvenirs include locally-produced artwork, natural and holistic health treatments, candles and produce from the nearby Byron Bay hinterland.
Byron Bay Like a Local
Byron Bay weather makes the beach a year-round attraction but, to escape the crowds, many locals head inland to explore the lush Byron Bay hinterland. Major hinterland towns include Mullumbimby – which touts itself as "the biggest little town in Australia" – the picturesque village of Bangalow and the curiously-named Mooball. Founded as important agricultural centres in the late 1800s, many of the towns now boast thriving tourism industries of their own. Enjoy an authentic farm stay or simply relax in the idyllic surrounds of a genuine Australian country town, all within a short drive of bustling Byron Bay.