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Tucked away in the northern corner of New South Wales, Byron Bay is acharming beachside gem that should not be missed when visiting Australia’s east coast. Simply known as Byron to the locals, this place oozes an artistic and creative energy, boasts some of the best waves on the east coast and, despite becoming a popular tourist destination over the past two decades, has maintained its quintessential Aussie small town surf culture.
As well as playing host to a variety of music festivals annually, Byron is kept busy by the throngs of backpackers and tourists who flock to the beach 365 days a year. Your only stress will be deciding whether or not to leave.
There’s a lesson to suit all ages and abilities at Byron’s many surf schools, whether you’re a seasoned surfer looking to pick up a few new tips or a beginner who doesn’t know the front of a surfboard from the back. After an exhilarating day in the surf, why not explore the natural beauty of Byron’s beaches on horseback? With an experienced guide leading the way, take in the stunning scenery from the back of your trusty steed. You may even get to enjoy a horseback frolic in the ocean before heading home.
For something a little more relaxing, head to the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse. This the perfect place to take in spectacular panoramic views along the coast at sunrise and sunset each day – but the view from the top is just the icing on the cake. Set aside some time to explore the coastal trail that leads up to the lighthouse, where dramatic outlooks over crashing waves and coastal forests mingle with the fresh sea air for a memorable sensory experience.
Eat and Drink
Byron Bay is proof that, when it comes to options, size doesn’t matter. This tiny town offers a diverse range of culinary delights, from international inspiration to local produce. Brunch your heart out at one of the many home grown cafés that line the main street. Then enjoy a dinner of fresh local seafood, which you’ll find all over town.
If you want to carry the night on in style, there are some beautiful spots near the beachfront to enjoy cocktails as the sun goes down. Keen to really kick up your heels? Byron Bay delivers, with many of the local nightclubs wholeheartedly encouraging tabletop dancing.
Where to Stay
From backpacker digs to plush boutique hotels, Byron offers accommodation to suit every taste and budget. Families and couples looking for a quieter and more peaceful stay should cast their net away from the main town.
Those wanting to party the weekend away will enjoy a more central location with optimum proximity to bars and clubs. Byron Bay is compact, so you’ll always be within easy reach of shopping, dining and nightlife spots even if you do opt to stay a bit further out.
A dedicated afternoon of shopping is an absolute must during your stay in Byron Bay. After a relaxed brunch, kick things off with a wander along Jonson and Lawson Streets. Then make your way over to Fletcher Street where you’ll discover everything from well-known brands and quaint boutique stores to locally made craft items, beachside trinkets and jewellery. One thing is for sure – you’ll definitely want to bring some extra spending money.
Byron Bay Like a Local
The beauty of Byron Bay is not lost on its locals. Their relaxed pace of life and ultra-casual outlook is why they choose to call this place home. If you really want to experience Byron like a local, simply sit back and soak it all up. Pull up a pew at one of the many pavement cafés, order a local Stone & Wood beer, take in the sounds of an acoustic set and people watch to your heart’s content.