Ahhh Byron Bay with your fantastic beaches, exquisite food and your not-so-exquisite Byron Bay hippies. How I love to hate you. Or love to love you? And while, if I’m being real, there are a tonne of wankers hanging around in Byron Bay, but there must be a reason so many people rave about it. After spending 3 weeks and doing all the Byron Bay activities, I finally get what all the hype is about. So if you’re curious please read on for all the best things to do in Byron Bay… I’ve tried to keep it to wanker-free activities only!
1. Laze On Some Of The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches
There’s no other beach quite like a Byron Bay beach! Soft white sand, turquoise blue water, tanned bodies and surfboards everywhere. It literally is what people think of when they think about Australia. And there are a few awesome Byron Bay beaches to choose from. Here are the best ones; Clarkes Beach, which is awesome for surfing, it’s also really calm which makes it great for swimming depending on the tide; The Pass Byron Bay, which is right next to Clarke’s Beach and just as good; Wategoes Beach; Which is really great for swimming and surfing and; Tallows Beach which has a huge stretch of sand but has quite a dangerous current, so skip the swim and practice your handstands on the beach.
2. Kill Your Legs Hiking Mount Warning
One of the top Byron Bay day trips you can do (if you’re lucky enough to have a car) is a hike up Mount Warning in the Byron Bay hinterland. This four-hour return hike starts about an hour from Byron Bay NSW just near the town of Dum Dum (lol). The first hour of the hike is pretty enjoyable and easy under the canopy of the rainforest, with a few glimpses of the view below. The final 20 minutes are definitely difficult. It’s so steep you have to pull yourself up with a chain! But once you’re at the top it’s all worth it. With 360 degree views of the Byron Bay Hinterland.
3. Then Reward At One Of The Best Places To Eat In Byron Bay
One of my favourite Byron Bay activities, is, of course, eating! And you really are spoilt for choice, with new and delicious Byron Bay restaurants popping up all the time. My current faves are; Bay Leaf Cafe, which is roasting some of the best coffee in Byron Bay; The General Store for deliciously healthy brekkie and lunch options; Barrio, a little out of the centre of town is serving up rustic dishes like charcoal chicken Piri Piri and yummy home cooked empanadas; Taste of Melaka which is BYO and has amazing Malaysian food; And, if you want to go and hang with some little piggies The Farm Byron Bay is always fun, albeit a little busy. Eating is definitely one of my top Byron Bay experiences.
4. Be ‘Totally Byron’ At The Weekly Farmer’s Market
You can’t visit Byron and not check out the Byron Bay markets, the Farmer’s Markets that is. It’s just soooo Baaaayyyyrooon to buy all your fresh organic produce every Thursday at the markets. And, given it’s a school day I can’t believe how busy they are. I guess people just leave work to go do their shopping? Anyway, this is a really cool Byron Bay activity as you can get yourself a haul of amazing goodies. Depending on the season you can find things like Dragon Fruit, all kinds chillies and Mexican Guava Cream just to name a few. The market takes place every Thursday morning from 8 am – 11 am behind the Bangalow Hotel and I definitely recommend it as one of the top things to do in Byron Bay if you’re there on a Thursday.
5. Take The Sweatiest Walk Of Your Life To The Lighthouse
Ok, so the Byron Bay lighthouse walk is pretty much a right of passage when visiting Byron Bay. The walk itself doesn’t seem like it’s going to be hard at all. But, pair that with the humid heat and the number of stairs you walk up, and you’ll be getting a pretty big sweat on. But it’s not all bad. It’s definitely one of my favourite walks around Byron Bay due to the beautiful scenery and the fact that you have the chance to watch dolphins swimming about from the safety of path. Just keep your eyes out for those kayaks I mentioned earlier. It’s also one of the best free things to do in Byron Bay.
6. Surf The World’s Most Friendly Wave
The wave that starts just near the Pass is known as the world’s friendliest wave, making surfing it one of the most fun things to do in Byron Bay Australia. It’s the friendliest wave in the world as it’s super long. Once you catch it you can take it right to the beach, and then just walk along the sand, back to the pass and jump in again. So fun!
7. Swim Under Minion Falls
Don’t go chasing wate… Oops. I take it all back. Minion Falls Byron Bay is definitely a waterfall that needs to be chased and is one of the best waterfalls near Byron Bay. The start of the trail is about 45 minutes from Byron Bay, which makes it an excellent way to spend a morning. The trail will take around an hour to hike and at the end, you are rewarded with one big-ass waterfall, with a lovely little swimming hole below. You can also swim right up under the waterfall and sit under the cascade. Minion Falls is definitely one of my favourite places to visit near Byron Bay.
8. Go Kayaking With Dolphins
Ok, so I have a real thing about dolphins. Not sure why, but maybe it’s because they are the best frickin’ animal on the planet? Anyway… One of my favourite Byron Bay attractions has got to be the fact that it is one of the only places on earth where dolphins live 12 months of the year. Due to this one of the best Byron Bay activities is definitely kayaking with this little group of legends. And Go Sea Kayak is the best companies to do this with. The tours kick off at 9:30 am and 2 pm every day of the week and last for about 3-4 hours. They even have a dolphin guarantee, so if you don’t see any, you can come back another day and try again. Wondering what to do in Byron Bay? Make sure kayaking with Dolphins is at the top of the list.
9. Snorkel Or Dive At Julian Rocks
Julian Rocks are only a five-minute boat ride from Byron Bay and are home to some incredible sea life. Snorkelling here with Snorkel Byron Bay Tours will set you back about $70. But you’ve got the chance to see sea turtles, an assortment of rays including mantas, Wobbegong sharks and over four hundred different species of fish! Woop woop! Diving is also possible too. Definitely, one of the best Byron Bay activities to take on while you’re here.
Where To Stay In Byron Bay
There are tonnes of amazing Byron Bay accommodation options. From funky hostels, to luxe B&Bs, to boutique hotels. Here are my top picks on where to stay in Byron Bay.
Byron Bay Beach Hostel
Byron Bay YHA
Satara Byron Bay
The Bower Byron Bay
Your Daily Budget For Byron Bay
While a few of these Byron Bay activities are free, like most of Australia Byron Bay is not a cheap place to visit. Including accommodation, eating out once a day and doing most of these activities, I’d say you’re looking at a budget of about $100 USD per day.
How To Get To Byron Bay
Unfortunately, there is no super cheap way to get to Byron Bay, with most options costing around the same amount.
Getting To Byron Bay By Plane:
Flying to Byron Bay is definitely the easiest and potentially one of the most affordable options. Flights depart regularly from Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney to both Ballina (35-minute drive from Byron Bay) and Gold Coast (50-minute drive from Byron Bay) with Jetstar, Tiger Airways, Virgin and Qantas. And they shouldn’t cost too much if you book in advance. There are also easy shuttle bus service to Byron Bay from both of these airports. Sydney to Byron Bay Flights should be under $80 AUD each way. Flights from Melbourne to Byron Bay should be under $100 AUD. And for some reason flights from Brisbane are the most expensive around $150 one way. So it might be better to take a bus.
How To Get To Byron Bay By Bus
There are regular bus services between Sydney and Brisbane to Byron Bay run by Greyhound and Premier. However as the Sydney to Byron Bay bus cost around about the same, if not more than a flight (and takes about 11 hours) I would definitely recommend flying. The Brisbane to Byron Bay bus, on the other hand, is more reasonable at around $30 AUD only taking about 2 hours.
Getting to Byron Bay Via Car
Driving is definitely one of the best ways to get around in Australia. Most of the large hire companies offer small car hire from $90+ AUD per day. You can compare rental cars to Byron Bay here. The Sydney to Byron Bay drive takes about 9-hours non-stop. The Melbourne to Byron Bay drive is much longer and will take around 18 hours. And from Brisbane it’s a quick 2-hours. All of these drives are super scenic.
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