Set on the most easterly point of Australia, Byron Bay is renowned for its pristine beaches, incredible surf and unique community spirit. Between the countless sunny days and balmy weather, it’s no wonder why this laid-back beachside town is loved by so many.
Byron Bay bids some of the most incredible surf spots for ‘grommets’, pros and all else in between. Iconic break The Pass lures travellers from all over the world, yet perfection brings popularity, so expect to make some new friends amongst the waves. Before you get your surf in for the day, be the first in Australia to watch the sunrise and discover Cape Byron walking track starting from The Pass leading you all the way up to the iconic lighthouse. This 3.7km loop winds through native rainforest made up of shady palms, grassland and stunning views of the ocean. You may even catch a glimpse of Byron Bay’s vibrant sea life with dolphins and turtles playing in the water along the coastline below. In the winter months (from May to November) look out for pods of whales making their way along the east coast during their annual migration too.
Spend your days rotating between the crystal clear water, shady pandanus trees and scenic rocks of Wategos or Main Beach with year-round patrolled swimming areas. Otherwise, venture south a few minutes out of town and you’ll find Tallow’s Beach, a white sandy, expansive beach, made up of 8km stretch of ocean or head north to Belongil Beach, 2.5km of beach leading up to Belongil Creek.
Jonson Street known as the main street is a great starting point to find your bearings in Byron Bay. Creativity is truly flowing in town with a choice of local brands and an abundance of creative professionals now calling Byron Bay their home. Fuel your caffeine addiction or love of fine dining and uncover a variety of boutiques, cafes, restaurants and buzzing nightlife with everything situated along or just off the main street. As the sun goes down enjoy a sunset picnic at Apex Park, and watch the sky fill with shades of pastel hues over the water. As night falls, listen for the echoes of street buskers playing their guitars and singing as passers-by flock together to listen in unity.
The region itself provides an incredible number of gushing waterfalls and hinterland villages. For a day trip, take a scenic road trip surrounded by rolling hills and natural wonders leading you to an array of diverse towns each with its own distinctive charm; choose from Bangalow, Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby or Nimbin just to name a few.
Byron Bay gathers an eclectic mix of travellers and locals all year round, with weekly events, fresh food markets (like the Byron Farmer’s Markets) and live music (check out The Northern and The Beach Hotel) to keep the town buzzing. With its diverse range of awe-inspiring natural beauty just waiting for you to uncover, why not see for yourself what it has to offer?
No visit to Byron Bay is complete without walking the Byron Bay lighthouse trail. The 3.7KM loop walk takes you on a fantastic journey of spectacular natural beauty through rich rainforest, lovely grassland, sheer cliff tops, and beautiful beaches. All this to end at one of the most iconic landmarks in the area: the Byron Bay lighthouse. You will be treated to incredible views of the beautiful beaches and surrounding scenery all the way up, and may even spot dolphins and whales as you make your way along. Be sure to stop for a photo when you pass the most easterly point of Australia’s mainland!
Once you reach the top, step into the lighthouse to learn all about its history and significance. If the walk has made your stomach rumble, enjoy coffee and a cake at the Lighthouse Cafe with unrivalled views of Byron Bay, green rainforest, and turquoise water.
Discover a little piece of paradise at Wategos Beach, Australia’s most easterly beach, located just 2KM from Byron Bay’s town centre. Enjoy beautiful views of the hinterland, and be amongst the first people in Australia to watch the sunrise.
This peaceful, sheltered beach is protected by the headland from the wilder waters, making it a fantastic place to surf, particularly for longboarders and beginners. It’s also a lovely, scenic spot for a swim during the summer months when it is patrolled. Look out for the local bottlenose dolphins who also love to play in these waters.
Make use of the free beachside BBQs and picnic tables to cook some lunch. Once you’ve refuelled, why not tackle the steps up to Cape Byron Lighthouse, located at the far end of the beach.
The picturesque beach is surrounded by national park walking trails to keep you occupied for the whole day or even longer.
Sitting at the most Easterly point of Australia’s mainland, Cape Byron Lighthouse is one of the most iconic and most visited attractions in the area for several reasons. Some visitors are interested in the history, whilst others flock here for the breathtaking views, or to spot ocean life. For some, it’s more about the scenic walk to the top than the destination itself.
Construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1901, with a goal of reducing the number of shipping hazards along the stretch of coastline below. As the headland is so high above sea level, it didn’t need to be particularly tall, which is why it stands at just 22-metres. The lighthouse was operated by live-in keepers until the final one retired in 1989, and it is now an automated light maintained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
The original lighthouse keeper’s office has now been turned into the Cape Byron Lighthouse Maritime Museum, allowing visitors to step inside and gain a unique insight into the history and significance of the lighthouse and of Byron Bay. Learn local stories and tales of shipwrecks as you wander through. The museum is open daily from 10am-4pm. You may also opt to embark on a guided volunteer-led 20-minute tour of the lighthouse in exchange for a gold coin donation. Tours run from 10am-3pm every day.
One of the most impressive things about the lighthouse is the incredible view from outside it – think stunning beaches, rolling hinterland, and the spectacular Pacific Ocean. Look out for turtles and dolphins playing in the waves down below, and migrating humpback whales between June-November.
Cape Byron Lighthouse is located just 2KM east of Byron Bay town centre. It can be reached by car although an entry fee applies, however walking is highly recommended. The lighthouse trail takes you on a 3.7KM loop walk with fantastic scenery ranging from lush rainforest to the beautiful coastline, ending up at the lighthouse. Rest your legs at the lighthouse cafe when you reach the top, to enjoy coffee and cake with unrivalled views of Byron Bay and the gorgeous surrounding scenery.