If you are willing to go on a road trip on the east coast, unmissable spots aren’t lacking from Brisbane to Sydney. Among them, Byron Bay, small piece of paradise situated 2 hours away from Brisbane and 10 hours away from Sydney wins our heart.
Byron Bay, city with good aura
The reputation of this little hippy and out of time city isn’t to be made. Tone is set as soon as you drive past the entry sign “Cheer up, slow down, chill out!”. You are walking into a chilled country where stress has been given up. Take your shoes off and let go.
The main street is where most shops are gathered and takes you directly to the beach. In 30 minutes you will have been around the centre composed mainly of hippies and surfers shop and little cafes. Don’t look for a Mc Donald’s, there is none.
There is something special and positive in the atmosphere. People are walking with no shoes on and couples kiss everywhere in the street. You won’t be able to count campervans going pass you with surfboard on top and mattress at the back.
At the end of the main street, at the Wreck Lockout, you can enjoy a stunning view over the beach and mountains. This little square is a meeting point for musicians, couples and groups of friends particularly around Sunset.
The main beach, reputed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, gathers locals and tourists from morning to night: yoga lessons, capoeira trainings, fire dancers occupy the space. As well as most Australian beaches, sand is thin and the surf is great.
What to do in Byron Bay?
Byron’s lighthouse and its amazing view
A few kilometres away from the town centre, at the top of the hill, Byron’s lighthouse dominates the town and offers a stunning view over the ocean and surroundings. You are at the most eastern point of Australia; from each side you can see wild landscapes. There are amazing beaches: Tallow beach south, Clarkes beach and Wategos beach east, surrounded by forests and blue mountains.
From this point of view, you can look for dolphins, turtles, manta rays and other marine creatures. From May to November, during the migration period, you might get lucky and see a whale.
You can go directly to the lighthouse by car (be careful, you will have to pay for the carpark) or walk there for around 2h and 3.7km through the Cape Byron State Conservation Area and its rainforest.
Byron Bay markets
Each week it is possible to go to a few markets in Byron Bay to get some fresh fruits and veggies or to bring back a little souvenir full of Byron’s vibes.
Byron Bay’s Community Market: one of the most reputed and biggest of the area. Over a few hectares, discover handmade work, jewellery, fresh local products and art of all kind.
Butler Street, every first Sunday of the month.
Byron Bay Farmer’s Market: local producer, bio or not. Products vary depending on the season but you will find all year long, macadamia nuts, cane sugar, beef, prawns, olives, etc.
Butler Street, every Thursday from 8am to 10am.
Byron Bay Artisan Market: Night market from October to March. Good opportunity to discover the local culture: music, food, art, etc. Very good atmosphere, it is the perfect moment to get into Byron’s vibes.
Where to go out in Byron Bay?
The Beach Hotel: nice place to have a beer between friends where surfers, locals, tourists, and backpackers mix.
The Railway Friendly Bar: old railway station, the bar is well known by locals. The Aussie atmosphere will surprise you.
Cocomangas: it is THE night club of Byron Bay. You can’t miss it, it is on the main road.
Cheeky Monkeys: this bar-restaurant is well known by backpackers for its interesting prices from 7pm. Theme nights are organised every night.
Activities in Byron Bay
You can try heaps of activities in Byron Bay and surroundings such as kayak, surf, skydiving, diving, or why not a ride on a hot air balloon. More info at Byronbay.com
Many backpackers are extremely well situated:
– Aquarius Backpacker Hostel: from $30 a night (10/room)
– Nomads Byron Bay: from $27 a night (10/room)
– YHA: from $24 for members and $27 non-members (9/room)
For those who travel with their campervan, by car or 4WD and want to sleep in their vehicle without having to pay for a campsite, the rest area Yelgun, 25km north of Byron Bay welcomes numerous vehicles. You will have access to water, toilets, BBQ, picnic tables and will be able to enjoy every morning coffee and orange juice, fresh fruits etc sold in a coffee truck.
The town most important carpark is situated in front of the beach. However it will cost you around $10 to park there for the afternoon. A free carpark is situated around 5min walk away from the town centre. Check out the visitor centre if you need more information.
– Greyhound: Sydney – Byron Bay $99
– Byron Bay Bus: Brisbane – Byron Bay $54
– By car: Via the pacific Highway A1
– By plane: You can land at Ballina (30 min south of Byron) or at Collangata (45 min north of Byron). In these cities you will easily transfer to Byron Bay.