20 Best Things to Do in Byron Bay, Australia

Byron Bay, Australia
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If you make your way to the far-northeastern corner of New South Wales, you will be greeted by the beautiful coastal town of Byron Bay.

It is famous for its classic culture, the still-lingering essence of a tight-knit community, and its breathtaking beaches.

Byron Bay is loved by all: surfers, nature lovers, families, and groups of friends.

Not only is the town accommodating and welcoming, but it's also rich in attractions, things to do, and entertainment options.

Read along, and you’ll find that it's much more than just Chris Hemsworth’s hometown.

Here are the best things to do in Byron Bay, Australia:

Visit the Famous Cape Byron Lighthouse

Daytime view of Byron Bay Lighthouse
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Going by many names, Cape Byron Lighthouse is a legendary light station on the Lighthouse Road, overlooking the glittering Pacific Ocean.

It was designed in a Victorian style by Charles Harding in 1901 and has been added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register.

The place where it stands belongs to the Bundjalung people, who are considered the original custodians of Byron Bay.

Steps leading up to Cape Byron Lighthouse
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This story and many other fascinating historical tales are stored in the lighthouse and can be experienced through the Maritime Museum located at the tower’s base.

Equally impressive is its light intensity of 2,200,000 cd, making it the most powerful lighthouse in Australia.

Such a famous lighthouse is definitely a must-visit.

The top of Cape Byron Lighthouse
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Explore Byron Bay's Stunning Beaches

Tallow Beach in Byron Bay
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Byron Bay is very obviously blessed with beaches, what with it being a beachside town.

There are around nine beaches here, all of them offering different things.

There’s Belongii Beach, a vast beach providing uninterrupted miles of soft sand to walk on.

Tallow Beach is right behind the Arakwal National Park, peppered with valuable facilities, and is ideal for whale watching.

Rocky shore of Little Wategos beach
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Located within Tallow Beach, Cosy Corner is just like its name and is a less crowded beach with fantastic sunset views.

The remaining beaches—Wategos, Little Wategos, the Wreck, Clarke, and the Pass—are equally unique.

However, no beach beats the popularity of the Main Beach, famous for its mountain backdrop, white sand, and the surf club based here.

Gorgeous sunset over Belongil Beach
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Trek the Entire Cape Byron Walking Track

Daytime view of Cape Byron Walking Track
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Most people flock to Byron Bay just to tread down the well-worn path of the Cape Byron Walking Track.

It is a loop track, collectively spanning 3.7 kilometers.

It starts at Clarkes Beach and runs by the other beaches before terminating at a spot a few steps from Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Railings of Cape Byron Walking Track
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The walk is grade three, which is perfect for almost all people and will not take more than three hours of your time to complete.

The terrain is constantly changing and therefore challenging, filled with patches of clifftops, grasslands, and even the rainforest.

However, the views served by this path make it all easier, as the scenes you'll be blessed with are simply breathtaking.

Tour the Byron Arts & Industry Estate

Byron Bay is as artistically rich as it is naturally blessed.

Located a little away from the heart of the town, Byron Arts & Industry Estate is a sprawling place where art galleries, local artists, and creative businesses converge to form the town’s unofficial art capital.

Brands like Habitat, Mr. Vintage, McTavish Surfboards, and Yoli, among others, have found their home here.

It is also here that you'll find Circus Arts, one of the famous places to learn the art form of circus in Australia.

The venue also conducts exceptional programs for people of all ages.

Once you are done exploring the area, make your way to one of the many fantastic cafes and eateries to grab a delicious meal.

Spend a Relaxing Day amid Nature at Arakwal National Park

Scenic view of Arakwal National Park
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Arakwal National Park is tranquility personified.

It is something of a natural paradise of Byron Bay, combining indigenous history with flora and fauna.

It is looked after jointly by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Arakwal people and falls under the Bundjalung Nation.

Aerial view of Arakwal National Park
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The park is dotted with many walking and hiking trails, the longest one being the Milne Track, spanning 800 meters.

Apart from hiking, people also visit the park for birdwatching and wildlife viewing, as it is a beautiful home to more than 100 species of birds and some amazing animals, including two rare frog species.

You can also surf on the blue waters of Tallow Beach and go hang-gliding from the ramp.

Starting point of a trail at Arakwal National Park
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Enjoy a Night of Beer and Live Music at The Railway Friendly Bar

For more than 25 years, The Railway Friendly Bar, fondly known as The Rails, has been Byron Bay's number one spot for hanging out and cracking open a cold one with friends.

It resides in a renovated old railway station building by the old railway tracks, thus its name.

The bar features a beer garden, where you can enjoy as many as 20 brews on tap and some mouth-watering dishes on the side.

Local and touring bands frequently visit this bar, blessing the venue with free and beautiful live music performances.

The Rails has been the only pub in Australia to provide musical entertainment every day since it was established.

Purchase Local Goods at the Byron Community Market

Everything about Byron Bay is interesting; maybe that’s why even the Byron Community Market is one of its most popular tourist spots.

The community market features a collection of stalls, which range from local businesses, food, arts and talents, and last but not least, authentic local products.

The market is open on the first Sunday of every month, where local charities are allowed to collect donations at the market’s entrance to boost their fundraising.

It pleasantly places emphasis on displaying the essence of community and culture and promoting its prosperity.

The Byron Community Market gives off mellow and harmonious vibes as people cheerfully mingle, enjoy live music, buy amazing local products, and eat tasty food.

Treat Yourself to Pacific Ale at Stone & Wood Brewing Co.

A bottle of Stone & Wood beer
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Stone & Wood Brewing Co. is one of the early names in Australia’s craft beer scene, having been established in 2008.

The brewery believes in the idea of conscious businesses and strives to do good in the local community.

As a result, Stone & Wood Brewing Co. is big on community prosperity and sustainability.

They have launched many valuable initiatives, including supporting local suppliers, efficient waste management, and employing Karma Kegs.

With 31 brewing tanks, a beer garden, and a locally run canteen, the brewery serves the most amazing beers.

In fact, one of their original beers, the Pacific Ale, is so popular that it has been included in the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) Hottest 100 many times.

Enjoy Various Outdoor Activities at Cape Byron Marine Park

The waters of Cape Byron Marine Park
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Cape Byron Marine Park, one of four marine parks in the whole of New South Wales, is a beautiful place to experience in Byron Bay.

It stretches over 5.6 kilometers from the Brunswick River to Lennox Head.

In between those borders are the sprawling ocean, rocky beaches, and Brunswick River and its tributaries' tidal waters.

Even more impressive is the submerged world, where you get to swim amidst more than 400 species of sea turtles, tropical fish, and wobbegong sharks, among others.

You can go birdwatching, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding here.

Cape Byron Marine Park is the best place to enjoy activities above and under the sea.

Witness the Cumbebin Wetland Sanctuary

Surprisingly, Byron Bay was swampland before it became the fascinating town that it is today.

A little of that swampland has been protected and transformed into the mesmerizing Cumbebin Wetland Sanctuary.

This reserve spans 92 hectares, but the only patch available for the public is accessible from the Cumbebin Wetland Boardwalk.

The boardwalk is accessible from the Byron Bay CBD and offers ample seating spaces, along with perfect views of the shallow lagoons, which are dotted with amazing Bangalow palms and bird-nest ferns.

People flock to the boardwalk to see these paperbark wetlands, watch the flying birds and jumping frogs, and have a picnic under the cool canopy of the trees.

See Humpback Whales During Migration Season

A Whale in Byron Bay
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Byron Bay is known for many things, and one of them is whale watching.

As the town happens to be the easternmost point of the continent, humpback whales pass Byron Bay very closely as they move to the Great Barrier Reef and back home to Antarctica.

During these migration times—from mid-June to early October or early November—the town organizes many tours to gaze at these magnificent creatures.

Aerial view of Humpback Whales in Byron Bay
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These tours take people on special whale watching cruises, where you can get a fairly closer look.

You may see dolphins and other native marine animals as well.

There are also some fantastic coastal viewing points near the lighthouse and at the coastal walkway.

Silhouette of a Humpback Whale during sunrise at Byron Bay
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Watch the Sunrise at Mount Warning

Scenic view of Mount Warning
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Named one of the top 10 Australian mountains to climb by Australian Geographic, Mount Warning is full of surprises.

It was originally named Wollumbin by the Bundjalung people.

The name was changed by Captain Cook, who named it Warning as a "warning" about the harmful offshore reefs for the sea travelers.

Standing at 1,156 meters above sea level, Mount Warning not only looks over the beautiful Gondwana Rainforest but also houses a plethora of native flora and fauna.

View of Mount Warning from a lake
Pouts31, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One can experience all of this by scaling the mountain, which can be moderately difficult.

What’s more, as Mount Warning is the most easterly point in Australia, the sun rays touch this place first.

With the mesmerizing sunrise and pleasing nature all around, hiking this mountain will surely be a spectacular experience.

Have a Delicious Breakfast at Bayleaf Cafe

Probably the best breakfast spot in Byron Bay, Bayleaf Cafe is rather perfect in every sense.

The cafe, aligning with the spirit of the town, makes use of everything local, may it be their vegetables, fish, coffee, or even tea, which they make all by themselves.

Located on Marvell Street, Bayleaf Cafe serves menu items ranging from breakfast meals and salads to sandwiches and beverages.

Some of their most popular dishes include poached eggs, falafel, gnocchi, and their fantastic coffee.

The cafe features an eclectic design, cozy seating, delicious food, and top-notch service.

The only problem is that you may have to wait a while for a table—but that’s just proof of how famous this cafe is.

Gaia Retreat & Spa

Everyone knows how relaxing a good spa can be after a stressful day.

That said, a 20-minute drive from Byron Bay to Gaia Retreat & Spa will surely be worth it.

Located on Fernleigh Road, the spa stands on a 19-acre property known as the spiritual and healing center of the country.

The spa comprises more than 10 treatment rooms, along with a sauna, hot tub, and steam room.

The spa has won many awards for its impeccable treatments, which range from acupuncture and energy therapy to aromatherapy and even reflexology.

As you can see, Gaia Spa—"Gaia" meaning "Spirit of Mother Earth"—has successfully manifested the healing essence of the land and the spirit, providing you with a much-needed restorative experience.

Grab Local Products at Byron Farmers Market

Vendors and shoppers at Byron Farmers Market
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Farmers' markets are a worldwide phenomenon that is currently thriving in both urban and rural locations.

Farmers' markets are powered by their educated, informed customers.

Since the farmers and producers at the Byron Bay and Bangalow Farmers Markets are nearby, their products are fresher and more cost-effective overall because they are not transported great distances.

Fresh carrots at Byron Farmers Market
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Members of the Byron Farmers Market Association include both organic and conventional suppliers.

While fostering a sustainable, successful business venture for its members, the association ensures product integrity and works to provide a balanced marketplace for its customers.

Beautiful flowers for sale at Byron Farmers Market
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Engage in Various Activities at Cape Byron State Conservation Area

Trail at Cape Byron State Conservation Area
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The Cape Cafe, the Cape Byron lighthouse, historic accommodation, walking trails, and picturesque lookouts can all be found at the Cape Byron State Conservation Area, which is fantastic for field trips with students.

Whale viewing is excellent at Cape Byron, and the walking path offers views of the ocean and shoreline in the area.

There are award-winning eco-tourism beach houses in the park if you'd want to be closer to the water.

View of a beach from Cape Byron State Conservation Area
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If you're thinking extra bold, you may go kayaking, hang gliding, surfing, diving, and snorkeling on your own or with authorized tour operators.

Surrounding Australia's most easterly point, the Cape Byron State Conservation Area provides hiking, surfing, and dining.

Tour with Friends at Cape Byron Distillery

At Cape Byron Distillery, they create drinks that capture and highlight the distinctive terroir of the Northern Rivers while adhering to the time-honored customs and art of distilling.

Their passions include excellence, sustainability, and contributing to the neighborhood.

Enjoy a stimulating sensory journey led by their distillery tour staff.

You are welcomed with a Gin & Tonic flavored with Lime & Aniseed Myrtle as the tours begin on the balcony of their cellar entrance.

When you get back to the distillery, you'll be guided through a thorough tasting of their offerings, maybe with a few extra surprises.

Go on an Adventure at Cape Byron Walking Track

The Cape Byron walking trail will take you at least two hours to fully enjoy, but it is so full of joy that when you get to the end, you might want to go around and then do it again.

It is among the greatest activities to engage in throughout the state's coast for a few hours.

With breathtaking sights of the ocean and the hinterland, the 3.7 km circle takes you on a stroll through a rainforest and over clifftops.

Along the way, you will pass through old burrawangs and bangalow palms, traverse kangaroo grasslands, stroll along stunning beaches, and climb to Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Keep in mind to scan the ocean for turtles, dolphins, stingrays, and, during certain seasons, whales.

Book a Serene Baachfroont Room at Waves Byron Bay

Waves Byron Bay in Byron Bay is just minutes close to the water; Main Beach is only a few feet away, while Tallow Beach is a 2-minute drive away.

Waves Byron Bay offers guests serene beachfront rooms in a convenient setting.

A variety of rooms are available at the chic beachfront hotel in the center of town, from luxurious honeymoon suites to affordable family vacations.

Incredibly roomy suites with all the standard hotel amenities, such as air conditioning, TV with Foxtel, restroom amenities, and fresh white linen, are available at Waves Byron Bay.

They also enjoy giving things away, so they give our visitors free wifi, a daily light breakfast of delicious muffins, coffee, and tea, as well as weekly wine tasting events held in their lobby on Friday and Saturday nights.

Other Things to Do Nearby

The Farm Byron Bay

Cow in The Farm
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As its name suggests, The Farm Byron Bay is a working farm.

It's located 10 minutes away from Byron Bay in the neighboring town of Ewingsdale.

In addition, attached to it are a variety of small businesses that have the same goal of building a healthier lifestyle.

Welcome sign of The Farm Byron Bay
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One can drop by anytime to see how an actual farm functions and get a glimpse of their beautiful lifestyle.

Spanning 80 acres of land, The Farm brings together those with a passion for growing food—and this passion manifests itself in the on-site restaurant, cafe, and produce store.

You can tour the whole area and learn about their mission, say hi to the animals, and enjoy some delicious meals.

A plate of sandwich at The Farm Byron Bay's restaurant
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Final Thoughts

Byron Bay stands out among the country's top tourism destinations as one of those memorable jewels.

This thriving seaside town in New South Wales's north is a natural wonderland.

It offers breathtaking views from various standpoints, a calming ocean, a warm and inviting local culture that you simply can't get enough of, and so much more.

Therefore, the area is full of sightseeing and adventure activities whether you're visiting for a weekend or a longer journey.

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