Byron Bay is arguably one of Australia’s most iconic surf towns. An absolute must on any East Coast itinerary, Byron has something for everyone. From pristine beaches, epic surf breaks and world-class diving, to sprawling national parks and delectable dining options, Byron Bay is guaranteed to delight any and all travellers. Byron has this ability to charm people into staying longer than they expected and with so many things to do in Byron Bay you might find yourself rethinking your departure date!
Watch the sunrise over the ocean
I know, I know – getting up for sunrise is always a big ask but there truly is nothing that compares to watching the sun rise over the ocean and that’s exactly what you can expect in Byron Bay. Grab a blanket, your coffee to-go and find yourself the perfect place to watch the sun peak over the horizon. There are plenty of great spots to catch a beautiful sunrise in Byron but my favourites are Cape Byron, the Lighthouse or Tallows Beach.
Take a dip in Killen Falls
A favourite amongst locals and visitors alike, Killen Falls has the best pool to take a dip in on a hot summer’s day. Located in the foothills of the Byron hinterland, this gem is just an easy walk from the car park. So what are you waiting for? Pack some beers, an inflatable tube (essential) and spend a day relaxing in the serenity of Killen Falls.
Explore Cape Byron
Cape Byron is the Eastern most point of the Australian mainland and is one of my favourite places in all of Byron Bay. The best way to reach it is via the Cape Byron walking track; this 3.7km trail takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll ever see. There are a few stairs you’ll need to tackle before you make it to the end of the trail but I promise you won’t even feel the burn in your legs because you’ll be too distracted by the epic views! Hot tip: keep an eye out for wildlife on land and in the ocean – expect goannas, wallabies, turtles, dolphins, rays and whales (between June and November)!
Swim or surf at Wategos Beach
Wategos Beach is one of Byron’s best spots for a swim or a surf. The headland protects the beach from the wilder waters beyond, making it a comfortable place for a relaxing swim. If it’s surf you’re looking for, head out from the eastern end of the beach and join the locals for a wave. Wategos also boasts beachside BBQs and picnic tables that are free to use, making it an ideal location to set up in for a day of sandy, salty fun.
Grab a bite at a trendy café
Byron is FULL of trendy, delicious, Insta-worthy eateries and you must do your best to eat at as many of them as possible. Maybe not too many because it will chew through your budget pretty darn quick but make sure you splurge at least once or twice because I can assure you the food tastes even better than it looks! The best cafés are found on the outskirts of town and a couple of my favourites include The Top Shop and The Byron Bay General Store. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled because if you’re lucky you might find yourself dining next to one of the hunky Hemsworth brothers (they’re Byron Bay locals)!
Take in the views from Fisherman’s Lookout
Perfectly situated at the end of Byron Bay’s beach, this lookout is one of my favourites and as an added bonus there are minimum stairs involved in getting to the top! Offering panoramic views of the bay and beyond, this is also one of the best seats in the house during whale watching season. Year round you can use it to spot dolphins and turtles and it’s got an epic view of one of Byron Bay’s best surf spots – The Pass.
Dive Julian Rocks
Did you know there’s a world class dive location just a 5-minute boat ride from Byron Bay? Well now you do and if you’ve got your diving certification then a dive or two at Julian Rocks is highly recommended. Thanks to the convergence of warm and cold waters, Julian Rocks is home to over 1,000 marine species. In the summer months you can expect to be diving alongside leopard sharks and manta rays and in the winter be awed by the endangered grey nurse shark. Additionally, turtles, rays and an abundance of fish populate the site year round. There are several dive operators to choose from in Byron but if you want a recommendation, I suggest Sundive Byron Bay.
Hike Nightcap National Park
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the rainforest then Nightcap National Park is where you want to go. Situated an hour drive out of Byron, this 8,000-hectare park is a dream for hiking and waterfall enthusiasts. If you’re an experienced hiker and looking for a challenge then the 13km Minyon Falls track has your name written all over it. If you’re looking for less of a challenge but still want to see a magnificent waterfall, head to Protester Falls for an easy 1.4km hike.
Catch a sunset from the lighthouse
The Byron Bay Lighthouse is (in my opinion) the best place in Byron to watch the sunset. Situated high above the town, the views are endless in every direction and as the golden sun sets behind the mountains you’ll be left in awe at the beauty of this region. I’m definitely not the only one who thinks this is a great spot for sunset so expect to be joined by a bit of a crowd. Parking at the lighthouse can be difficult at this time of the day so I recommend walking from town, following the Cape Byron walking track up to the lighthouse.
Relax at Tallows Beach
Located just 3.2kms out of Byron Bay, this 6.5km stretch of pristine white sand beach has fewer visitors than its busy neighbours. Whether you like long strolls on the beach or prefer to throw down a towel and relax, Tallows Beach is where you should head. It’s the perfect place to relax without the crowds for a day. Keep in mind this beach is unpatrolled and can have strong rips and currents, so take care when swimming.
❓ What’s your favourite thing to do in Byron Bay? Comment below and let us know 👇
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About the Author
Samantha Reid is a dual Olympian turned travel blogger and adventure seeker. On any given day you will find her climbing mountains, diving deep in the ocean or road tripping into the unknown. You can follow her global adventures at Sam Around the World or on Facebook and Instagram.