Did you know the town of Byron Bay is the first place in Australia to welcome the rise sun each day?
That is because it is home to Cape Byron, the easternmost part of the country.
A hip coastal town in northern NSW, Byron Bay was once considered a sleepy village not so long ago. But now it is one of the most famous beach destinations in Australia.
Famed for its terrific beaches, great vibe, fabulous food and world-class festivals, Byron Bay is a place everyone should visit at least once.
And many people do. Some 2.2 million people infact visit Byron each year from both Australia and overseas.
If you are looking to visit Byron Bay you will probably have some questions.
So why not read on and let us answer some of them for you?
The Beaches of Byron Bay
Byron Bay is one of Australia’s most famous beach locations. Popular with surfers and tourists, the town and main street of Byron are situated right behind the beach.
A patrolled beach, dominated by the Surf Club, which opened in 1907, this white sandy beach boasts stunning views of distant mountains.
Blessed with a full range of facilities and amenities It is a great spot to do a whole host of things other than sunbathe.
Close by, Clarkes Beach and Wategos beaches are also patrolled year-round. While the quieter Belongil Beach is also a lovely dog-friendly spot.
Little Wategos is Australia’s easternmost beach and can be reached on foot from the path that leads up to Cape Byron Lighthouse.
Whilst here be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins, turtles and whales which can often be spotted offshore.
Location & History
Byron Bay is a beachside town situated on the far-northeastern corner of New South Wales with a permanent population of over 9000 people.
Located on Bundjalung Country, it is 772 kms north of Sydney and 165 kms south of Brisbane.
The local Arakwal Aboriginal people have been living in this area for over 22,000 years. Their traditional name for the area is Cavvanbah – which means ‘meeting place’.
The area is known for the Cape Byron landmark. A headland that lies adjacent to the town, which is the easternmost point of mainland Australia.
In 1770 Lieutenant James Cook found safe anchorage here and named it Cape Byron after a fellow sailor of his, Royal Navy officer John Byron, who later became the grandfather of the poet Lord Byron.
Europeans moved into the area in the 1830s. In the process massacring many of the indigenous population.
By 1901 the Cape Byron Lighthouse was constructed. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that surfers began to arrive in numbers.
Tourism began to develop in the 1980s. Through continuous development, it has grown at a substantial rate since then.
Things To Do in Byron
Though people flock to Byron for its great beach and awesome vibe there are a host of other activities you can partake in away from the sand.
These include nature walks, horse riding, mountain bike tours, golf, sky diving, gliding and hot air ballooning.
If you are into shopping, there are lots of great markets and local stores to peruse in the area. While those looking to rejuvenate their minds and bodies can partake in a plethora of yoga, massages, day spas, health and wellness retreats.
For those preferring to stay near the ocean, you can sign up for scuba diving, surf lessons, snorkeling, kayaking, whale watching, fishing and river tours.
During the course of the year Byron Bay hosts a number of wonderful events.
These include the following:
– V-Day Byron Bay (February)
– Byron Bay Surf Festival (February)
– Byron Music Festival (June)
– Byron Writers Festival (August)
– Bluesfest (October)
– Byron Bay International Film Festival (October – November)
– Splendour in the Grass (November)
– The Falls Music & Art Festival (December – January)
Other Beaches Near Byron
There are a number of other wonderful beaches on the North Coast of New South Wales that you can visit during your stay in Byron Bay.
A little further afield, Yamba and Iluka and well worth the 90-minute drive if you fancy going to either of them.
Best Time To Visit Byron
Given its reputation and global appeal, Bryon Bay is a year-round beach destination for tourists.
In terms of weather the best time to visit Byron Bay is between September and November when there are comfortable temperatures and the lowest average rainfall.
The cheapest time in terms of cost to visit Byron Bay is between June and August. As this is Australia’s winter the cost of flights and hotels tends to be cheaper during this low season.
If you are wanting to surf, June and August is the most reliable time of year to do so, as low-pressure systems in the Tasman Sea can create solid east and south swells.
At times when Byron is hosting a major event, the cost and availability of hotel and holiday accommodation can increase markedly. So unless you are specifically attending these events consider visiting at another time.
How To Get There
Byron Bay is a fairly easy destination to get to by both air, road and rail.
The regional airport of Ballina is a 30-minute drive away. Whilst the international airports of the Gold Coast and Brisbane are about a 50 minute, and 1 hour and 50-minute, drive away respectively.
Between them, these airports welcome flights from most countries in the world.
Taxis and shuttle buses direct to Byron Bay can be caught from all of them. And there are plenty of car hire companies based in them too.
From Sydney and Brisbane, Greyhound and Premier Coaches also run services to Byron Bay. While if you are planning to drive Byron Bay can be accessed easily from the Pacific Highway.
If you would prefer to take the train, CountryLink provides affordable and reliable travel options to Byron Bay from a range of locations within Brisbane, New South Wales and Melbourne.
Holiday Accommodation Options
Byron Bay has the full range of accommodation options for the visitor.
From budget-friendly backpackers to deluxe accommodation there is something to suit all budgets and tastes.
If you are planning a visit to Byron, you can use the search box below to find the best hotel and holiday apartment deals currently on offer.
Some great choices to look out for are The Lord Byron, Waves Byron Bay, The Bower Byron Bay, Beach Suites, Byron Central Apartments and the Glen Villa Resort.
All of which have received a host of positives reviews across most hotel booking sites.
Boasting everything from Michelin Star restaurants to trendy bistros, cool cafes and quirky coffee shops, Byron Bay is a place where you won’t go hungry or thirsty.
One of the most popular options is the Main Street Burger Bar, which serves burgers that will have you smacking your lips. While BayGer is another great place to grab a burger.
Di Vino is a fabulous Italian restaurant that serve excellent ragu, as well as creme brûlée to die for. Similarly, The Cyprus Tree offers seafood cooked with love and great skill.
The charmingly named Bang Bang serves delicious Asian food while the Bay Leaf Café has a great vibe and excellent range of dishes.
If you are vegan, or just want to eat delicious and healthy food then Manna Heaven should definitely be on your list. As should Dip. A French/Australian bistro and bar that offers plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
For coffee it’s hard to beat Folk Byron Bay or the Barefoot Brew Road. Both of whom are often referred to as offering the best coffee in town.
For further information about the area you can check out the official Byron website.
Whilst flicking through social media you can search through the #byron or #byronbay hashtags too.
For those of you who do visit Byron Bay please tag @BeachScenes2020 on any of the beach photos you post on Instagram.
Byron Bay Beach Products
At Beach Scenes our passion is the beach. And Byron Bay is a beach we are very passionate about!
Over the years we have captured some wonderful photographs of the area.
These photographs have been turned into a fabulous range of Byron Bay beached themed gifts, artwork and homeware products.
If you love Byron Bay beach, or just beaches in general please check them out!
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