Things to do in Byron Bay
With an enviable laidback beach lifestyle, you really don’t need to do much on a holiday to Byron Bay except enjoy the sun, surf and sand. Luckily, if you are looking for more diversions and activities, this vibrant and colourful town has plenty. While you’re on the beach, take the opportunity to learn how to surf, snorkel, stand-up paddle (SUP) or dive with one of the local companies. Byron Bay is also a good base to visit surrounding towns and beaches such as Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores, Mullumbimby and Murwillumbah and enjoy the country hospitality and explore the lush hinterland.
Byron Shire also has a revolving roster of weekend markets that are a must-visit to check out the area’s produce, enjoy a multicultural meal or home-grown coffee and browse the huge variety of local handicrafts, clothing, gifts and vintage wares. The Byron Bay Markets take place on the first Sunday of the month and always host great buskers, entertainment and a festival atmosphere. Byron Farmers Markets are also on every Thursday morning at Butlers Street Reserve.
In town, retail therapy ranges from souvenir and gift shops to designer boutiques with plenty of unique and attractive stores to browse in, plus heaps of surfwear stores in case you need more boardies and bikinis. While Byron Bay was notoriously resistant to international companies and chain stores in favour of local retailers, over the years some well-known labels have crept in among the retail-scape but not diluting the overall feel of the main shopping streets and arcades.
Other great things to do in Byron Bay include watching a film at Pighouse Flicks Byron Lounge Cinema, horse riding on the beach, enjoying an indulgent massage or alternate health therapy (there’s heaps to chose from!), or polish your yoga moves at a retreat or class. For more, here’s our top five places to see in Byron Bay.
The iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse is Australia’s easternmost mainland point and the place to go to see the sunrise. Do the coastal walk to take in the beautiful beaches, littoral rainforest and spy the dolphins and turtles in the ocean.
Located just off Byron Bay’s Main Beach, Julian Rocks is the town’s scuba diving and snorkelling mecca with a unique mix of temperate and tropical marine life that call the submerged islands home, as well as aquatic birds that rest and nest there.
One of Byron Bay’s favourite sandy shorelines is Belongil Beach, a curved expanse from Main Beach up to Belongil Creek. This relatively untouched beach is ideal for walking along the water, surfing and swimming.
Australia’s iconic counterculture capital of Nimbin is the place to go to check out alternative lifestyles and colourful characters in a picturesque and artistic town. The curious come to check out the cannabis culture and the lesser-known permaculture.
Towering over the town of Murwillumbah, Mount Warning or Wollombin is a recognisable sight and a popular trekking spot. The extinct shield volcano offers an amazing view of the World Heritage-listed Mount Warning National Park and surrounds.