Byron Bay & Surrounds
Escape to Byron Bay, a relaxing and beautiful destination that offers a complete retreat from the rush of everyday life. People come to experience Byron's untouched natural beauty, its unique energy, its world-class surf beaches, its spa retreats and the many activities that make it such a refreshing place to visit.
The town of Byron Bay is a little pocket of paradise, nestled below the imposing Cape Byron lighthouse. The Cape Byron headland is Australia's most easterly point and is the first place in the land to welcome the dawn of a new day, so capturing a gorgeous sunrise whilst here is a must! The scenery of Byron Bay and its surrounds is quite breathtaking, with a spectacular coastline set against a backdrop of verdant green hinterland and coastal rainforest.
Byron's surf beaches are legendary, and with warm temperate waters, people come year round to hit the waves. The village is full of surf shops and this surf culture forms a major part of Byron's charm. The immediate area, from Lennox Head to Brunswick Heads, boasts over 32km of beaches. For those that like getting out there, there are days and days worth of adventure and attractions to keep even the most active visitor busy. Kayaking with dolphins, sky diving, mountain bike tours and more.
The vibe of Byron Bay is ultra relaxed and for a small surf town it has a lot going on. Jonson street is the main drag and runs through the town to meet the sea at Bay Street. Much of the action is centred on Jonson street and a few blocks surrounding it. There's a wide choice of dining options, with visitors being able to feast on regional and world cuisines, including (to name a few) Japanese, Spanish, French, Mexican, as well as divine local seafood and inventive mod Australian dishes. With Byron Bay's fertile and abundant countryside there is a huge focus here on organic and fresh local produce. The town really is a delight for foodies. From the casual restaurant strip that makes up 'Eat Street' in the centre of town, to finer dining in the beautiful hinterland, eating out in Byron Bay is one of the most pleasurable parts of any visit here. Pubs here are buzzy too and you can find live music on most nights of the week.
In the 1960s, before Byron Bay had became a well-known name on the tourist trail, the first wave of surfers began arriving with their longboards. They surfed the long, lazy waves and the area's reputation began to spread. Byron Bay was also soon discovered by hippies! New Age lifestyle seekers came in their masses to the Aquarius Festival back in 1973, held in the nearby hinterland town of Nimbin (a music and lifestyle event, regarded as Australia's very own Woodstock). Once the region had woven its magic on those that came, many adopted it as their own utopia and never left.
The alternative lifestyle and hippy ambience remains and mixed with all the trappings of a cosmopolitan resort town, it makes a pretty special combination. There's interesting shopping and a variety of different markets on every week. You can browse stalls stocked with crystals and incense, visit art galleries, jewellery workshops and organic wholefood stores, or stroll stylish boutiques, funky local fashion labels and luxe homewares stores. There's a huge range of holistic and alternative therapies to be found and exquisite pampering available in any one of the region's world class spa retreats. Byron Bay is also known as the yoga capital of Australia. No matter what your budget is, there's a class, retreat or workshop to suit. The local aboriginal Bundjalung people have long believed Byron Bay to be a special place of healing (or Arakwal), and many claim to feel a positive energy in the region.
Backpackers and millionaires (as well as the occasional visiting celebrity) all share the same beautiful stretches of sand here and come for the same reasons. It's all about relaxing and rejuvenating.
Once you've had enough of lying on Byron Bay's gorgeous beaches, the following places (within close driving distance) are well worth a visit:
- Cute and quaint Bangalow
- Surfing hotspot Lennox Head