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A holiday in North Byron

Tucked away in the northern end of the Byron Shire are stunning waterfront holiday rentals that offer a more affordable alternative to accommodation in the heart of Byron. From there, you can escape the hustle and bustle while remaining a short drive from Brunswick Heads’s thriving cafe scene, Byron Bay’s lively atmosphere, and more.

Here are just some of the drawcards that attract travellers to North Byron’s hidden gems.

Spectacular beaches and waterways

South Golden and New Brighton are two quiet, open beaches situated in the north of the Byron Shire. These beaches rarely attract as many visitors as Byron’s beaches and both have dog-friendly areas.

After a short 10-minute drive, you’ll find yourself in Brunswick Heads, a quaint holiday village. The idyllic Brunswick River runs through the town and can be explored by kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, or by swimming.

Cross the Brunswick River via the bridge and discover one of the region’s most picturesque beaches: Torakina (pictured above). Perfect for kids, this sheltered beach offers crystal-clear water and little to no swell.

Cafes and restaurants

Just 8.5km away from the tranquility of North Byron Shire are the many gourmet cafes, restaurants, and eateries of Brunswick Heads.

Bruns – as the locals call it – serves up some of the best coffee and breakfasts in the region. For dinner, enjoy fresh fish and chips (best eaten picnic-style by the river), indulge in an award-winning fine-dining meal, or check out some local musical talent and relax in the beer garden at the iconic Hotel Brunswick. 

Markets and other activities

Although Byron is a short 20-minute drive away, there is plenty to do closer to home.

The Brunswick Heads Markets are held on the first Saturday of each month. And, the New Brighton Farmers Market, held Tuesdays from 8am – 11am, is a great place to sample some of the region's best fresh produce.

If you’re visiting with kids, explore the many playgrounds dotted throughout the North Byron region: in South Golden, New Brighton, and two along the riverfront in Brunswick Heads.

This end of the Shire is also home to a magnificent championship golf course. The Ocean Shores Country Club’s course was designed by world-renowned golf architects in 1972 and remains one of the most highly regarded courses in the country.

Close to two major festival sites

The northern end of the Byron Shire is home to two of the major festival sites in the region: North Byron Parklands (Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival), and the Blues Festival site at Tyagarah.

If you’re attending a festival, staying a stone’s throw from the site can be a quick, inexpensive, and convenient option.

 

South Golden Beach, New Brighton and Brunswick Heads accommodation inspo 

Stingray South Golden Beach, is beautifully designed 4 bedroom home, situated on the Capricornia Canal, featuring a large deck with views of the canal.

Twin Waters New Brighton, is a unique 3  bedroom beach house with views and access to the pristine Beach and River of New Brighton.

Norfolk On Fawcett Brunswick Heads is a three bedroom rental just a short walk to river, beach and centre of Brunswick Heads.

5 Best Walks Around Byron Bay

There’s no shortage of beautiful places to see around Byron Bay. I mean, we all know that. But did you know that exploring on foot gives you access some of the best places available? 

The greater Byron area has a wealth of natural treasures that are just waiting to be explored, from dramatic sun-drenched coastlines to subtropical remnant rainforests. 

Not sure where to start? 

Here are 5 of the best walks to tick off your list. 


1. Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk 

When considering the best walks around Byron Bay it's impossible not to include the Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk. It's a classic. Not only do you get stunning panoramic vistas from the lighthouse itself, you also get the cool shade of coastal rainforest, beautiful beaches to have a quick dip and lots of cafes to stop and treat yourself. 

It's the kind of walk you could take a half a day over and experience some of the best of what Byron has to offer in one impressive loop. 

The walk has lots of steps and some steep sections so while it's ideal for taking young kids on your back it's not a good walk for a stroller 


2. Big Scrub Loop 

The Big Scrub rainforest once covered northeastern NSW and was the largest area of subtropical rainforest in Australia, covering a whopping 900 square kilometres. Less than 1% of the Big Scrub remains today. However significant remnants of lowland subtropical and littoral rainforest (one of the rarest types in Australia) still exist. 

One such rare remnant sits in the Rocky Creek Dam area of Nightcap National Park and has a beautiful walking trail that loops its way through it. 

The old-growth forest is stunningly beautiful and rich with life so if you want to hear and see the forest wildlife it's not a bad idea to do the walk slowly and quietly. 


3. Shaws Bay in Ballina 

Shaws Bay is at the mouth of the Richmond River in Ballina. The North Wall of the river creates the bay and offers a fabulous vantage point up the Richmond River. It's an expansive walk with lots of variety. Perfect for a family walk, the beautiful river beaches offer gentle resting spots and a nice place for a dip on a hot day. 


4. Brummies Lookout 

The majestic Wollumbin or Mt Warning is the most outstanding feature in the area. Wollumbin is the remnant core of the Tweed volcano, which formed around 23 million years ago when the whole area was a volcanic hotbed. It's visible from several places in the Byron and Tweed areas, including Cape Byron. 

One of the more unique views of Wollumbin is from Brummies Lookout in Wollumbin National Park which offers vast and rare views of the sheer western cliff face of Wollumbin. 


5. Norries Head Loop 

Cabarita Beach is a coastal gem. The quaint little town has beautiful beaches and one of the best restaurants in the area - Paper Daisy. It's an easy place to explore on foot and the locals have put great effort into creating beautiful walking areas. The Norries Head Loop takes you out to Norries Headland, a perfect place to do some whale spotting during whale season. 

Want to explore further? Check out the Byron Trails guidebook for a complete guide to the best of the natural gems in the area.
 

School Holiday Fun for Families in Byron Bay

The school holidays are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy family time in Byron Bay. As well as relaxing it’s a good idea to have some special activities planned to keep little hands and minds occupied. If you’re looking for some school holiday fun for families, read on. We’ve compiled a list of attractions and activities to satisfy all ages that will make these school holidays memorable for the whole family!

Circus Arts

Give the kids an experience they will never forget at Circus Arts Byron Bay. Whether your child is an absolute beginner or an experienced acrobat Circus Arts offers an amazing School Holiday Program to suit all ages and skill levels. Activities range from circus skills, flying trapeze, balloon twisting workshops, indoor climbing and kids play space. The school holiday program runs throughout the QLD and NSW school holidays. 

Farm Kids at The Farm

Let the kids get their hands dirty and learn from a real working farm. The Farm runs exciting programs aimed at teaching kids about topics such as where food comes from, paddock rotation, pollination, organic and ethical farming and much more. There’s also plenty of opportunity for the children to get up close and interact with the pigs and chickens. Workshops run all year round and they also have a School Holiday Program.

Cape Byron Walking Track

There’s something magical and mysterious about a lighthouse when you’re a child. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you head up The Cape Byron Walking Track to the Lighthouse. The track is not considered stroller friendly in some areas, as there are steep hills and lots of steps. However you can access the track at numerous points along the boardwalk that are flat. All the information you need can be found at the National Parks Cape Byron Walking Track page. There are also tours of the Cape that are suitable for children 5yrs and over.

Byron Markets

If you’re looking for an activity that’s fun for you and the kids the Byron Bay market hits all the right spots. Delicious food, unique local shopping, great entertainment and a relaxing environment. There are a number of different markets on throughout the year as well as the regular monthly market so make sure you check which markets are on before you head out. The Byron Market provides special entertainment such as puppet shows and jumping castles during the school holidays.

Whale Watching

What greater way to inspire awe in our children than with the wonder of seeing a whale in its natural environment. Between May and November each year the majestic Humpback whale migrates north from their southern feeding grounds towards the tropics to breed and give birth. Byron Bay is the east coasts most easterly point so the whales pass by very close to the shore making Byron Bay a premier whale watching location. All you have to do is sit back and watch or there are numerous whale-watching tours available.

Byron KidzKlub

KidzKlub aims to provide kids with so much fun and entertainment they won’t want to leave! KidzKlub runs their school holiday program at the Byron Bay Community Centre. Activities include art and craft, kits, toys and games. Children can play freely or join in the structured art sessions facilitated by fully trained staff.

Horse Riding

Kids love horses. There’s just no denying it. Byron Bay offers some amazing horse riding experiences including beach rides and trail rides. Most equestrian centres will cater for all ages and skill levels. So saddle up and make your kids dream come true these school holidays!

Main Beach Byron Bay

There is no better natural playground for a child than the beach and in Byron Bay you are spoilt for choice. Take your pick from any of the spectacular Byron Bay beaches and the kids will be entertained for hours.

Byron Bay Skateboard School

Did you know that your child could go to Skate Camp? How awesome. The Byron Bay Skateboard School offers Warehouse Day Camps and Skate park Tours during the school holidays as well as private and afterschool lessons during the school year. Founder and instructor Flavio Biehl is passionate about passing on the positive, creative and unique skateboarding lifestyle to his students.

Pighouse Flicks Cinema

Your kids might be a worried about the name but rest assured there are no pigs at this cool cinema. Pighouse Flicks is an independent family run cinema that boasts the latest technology and custom made lounge style seating. A really fun and different cinema experience for the kids during the holidays.

Experience luxury Byron style

Our curated collection of luxury properties offers a level of comfort and service above and beyond. Each is situated in the heart of town or a stone’s throw from one of Byron’s spectacular beaches.

Enjoy a superior level of convenience from the moment you set foot off the plane - fly into the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, just 30 minutes from Byron Bay. 

28 Degrees Byron Bay

Located in the heart of Byron Bay, 28 Degrees Byron Bay offers boutique accommodation for travellers looking for a luxurious haven within walking distance to all the town’s delights and a 3 minute stroll to the beach.

28 Degrees Byron Bay provides total privacy and heavenly comfort for its guests.

Beach Suites

Offering a range of stylish boutique studios and large airy apartments. Beach Suites combines discreet personal service, beachfront access and a central location, creating Byron Bay’s most refined accommodation.

Penthouse apartments have sweeping ocean views, modern kitchens, vast living areas, spacious bedrooms with bath spa en-suites… and private, rooftop swimming pools.

The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa

Set within a stunning 18-hectare rainforest, the Byron at Byron strikes the perfect balance between relaxed luxury and unforgettable service in one of Australia’s most iconic beachside locations. 

Featuring 91 suites, a multi-award winning day spa, and a restaurant overlooking the rainforest.

Elements of Byron is a Resort & Spa

Nestled on 50 acres of absolute beachfront, Elements Of Byron Resort & Spa features private beach villas. Each villa boasts modern beach architecture and interiors inspired by the natural beauty Byron Bay has to offer.

There are four different accommodation types, each with unique and defining features and décor.

Watermark at Wategos

The Watermark at Wategos is a unique beachfront property offering specialty lodging in four separate luxury suites / apartments. 

Settle in to your self-contained luxury suite, with absolute beach frontage onto one of Australia's most beautiful beaches, Wategos Beach at Byron Bay.

Byron Bay's Most Popular Social Posts of 2017

Social media gives us more ways to highlight the region to all the people who love Byron.

Here are byronbay.com's most popular Facebook posts from each month in 2017 - a great snap shot / re-cap of the year. Please enjoy.

 

January, Circus Arts Byron Bay posted a video of their flying trapeze near the Beach in Byron Bay.

 

February, The Australian newspaper posted a nice little clip of dolphins surfing the local beaches.

 

March, our Byron Insider blog post on the World Naked Bike Ride in Byron Bay was hugely popular.

 

April, visiting photographer Remi Bedora captured this perfect shot of The Pass.

 

May, traveler with the Instagram name my_endless_summer posted this classic sunset over Belongil clip.

 

June, there are always plenty of buskers in Byron. Tom Banks took this short video.

 

July, whale season with Migaloo the white whale story featured in the regional newspaper The Norther Star.

 

August, a clear winters day at the beach captured by local riephiniji.

 

September, time-lapse moon-rise over the lighthouse by local photographer Rod Evens. This was our most popular post of 2017!

 

October, local shop Barefoot Blvd was quick to capture some heavy rain on Lawson Street.

 

November, Buzfeed Mates highlighted the popular Crystal Castle in this fun video clip.

 

December, drone footage of some summer fun in the surf by visiting interior designer derlot.

 

We are very active across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - be sure to join us.

2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival

The annual Byron Bay Surf Festival is back. From Thursday, February 22 to Sunday, February 25, 2018, experience the best surf culture has to offer. From art, music, and film, to board shaping, fashion, and of course, surfing, get ready to celebrate the many facets of the surf lifestyle.

2018’s festival is set to be bigger and better than ever, with a whole host of brand-new events and Surf Fest favourites.

First up, the Surf Festival has been extended by one whole day. That means more opportunities to immerse yourself in surf culture, and get involved in the many free and paid-for events the festival has to offer.

Secondly, Friday will now host its own surf event. More details to come, so stay tuned.

Finally, the crowd-favourite ‘Surf Lit Lounge’ is getting an exciting makeover. Now titled the ‘Surf Legend Lounge,’ this event will kick off the festival in style. Taking place in the Byron Community Centre, the Surf Legend Lounge will give you the opportunity to mingle with some of the surfing world’s greatest icons, and soak up their inspirational insights on adventure, surfboards, arts, culture, and sustainability.

Early-birds will enjoy food and drink, plus live music. This event is a fantastic way to catch up with old friends, meet new friends, and feel inspired about the days to come.

Plus, all FEELGOOD and FREE events from the last Surf Festival will be back in action in 2018. That includes the iconic Sunset Cinema, the Art Show, the popular Surf Art Markets, Live Music, and much more.

Don’t forget to head to the beautiful Wategos beach, and get involved in the Freestyle & Stoke sessions.

For all the latest info, visit www.byronbaysurffestival.com.au.

Go Plastic Free this July

Join over one million people from 130 countries world-wide this July, and choose to refuse single-use plastic. Plastic Free July is a global initiative that raises awareness about the environmental impact of disposable plastics, and encourages people to start making a difference.

In 2016, the Plastic Free July project inspired a group of committed locals to begin their own Plastic Free Byron campaign. Collaborating with individuals and organisations in the Byron Shire, Plastic Free Byron continues to work to reduce plastic waste, and keep our oceans and landfill clean.

To do this, Plastic Free Byron releases actionable tips and information that helps Byron Shire residents minimise the amount of single-use plastic they use on a day-to-day basis.

The Problem with Plastics

So what’s the problem with plastics? What is Plastic Free July and Plastic Free Byron against?

  • Plastic breaks up, not down. This means that plastic pollution is permanent.
  • Even when recycled, disposable plastic is usually down-cycled. This means it’s made into a low-grade product also designed for single use, or it’s sent straight to landfill.
  • Lightweight plastics tend to escape from bins and trucks, turning into accidental litter.
  • Importantly, disposable plastics end up in our waterways. It’s vital to keep Byron’s beautiful beaches clean, and marine life healthy and happy.
  • Plastic manufacturing makes up a huge 6% of the world’s fossil fuel footprint.

The Solution to Disposable Plastic

Initiatives like Plastic Free July and Plastic Free Byron show that refusing one-time-use plastics is fairly simple. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid buying products with plastic packaging. Instead, opt for alternatives – for example, buy loose rather than wrapped fruit and veg.
  • Say no to plastic that tends to become litter, such as straws, balloons, and takeaway cups.
  • Reduce waste where possible. Get refills, and don’t forget your reusable shopping bags!
  • Always recycle when refusal is not possible.
  • Sign up to Plastic Free July and join the #choosetorefuse challenge. Share with your friends and family, and encourage them to get involved, too.

For more Plastic Free July tips, download the Plastic Free July Guidebook.

Get Involved with Plastic Free July and Plastic Free Byron

Sign up for the Plastic Free July challenge right now at www.plasticfreejuly.org

Learn more about Plastic Free Byron and their campaigns at plasticfreebyron.com

7 Free Things to Do in Byron Bay

Visiting Byron on a budget? There are plenty of free things to do in Byron Bay. Check out 7 of our favourites below.

1. Watch the sunrise from Cape Byron Lighthouse

Be one of the first in Australia to watch the sunrise – there really is no better way to start the day in Byron Bay. Walk from the Wategos car park up to the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Byron Bay. As the sun rises over the water, you might be lucky enough to spot dolphins playing in the day’s first light.

2. Wander through the Byron Bay Markets

On the first Sunday of each month, the Butler Street Reserve plays host to the popular Byron Bay Markets. With a range of local and imported arts and crafts, fashion, beauty, kids’ stuff and food, the unique Byron Markets are must for any visitor to the region. Entry is free, but you’ll probably be tempted to pick up a souvenir or two (or at least a Byron Bay Organic Doughnut)!

If you're not in Byron for the first Sunday of the month, chances are there are other markets on in the Byron region. Check out our upcoming markets calendar.

3. Check out the Lone Goat Gallery

Byron Bay and surrounding regions are home to some of Australia’s most talented visual artists, so check out what’s on at the Lone Goat Gallery next time you’re in town. Located on the corner of Lawson and Middleton Street, this vibrant exhibition space is within walking distance from the centre of town.

4. Explore waterfalls near Byron Bay

Just a short drive from Byron Bay you’ll find two stunning waterfalls: Minyon Falls (about 45-minute drive) and Killen Falls (about 30-minute drive). Take the whole day to visit both. Stop for lunch at a hinterland eatery, or pack a picnic to enjoy in the scenic surrounds.

5. Sit on the beach

Byron has a lot to offer, but one of the very best ways to soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of Byron Bay is to sit on the beach and do nothing. With white sand, picturesque headlands, and crystal clear water, Byron is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches. Swim, surf, read, sleep, or people-watch, a visit to Byron Bay is not complete without a trip to at least one of the area’s beautiful beaches.

6. Catch some live music

Byron Bay has a thriving nightlife, including venues that offer free live music everyday of the year. The Railway Friendly Bar (known as The Rails) is one such place. Located on Johnson Street, The Rails is the perfect place to meet with friends and check out the local talent.

7. Watch a free movie

Once a month, the Beach Hotel puts on a free movie night. With outdoor seating, blankets to keep you warm, and a range of movie snacks on offer, it’s the ultimate movie experience in Byron Bay. Check their Facebook Page to keep up-to-date with the next monthly movie night.

Byron Bay Triathlon

Byron Bay Triathlon is like no other - 13 May 2017! One of the most popular triathlons in Australia it has a race for you! Kids through to Pros, Tempta, Sprint Olympic.

Byron Bay Triathlon has been a magical calendar event for 22 years now. It’s been The Triathlon to mark the end of each year’s triathlon season. That has made BBT a great Party Weekend in one of the world’s most idyllic locations.

Don’t want to go the race alone? Register in one of our team divisions and finish the Byron Bay Tri together! The race kicks off at midday so you can sleep all morning and hit the beach in the afternoon with your mates.

The Byron Bay Tri is sanctioned and run under Triathlon Australia guidelines.

For further information, visit www.byronbaytri.com.au.

Most Popular Byron Bay Facebook Posts of 2016

Social media plays a large part in helping byronbay.com keep you all informed (thanks for visiting) and we 'like' it (love it) when you comment, like and share with us. Here's our most popular Facebook Posts of 2016, be sure to join us: www.facebook.com/byron.bay.nsw, www.instagram.com/byron.bay.nsw and www.twitter.com/byronbay.

January 2016

A little windy on Main Beach Byron Bay.

February 2016

Crystal clear waters in Brunswick Heads, photo credit Graham Nixon.

March 2016

World Naked Bike Ride caused a 'Byron Style' traffic jam, video credit Boardshop Australia.

April 2016

Postcard perfect - Wategos Beach Byron Bay, image credit Sean O'Shea.

May 2016

Classic Byron Bay sunset with sand art by Craig A. Gascoigne Spiralman. Photo credit dice_a.

June 2016

The Wreck Byron Bay, photo credit Tim Samuel.

July 2016

Killen Falls, 30 minutes from Byron Bay.

August 2016

On a clear night Byron Bay - panorama of the Milky Way captured last night by Rod Evans.

September 2016

Byron Bay's surfing dolphins, video by Sean O'Shea

October 2016

Beachfront busking at Main Beach Byron Bay, video credit part.time_nomadz.

November 2016

Drumming circle at dusk, waiting for the super moon at Main Beach Byron Bay. Video credit Leila Cosgrove McKail.

December 2016

Beautiful Torakina Beach, Brunswick Heads. Photo credit Born in the Tropics.

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