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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Internationally acclaimed photographer, Craig Parry, opens Byron Bay gallery
Byron Bay’s dynamic arts scene is abuzz with the opening of a new gallery by internationally acclaimed nature photographer and local boy, Craig Parry.
Located on Fletcher Street, the gallery showcases Craig’s signature marine, aerial and landscape imagery. Each photograph presents everyday moments from unique perspectives with the focus primarily upon exhibiting images captured in the Byron Bay area.
The gallery has been a long-term project for Craig who has spent years capturing and curating content that would appeal to both a local and international market.
"My greatest inspiration is to connect humanity to nature through photography", says Craig. "I’m incredibly excited to share this passion with everyone and hope my images can act as a focal point to raise awareness for conservation and the beauty which can be found right on our doorstep".
To celebrate the gallery’s opening, this Friday (20th January) Craig will be launching an exhibition featuring some of his top images and unveiling a limited edition Migaloo print which has never been seen before!
Offering a wide variety of printing and framing options and finishes in addition to custom pieces there’s something on offer for all tastes and budgets. Head on down and check it out -