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The Byron Bay Stingrays

Every morning, whatever the weather, a group of dedicated individuals make their way to the deck of the Byron Bay Surf Club and prepare for their morning ocean swim. They are known as the Stingrays.

At 8am sharp, the group take the 20-minute stroll down to the Pass. Some run, and others walk. Some come with snorkels and goggles, and others with nothing more than a swimming cap. Some are young, and others well over seventy. The diversity of the group is one thing that makes the swim so appealing.

Once at the pass, the swimmers dive into the ocean. They swim back to the Surf Club regardless of whether the water is warm and pristine, or cold and choppy. The Stingrays often spot sea turtles and tropical fish. And, whale sightings are common June through November.

While some have done the approximately 2.5km swim every morning for decades, newbies are always welcomed. The organised ocean swim is free, and provides a unique opportunity to experience another side of Byron Bay together with competent swimmers.

If you become tired mid-way through the swim, you can make your way to the beach and walk back to the Surf Club. The swim is not competitive. For the Stingrays, the experience is about connecting to the ocean, and soaking up that blissful sense of joy, freedom, and accomplishment.

For many locals, the ocean swim is a celebration of living in Byron Bay, one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Byron Bay Whale Watching

Byron Bay is one of Australia’s best destinations to spot the majestic humpback whale on its annual migration from cold Antarctic waters to warmer breeding grounds off the coast of Queensland.

Every year between May and November, an estimated average of 17,000 whales migrate north past the east coast of Australia. Humpback whales are believed to use landmarks to navigate their migration route, causing them to swim close to the coastline. As the country’s most easterly point, Byron Bay is spoilt with up-close views of these incredible creatures.

The International Whale Census Day, held on the last Sunday of June, sees dedicated volunteer whale enthusiasts and visitors count the humpbacks as they pass Cape Byron. In 2016, the count was expected to reach 25,000. However, humpbacks remain listed as vulnerable in New South Wales.

The best vantage point for whale watching on land is the Cape Byron Lighthouse, which stands over the Cape Byron Marine Park. Built over 200 years ago, the lighthouse is accessible by car or by foot, and offers unparalleled panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Whale Watching Byron Bay can get you even closer to the humpbacks with a number of ocean tours available in Byron Bay. Witness the whales breaching off the coast with a 2.5-hour Whale Watching Cruise. The tour, which departs everyday June through November, accommodates a maximum of 12 people. In addition to whales, customers often see turtles, dolphins, and ocean birds.

Cape Byron Kayaks tours taken during whale season are an exciting way to glimpse the humpbacks from the water. There’s nothing quite like seeing such a huge animal so close up!

Byron Yoga Day Festival

NEW DATE - Saturday 25th June Join the world wide celebrations for the United Nations International Day of Yoga at the first Byron Yoga Day Festival, a FREE community event featuring inspiring teachers, artists, food, stalls and musical performers. A day of fun and festivity for all the family.

Saturday 25th June at 11 AM - 3 PM at Denning Park, Main Beach, Byron Bay

  • Yoga Asanas! Flow through a fun, creative sequence culminating in a free form yoga dance and rock your asana with two live bands.
  • Meditation! Learn to breathe deeply and completely, filling your lungs with fresh, ocean air then find your inner peace with wonderful meditation that is simply relaxing.
  • Relaxation! Lie back under the trees, listen to the waves rolling in and find an oasis of deep relaxation and calm.
  • Music! The ancient chants of India to the melodies, beats and rhythms of the modern world. Get your mantra on with The Aloha's sweet captivating medlodies, Yadudes with their heart felt soulful songs and then dance the afternoon away with DJM's Mantra Trance Experince!!! to move like you've never before.
  • Stalls by the locals packed with heaps of healthy, delicious food.
  • Inspirational and thought provoking talks on topics such as ‘How to Lead a Balanced Life’, Benefits of Mantra Meditation and the question of 'Who am I?’

A day of fun and festivity for everyone! Join the festival via their Facebook Event Page or visit www.yogadayfestival.com.au NOW & share the LOVE by inviting all your friends too.

Visit Byron on Instagram

Here at byronbay.com we love being able to showcase and highlight everything that makes Byron special and instagram is perfect for timely and stylish images. Here's a sample of some of our most popular recent images. Be sure to follow and tag us @byron.bay.nsw #visitbyron - comments too: www.instagram.com/byron.bay.nsw.

Boardshop Australia captured a Naked Bike Ride traffic jam in Byron Bay.

Matt Chesher captured this aerial view of Wategos Beach from a'chopper'.

byron.bay.nsw, byronbay.com's instagram account posted this very popular image of the Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out sign.

Leana Mckenzie took an excellent shot of the sand art that often 'appears' on Byron's beaches.

Nikos Giannakaros titled this photo 'Magical Place' - enough said.

Beach side accommodation in Byron Bay

Byron Bay, with its white sand beaches that stretch for miles and the subtropical rainforests that cover the hinterland, is home to some of the most exclusive holiday retreats and gorgeous accommodation options in Australia. Here is a list of some of the best places to stay when you are travelling to Byron Bay.

Watermark at Wategos Beach

Watermark at Wategos, Byron Bay, offers three glamours room stays, including two studio suites on the beach front, and one luxurious ocean view apartment. Each apartment is fully self contained, making this the perfect romantic getaway for a luxurious weekend at Wategos beach.

Victorias at Wategos

Victoria’s at Wategos, Byron Bay, is a luxurious beach retreat in the exclusive area of Wategos Beach. Victorias is a tuscan style villa, furnished in natural stone, and marble, and hand crafted furnishings. The Villa is just a short 100m from the glorious Wategos beach, and offers many suites, and three major living areas with views of the ocean, ideal for whale watching in the season.

Amala Luxury Villa

Book this spacious, one bedroom villa for a relaxing and tranquil place to stay while enjoying your holiday in Byron Bay. Amala is decorated with hand crafted balinese furnishings and is situated closely to the Buddha Gardens Day Spa, where guests can enjoy 10 percent off their relaxing massage and treatments.

Assistant Lighthouse Keeper's Cottages

The assistant lighthouse keepers cottages are an unique holiday accommodation that offers guest the experience of finding out what it would be like to live as a lighthouse keeper. This is a great holiday stay for family or friends groups and is only a short drive to Byron Bay itself.

Victorias at Ewingsdale

Located on four acres of manicured gardens, Victoria’s at Ewingsdale is a multi-award winning accommodation complete with day spa. The country manor offers panoramic ocean, mountain and rural views for its guests and the pampering experience of personalised service.

The Garden Burees

In the midst of lush tropical gardens are The Garden Burees, which are balinese inspired villas. The Grand Buree is a three bedroom luxury villa ideal for special occasions or there are Garden Burees for the more budget conscious. While enjoying your stay at the Garden Burees, pamper yourself at the Buddha Gardens Day Spa located on site.

The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa

The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa is situated in the picturesque location in the heart of a 45 acre rainforest, just minutes from Tallow Beach. Book a one bedroom suite to stay at the resort and enjoy daily complimentary yoga classes, and relaxing strolls along the timber boardwalks through the forest. The resort also offers facilities like an infinity pool, gym and tennis court while the main building boasts verandas overlooking the canopy of the rainforest.

Explore the Legendary Pacific Coast

Explore the stretch of stunning natural environments and quaint villages between Sydney and Brisbane. Here is a small sample of what you’ll find on the Legendary Pacific Coast.


The Hunter Valley

Located about a one and a half hour drive from Sydney is one of Australia’s most iconic wine destinations, the Hunter Valley. The scenic region is a wine-enthusiast’s delight, with over 150 winemakers producing some of the country’s best Semillon, Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Verdelho wines. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the variety of cellar door tastings set against panoramic vineyard scenery.

Compliment your cellar door tasting with a meal at one of the many gourmet cafes and restaurants in the area. From alfresco lunches enjoyed among the vines, to fine dining in historic homes, there’s a perfect meal for every foodie. And don’t miss the variety of bespoke olive oil, cheese, and chocolates, which make for a perfect picnic in the Hunter Valley Gardens.

In addition to the wine and food, the Hunter Valley is home to a range of local art galleries, championship golf courses, and boutique shopping. It truly is a must-do stop on the Legendary Pacific Coast.


Great Lakes

Situated three hours north of Sydney, the Myall, Wallis, and Smiths Lakes form a unique system unlike anything else in Australia. The Great Lakes area is home to 145 kilometres of stunning coast, lush National Parks, rolling hinterland, and pristine waterways, making it the ideal stop for those who love the great outdoors.

The Myall Lakes National Park is the perfect place to experience the varied landscape of the region. You can stay in the park at the campgrounds, or in heritage-listed accommodation. The Treachery Headland walking track is an easy walk through coastal rainforest to an open headland, which offers far-reaching views of the rugged headland and coast, including the historic Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. The natural wonders of the park can also be discovered by boat, kayak, and bike.

As well as the lakes, the area is recognised for its breathtaking beaches, some of which can only be accessed by boat. Forster Main Beach is protected, making it ideal for families. A dirt track at the Northern end of Seven Mile Beach leads to a great fishing spot. And Blueys Beach offers some of the best surf in the region.


Coffs Coast

About half way between Brisbane and Sydney is the Coffs Coast, a diverse region composed of charming villages, National Parks, mountains, marine reserves, islands, and beaches. Regardless of whether you’re a nature lover or cultural maven, the Coffs Coast has something unique to offer.

Explore the 84,000 ha of World Heritage listed Nation Parks and sub-tropical rainforests that run through the region. A standout is the short but fascinating walk to Crystal Shower Falls, accessed via the Wonga walk. You can walk behind the waterfall, which makes for a magical vantage point to soak up the sights and sounds of the ancient rainforest.

The Solitary Islands Marine Park is another natural wonder of the Coffs Coast. The park is the third largest in Australia, covering a total of 71,000 ha and 75 kilometres of coastline. Some areas of the park offer idyllic diving and snorkelling conditions, with tropical fish, coral, and algae. In addition, visitor’s can enjoy scenic walks around tidal estuaries and over headlands.

Byron Bay 2015 in Pictures

Look back at Byron Bay throughout 2015 via the most engaging posts on byronbay.com's Facebook page each month. Seems there is always something happening in Byron, looking forward to 2016 - join us www.facebook.com/byron.bay.nsw.

January:


Summer's in full swing - keep cool with coconuts on Main Beach Byron Bay.

February:


Celebrating V Day at Main Beach Byron Bay, so much fun! V-Day, February 14, is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls inspired by Eve Ensler's play, The Vagina Monologues.

March:


Local photographer, David Young, captures Byron's participation in the World Naked Bike Ride.

April:


Well spotted australia.com. Looking out over the magnificent Tallow Beach in Byron Bay with @backpackerbanter - what a view! This shot was captured on the Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk, a 5km round trip from Wategos Beach that allows you to take in the sights of the breathtaking coastline and tranquil rainforest.

May:


Byron Bay flash flooding captured by @dougallp.

June:


Super-Cool image of Main Beach Byron Bay, captured by @mattdraperphotography.

"It's pretty amazing what you can create with a camera. I took this image about an hour ago. Perfect miniature waves at Main Beach, Byron Bay."

July:


Mighty Blue Moon captured by Surflife Australia Photography.

"I was very happy to capture this moon rising tonight, with perfect clear skies & enough daylight to show Byron Bay's lighthouse in detail & also all the people that were there to watch the moon rise from Australia's most easterly point."

August:


Plenty of bait fish in the water lately Byron Bay. Aerial image by @uniqueimages_australia.

September:


Whales in Byron Bay... WOW! This was the years most engaging image. photo Glenn Sanders: www.facebook.com/glegmo - or follow on insta www.instagram.com/glegmo/.

October:


Springtime afternoon in Byron Bay.

November:


Dolphins hanging out in Byron Bay. Captured by Sean O'Shea.

December:


Summertime Byron Bay - Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out.

Beaches of the North Coast

The North Coast glistens with a majestic coastline and several beaches that are perfect for lazing, spending time with the kids or enjoying a relaxing swim. Here are a handful of beaches that you should visit.


Byron Bay Main Beach

The beaches of Byron Bay are in a league of their own boasting gorgeous views, white sand and perfect surfing conditions. The aptly named Main Beach of Byron Bay is the closest beach to the town centre and home to the over 100 year old Byron Bay Surf Club. This traditionally Australian beach attracts many visitors year round and is patrolled throughout the summer months from October to Easter.


Brunswick Heads

Brunswick Heads Beach is a popular spot for swimmers and anglers both. Being just a 15 minute drive from Byron Bay, Brunswick heads is enjoying growing popularity, while staying authentic to its traditional beach culture. The white sandy beach at Brunswick Heads is the perfect place to bring the family, including the dog, for it’s child-friendly swimming conditions and low tides revealing plentiful sandy playgrounds.


Lennox head

Popular with surfers for its internationally famous right hand break, Lennox Head is a beach in the Byron Bay region where travelers and locals can both enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and beautiful scenery. Between May and October, Lennox head is a great location to observe the passing migrating humpback whales or go kitesurfing.


Ballina

Ballina is home to Australia’s ‘Big Prawn’ but it is also a gorgeous beach, close to Byron Bay. There are many activities you can do while visiting Ballina including kayaking, bushwalking and camping or you can simply enjoy a glorious evening having a waterfront barbeque or picnic in the fantastic subtropical climate.


Wategos Beach

Wategos Beach is one of Byron Bay’s most exclusive locations, with luxury accommodations and tranquil atmosphere of the northern side of Cape Byron. Wategos Beach is a small beach, spanning 600m of pure white sand bliss, which is situated just a short trip to Byron Bay town centre. Wategos beach manages to avoid the crowds of Byron being just the next beach out from the main beach, and therefore offers a more relaxed and exclusive atmosphere.


Clarks Beach

Clarks Beach is a warm protected beach, which is ideal for all year round swimming and beach activities. It is popular with families and surfing schools for it’s small swell and patrolled by lifeguards in the summer months.

Belongil Beach

Belongil Beach is a dog friendly beach, just north of Byron. Beach goers can bring along their best friend to their day at the beach, or head up to the most northern end of the beach for a ‘clothing optional’ allocated area to get the perfect all over tan.


Tallow Beach

Tallow Beach is part of Seven Mile Beach which is actually only 8.3km long. This is a popular beach with the locals for its great surfing conditions and a great destination to visit for its stunning scenery, being situated with the Byron Bay lighthouse at one end and Broken Head at the other.

Elements of Byron on Track for February Opening

With a $7 million a month construction spend, Elements of Byron Resort is on track for a February 1st 2016 opening.

The “slow architecture” venture celebrates four unique ecologies present on the site – dunal, eucalypt, rainforest and wetland.

All 94 villas have now been constructed and 65,000 new plants will go in between the villas and existing mature trees over the next three months to re-establish the natural ecosystems. The infinity lagoon pool is ready for pebble effect and the first native rainforest trees in this precinct have been installed.

The housekeeping building is completed and ready for the installation of a 500 square metre array of solar panels.

The main bar shell now sits in the lobby, a centrepiece of the main pavilion, awaiting a custom mosaic finish. The other two bars are under construction. An oversized elliptical skylight sits over the main bar and a series of custom glass pendants will hang from the four metre high ceiling above. Renowned Byron artist Noel Hart is creating a major series of hand made blown-glass works reflecting the local birdlife to adorn the reception area.

The wood fired oven has arrived and is ready to install. This will become a showpiece in the more casual terrace dining area. Final touches are being made to the custom brass fire bowl for the sunken fire pit area, which lies below the water line of the pool and is bounded by a mosaic tiled wet edge and garden. The $1.5 million kitchen fit-out is well underway.

The Elements of Byron Energy Management System, which will enable guests to monitor their energy consumption in real time via the TV or personal iPad in each villa, has been installed. When guests depart they can choose to offset their carbon footprint, knowing exactly what their energy consumption has been. The concept of monitoring and quantifying exact energy consumption in real time is new. “So if you turn on a light, for example, you can watch the monitor rise” outlined General Manager Leon Pink. Other aspects of the Energy Management System utilise the latest available international technology, such as motion detectors which activate power, lighting and air conditioning when a guest is in their villa.

"We are conscious of energy consumption" said Leon Pink. “This has been considered from the ground up by using principles of passive solar design and orientation so that the villas naturally require less energy to heat and cool. And in addition to this our Energy Management System will further reduce power consumption by around 40%".

 

Book Now to stay from 1st February 2016.

Backpacking in Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a unique location loved by backpackers from around the world. There are plenty of hostels in Byron for backpackers, all with necessary facilities, great locations, and diverse room options.

Arts Factory Lodge

Love to surf? The Arts Factory hostel is located just 1.5km from The Wreck, a renowned surf break in Byron Bay.

Stay in mixed or single-sex dorm rooms, which include free Wi-Fi and access to shared bathrooms. Some dorms are situated in eclectic teepees or charming cottages, and others include kitchenettes. Private rooms with en suite bathrooms, and campsites are also available.

Hostel guests can use the free shuttle bus to get to town and other Byron sites. But there’s no need to head out to experience Byron’s nightlife. There’s a bar, restaurant, cafe, and brewery on-site. There’s also shared kitchen facilities, a swimming pool, a games room, laundry facilities, and bikes and surfboards for rent.

Learn more, check availability & book online.

Byron Beach Resort

Nestled among 5,500 square metres of lush native gardens is the Byron Beach Resort. This colourful resort is located just 6 minutes from Belongil Beach, and offers a free, regular shuttle to town.

Rooms include 4, 6, and 8 person dorms, female-only dorms, budget twin shares, spa rooms, and cottages, each with an en suite bathroom. Spa rooms and cottages come with outdoor spaces, TVs, and fridges. All guests are able to purchase Wi-Fi.

The Byron Beach Resort has all the necessary amenities, as well as ample room for socialising. There’s a communal kitchen, BBQ area, and hammocks dotted throughout the property. Have a game of volleyball on the onsite volleyball court, or rent a few bikes and ride into town. And don’t miss the daily yoga sessions!

Learn more, check availability & book online.

Nomads Byron Bay

Nomads is a well-kept, modern hostel situated right in town - 1.4km from Belongil Beach and 1.6km from Arakwal National Park.

Accommodation options include mixed and female-only dorms, and private rooms, some including en suite bathrooms. Private rooms also feature TVs, mini-fridges, and tea and coffee making facilities. Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and parking is available to purchase.

The hostel features an expansive patio/BBQ area, with hammocks, sun lounges, tables, and two in-ground hot tubs. You’ll also find a cinema lounge, and communal kitchen. Don’t forget to challenge friends to a game of pool or Ping-Pong.

Learn more, check availability & book online.

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