When people ask me where I would live for the rest of my life the answer is always the same: Byron Bay. Byron Bay was my very first destination when I got to Australia for the first time in 2016, and I fell in love with it straight away.
I spent there only a month and then I left to explore the rest of Australia, but to be honest no other places in the country could compare to that little town. I ended up coming back a couple of years later, and this time I wanted to stay. I managed to live there for eight months, exploring every corner of the town, and I know it very well. Here are the best things to do in Byron Bay!
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Things to do in Byron Bay
Walk to the Lighthouse
The main attraction of Byron Bay is something as simple as a walk.
Everyday many people walk for about 45 minutes to get to the lighthouse, the symbol of this town, which happens to be on the most easterly point of the australian mainland. The walk is pretty steep and could be challenging for some (especially if you’re a couch potato like me), but once you get to the top you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views you’ll ever get, especially if you get there just before sunset.
On the way there you’ll walk though the native australian bush and get a view of some stunning beaches like Tallow Beach. And if I were you I wouldn’t rush to get to the top: every now and then stop along the way and look at the ocean: you’re definitely gonna spot some dolphins and if you’re lucky some whales, if it’s the right season.
Have a fancy breakfast at one of the cafes
One of the best things to do in Byron Bay is going out for breakfast. There’s nothing better than enjoyng the morning sun eating a delicious healthy breakfast drinking a perfectly made coffee.
The whole town has an environmentally friendly approach and a focus on sustainability. That’s why most places use only locally sourced (and often organic) ingredients. This contributes to support the small local businesses and at the same time provide amazing food to the clientele.
Here are some of my favourite cafes:
- Bayleaf Cafe
- Byron Fresh
- The Byron Bay General Store
- Dip Cafe
I’m not gonna lie, some of these places might be a bit pricey, but they are worth the experience.
Check out some awesome tours in Byron Bay:
Join a drum circle
Byron Bay is Australia’s most hippie town, and you can have a taste of that lifestyle popping by the little car park next to the main beach (in front of Fishheads). Here is where every evening around 5 o’clock people get together to play drums (and any other instrument they have, really) watching the sun going down.
Here you’ll find locals, families on holiday, travellers sitting on the back of their van, skaters, young people, old people, kids, dogs. Some are playing, some are dancing, some are just enjoying the moment. It’s a beautiful gathering that makes you understand what Byron Bay is really about: getting people together and enjoying the simple things.
This is something that has been happening In Byron for years: you won’t find it advertised anywhere, it just happens spontaneously, and that’s the beauty of it.
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Learn how to surf
Byron Bay is a world-known surf destination and it’s the perfect spot for newbies to try this amazing sport. You can take surf lessons in one of the many surf schools in town or just rent a board and a wetsuit (most hotels and hostels provide them) and go for it!
The main surf spot is The Pass, on the very bottom of the main beach, by the lookout. This spot can get quite busy, especially during the high season, so if you’re a beginner I would suggest going in the early morning so you don’t have to fight to get your waves!
Spend a day at the Crystal Castle
Nestled in Byron Bay’s interland, the Crystal Castle is a huge 25 hectares garden 20 minutes drive from Byron Bay, and it’s the home of some of the biggest natural crystals in the world (including an amethyst cave so big that you can sit down in it!).
In the 80’s the founder of this beautiful project, Naren king, started to import crystals from all over the world, with the intent of keeping it a private collection. Soon enough people started to sneak in to look at the crystals , so she decided to open it to the public.
It’s a deeply spiritual place, where people can really take a break from the outside world and find some inner peace, wandering around this magical place. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Byron Bay!
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Take a trip to Nimbin
If there’s a place that has a stronger hippie vibe that Byron Bay it’s Nimbin. Nimbin is located about an hour dive from Byron, and it’s a bizarre place to say the least.
Before the 70’s, Nimbin was just a little town with a fragile economy. This was until 1973, when the first Aquarius Festival took place here, and hundreds of hippies from all over Australia flocked here, and never left. Today Nimbin is a world-famous hub for counterculture and alternative social activities. Aka cannabis. In Australia cannabis is illegal, but here the recreational use of this drug is so established and so well known that is accepted.
You can take a trip to Nimbin jumping on one of the tour buses from Byron Bay, which also stops at the Minion Falls on the way back.
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Have a stroll at the Farmers Market
Remember all the good locally sourced ingredients that Byron Bay cafes use? Well, the farmers market is where you can go straight to the source and buy them yourself!
Choosing to do your food shopping at the farmers market means having super-fresh food, supporting the local producers and avoiding the environmental cost of packaging and transportation typical of the big supermarkets.
The beauty of the farmers market is not just in the food itself: here you can meet people, talk to the farmers and learn their history and how the food is produced and prepared, while walking around barefoot and maybe even stop for a quick dance while some buskers are performing amongst the stalls.
The farmers market takes place every Thursday fro m 7 to 11 am.
These were what I think are the best things to do in Byron Bay, but there are many more cool spots to explore around this beautiful area of Australia! “So go explore and enjoy this very special place on earth!