Byron Bay is one of the most popular spots in NSW, thanks to its gorgeous coastline, preserved natural areas, and lively town life. And best of all, Byron Bay is only a 25-30 minute drive from Ocean Blue Holiday Rental at East Ballina.In Byron Bay, you can go surfing, windsurfing, or kite-surfing (there are 12 surfing businesses for rentals and instruction). Or try kayaking, paddle-boarding, canoeing, waterskiing, or jetskiing—or just go for a swim in the bay. Photography tours and day trips abound in this area. Here’s a list of the top ten places to visit while you’re in Byron Bay.
1. Lighthouse Trail
The Lighthouse Trail (on Lighthouse Road) offers breathtaking views, whale watching, and beyond that, a really good exercise walk up to the top. Starting from the town centre, it will take a fit person about an hour to walk up to the lookout and back—allow another 20 minutes for less robust walkers. The well-maintained paths are laid with cobble or boardwalk, with handrails most of the way.
There are some other ways to get to the top of the hill—the Tallow track is hidden in bush, out of the glare of the sun—but the main trail does have some coffee stops as you go up. At the top of the rocks (which is the most easterly part of the Australian mainland) there’s a gelato stand, and the nearby lighthouse museum is open most days of the week. Which brings us to the…
2. Cape Byron Lighthouse
If you go to Byron Bay and don’t visit the lighthouse, you’re missing out. The views are amazing at any time of the day but most impressive at sunset.
It’s an uphill trek, so bring water and wear a hat on sunny days. Due to the number of people that visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse, volunteers now take groups of 10 at a time inside and stop the tours later in the day. For this reason, it’s a good idea to go earlier on if you want to see the inside of the lighthouse.
Outside of the lighthouse, there are coin-operated binoculars looking over the sea, to help you spot whales and dolphins. Nearby parking is limited and costs $8, but you can park for free in the town and walk there along the trail.
3. Stone and Wood Brewery
No holiday is complete without a stop at a local brewery (at least not in a beach town). You can drop in for a tasting or take a $20 tour of the brewery, tasting tray included. The samples are very generous and the wide variety of beers are tasty. Stop in on your way to or from the beach—you won’t regret it. Visit their website to find out more.
4. Arakwal National Park
From Cape Byron, Arakwal National Park skirts the ocean towards Broken Head Beach, and it’s rich with wildlife. This scenic park has walking trails that pass creeks, lakes and sand dunes—look out for Pademelons, Black Cockatoos, and Kookaburras. Ti Tree Lake is shallow and rich with tannins, which makes for a good, healthy soak.
The Bottlenose Dolphin is the totem of Aboriginal women, who have come to parts of the National Park for millions of years to give birth to their babies. That gives you some idea of how special this place is.
5. Fisherman’s Lookout
This lookout offers stunning views of the water and miles of Byron Bay Beach. From Fisherman’s Lookout you can see surfers heading out, dolphins, and, if you’re lucky, whales heading to the deeps. The lookout is a really good place for photographing the sunset over Byron Bay, and it’s easy to get to. You can reach Fisherman’s Lookout in a 20-30 minute walk along the beach from the centre of Byron.
Note that the best time to go is in the morning when the tide is out, but you will still get wet to your thighs walking to the stairs to the lookout. The rocks are slick and some are jagged, so travel with care, and wear something better than flip-flops.
6. Dolphin & Whale Watching in Byron Bay
They offer daytime and sunset cruises, where you’re sure to see dolphins and other river and bay marine life. Depending on the time of year, the whales will be playing near the deeper waters. The chance to see these animals in their natural habitat is rare and precious—don’t miss out when you’re in Byron Bay.
7. Wategos Beach
Located on Marine Parade in Byron Bay, Wategos Beach has clear water and clean sand, and it’s protected from the wind by trees and rocks. This is a fabulous beach full of surfers, where you can eat at the café or grill your lunch at the supplied BBQ grills. You can view some rock formations off the coast and the top of the lighthouse from here.
There is a steep descent down the beach and a set of stairs back to the car park. Wategos Beach is one of the less used beaches in Byron Bay, so if you get there early you might not have much company.
8. Belongil Beach
This is a great beach and it has free parking, which is rare in Byron. Dogs are allowed at Belongil Beach, and there’s a swing at the entrance for kids.
Belongil Beach has long white stretches of sand (much undeveloped) and you can walk for miles. Expect the odd windy day, and stay close to shore when swimming in the summer months—this coastline gets some strong currents. Belongil Beach is far less busy than the main Byron Bay Beach, but it’s not regularly patrolled.
9. Byron Bay Farmers Market
The Byron Bay Farmers Market happens on Butler St, and it’s worth a visit if you’re in town. A neat mix of locals and travellers shop here for fresh, locally grown produce. You can find a wide variety of foods: fruit and veggies, herbs, meat, fish, oysters, homemade pasta, breads and pastries, eggs, flowers, preserves, dips and condiments, spring water, freshly pressed olive oils and delicious olives, a range of locally grown fresh coffees, cheeses, honey, and breakfasts made on the spot…
This farmer’s market has long and small share tables where you can enjoy a coffee or chai and breakfast, along with pre-booked good quality music buskers. Parking is available but there’s a fee after 9am. Best to get there early anyway to get the best fresh produce. Visit the Byron Bay Farmers Market website to get the latest information on markets and opening times.
10. Tallow Beach
Tallow Beach is part of Arakwal National Park, but it warrants its own entry on this list. Compared to Byron Bay Beach, this one is wild. It has big dunes, massive waves, and long views—you really feel a long way from any town.
Tallow is one of the longest beaches in the Byron area (almost 6 km in length), and it is broad with fine white sand.
From Suffolk Park towards Broken Head Beach, there is a no dog zone. A sandbank formed there has created a fine natural pool almost 100 meters long—depth may be a half a meter or less—and it’s a fun spot for supervised kids. This is a wild, unpatrolled beach for swimming, so exercise caution. Low tide is a great time for cycling or running along the shore. Bike enthusiasts can cycle the beach and then roll over the dirt track over Broken Head and on to Seven Mile Beach.
There are many entry points with parking for several vehicles, but the closest point is from Alcorn Street near Suffolk Park. The beach has its own limited, metered parking (if you get there early).
Want to experience a luxury beach holiday?
Ocean Blue holiday rental is only a 5-minute walk from the beach and has gorgeous river and coastal views. Located only a short drive from Ballina Airport and 30 minutes from Byron Bay, this is the perfect location for your next beach holiday. Visit our contact page to make an inquiry or booking.