Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or looking to cash in on your vacation days, Byron Bay has a lot in store for you! Located by the coast on the far-north of NSW, Australia, Byron Bay is fringed by white sand beaches while boasting beautiful, lush rolling hills. It also has two major rivers running through the area, providing fishing and boating spots, and adding to its scenic attraction.
With this amazing geography, you simply can not run out of things to do in Byron Bay. Whether you’re into National parks, whale watching, or a simple scenic walk through the farmer’s market, Byron Bay has something for you.
To help you plan your next road trip, here are some activities and Byron Bay attractions you can look forward to when visiting Byron Bay.
Cookies Tours offer flexible minibus chartering services with your own private tour guide for yourself and up to 17 passengers. We’ll customise your experience to include any of the activities outlined on this page, or any other activities that you have in mind.
The most famous of Byron Bay lighthouses, the Cape Byron Lighthouse sits at the most easterly point, shining over Byron Bay. It has seen much of Byron Bay and Australia’s history as it’s been guiding ships since the turn of the 19th century. For history enthusiasts, you can book a guided tour to learn more the lighthouse’s historical significance and the numerous shipwrecks it saw with Wollongbar II of April 1943 being one of the most famous.
And even if you’re not a history buff, the sunrise view at the Cape Byron Lighthouse is one-of-a-kind and very much worth the hike.
Byron Bay doesn’t just have one or two spectacular waterfalls — it has five!
Pack your hiking shoes, bottles of water, and your adventurous spirit and take a hike through Byron Bay’s trails to uncover the beauty of its different waterfalls; Minyon Falls, Killen Falls, Protesters Falls, Marom Falls, and Natural Bridge. Each falls offers something unique to its visitors.
To start off, Minyon Falls is located at Nightcap National Park and is the area’s most legendary waterfall with visitors and locals. You have the option to view the 100-metre-or-more waterfall either from the bottom or top. There’s also plenty of nature spotting to be done on the hike. Killen Falls is just 25 minutes away from Elements of Byron and has the most stunning swimming hole that is surrounded by cave-like rocks, making for a dramatic Instagram picture.
Protester Falls is also located at Nightcap National Park and it gets its name from the 1970 protests where conservationists fought – and won – against logging in the area. It is the habitat of endangered Fleay’s barred frog, thus you’re forbidden to swim at the bottom of this falls.
So if you’re looking for a waterfall to jump off from, Marom Falls is for you. It’s the most accessible of the five and also has the largest swimming hole. Lastly, the Natural Bridge is located at Springbrook National Park and offers two diverse experiences – a day and night experience. Be mystified by the vast bridge carved by hundreds of years of pressure from the waterfall in the morning and enjoy the beauty of glowworms in the same cave at night.
To really immerse yourself in a new place, you have to visit its local shops and markets. Byron Bay has a great farmers market held by the Byron Bay Community Markets every Sunday at the Butler Street Reserve, offering local crafts, artwork, and produce. On Thursdays, you can walk through the Byron Bay Farmers Market where local farmers sell their fruits and vegetables.
Byron Bay has a thriving local gin and beer culture with famous distilleries and breweries that include Lord Byron Distillery, Cape Byron Distillery, and Stone and Wood Brewery. It’s a unique experience facilitated by a local tour guide and made amazing by experienced distillers and brewers sharing their knowledge, experience, and some of their best works at the end of the tour.
You can also buy souvenirs of the best gins and beers you loved during the tour.
A trip to Byron Bay is not complete without a visit to Nimbin and Mullumbimby. Several kilometers away from Byron Bay is Nimbin, a town on its second life, revived by Australia’s counterculture movement after the dairy industry collapse of 1960. It is now home to writers, artists, musicians, environmentalists and permaculture enthusiasts, bringing colour and new life to the area.
To the north-west of Byron Bay sits Mulumbimby. It’s referred to as Mullum by the locals and is coined as Australia’s biggest little town. Mullumbimby is a window to what Byron Bay looked like before tourism took over. You can get lost in this town exploring all its shops, galleries, cafes, eateries, and other little treasures.
It’s impossible not to get into the waters of Byron Bay. Byron Bay has several beaches perfect for different types of water activities. If you’re looking to ride the waves, visit the Main Beach, the Pass, Wategos Beach and the Cosy Corner at Tallow Beach. For a quieter, scenic time, head on to Belongil Beach, a few kilometers from the Stone and Wood Brewery.
For snorkeling and scuba-diving, you’ll get the most amazing views at Julian Rocks. You might actually spot sea turtles if you’re lucky! You can also organize whale-watching with tour operators in the area. Other ocean-based activities you can enjoy are: stand-up paddling, kayaking, and eco cruises.
Go on a spiritual journey to Crystal Castle and Shambhala Garden grounds. Located in Byron Bay’s hinterland, Crystal Castle is home to the world’s largest amethyst cave and some of the tallest crystals on earth. Afterwards, wander around the Shambhala Gardens and rainforest for short scenic journey 5 hectares of botanical Shambhala Gardens and rainforest and end your visit by the largest stone Blessing Buddha in Australia.
You won’t be able to run out of things to do in Byron Bay. Other notable sites to visit includes Lake Ainsworth, Tea Tree Lakes, and the Arts Factory Lodge.
There’s something for everyone, from the adventurous travelers to the families looking for a quick getaway. To maximise your time, be sure to book a transfer from Ballina airport or accommodation of choice for your pre-booked tours.
Nothing beats feeling like a local in a tourist town. And no one understands that better than Adam Cook, aka Cookie.
Being a Northern Rivers local, Cookie passionately shares the beauty (and tastes!) of the Byron Shire with his guests. Whether it’s an epic spot to catch the sunset, a winding drive through the majestic hinterland or intel into the best surf breaks, Cookie has ideas.
We are an independent tour operator in Northern NSW. Specializing in Small Group Tours, Airport Transfers and Custom Itineraries. With Brewery & Distillery Tours on offer each day around the Byron Bay Hinterland. Authorisation numberBSP-419044
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