Byron Bay is a laid-back town on NSW's Far North Coast
which is a mecca for surfers, backpackers and families on holiday. The lifestyle is definitely alternative, and the shops in town reflect an eclectic mix of clothing, jewellery, hand crafted items and great cafes. Byron Bay is of course famous as the retreat of the rich and famous - you might catch a glimpse of the likes of Russell Crowe or Paul Hogan if you're lucky!
Main Beach is wide and inviting, while just a few minutes away Watego's Beach is quiet and secluded. It faces north and offers surfers a challenge rare on the eastern seaboard. North-west of town is Belongil Beach, a quieter stretch of sand and clear water. Belongil Creek flows into the Pacific at its western end. The Belongil Estuary is home to many shorebirds including Pied Oystercatchers, Red-capped plovers, Beach Stone-curlew, cormorants, terns and the stunning Rainbow Bee-eaters.
Cape Byron with its lighthouse is the most easterly point in Australia. There is a visitor's centre that highlights the region's heritage and natural history. Dolphins and rays may be seen from the cliff tops throughout the year, while whales may be spotted in their migration season.
The hinterland behind Byron Bay is well worth a visit with its lush rolling hills and delightful villages. You might like to call in at Nimbin
, still a hippie haven after all these years. In the area you can go bushwalking, horseriding, canoeing and fishing, to name just a few of the possibilities.
Byron Bay market is held once a month. Full of atmosphere, it has a wide range of items on offer and buskers perform to entertain the crowds. Byron Bay boasts a very active music and entertainment scene, with many acts - local, national and international - appearing in the town. The East Coast Blues and Roots Music Festival is held at Easter and attracts huge crowds of music lovers.
- East Coast Blues & Roots Festival (Easter), Buzz Film Festival (November)
Things to Do
Shops - trendy new age shops and cafes, hemp clothing, jewellery, glassware, furniture, surfboards, alternative medicines and services
Gourmet Food - mainly macadamia nuts, tropical fruits and dairy produce
Swimming - at the beach, surfing and water sports
Longboarding - at Tallow Beach, The Pass and Watego's Beach
Dive & Snorkel - at the Julian Rocks Marine Park, rated as one of the top ten diving locations anywhere in Australia
Health & Beauty Retreats - there are loads of tropical paradise retreats, day spas and wellness resorts to choose from
Visitor Information Centre - 80 Jonson Street, Byron Bay
In the area
Cape Byron - Famous Lighthouse with visitors at the most eastern point on the Australian mainland. Visitor centre for cultural and historic background of the area
Whale Watching - humpbacks migrate past here June - July and Sept-Oct. Dolphins can be spotted all year round.
Julian Rocks Aquatic Reserve - protecting 450 underwater species
Bangalow - a village 10 km south-west for art & craft shops, antiques, walking tracks and wonderful scenery
Find out more about the Far North Coast region of New South Wales.