Top 10 Best Things to do in Byron Bay
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Byron Bay is a beautiful area with so much to see and do. When visiting Byron you're sure to ask "What are the best things to do in Byron Bay?". So we're here to help... Here we go with what we think are the top 10 things to do in Byron Bay...
1. Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour
A relaxing adventure with Byron Stand Up Paddle is hard to beat! They think of everything to make this an amazing experience, they even write blog posts just like this one to share with you, their customers and visitors to the area to help them enjoy their stay :)
Ok we may be biased because we are Byron Stand Up Paddle and this is what we do... but you don't have to take our word for it...
you can read hundreds of 5 STAR reviews from our awesome customers -
"Highlight of our trip!"... "MUST-DO in Byron"... "Highly recommend!"...
We love the Byron area, we love what we do and it's highly likely you'll love the experience too.
Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour Includes:
2 hour combined introductory lesson and tour (3 hours if requiring transfers from Byron)
Paddling on the beautiful Brunswick River, part of the Cape Byron Marine Park
all equipment; big buoyant boards, paddles, leg ropes, long sleeved shirts, sunglass straps, sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats
transfers from Byron Bay available
FREE digital photos
FREE water and homemade snacks
Daily Group Tour - $75pp
Private tour option is also available.
Phone/text us on 0434 250 830 for start times, availability and bookings.
Or Find out more...
2. Cape Byron Lighthouse walk/hike
Its a beautiful hike around the bays and up to the lighthouse. There's plenty of vantage points to spot dolphins (and whales from July to November).
The cape track is filled with steps and ups and downs so be prepared by wearing walking shoes and bringing water and a hat. It's recommended to allow a couple of hours at least to enjoy the walk and views. More if you want to take your time and lap up some of the beautiful beaches along the way like Wategos and the Pass
There are also a couple of great cafes along the way to grab a coffee, cold drink, bite to eat or a treat.
There is a road walk instead of heading down to Wategos beach and then up along the cape, it is steep and isn't quite as picturesque as the headland track but still gets you to the lighthouse.
Once you've made it to the lighthouse you can tick off from your bucket list reaching the most Easterly point of Australia.
There are lighthouse tours operating depending on volunteer availability.
Feeling extra adventurous? You could head up to see the sunrise from the lighthouse!
Feeling a little less adventurous? You can drive near to the lighthouse and if you're lucky nab one of the limited paid parking spots; Closest to the lighthouse is $8, there are cheaper parking spots a little further down and you'll just have a short, steep walk up the road.
3. Chasing waterfalls
Killen Falls have a beautiful rock pool and a waterfall. It's a nice easy bush walk to the viewing platform, but does get a bit trickier if you're aiming on getting down to the falls themselves - the track is quite steep and slippery after rain. Walking shoes are a must.
Distance from Byron: 20km (roughly 30 minutes away)
Bigger hike option:
Minyon Falls are in the Nightcap National Park around 32 km from Byron Bay, in the stunning Byron Bay hinterland. The 45 minute drive is quite beautiful in it's own right with winding roads around the tree-lined mountains and views over the entire coast. There is a lookout/viewing platform from the top and a bushwalking track which takes you into the valley.
The walk to the base of the waterfalls and back is around 13kms return (recommend allowing 3-4 hours). When you reach the bottom of the bush track you'll find yourself in front of a lot of boulders and questioning where to next? There are small reflectors stuck on the rocks to guide you as you climb your way over and around the rocks, to reach the base of the falls.
If you head to Minyon Falls, there is a great little japanese cafe; Doma, on the way. Such an unexpected surprise to find such a fabulous little place in such a tiny little town.
* Special note: Maybe check in at the visitor centre first about what the recent rainfall in the area has been like, as there may not be any water at the bottom of these falls... The picture shown is when there isn't a lot of waterfall but still a great swimming hole.
4. Buskers and Drum Circle
Byron Bay is a melting pot of people and if you enjoy music and dancing you're going to love Byron Bay. Walking along the main street there's usually a musician busker or two (or more), particularly down the alley near the bakery. Tones and I, who now has a number one hit with Dance Monkey, cut her teeth busking in Byron Bay and her film clip for Johhny Ran Away shows footage throughout the Byron Area.
The hulu-hooping-pineapple-holding man is also a regular treat for the eyes out the front of the Northern.
If you head along the path between main beach and Belongil Beach in the late afternoon before sunset, you'll usually find the rhythmic beats of the drum circle. A gathering of eclectic music lovers creating beats for gatherers to enjoy and even have an impromptu dance.
In the park overlooking Main Beach there is often a busker of a late afternoon which makes it a great spot to grab some delicious take-away (we love Orgasmic Felafel pockets which is in the alley behind the Beach Hotel) while chilling out and watching the beautiful colours across the ocean as the sun fades.
5. Brunswick Heads Fairy Trail
Brunswick Heads is a sweet little town less than 10 minutes drive north of Byron Bay (once on the highway) and just out of town is where we run our Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tours. This town is so sweet that a whole flock of fairies have decided to make it their home as well!
You can find the free trail clues at the visitor information centre or by jumping on their Brunzfairies Facebook page.
It's fantastic to see a community get together for something so lovely. The Police Station has a little fairy police station out the front, the Fire Station has a fire engine with wings in the trees, there's houses hidden in trees and in shop fronts, the post office even has a post box with a toadstool handle that when you open is decked out like a fairy's bedroom.
Great for young ones, and the young at heart!
Brunswick Heads is a great place to visit before or after your tour with us to grab a coffee, a bite to eat (lots of cute cafe options, yummy gelato and an AMAZING bakery) and check out the great mix of independent stores. The Hotel Brunswick is a beautiful old brick pub across the road from the river. It has an outdoor beer garden area which is perfect for enjoying free live music, particularly on Sundays from 4.30pm.
6. Beaches, beaches, beaches
What would be a list of things to do in Byron Bay without mentioning the beautiful beaches. There are plenty of stunning beaches to explore in Byron Bay and to soak up the sunshine and stunning views.
Belongil Beach is to the left of main beach (when standing on the sand gazing into the ocean) and is the beach (hidden by houses) to your left as you drive into town. Belongil Beach is partly dog-friendly. The wreck of the SS Wollongbar is just north of the rock wall and is a great place to snorkel when the sea is calm.
Main beach is directly in front of the town centre, and continues right to Clarkes Beach. Main Beach is looked over by the Surf Club and is Surf Lifesavers patrolled beach. From here you can snorkel out to a wreck the Tassie II (more accurately it's been discovered is the Tassie lll)
Between Main Beach and The Pass, is where you'll find Clarkes Beach and being north-facing it's a great spot most of the year. In winter humpback whales have been known to frolic with their calves on their way back to the Antarctic.
The Pass is a gap between Fisherman's Lookout and the headland. It is one of the most popular surf break on the north coast. On low tide you can walk up the stairs on the tiny island to the Fisherman's Lookout.
Wategos is a popular, sheltered north-facing beach just over a small headland from Clarkes. It is accessed via Lighthouse Road by turning left into Brooke Drive. It can also sometimes also be accessed by walking along the beach. Wategos has free electric barbecues and picnic tables.
Little Wategos can only be accessed by walking over the path from Wategos or down from the lighthouse. This is a lovely sheltered spot which is overlooked by the lighthouse.
Cosy Corner is on the south side of the cape and a nice sheltered spot when the northerly winds are in force. The beach is accessible from Tallow Beach Road, where you'll need to pay for parking (which goes to National Parks). This is a popular surfing spot, and it's worth noting it sometimes has strong rips. This is a great spot for watching the hang-gliders.
Tallow Beach stretches south from Cosy Corner to Broken Head. Tallow Beach is accessible by walking south from Cosy Corner, or from several small car parks off Alcorn Street in Suffolk Park.
Whites Beach - Broken Head
Whites Beach is a hidden gem if you're up for an adventure. Situated at the southern end of Broken Head, Whites Beach is only accessible by a dirt road and then a 15 minute walk along a rainforest track over the headland. Come prepared for some steep hiking and be sure to pack water and food.
(6.a) Surfing and Kayaking
(6a? What is this 6a business? Ok so keeping to just 10 things is pretty hard in a great area like Byron so we snuck in some subsections...)
The beaches are also a great place to try surfing or to go kayaking in search of dolphins... there are plenty of surf schools and kayak tour operators keen to get you out and about and enjoying the ocean.
Byron is a hub for creatives and there are many designers and artisans in the area who've set up shop in town or in the Arts and Industrial centre. Here you could find unique items, delicious food and even 2 breweries - Stone and Wood Brewery and Byron Brewery.
Speaking of alcohol... just out of town you'll find a local gin distillery; Cape Byron Distillery - home of Brookie's Gin. Check them out if you're interested in doing a tour and tastings.
Markets! Markets! Markets! Checking out the markets is definitely one of the best things to do in Byron Bay...
These are the most popular markets in the region but you'd be able to find markets around somewhere in the region every weekend...
Byron Farmers Markets are every Thursday morning 8am to 11am usually at the Butler Street Reserve, but currently at the Cavanbah Centre. The Byron Magic Bus will be running round trips from Jonson St bus shelter – near the Visitor Centre and Railway Park – out to the Cav every half hour from 7.30am, every Thursday. $2 each way for adults, kids travel free.
Monthly Byron Bay markets are held on the first Sunday of every month usually at the Butler Street Reserve, but currently along the pathway near Main Beach.
Channon markets are held on the second Sunday of the month at the Channon, via Lismore.
Bangalow markets are held on the 4th Sunday of the month at the Bangalow showgrounds.
8. Street Art
Just walking around the streets of Byron you'll get to see some awesome street art down laneways, alleys, at bus stops and on fences.
There are so many amazing food options in Byron Bay for all kinds of foodies... Get out there and enjoy!
Here's a couple that we've repeatedly heard great things about from our customers on our Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour and that we are keen to try ASAP
Miss Margarita - Mexican... so many glowing reviews. I believe they don't take bookings but will text when a table becomes available. Happy hour from 5pm-6pm.
St Elmo - Spanish tapas... a bit more fancy pants but definitely a customer favourite
Bang Bang - Delicious Asian fusion
Orgasmic Felafel - Easy and delicious takeaway to enjoy at the park.
Elixiba - fancy and delicious
No Bones - cosy and hard to believe it's all plant products. The "calamari" is amazing.
Curl up in the shade of a tree and have a siesta, read a book or simply take in all the beauty around you. SO simple but, OH SO GOOD. Make the time to do some relaxing this Byron holiday...aaaaaaah
Whatever you choose to do, we hope you have a wonderful stay and we look forward to meeting you on our Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour or seeing you again next time, whichever the case may be.