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Byron Bay

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Byron Bay is a coastal town in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, located just off the Pacific Highway, approximately 800km north of Sydney and 175km south of Brisbane. Nearby Cape Byron is the easternmost point on the Australian mainland.


Byron Bay is famed worldwide for its surfing beaches, scuba diving, whale watching, rural beauty and a laidback lifestyle. It is one of Australia's major tourist destinations, both for international and domestic tourists.

Byron Bay and its surrounding area have a population of about 30,000. The area has experienced a dramatic increase in tourism now standing at more than 1.7 million visitors per year.

The community of Suffolk Park lies a five minute drive south of Byron, along Tallows Beach.  It offers a quieter alternative to the heart of Byron, but for most services you will find yourself making the trip into Byron.

The towns of Bangalow and Nimbin lie inland, under an hour's drive away. Lennox Head and Ballina are to the south.

There are many thriving home-based businesses focussed on alternative, holistic, cultural and knowledge industries, with a growing population of artists, writers and film makers.

Byron Bay is renowned for capturing the hearts of the people that visit. Many people end up staying. The community spirit in Byron Bay and the surrounding areas is strong. There are many people and groups doing their bit to help. For more information about the spirit of Byron and how to get involved with this work go to The Real Byron Bay website and read the interviews [33]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is Ballina/Byron Airport (IATA: BNK) around 30 minutes drive away at Ballina. There are flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. There are regular shuttle services from the airport and most of them are door to door. Book online to save money[34]. Xcede Airport Transfers [35] and Steve's Tours Airport Express [36] offer shuttle services direct to your door from $18.

A public bus is offered by Blanchs[37] for $10, although it isn't door to door and travels through other towns on the way.

Gold Coast Airport (OOL) is around 1 hour away at Coolangatta and has domestic flights and international flights from New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan. It often has cheaper flights and cheaper car hire than Ballina. There are a number of transport operators from the airport to Byron Bay. For example, Byron Bay - Surfers Express [38] do pick-up and drop-off at the airport in their runs between Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise for $30. Xcede Airport Transfers [39] offer shuttle services direct to your door.

By bus[edit]

Regular coach services travel between Sydney and Brisbane via Byron Bay. There are a number of northbound and southbound Greyhound and Premier buses stopping at the Byron Bay Transit Centre every day. There is also one Premier bus to and from Lismore per day. [40] [41]

By car[edit]

It takes approximately 9 hours to drive non-stop from Sydney to Byron Bay along the Pacific Highway. Byron Bay is approximately one hour's drive from the Gold Coast, and just over two hours' drive from Brisbane.

Traffic on the Pacific Highway can get very busy during school holiday periods. In particular, there are often traffic delays on the northern approach to Byron Bay (from the Ewingsdale exit of the Pacific Highway), especially on public holidays and Byron Bay Market Sundays, when traffic jams of up to 4 kilometres are possible. Traffic into the town centre is usually much lighter from the south, and drivers wishing to avoid the Ewingsdale jams should proceed along the Pacific Highway to the Bangalow Road exit.

Most car rental dealers are located in the main business district of the Gold Coast. The following major car rental companies are available: Redspot, Budget, Avis, Thrifty, Europcar, ZUJI. Byron Bay's local car rental companies are mainly along Jonson St: Earth Car Rentals, Simmons's Byron Bay.

From Ballina, the Coast Road/Broken Head Road offers a scenic approach into Byron Bay with generally light traffic.

By tour[edit]

Many surfing or backpacker tours along the east coast.

By train[edit]

There is no direct train service to Byron Bay; the Byron Bay station of the defunct Murwillumbah train line has not been used since 2004. The closest train station to Byron Bay is on the Sydney-Brisbane train line at Casino. You can buy a through ticket. Casino is located 76 kms from Byron Bay. There are bus services running from Casino to Byron Bay and train-bus combination tickets are available from NSW Trainlink [42].

Get around[edit]

There is limited regular public transport within Byron Bay, operated by Blanch's Bus Company - however most destinations within the bay are walkable, including The Lighthouse Walk. The Byron Shire Council has installed parking ticket machines, with the fee being $2 per hour.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Byron Light House, 1 Lighthouse Rd, Byron Bay. The walk from town along the walking track up to the light house is amazing and recommended to anyone that is visiting Byron. It is about 20 min from the parking at the base of the walk along the beach. Parking at the top is $7, but well worth it on a hot day. Cafe located near the top.  edit
  • Byron Solar Train, Shirley Street, Byron Bay and Bayshore Drive, North Byron. Restored heritage carriages fitted with an electric motor run between the Byron CBD and North Byron once per hour in each direction. The train is powered by solar panels on the roof of the train and the station. An adult ticket costs $4 in each direction.  edit


Byron Bay has good surf with a variety of beaches within the town limits. It has occupied the imagination of Australians for many years for its climate, lifestyle and warm water.

  • Byron Main. the best-known beach in Byron, usually has smaller waves which break close to shore. At the southern end of Byron Main beach lies the Pass. The Pass can be very crowded, along with Byron Main on summer days but is perfect for long boarding with wide rollers that go forever.  edit
  • Watego's Beach. is just around the corner from the Pass and Byron Main. It is somewhat hidden from view, lying on the north side of the Byron point. Watego's has a cult longboarder crowd because its waves generally don't have enough push as other breaks. It generally has smaller surf than the Pass. The surf runs west towards Byron Main and takes a bit more skill to paddle out to than the Pass or the main beach. The Pass is always crowded when the winds or swell are right, and because of the easy paddle it has a lot of beginners which can make it very dangerous with wayward boards.  edit
  • Tallow's Beach. is the least known and least used Byron beach for those who don't surf. Tallow's Beach is on the south side of the Byron headland, is very long and has a variety of breaks along its length. The surf is generally larger as most swells go straight into it. It is very uncommon to see tourists along this beach because the only place from which it can be seen in Byron is the top of the Byron headland.  edit

It is not uncommon to surf among pods of common dolphins as the evening winds down in Byron, especially if you are surfing Watego's or the Pass.

If you visit Byron bay but don't have a surfboard with you, you can hire a surfboard online in the Bay for 20 USD a day and 120 USD a week at


  • Swimming. Byron Main Beach is patrolled all summer, with other beaches patrolled during the Chistmas school holidays, including Wategos. Clarkes Beach is to the east of the main beach but before the Pass and its sheltered location means it is almost always good for kids. In winter, it can be a bit chilly to consider swimming at Byron with daytime temperatures on average reaching only around 20C.
  • Sunbathing. Topless sunbathing is common and accepted in Byron.

A legal clothing-optional beach called Belongil is situated north of Belongil Creek at Tyagarah Nature Reserve. It is not signposted at either end. Access is at the end of Grays Lane (there is a paid NPWS parking area here) and via a walking track from the free car park at the end of Bayshore Drive (Byron Beach Club).

Marine activities[edit]

  • Byron Bay Whale Watching, [1]. September and October are the best whale watching months.  edit

Byron Bay has some of New South Wales's best scuba diving. Most diving is at Julian Rocks, only five minutes off shore. The depths around Julian Rocks are 5-25 meters, and it's suitable for snorkeling. You can dive with the following operators:

  • Byron Bay Dive Centre, 9 Marvell Street, 61-2-6685-8333 or 1800 243 483 (within Australia) (, fax: 61-2-6685-5750), [2]. Byron Bay Dive Centre runs diving and snorkeling trips to Julian Rocks. Certification is available. (-28.643387,153.612224) edit

Walking and cycling[edit]

  • Byron Bay Cycleway. There is a cycleway along the beach at Byron. Bicycle hire is available.
  • Circus arts, 17 Centennial Circuit. Always want to learn to do the flying trapeeze? Wish your kids would make good on their promise? Beautiful facilities.  edit


Byron Bay is a mecca many different spiritual paths, with something for everyone from the curious to the devoted. With meditation, workshops and yoga on offer just to name a few.

  • Crystal Castle, 81 Monet Drive, Mullumbimby, NSW, 2482, 61-2-6684 3111, [3]. Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens is one of Nature’s sacred places, another side to Byron you must see. The most beautiful garden with the most amazing crystals.  edit
  • UnityHouse Byron, 0414 364 415, [4]. Unity House Byron offer Healing and Meditation using a active style of meditation.  edit
  • Temple Byron, 46 Melaleuca Drive, Byron Bay, NSW, 61-2-6680 8613, [5]. Temple Byron is a beautiful venue offer meditation, yoga, Sound Healings, Buddhist teaching and so much more.  edit


  • East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival [43]. Held each Easter.
  • Splendour in the Grass Music Festival [44]. Alternative to mainstream festival over 2 days each July.
  • Schoolies [45] in late November/early December celebrating school leavers from across Australia. (This may be a time to avoid, if it is not your scene.)

Find out about upcoming events in "The Bagg", a local publication out on Mondays.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Woolworths, 98 Jonson St, Byron Bay. The main grocery store, in the centre of Byron Bay. Several other shops surround it.  edit
  • Byron Bay Gifts [46]. Online shopping with gifts from Byron Bay businesses.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Il Buco, 4/4 Bay Lane (Behind the Beach Hotel), +61 2 6680-9186, [6]. 5.30pm-10pm. Fabulous italian pizzeria tucked away in a corner of Bay Lane. Offering truly authentic italian pizza at reasonable prices. Homemade desserts and healthy yet very tasty salads. $10-$24 for a main  edit


  • Railway Friendly Bar (The Rails) ("), 86 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. kitchen open for lunch and reopens for supper - the pub stays open. Bands start early but don't go all night. A great indoor/outdoor space (limited indoor seating) to catch up with friends - popular with backpackers and locals. Fantastic food with large portions - great value for money. It shouldn't even be compared with pub food because it's so tasty. Has the typical burger with fries and battered fish and chips but also much more, including grilled Mediterranean salad, fish burgers, pastas + daily specials like peppered kangaroo fillet (truly brilliant!) $10-25.  edit
  • Bayleaf Cafe, 87 Jonson St, Byron Bay, Australia, +61 2 6685-8900. A cafe with good coffee to jump start your day.  edit
  • Treehouse Pizza, 25 Childe St, Byron Bay, [7]. Out of main Byron, near Belongil Beach resides Treehouse Pizza. Very relaxed with outdoor tables. Dogs welcome on the outdoor tables. An amzing eatery - however it has just had a fire so is closed until further notice - look up Byrons local paper 'the northern star' for more details  edit


  • Fish Mongers, 1 Bay Lane, [8]. Yes, every beach town in Australia has a fish and chips shop. This is nothing like those. High end fish and chips await you here. Some even say best in Australia.  edit
  • Great Northern, 35 Johnson St. makes great pizzas from a real Italian pizza maker  edit
  • Rae's, 6 Marine parade (at Wategos), [9]. For a nice, and expensive, meal.  edit
  • Red Hot and Green, 17 Lawson St (behind the Beach Hotel). Thai food.  edit
  • Cardamon, 7 Lawson St, [10]. One of several restaurants catering to vegetarians.  edit
  • Yellow Flower, 11 Clifford St, Suffolk Park. Indian food. Takeaway and dine in. You can occasionally chill out to the sounds of a musician  edit
  • Fisheads, 1 Jonson St, [11]. Seafood. Has the usual kids menu with fried things.  edit
  • Fresh, 7 Jonson St, [12]. Upscale cafe food. $20 burgers and more. Makes a good cup of coffee. (-28.641715,153.612782) edit
  • Byron Beach Cafe, Clarkes Beach, Lawson St, +61 2 6685-8400. Right on the beach. Offering everything from an egg sandwich and coffee for breakfast to a complete brunch. Or modern Australian cuisine for dinner.  edit


  • Beach Hotel (Pacific Dining Room), (corner Jonson St and Bay St, Byron Bay), (02) 6680 7055.. Excellent restaurant in the Beach Hotel. No joke  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Byron Bay has a very vibrant social scene for a town of its size. Bands play most nights at the Beach Hotel (on the beach) and the Railway Friendly Bar. The Great Northern hosts the more important bands. The Buddha Bar serves backpackers from the Piggery Backpackers and has a very chilled out bar and attached restaurant and cinema.

Nightclubs include the backpackers' favourite, Cheeky Monkeys (dancing on tables ahoy!). This can also be a good place to go out on Mondays and Tuesdays when everywhere else is quiet.

Find out what to do about town by picking up a copy of 'The Bagg', a gig and entertainment guide out every Monday.

  • Byron Bay Brewery, Restaurant (Buddha Bar), 1 Skinners Shoot Rd, [13]. Good micro brewery.  edit
  • Balcony Bar, Lawson and Johnson St, [14]. Great drinks and good view. Dinner too.  edit
  • Cheeky Monkeys Restaurant & Party Bar, 115 Jonson St. Popular with backpackers. A great value night out.  edit
  • The Railway Friendly Bar. Best value for money.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Byron Bay is a well established destination for backpackers, schoolies, families and couples, and there are choice of accommodation styles catering to all of them.

Most local real estate agents handle holiday house rentals, and there are many in the beach areas, and even further into suburban Byron. Some bed-and-breakfasts have been created by building additions to once suburban Byron houses.

  • Byron Bay Visitor Centre - Official non-profit tourist information (Byron Bay Accommodation | Book Compare online by phone or in person), Old Stationmaster's Cottage at 80 Jonson St (in the centre of town between the main bus stop and the old railway station), +61 2 6680-8558 (, fax: +61 2 6685 5351), [15]. They offer a wide range of Byron Bay accommodation from budget backpackers to luxury apartments. You can also get a free Byron Bay map.  edit


  • Aquarius Backpackers Motel, 16 Lawson St, (toll free: 1800 028 909), [16]. Backpackers.  edit
  • Nomads Byron Bay, 1 Lateen Lane (behind the Great Northern Hotel on Jonson St), Freecall: 1800 666237 (), [17]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. Accommodation ranging from king rooms with plasma TVs and fridges to shared backpacker accommodation.  edit
  • Arts Factory Lodge, 1 Skinners Shoot Rd, Freecall: 1800 666237 (), [18]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. Accommodation ranging from teepees, camping, shared mixed or female only dorms and private rooms.  edit
  • Byron Bay YHA, 7 Carlyle Street, +61 2 6685-8853 (, fax: +61 2 6685-6766), [19]. A hostel with a barbecue, swimming pool and television room. Dorm beds from $27 to $35, private rooms from $70 per room, add $3.50 per night if you are not a member of Hostelling International.  edit
  • Cape Byron YHA, corner of Middleton Street and Byron Street, +61-2-6685-8788 or 1800 652 627 (within Australia) (, fax: +61-2-6685-8814), [20]. A hostel with a barbecue, swimming pool and television room. Dorm beds from $26 per night, add $3.50 per night if you are not a member of Hostelling International.  edit
  • Broken Head Holiday Park, Beach Road, Broken Head, +61-2-6685-3245 (, fax: +61-2-6685-4810), [21]. Surrounded by National Park rainforest, and situated next to Broken Head beach. Suits those who prefer to stay a little further out from the township of Byron Bay. Body board and surf board hire available. Reception 7.30am-7.30pm. Unpowered sites $25/night. Powered sites and cabins also available.  edit


  • Cossies by the Sea, 11/45 Shirley Street, Byron Bay, +61-404-960-716, [22]. Located in a small resort, set amongst palm trees with saltwater swimming pool, Free Wifi, BBQ area and secure undercover parking. From $150 per night" email="[email protected]"  edit
  • Byron Beach Resort (formerly Belongil Beach House), 25 Chide Street, (02) 66808313, [23]. checkin: 1pm; checkout: 11am. The "100% Real Byron" experience that doesn't break the bank with a range of accommodation options from Dorms, twins/double, studios to self contained family cottages. Set on 5600 sq2 of landscaped greenery only a frisbee throw from the beach. This great beachside location has all round inclusive facilities including free (bike) hire, large communal kitchen & common room. The higher end rooms enjoy pay TV and wi fi internet. The Tree House cafe located at the front of the property is a local institution. $30 to $250.  edit
  • Tallow Beach Motel, (5 minutes south of Byron Bay township right across the road from the beach), [24]. From $75 per night.  edit
  • Garden Burees Luxury Retreat, 17 Gordon St, (02) 6685 5390 (), [25]. Balinese inspired accommodation all set in lush tropical surrounds. Buddha Gardens Day Spa located on site. Garden Burées sleeps up to two people $260, Grand Burée sleeps up to six people $650, Chalet Kitchen sleeps up to people $225, Chalet Bathroom & Studio sleeps up to two people $175, three Bedroom Chalet sleeps up to six people $400.  edit
  • Planula, Lot 1, Melaleuca Drive, +61-2-6680-9134 (), [26]. Planula is a bed and breakfast 3km from Byron Bay's town. It focusses on scuba diving; both the hosts are divers. Twin rooms $185 during peak seasons, $135 during high season and $115 in winter. Joint diving and accommodation deals available.  edit
  • Byron Bay Holidays, Sommerset Court, 5-9 Sommerset Street, Byron Bay, +61-427-847-057, [27]. Fully self contained, self catered accommodation. From $150 per night.  edit
  • Byron Bathers, 2 Fletcher Lane, Byron Bay (Fletcher Lane runs off the southern end of Fletcher St 50m from Marvell St), 61 2 6680 7775, [28]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. A quality bed & breakfast. Three king bed bedrooms each with an ensuite (suitable for adults over 21 only). $250 (Peak Season $350) Room only - $280 ($380 Bed & Breakfast Peak Season) - Cheaper rate for 7 nights or more.  edit
  • Byron Bay Beachfront Apartments (Beachfront Apartments), 39-41 Lawson St (200m from centre of town, on Main Beach), +61 2 6619-0301, [29]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Located on Denning Park, on Main Beach. This is the perfect family holiday in Byron Bay, self contained 2 & 3 bedroom apartments. $200+. (28.642728,153.616036) edit
  • Byron Beachside Accommodation (the Old Butter Factory), 14 Jonson S (main street of Byron Bay), +61 2 6619-0300, [30]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Sleek & Spacey, Gorgeous Light-filled & innovative Warehouse apartments. Located on the fringe of Byron Bay Village, an easy stroll to the ecletic mix of shops & restaurants on offer. Walk to Main Beach and many of the attractions around Byron Bay, or enjoy the comforts of the Butter Factory pool, garden courtyard & BBQ area. $200+. (28.642728,153.616036) edit
  • Gaia Retreat and Spa, 933 Fernleigh Road, Brooklet, +61 2 6687-1216 (, fax: +61 2 6687-1310), [31]. 3 night packages from $995 per person for twin or double or $1195 for a single person.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

The biggest danger in Byron Bay is the sun - make sure you apply sunscreen liberally between 11am-5pm.

Be careful of drink spiking - always keep your drink in view and don't accept drinks from strangers.

Swim between the flags.

North Coast Medical Centre, 24 Shirley St, +61 2 6685-8666, [32]. M-F 9am-6pm. Need a doctor?  You'll find both traditional and alternative ones at this medical centre.  edit

Get out[edit]

Explore the 'Rainbow Region' - rural towns and sleepy villages, set in lush and particularly scenic countryside. The area is famed as a haven for alternative culture. Nimbin and the Channon are the favourite towns to visit in this region. There is a popular market in the Channon once a month, well on the tourist trail. Bangalow features a nice relaxed old-town main street.

There are many scenic wonders in the area. Byron area has many rainforests & parks. The volcanic plug of Mount Warning is a favourite tour. It can be reached by driving into Murwillumbah and following the roads to the small village of Uki. There are many waterfalls like Minyon Falls (direction Federal-Rosebank), Protester Falls (the Channon area) and Wanaganui Falls (Wilsons Creek). The drive to these falls is very scenic as it follows the creek and a narrow valley a some nice rainforest.

Brunswick Heads is a nice day trip. The pub is a good place to relax for a meal by the river and it has some quieter beaches. Between Byron Bay and Ballina there is a nice coastal drive which passes through the quiet coastal town of Lennox Head. If you stick to the coastal roads you will see many more beaches and coastal scenery than the highway.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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