Think of the complete opposite of New York City and you get Byron Bay. This is the chillest beach town on the planet. It’s full of hippie feel good vibes and everyone is fully just enjoying themselves. There’s so many backpackers and vacationers, but it’s still so chill.
Of course there’s a beautiful main beach and in typical Aussie fashion you have the option of laying out in grass or sand. If you want to be active there are so many different activities you can do at the beach including kayaking with dolphins, kite surfing, or take surf lessons. There are actually different sections of the beaches so feel free to venture either to the left or right beyond the main beach area, especially if it’s crowded. If you are looking at the ocean and go left that is the dog beach area. Walking to the right leads you to a popular surf spot and if you keep going through a little park (towards the lighthouse) you’ll get to Wategos Beach. This was by far my favorite spot in Byron.
Speaking of walking… Going to the Byron Bay lighthouse is a must. I did the walk four times on this trip so I pretty much consider myself an expert at this point. The walk is mostly uphill and can be a little challenging. Avoid going during the afternoon when it’s too hot. If you’re doing it once, then I would recommend going for sunset.
There are so many cute shops in the main part of town. Strolling and browsing around them can take all day. A few of the Aussie chains can also be found here, but it’s mostly boutiquey unique shops to Byron. One of my favorite brand’s only physical store is located in Byron – Arnhem Clothing. I also found amazing sandals at Tsonga. There are also other local brands that would make great gifts like Byron Bay Cookie Company or Byron Bay Candles.
Not even kidding there will be music pretty much on every street corner. It’s totally okay and encouraged to stop and listen (unlike in NYC where you put your head down and move on). You’ll see small crowds gathered around enjoying the music. There’s also areas like the grassy area by the main beach where you can have a picnic while listening to someone perform. We wandered in while Jack Botts was performing and he was incredible. Gypsy was one of my favorite songs he performed. Most of the bars and even some restaurants have performers every night. If you like live music Byron is for you.
There are so many great options for food. You really can’t go wrong. Most places have at least one happy hour (some have two – a normal happy hour and then a late night one). Some of my favorite food and drink spots:
- Byron Fresh Cafe
- Yaman on the Beach
- Balcony Bar & Oyster Co.
- The Northern – if you like cocktails make sure you go to the side bar for amazing seasonal cocktails
- Beach Hotel Byron Bay/Green Room
- Cafe Bagus
- The Avocado Hut
- El Camino Cantina (if you like frozen margs on happy hour)
- Bella Rosa Gelateria
Where to stay?
For such a small town there are so many options for accommodations. You can really find what’s best for you – hostel, hotel, or Airbnb.
How long should you stay?
If you’re limited on time I think you can get a good feel for Byron in about 3 nights, but if you can stay longer do. This was my second trip to Byron and I was there for 7 nights. I still didn’t want to leave after the week. I will definitely be back soon.