Byron Bay Area

The Byron Bay region on the North Coast of NSW is world-famous for its spectacular beaches, forested hinterland, stylish coastal towns and hidden rural villages. It’s also known for a creative community that draws artists, musicians and makers from across the world (including Hollywood heart-throb Chris Hemsworth).

Escape to nature

Whether you’re looking for a retreat in nature or the perfect wave, Byron Bay has something for you. The spectacular Cape Byron Marine Park extends from Brunswick Heads in the north to Lennox Head in the south. Hike in the rainforest in national parks including Bundjalung, near Ballina, and visit the imposing Minyon Falls set high in the hinterland.

Surfers walking along Broken Head Beach in Byron Bay, North Coast

Eat and drink

Volcanic soils and innovative sustainable farming create the renowned fresh produce found on local menus. Head to Byron’s Balcony Bar and Oyster Co and Shelter Lennox for just-caught seafood. Indulge in two-hat fine dining at Fleet in Brunswick Heads or choose laid-back Mexican at La Casita, which is run by the same chefs.

The team behind Three Blue Ducks have created The Farm, a working property, restaurant and market that’s one of the region’s signature food experiences, and Locura, a late-night tapas bar and nightclub. Not sure where to start? Join Taste Byron Bay for a tour of the area’s culinary attractions or meet the producers at a market.

The area is home to creative food and drink companies offering some of the country’s most innovative new products, like The Bucha Shed, Australia’s very first alcoholic kombucha bar. Sample the region’s best craft beers at the Byron Bay Brewery and botanical-infused gin at Cape Byron Distillery.

Couple enjoying food and drink at Three Blue Ducks restaurant and cafe at The Farm in Byron Bay, Sydney

Live music and festivals

The region is also billed as Australia’s music festival capital. It is home to Australia’s largest music festival Splendour in the Grass, which has hosted headline acts like Coldplay, Kanye West, and Mumford and Sons. In 2020, Splendour will take place in late October. Bluesfest runs for five days over the Easter long weekend with more than 200 performances across seven stages. (Unfortunately, Bluesfest has been cancelled for 2020.)

Other popular festivals include the Mullum Music Festival and Falls Festival over New Year’s Eve. Live music abounds all year round at local venues like The Railway Friendly Bar and Beach Hotel. Some of Australia’s most famous musicians live here and you can often catch them playing – sometimes at pop up gigs that aren’t even advertised!

Woman enjoying the scenic coastal views from Cape Byron in Byron Bay, North Coast

Getting there and where to stay

The Byron Bay area is around 8hr 30min drive north of Sydney and two hours south of Brisbane. You can fly into Ballina Byron Gateway Airport at the southern edge of the region, just over half an hour from the town of Byron Bay. You can hire a car from the airport or there are connecting shuttles to many towns.

There’s a huge range of accommodation in the area. Choose from luxurious beach resorts and boutique hotels (including celebrity favourite Rae’s on Wategos) in Byron Bay, stylish holiday houses in the hinterland, charming beach cottages, wellness retreats, bustling backpacker hostels and secluded campsites.

Ballina Airport

Flying into Ballina Airport

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is located 5km from Ballina’s town centre and 35km from Byron Bay. Use the shuttle bus or taxi services available at the terminal to make the short trip to these coastal destinations. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace. Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Regional Express operate daily direct flights to Sydney and Fly Pelican flies direct to Newcastle six times a week. Jetstar also operates daily direct flights to Melbourne.

Things to Do and Places to Stay

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