It’s boho meets beachside, hippie meets hip, spiritual meets sophisticated… a place where you’re just as likely to see Chris Hemsworth tucking in to Sunday lunch at The Farm as you are to encounter dreadlocked drummers heralding in the sunset on the world-famous beachfront. Whichever version of Byron Bay you embrace, you’ll come away with a renewed sense of calm – and cool.
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. If you prefer to explore from the saddle, Zephyr Horses can take you on rides along the beach or through the rainforest.
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 a food tour with Elements of Byron or meet 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 or Stone & Wood Brewery, and botanical-infused gin at Cape Byron Distillery.
The region is also billed as Australia’s music festival capital. It is home to Australia’s largest music festival Splendour in the Grass. Held in July, it has hosted headline acts like Coldplay, Kanye West and Mumford & Sons. Bluesfest runs for five days over the Easter long weekend with more than 200 performances across seven stages.
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!
The Byron Bay area is around 8hr 30min drive north of Sydney and a 2hr drive south of Brisbane. You can fly into Ballina Byron Gateway Airport at the southern edge of the region, just over 30min from the town of Byron Bay. You can hire a car from the airport or there are connecting shuttles to many towns.
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.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.