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. If you prefer to explore from the saddle, Zephyr Horses can take you on rides along the beach or through the rainforest.
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.
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. Held in July, it has hosted headline acts like Coldplay, Kanye West, and Mumford and Sons. Bluesfest runs for five days over the Easter long weekend with more than 200 performances across seven stages. (Unfortunately, Bluesfest and Splendour in the Grass have 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!
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.