19 May 2015
Byron Bay might have a reputation for its alternative lifestyle and legendary surfing culture, but it is also the perfect place for your next family holiday. Whilst you could spend your days sunbathing and surfing, this small coastal town in northern NSW has enough activities for all members of your family, for a weekend getaway or a week long stay!
1. Learn to surf
If your kids fancy learning the art of surfing, Byron’s beaches such as Main Beach, Wategos, and The Pass all having beautiful, clean surf breaks which are perfect for learning and for your kids to build up their experience and confidence. You also have nearby Lennox Head and Brunswick Heads. For lessons consider Mojo Surf, Surfing Byron Bay, or Style Surfing.
2. Do the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk
For one of the best short coastal walks in NSW don’t miss the walk up to Australia’s most easterly point, Cape Byron. Start at Main Beach and enjoy stunning views of The Pass, Wategos Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Keep an eye out for dolphins, stingrays and, in season, whales. If you have to, bribe your kids with an ice cream from the Lighthouse Cafe once they reach the top (bring cash, no eftpos).
3. Sea kayaking with dolphins, turtles and whales
How about a three hour ocean adventure in Cape Byron’s Marine National Park and the chance to get up close to the abundant sea-life in their natural environment. There’s possibly no better way to enjoy the scenic beauty of Byron as a family. No experience necessary. Check out Go Sea Kayak for tours.
4. Eat the best pancakes & meet farm animals at Macadamia Castle
Just a 20 minute drive from Byron is all it takes to devour possibly the best pancakes in the world at the Macadamia Castle. Let your kids overindulge in a triple stack with a tropical flavour of berries, crunchy macadamia nuts and ice cream. Not to mention your kids will love the wide assortment of farm animals, a round of mini-golf, and a miniature train ride.
5. Have a mummy daughter date at Crystal Castle
Take your daughter (or whole family) on a 25 minute journey into Byron’s hinterland and discover the magic of Crystal Castle that will leave you feeling calm and happy. Wander the magical gardens of mystic statues, walk the ancient labyrinth, and surround yourself with tranquil rainforest. There are hundreds of crystals in healing grids and on show throughout the castle.
6. Watch the fire dance show
Grab some take away and head down to the grass area of Main Beach of an evening and be mesmerised by the fire-dancing shows put on by some local entertainers. Your kids will be impressed by their skill and bravado. These guys operate on a tips only basis!
7. Have a family beach day
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches in Byron, and you don’t have to be a surfer to have a fun day out. Most of them are family friendly and great for swimming, sandcastle building, walking and playing. Check out Main Beach, Clarkes Beach, Belongil Beach, and Wategos Beach.
8. Hit the Markets
Community markets always make for a few hours of family fun. The Byron Bay Markets are on the first Sunday of every month and then every fourth Sunday is the Bangalow Markets, just a 15 minute drive away. There’s plenty for all the family, get the kids faces painted, enjoy a bite to eat, listen to some local music and shop for market goodies.
9. Family friendly eats
Byron has no shortage of casual cafes or take away options to keep all the family satisfied. The Top Shop is a locals fave for burgers, as is Macs Milk Bar & Cafe. Grab take away fish & chips from Mongers and go sit on the grass for sunset, while Dad will love the craft beers and cheap tasty grub at Byron Bay Brewery. For a yummy breakfast with stunning beach views you can’t beat the Byron Beach Cafe or lunch in the beer garden at the iconic Beach Hotel overlooking main beach.
Got musical loving teens in the family? Every Easter period the Byron Bay Bluesfest entertains thousands on a 120 hectare tea farm just outside of beautiful Byron Bay. With six stages to choose from, it remains one of Australia’s most acclaimed and respected festivals and prides itself on being an all ages family event.
11. Dive or snorkel at Julian Rocks
A five minute boat ride from Byron Bay brings you to one of the premier diving locations in Australia, Julian Rocks Marine Reserve. It’s also one of the few snorkel sites where you can swim with tropical species found on the Great Barrier Reef and home to three different species of sea turtle. The Byron Bay Dive Centre caters for all levels of diving and snorkelling experience.
12. Enjoy sunrise & sunset
If your kids are early risers, starting the day with sunrise from Cape Byron Lighthouse is hard to beat. Alternatively, sunsets in Byron are pretty special. End your day with a beach walk or takeaway dinner on the grass at Main Beach and watch the colours in the sky light up.