Things to do in Byron Bay – A Locals Guide

At this exciting and eventful time of the year, Byron is the place to be. After an exciting Easter, April School Holidays bring together friends and families together for fun times and activities. The town just hosted the Byron Bay Bluesfest (March 29-April 2) and will now be serving as a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games (April 4-15).

Byron Bay has a reputation as a happy, hippy, alternative town that has the magic combination of natural beauty and a creative, free-spirited local scene. Upon arrival, you’ll notice Byron’s iconic sign “Cheer up, Slow down, Chill Out”.

Visitors flock from all over the world to escape their mundane, busy lives and unwind in this beachside paradise. Here, it’s not about packing in the most activities during your stay, but instead embracing the moment and your adventurous spirit. Its time to absorb the good vibes, take in the breathtaking scenery and allow yourself to be on Byron time.

For tens of thousands of years, the Byron area was known to the Indigenous Arakwal people as the Cavvanbah, or “meeting place”, where trade could be carried out and gossip swapped between neighboring tribes, just like a marketplace today.

Out of the Blue Adventures offers some local knowledge, insight and tips for making the most out of your Byron Bay holiday. There is an array of things to do in Byron Bay so choose your favourites and go with the flow.

1. Take a hike

Cape Byron walking track:

Enjoy spectacular coastal views along this 3.7 kilometre loop walk that leads you through rainforest and across clifftops to the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse. There you’ll be rewarded with stunning, panoramic views of Byron’s picturesque beaches and the hinterland. Remember to keep an eye out for dolphins, turtles and our vessel ‘Out Of The Blue’ cruising past.

Cape Byron is Australia’s most easterly point, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a sparkling sunrise morning. There are few things more soul-stirring than welcoming the dawn of a new day from this breathtaking vantage point.

After hiking, treat yourself to breakfast at the Pass cafe (along the coastal walk) or relax over a coffee or snack at the Lighthouse Cafe (cash only and no ATM, so be prepared). This walking track can be accessed in a variety of locations, making it a customisable length best suited to you.

It’s about a 45 minute walk from Lawson street in the heart of town making it about a 2 hour loop—one of the best ways to spend a couple hours on the coastline. Alternatively, you can park closer at either The Pass or Wategos Beach and pick up the trail from there.Byron Bay lighthouse

Three Sisters walking trail (Broken Head):

Wonder through lush rainforest and emerge on the coast with panoramic views of secluded beaches and rocky coves. In the winter and spring, it’s a local favourite vantage point to watch whales migrating and at this time the headland bursts with the colour of wildflowers. Look out for dolphins playing in the sheltered coves and seabirds such as the white-bellied sea eagle diving for fish.

The headland overlooks the Three Sisters, rocky offshore islands where hundreds of seabirds roost, rest, and feed. The Three Sisters represent an Aboriginal dreamtime story of young sisters who drowned at sea and were turned into stone. This tale was told to warn children of the strong, dangerous currents here.

    

2. Choose your Byron Bay beach

Wategos:

Wategos is a charming, popular beach in an amphitheater-shaped valley that is tucked just below Byron Bay’s Lighthouse. It’s a little slice of paradise loved by visitors and locals alike. This north-facing beach has epic waves that break gradually, making it perfect for laid back longboarders and those learning to surf. Dolphins often join in on the fun and surf alongside.

   

The Pass:

Whether you’re a soul surfer or surf school novice, the Pass is Byron Bay’s most famous. This local legendary surf break is known for its long, consistent right-hand point break enjoyed by pros and beginners alike.

 

  

3. Taste Byron… Byron Bay is proud of its organic food culture

The Byron Bay Farmers Market:

It is a well-loved weekly event that takes place every Thursday morning in Byron Bay. Enjoy food, coffee, fresh produce and a lively atmosphere as local musicians showcase their talents as you shop. Here, you’ll find the very best sustainably, locally grown fresh produce as well as a range of Byron Shire specialties, such as freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, macadamia nuts, artisan bread, and Ballina prawns.

Combi Café:

Combi Cafe is the sibling of a popular Melbourne icon with the same name. This menu taps into a growing demand for healthy, no fuss food made with the best quality ingredients. There’s an emphasis on organic, raw and gluten-free eats and drinks. Think fair trade coffee, fermented breads, kombucha on tap, raw smoothies, cold-pressed juices, in-house made raw sweet treats and raw chia parfaits. Yum!

Treehouse on Belongil:

Treehouse on Belongil has a casual indoor-outdoor decor that makes you feel as though you’re hanging out in an old friend’s living room just across from the beach. There are DJs playing throughout the afternoon, with wood-fired pizzas, beer, and delicious cocktails. What more could you want?

Three Blue Ducks restaurant and café at The Farm:

At the Farm Byron Bay, their motto is “Grow, Feed, Educate”, which inspires customers to eat consciously and make changes towards a healthier, more harmonious existence with our land, animals, and communities.“We believe that it is first-hand experience of seeing how food is grown and produced that makes the eating of it so much more pleasurable. From this simple pleasure sprouts a curiosity and desire to learn more.”
The undercover outdoor patio offers views of Byron’s hinterland, Mount Warning, and the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Their bar offers 56 taps of all Australian craft beers, wines and ciders and a selection of unique, creative cocktails.

4. Choose your Byron Bay activities

Hire a surfboard with your mates:

People from all over flock to Byron for its world famous surf breaks…

Get out on the water with Out Of The Blue Adventures:

Get out on the water with Out of the Blue Adventures. Cruise along Byron Bay’s iconic coastline and explore the wonders of Cape Byron Marine Park. Visit Julian rocks on our Byron Bound Adventure or explore the tranquil waters of the Richmond River on a river cruise . Our modern eco vessel seats 20 passengers so if your looking for a private charter to make your holiday event one to remember we have you covered. Witness local wildlife such as dolphins, and turtles up close. We provide free return transfers from your accomodation in Byron Bay or Lennox Head.

5. Treat yourself… mind, body & soul (well-being)

 

Yoga on the beach:

There’s no better way to start your day. Salute the sun to the sound of the waves and ocean views. Beachside Yoga and Massage, in the surf club facing the main beach, is a beautiful space to practice yoga and receive a massage just metres from the beach. Byron Bay Yoga Centre, Ananta Yoga, and Shiva Shakti offer drop-in classes. Visit their sites for daily classes/timetables.

Sunset walk on the beach:

Leave yourself an hour before sunset to take a walk along Belongil beach, to the left of Main Beach. On the way back, stop off at The Wreck and take in the drumming circle (Friday – Sunday, sometimes weekdays) where local troupadours and rhythm-makers come to drum, dance and shake off the day. Set up camp underneath the palm fringes and witness the spectacular dusk sky behind Mt. warning.

 

Byron Bay dolphin tour

6. Shop ’till you drop.

Byron Bay is filled with many independent retailers and unique local fashion designers. Explore boutiques and sort after stores like Spell, Arnhem, Amilita, and Goddess of Babylon. Don’t forget to check out the Industrial Estate, where every corner is filled with creatives and hand-crafted treasures with the label we all love, made in Byron Bay.

7. Move to the beat of Byron….

Some of the world’s biggest bands only do three shows in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay. This tiny town is spoilt for live music choice, at great venues such as the Great Northern Hotel, the Railway Hotel and Beach Hotel. Soak up the last rays of the day as you listen to the combination of waves crashing on the shore and rhythmic beats of live music coming from the local pubs, clubs and talented buskers in the Main Street. It is not uncommon to see people watching as if time has stood still, these musicians pour their hearts into songs that captivate crowds walking by. You won’t be able to resist checking them all out. Check out the Gig Guide

Next Holiday….Byron Bay Whale Watching

Take note of things you’d love to do next visit to Byron Bay. The July holiday period brings the well-known whale migration that many come to Byron to enjoy. Jump aboard Out of the Blue Adventures for a Byron Bay Whale Watching Cruise. See these majestic creatures up close and enjoy a once in a lifetime adventure.

 

Top Tips For A Green Music Scene | Byron Bay Bluesfest

Byron Bay Bluesfest is back again! Celebrate the Easter long weekend (29 March – 2 April) with some of the biggest names in blues & roots music. The venue is nestled on the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just north of Byron Bay and boasts 7 performance stages, 5 licensed bars, and over 100 food & market stalls. Today, this festival attracts an audience of over 100,000 music lovers from all over the world! Times have really changed since its humble beginnings at The Arts Factory aka “The Piggery” with a crowd of 6,000 in 1990.

Byron Bay gained its reputation as a hippy, happy, alternative town after Nimbin’s Aquarius Music Festival in the 1970s. People began flocking to Byron Bay to live in this little slice of paradise. Byron’s residents began valuing the natural assets and beauty of the area over money/ profit. Any development that would significantly impact the environment, compromise the natural beauty of the area or their selected lifestyles was unwelcome. They understood the area needed time to recover from industries such as sand mining, whaling, fishing, dairy farming, and meat works, which were unsustainable and took a toll on the environment. By the 1990s, the new “ethos” of Byron Bay was fully formed.

This same attitude is still very much alive and attracts millions of people to Byron Bay today. The mass crowds headed this way for Bluesfest will have a big impact on the environment…Why not make it a positive one? Music festivals are places where a little bit of magic happens…When you’re at a festival, your heart and mind is opened to new ideas, new ways of behaving, new ways of seeing the world. The combination of music, with the emotion it brings, and a crowd of like-minded people all moving to the same beat, makes festivals a place where people can come together and make deep change.

Single-use plastics are destroying our planet. By 2050, there may be more plastic in the ocean than fish, unless we change our course. Green Music Australia launched the #BYObottle campaign in hopes of ridding the music festival scene of single-use water bottles. They are everywhere, but totally unnecessary with obvious alternatives. They are the most obvious environmental impact, covering the festival grounds by early evening.

Green Music has worked with festivals to make more water refill stations available and has convinced many bars and stall holders not to sell plastic. Just over summer 2017, they prevented nearly 200,000 single-use plastics from being used and thrown away. That’s enough to make a big difference: saving birds, turtles, and other marine life; cutting emissions due to manufacture, transport and waste treatment. They’ve proven trashed venues do not have to be the fate of festivals….A small effort from everyone can make a really big difference. Together we can keep the music scene green and stay hydrated without costing the planet.

Byron Bay Dolphin Tour

While you enjoy this year’s legendary line-up, remember to keep your music scene green! Having won multiple green awards, Byron Bay’s Bluesfest continues their campaign with the message “Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, & Recycle”. Their stalls use 100% recyclable packaging and there’s a massive recycling production onsite. As a community, we can work towards leaving no trace and decreasing waste that will end up in the landfill or our oceans.

Music festival fans, here’s 6 simple ways to be Green at Blues:

1. Bring reusable water bottles, containers & utensils

2. Toss cigarettes in the bin

3. Place recyclables in the recycle bin ( Place rubbish in the appropriate bin.)

4. Keep your site clean & tidy as you go

5. Leave no trace – Take your tent, chairs, clothes, booze, food, eskys with you

6. Avoid detaching the pull rings from beer cans

Need/Want a sweet escape from the hustle & bustle of Byron Bay during Bluesfest? Jump aboard one of Out of the Blue Adventures coastal or river cruises. We are an eco cruise company that supports “Take 3 for the Sea”, a clean beach initiative which discourages single use plastics.

Byron Bay lighthouse

Sit back, relax, and breathe in the ocean air while we cruise along Byron’s iconic coastline and explore Cape Byron Marine Park on our Byron Bound Eco Cruise. We make our way up the coast from Ballina to Julian Rocks, a nature reserve home to tropical marine creatures including manta rays, dolphins and sea turtles. Imagine viewing the Cape Byron Lighthouse from a whole new perspective, the water!

Amongst other responsibilities, we discourage single-use plastic; therefore, we don’t use plastic water bottles aboard our eco-vessel. We have seen how plastic wreaks havoc on the marine life we love. Plastic does not decompose. Instead, it breaks down into micro bits which build up the food chain and eventually reaches those at the top like humpback whales. We are excited for our favorite annual visitors. Being Australia’s most easterly point, Byron Bay is center-stage for the humpback whales on their migration along the coast. Out of the Blue can’t wait to take you out for a Byron Bay whale watching Tour!