A Guide to Byron Bay

A Guide to Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of those places…

…that you hear all kinds of magical things about. The surfing, the sea, the pristine beaches, the community, the creativity, the fresh food, the secluded hideaways, the neighboring towns…it’s easy to see why this spot is one of the most popular destinations for both Australians and foreigners alike.

Personally, being in Byron Bay almost made me feel like I had never even left California. Between the surfing, the boho beach style, everyone walking around barefoot and/or biking with their boards, the open-air restaurants serving a plethora of fresh plant-based foods, the art and decor, the community feel, it all gave me Venice Vibes (in the best way possible, of course). The key differences? The beaches and water are next-level pristine, clear, colorful and absolutely stunning. There is an incredible noticeable emphasis on sustainability, green-living and making positive impacts on the environment (much more so than here in LA). And, last, but certainly not least, there’s that fun little thing called humidity, which we (thankfully) so rarely experience here in SoCal.

I really loved visiting Byron Bay and honestly, my only complaint is that I didn’t have enough time there. Between the town itself, along with other spots along the coastline and in the Hinterlands, I could happily spend several weeks around the area and never get bored (or go hungry, tbh).

My only advice for visiting- Come hungry (because the food is heavenly), come ready to adventure (because the landscape is breathtaking) and come in the off-season (because summer can get a little busy). Oh, and bring an extra suitcase, because there’s a high probability that you will want to bring a whole new wardrobe (and some decor items, too) back home with you! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Have you ever visited byron bay, or is it on your bucket list of places to go?

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It’s easier than you think…

Getting to Byron Bay can, at first, seem a bit overwhelming. But I promise, it’s actually not that bad. For us, we flew from Sydney to Brisbane, then rented a car to drive down to Byron Bay. It was somewhere around a two hour drive, but there were more direct (and affordable) flights to Brisbane than there were to the airport closer to Byron Bay (Ballina Byron Gateway Airport). Either way, both airports are great options, and either way, it worked out well as it allowed us to have a car to go exploring. If you’re planning to make several stops throughout the region, or you’re planning to do various day trips and explore the Hinterlands, renting a car is definitely the way to go.

Now I know, I’m sure some of you (ahem, Americans) read that last paragraph and had a minor panic attack thinking about driving on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car. BUT driving is not your only option. If you hop on over to GoByron (a locally operated, family-owned business), you’ll see a plethora of transportation options including taxis, airport shuttles, limousines, group arrangements, tours and so much more. Plus, they even have an app to make getting a taxi even more convenient and easy. In other words, if driving isn’t quite your thing, this company will be your best friend when it comes to getting around Byron Bay and beyond.

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adorable Airbnbs, secluded spots and boutique hotels…take your pick

There are no shortage of places to stay in and around Byron Bay. From adorable Airbnbs, tucked away spots and boutique hotels, there’s plenty to choose from. We stayed in an Airbnb for this trip, and there are certainly plenty of cute ones available (I even linked a few below), but if you prefer to go more of the hotel route, there are a few wonderful options for that, as well (also linked below). Here are a few places to check out-

The Bower

Byron Cove Beach House

Elements of Byron

The Atlantic

Rae’s on Wategos

Cactus Rose Villa

The Lord Byron

Paddock Hall

Halcyon House

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Sun, surf + sand…plus everything in between


While we didn’t have time to do a wildlife excursion, I saw them being offered through the local experiences section on Airbnb and was immediately intrigued. It seems like there are several different options (including a Platypus Walk, Night Vision Walk (observe nocturnal animals in the rainforest) and Wildlife Safari) to choose from, but given how much I like animals, I’m going to go ahead and just say all of them sound amazing and all of them are high on my list of things to do next time I got back. While I originally found the tours on Airbnb, you can also book them directly through the tour site.

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Explore the industrial area //

This area is where you’ll find a lot of newer things popping out and it’s also where you’ll find more of the locals, along with things like Stone & Wood Brewing, McTavish, Yoli & Otis + more restaurants and shops. It’s a bit out of town, but the area is definitely worth checking out, especially if you like less of a touristy vibe.


81 Monet Dr, Montecollum NSW 2482, Australia

This one is a bit of a trek from town, but absolutely worth it. The drive itself is gorgeous and you get the chance to see more of the countryside, and Crystal Castle is such a unique, fascinating and a peaceful oasis that truly feels other worldly.

It’s home to some of the largest crystals in the world (pictures just don’t do it justice), you can sit inside an ancient amethyst cave, you can walk the beautiful grounds, they have events, they have a playground area for kids and so much more. It truly felt like such a peaceful, zen place and I only wish we had had longer to enjoy more of it.

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VISIT The Lighthouse //

Do yourself a favor and go in time to catch sunset…it’s stunning! But go early, because trust me, you won’t be the only one trying to find a spot to watch the sun go down!

Also, if getting zen is your sort of thing, you might be intrigued by this guided meditation at the lighthouse.

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Broken Head was by far my favorite beach in the area; it’s a few minutes outside of town, but it’s so worth the drive because it’s a bit more secluded and absolutely pristine. Just note that you do have to pay for parking (it’s only a few dollars).

Also, you might have heard a time or two that surfing is kind of a thing here (Ha!), so, if you’re interested, there are several places to get surfing lessons (I even saw a few listed on, you guessed it, Airbnb Experiences), but I would highly suggest checking out Let’s Go Surfing. And if surfing isn’t quite your thing, you could try a kayaking excursion instead through Cape Byron Kayaks.

HANG OUT at the farm //

11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale NSW 2481, Australia

I LOVED this place! I mean, would you expect anything less from me?! It is a farm with animals, after all. And a row of macadamia nut trees. And a restaurant. And a takeaway counter. And a garden shop. And a gelato truck. I meeeean….can a place get any better?!

While I included this spot under the “Where to Eat” list, too, there’s so much more to do than just grabbing coming food. Between walking the farm, visiting the animals, going on a tour or taking a work shop, you truly could spend at least half a day here and not get bored (or go hungry). They even have kid-specific activities (for those of you that might be visiting with little ones in tow).

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While most people visiting this region are only familiar with Byron Bay, there’s actually so much more to the area, including other coastal towns and exploring in-land, or, the Hinterlands, as it’s referred to. If you have a car you can certainly explore on your own, but there are also some local tours (even a biking one) that you can do, as well.

While we didn’t have much time to stop and explore, we did drive through some cute little towns on our way to and from the Crystal Castle that are just begging me to come back and visit them. So take it from me, make sure you DO in fact have time to stop and visit. A few spots that caught my eye/I heard good things about- Mullumbimby, Lennox Head, Ballina, Newrybar, Bangalow and Minyon Falls (this tour there looks really cool).

This is just a snippet of all the wonderful things there are to do in the area. But having only spent a few days in Byron Bay, my knowledge is limited. For more in-depth information, things to do and resources I would highly recommend checking out Byron Bay and Beyond.

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There are a plethora of incredible Byron Bay-based brands creating beautiful things. Several of them I knew about prior to my trip, but there were also a few new-to-me brands and shops that I instantly fell in love with (and I’m pretty sure you will, too).

Hope & May //

2/20 Fletcher St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

if you like raw, luxe + globally inspired designs and natural materials, you’ll love this spot; they have such a good mix of both home + style pieces at reasonable price points…just be warned that you’ll want to bring every single piece home with you

Auguste //

7/15-19 Fletcher St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

easy, beautiful, timeless pieces; also love what and how much this brand is doing to give back

Rowie //

1/1 Marvell St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

pieces created with an emphasis on natural fibers, sustainable materials and ethical practices

McTavish //

91 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

the surfboard shops of all surfboard shops; they have an outpost in the center of town, but if you can make it to this location you can also grab one of their delicious coffees

Spell & The Gypsy Collective//

15 Browning St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

known for pretty prints, flowy dresses and the perfect boho style

St. Agni //

1/57 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

known for their handmade leather goods, especially their beautiful sandals and woven mules

Yoli & Otis //

2/97 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

yet another store where I wanted to buy all of their flowy, beautiful, timeless pieces made with natural materials; they also have some home goods as well as items for children

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come hungry…leave happy

The Mez Club //

4/85-87 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

Mediterranean food, a beautiful space + an amazing daily happy hour aka this is my kind of place! You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu (although I especially liked the stuffed banana peppers). In fact, we loved everything so much we even came back a second time (if that tells you anything).

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Stone & Wood //

100 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

A super cool local brewery; great spot to chill with an afternoon beer, and they do also have a few food options, as well. A few of the things I really liked about them (besides, of course, that their beers are really delicious) is how experimental they are with some of their flavors. They’re always trying new combinations out and coming up with some really cool results. The other thing I loved about them is the efforts they make to produce their products sustainably as well as the work they do to give back to their community (How cool is their Karma Keg?!). P.S. If their watermelon beer is available, do yourself a favor and get one (and get me one while you’re at it). It’s honestly one of the most delicious beers I’ve ever had! I only wish I could have brought some back to the states…

I also noticed one of the Airbnb experiences in the area was for a distillery and brewery tour, and Stone & Wood is actually one of the stops they make on the tour. While you can take tours of the brewery on your own, the experience sounds like a cool way to check out multiple spots.

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McTavish //

91 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

Yes, this is a surf shop, but it’s also a pretty amazing place to grab coffee. I mean, it’s where the locals go for their caffeine fix, so you know it’s going to be good! And after getting a few recommendations to come here, we knew we had to check it out for ourselves. I got a flat white with macadamia nut milk and it ended up being my favorite coffee, not only in Byron, but also of the entire trip.

Byron Fresh //

7 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

As the name implies, the food is fresh and yummy! Great anytime of day, they have pastries and to-go items, close to the beach, a well-priced happy hour and they even have live music, too. We went for happy hour and got the delicious charcuterie plate {pictured below} and rosé and it was all of maybe $20. Plus, we got to sit outside and listen to the music. Highly recommend.

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Folk //

1/399 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

This is the dreamiest little healthy spot tucked away slightly outside of town. The food was by far some of the most fresh and delicious I’ve ever had, and they also had some really unique beverage options. Now if only I could eat breakfast here every morning…

Three Blue Ducks //

11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale NSW 2481, Australia

This is the main restaurant located at The Farm (which I talked more about up above). One of my favorite things about them, outside of the delicious food, is that they are all about creating an interesting menu through mindful, ethical and sustainable practices. While we didn’t have time to sit and eat, we did grab a few bites from their to-go counter for our lunch and wow! So delicious! I may or may not have contemplated running back in and grabbing half the pastry cabinet for the road (but then was promptly stopped from doing so due to the fact that I still had swimsuits to wear). It’s also a great place to just go and grab coffee.

Not only would I love to come back to eat a full meal here, I’d also love to get one of their picnic baskets that they prep for you to take out + enjoy in the farm’s fields (they have to be pre-ordered, but they’re only $100 and feed 2-4 people). So many (delicious) options, so little time.

Harvest //

50 Skinners Shoot Rd, Skinners Shoot NSW 2481, Australia

This place is a trek and half to get to, but wow! Wow! Wow! Is it ever worth it! By far one of the most unique dining experiences I’ve ever had and such incredibly delicious food. What I found to be so special was how the menu is created. The chef actually goes out foraging, searching for the often-overlooked wild and native ingredients of the land, then uses whatever he finds to help shape the menu (with a little help from diners, too). Because of this, you’re not only getting a seasonal menu, but you’re also getting one sprinkled with a variety of unique specialties that you might not get to eat anywhere else. Even better, they give you a booklet with your menu to explain all the different ingredients so you know just what you’re getting.

They also have a monthly chef series, and some awesome sustainability practices. The space is stunning (I can see why they have so many weddings here.), the food was epic, the service was top-notch and, as seems to be the common theme here, I only wish we had had time to come back again and go to breakfast at their bakery. Truly next level experience all-around.

A few others that looked amazing but that we sadly didn’t have time to make it to- Fleet, Woods Cafe (for coffee), Combi, The Byron Bay General Store, The Bolt Hole, Treehouse on Belongil + Beach Byron Bay