Byron Bay is a surfers paradise but, as well as the amazing beaches, it’s stacked with excursions and diversions during your visit. Here I pick out my best 5 things to do in Byron Bay!
1. Take a Surf Lesson in Byron Bay
If Byron Bay is famous for anything, it has to be surfing. During my stay there, the sun was out and the breeze was gusty, meaning big white-tipped waves for the surfers (and sand in the teeth for sunbathers).
While the superior surf brings in some of the rockstars of the surfing world, we all have to start somewhere and Byron has some really great surfing academies. The price to get you up on a board is not as high as you’d think. This private surf lesson at Byron Bay is super popular. Alternatively, you can take part in this better value small group surf lesson – honestly, sometimes I prefer how small group activities take some of the focus off me so I get a chance to pick up the skill. But you do you.
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2. Hike to Cape Byron Lighthouse
The hike to Byron Bay Lighthouse is a relatively easy 3.2km hike (45m) from the centre of town. If you want to get the best pictures, it’s stunning at sunrise or at sunset. However, if you’ve got the weather, you’ll get good shots at any time.
After you get your snaps, walk out to the very end of the peninsula – it gives a stunning perspective of the rocky foreshore and the waves.
3. Outing to Minyon Falls
Minyon Falls is a waterfall on Repentance Creek, which plunges more than 100 metres over huge cliffs. This makes a great day trip from Byron Bay (bring water and snacks) if you have your own car. The route will take you a little under an hour. Aim to visit the lookout which sits above the falls and gives you the best overall view. Note that at certain times of the year, long droughts can mean there isn’t much water volume.
If you don’t have a car, or want to visit Minyon Falls with a small group, have a look at this organised tour which features Minyon Falls.
4. Byron Bay Shopping & Fashion
Byron Bay is absolutely stocked with shops, from glamorous fashion boutiques, to regular markets, to souvenir shops, to locally made crafts and gifts. You won’t be stuck for specialist surf equipment, either! One thing I found great about Byron Bay shopping is the sheer number of independent shops and artisan options.
If you’re self-catering or just want room snacks, there’s an Aldi in the town centre, as well as a large Woolworths a few minutes walk from the main hotels.
5. Eat Out in Byron Bay
There’s no shortage of places to eat out in Byron Bay, from basic to super fancy (depending on your budget). In general, low to mid-priced venues are pretty good. Here are three that I would rate for casual eats.
2/25-27 Lawson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
Super popular “authentic” Japanese food. My chicken katsu curry was super tasty, but the portion was simply much too big for one person. If you’re going there with a friend, share one main course and supplement with extra rice or a side salad. It was busy, busy, busy when I arrived without a reservation, but they let me sit (inside table) for up to one hour before the next service.
Cavanbah Arcade, Shop/4/4 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
Sushi lovers might struggle to find sashimi and nigiri options. For lunch, ‘Australian’ sushi loves a sushi roll, often with a pre-cooked filling like chicken, tuna mayo, or simply avocado. Salmon, when available, might be seared. This local sushi joint was no different and offered a good value lunch special with freshly made beetroot and ginger juice which was delicious.
Coop Rotisserie and Larder Byron Bay
91A Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
For dinner, I didn’t want the whole service razzmatazz, just some protein and veggies. The Coop (as in chicken coop) offers three kinds of roast chicken alongside a raft of different sides. These included heavier potato and root veg options, alongside salads, quinoa and fresh veggies.
Whatever is bringing you into Byron, there’s no shortage of self-guided options or fun excursions to keep you entertained. And at the end of the evening, it’s beautiful to simply sit on Main Beach or Belongil Beach and watch the surfers and dog-walkers enjoying their beautiful surroundings.