Beautiful Byron Bay
Just 20 minutes from Ballina Byron Airport, 50 minutes from the Gold Coast Airport and 2 hours south of Brisbane and Byron Bay has the distinction of being Australia’s most easterly point. A sub-tropical paradise with long stretches of soft golden sand beaches, clear azure seas and a lush rainforest hinterland, Byron has become one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. It is estimated that 1.7 million visitors pass through each year and that 10% of Australia’s international travelers spend time in Byron. The Byron region is well known for hosting some of the largest festivals in Australia – the Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, Mullum Music Festival and the Byron Bay Writer’s Festival.
Arriving by plane
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is the closest airport to Byron Bay – just a little over 20 minutes away. Gold Coast Airport (Coolangatta) is the second closest, situated 50 minutes north of Byron Bay, with Brisbane the next major airport, 2 hours’ drive north of Byron Bay.
All 3 airports are serviced by Byron Bay Easy Bus who provide door-to-door services.
Hertz Byron Bay are the Preferred Car Rental Company of BBFF2016.
To reserve your car for pick up from Ballina Byron Gateway Airport or downtown Byron Bay, call (02) 6680 7925.
Arriving by road
Byron Bay is just 10 minutes drive off the Pacific Highway. Visitors from Queensland should remember there’s a one hour time difference before the end of daylight saving’s time – with NSW one hour AHEAD.
Where to stay
Byron Bay offers a wide range of accommodation to suit every taste and budget, including these partners where many guests of the festival stay.
Elements of Byron
We are proud to have Elements of Byron Resort & Spa on board as BBFF2016’s Major Accommodation Partner. Elements features 103 private beach villas dotted amidst 22 hectares of absolute beachfront paradise. The modern Australian beach architecture and interiors are inspired by Mother Nature and the native flora and fauna of this exceptional Byron Bay beachside location, where every luxury awaits.
Apartments Inn Byron
Located in the heart of Byron Bay, Apartments Inn is a stylish 43 room apartment complex surrounded by restaurants, cafes, shops, markets and nightlife. It’s 150 meters to Main Beach & short drive to the most popular surfing beaches.
This tranquil B&B is located in the Byron Bay CBD and features Spa Bath ensuites, access to private guests’ courtyard, free off street parking, an à la carte breakfast menu and the friendliest hosts in town.
Byron Holiday Park
Byron Holiday Park is set on 28 spacious acres with bushland outlook and direct beach access to the beautiful Tallow Beach. A family-friendly and pet-friendly holiday park located just 5 minutes from the heart of Byron Bay.
Providing a range of accommodation types from fully-facilitated camping grounds, cabins, a caravan park to Byron Bay Villas – all with a range of excellent amenities to suit your needs, whatever they may be!
Located in the heart of town and one block from the beach Nomads Byron Bay offers dorms and deluxe private rooms. All rooms have a balcony. The communal kitchen is large and offers modern cooking facilities. The outdoor courtyard boasts 2 x ten people jacuzzis, BBQs and a great tropical garden. There’s even a specialised travel service from a dedicated travel desk. Reception operates 24 hours a day, alongside 24 hour computer facilities and WIFI.
Ray White Holiday Rentals
Looking for a more private and personal holiday experience? Ray White Holiday Rentals Byron Bay holiday accommodation service built on professionalism, integrity, expertise and most importantly, delivering a high level of customer service to holiday guests. They achieve this through their focus on building meaningful relationships. Phone their friendly holiday team today to arrange your stay in Byron Bay. Telephone: 02 6685 6222
For more Byron Bay accommodation information. The Byron Bay Accommodation Guide offers a wide range of options; from budget to luxury, studio apartments through to holiday houses.
Byron Bay Accom will help you discover a range of beautiful private holiday homes in Byron Bay that will make your holiday unforgettable.
Restaurants, pubs and bars
In Byron Bay, we’re spoiled for choice with a diverse range of authentic, laid back eateries serving up great fresh food at pocket-friendly prices.
Miss Margarita’s is a funky Mexican eatery with fantastic food, happy hour beer, margaritas and sangria, and great cocktails. Try the Smokehouse – tequila, smoked mescal, pineapple juice and kaffir lime leaves – it’s definitely a divider of opinion!
Il Buco is one of Byron Bay’s newest additions – tucked away on colourful Bay Lane and offering authentic, thin and crispy Italian pizza with fresh, local produce. The Prima Vera is amazing.
Kinoko offers fresh and delicious Japanese sushi and sashimi in a relaxed setting including a sushi train. The tuna sashimi melts in your mouth and the halloumi cheese tempura is a devilish treat.
Asia Joe’s makes fresh and tasty fusion meals packed full of yummy flavours and healthy ingredients, with a pocket-friendly BYO alcohol policy and a laksa that you’ll find hard to forget.
Who doesn’t love delish fresh fish and chips? Right on Byron’s Main Beach, kick back on their casual deck and watch the fire twirlers and drummers do their thing or grab some take away and sit on the beach as the sun sets. Yummo.
Delicious, well priced Middle Eastern food cooked fresh to order – falafel pockets, lamb koftas and moreish mezze plates. The home-made lemonade is addictively refreshing.
Heart and Halo is a vegetarian’s delight. Indian wholefoods made with love – go for the buffet style takeaway tub for a cheap and incredibly satisfying lunch and the Rose & Pomegranate drink for a refreshing treat.
Top Shop has got it in the bag for great burgers, hearty breakfasts, and fresh pastries, juices and consistently fantastic coffees. A relaxed local institution for surfers and visitors alike.
Naked Treaties packs a cool punch with delicious raw foods, chocolate treats and smoothies. Try the raw Snickers – practically guilt free! They also have meditation classes some evenings.
For the best gelati in town, look no further than In the Pink – a Byron Bay failsafe with friendly service and innovative flavours piled high with real fruit, chocolate and the like. The Coconut Rough is amazing.
As a special mention, if you take the drive just 20 minutes north to Brunswick Heads (which is well worth a visit with it’s cute shops and beautiful waterfront where the river meets the sea), Yami’s is an institution and a fabulous spot for a healthy and delicious vegetarian lunch.
The iconic Beach continues to offer delicious, stylish and leisurely breakfasts and lunches overlooking the beach – and if your budget doesn’t quite stretch, you can always get a coffee fix from the kiosk and wander down to the water’s edge.
When Brangelina and their brood stop in for a visit, you’d do well to take that as a good sign. Byron’s most exclusive restaurant, Rae’s is infamous for its fresh, local fish. Try the three course Thai seafood banquet for a clean food indulgence bursting with flavour.
With beautiful décor, this prime spot opposite Byron’s Main Beach offers wonderful food and impeccable service –Italian at the Pacific ticks every box. Traditional Italian pastas combine with contemporary meat and fish dishes with mouth-watering teasers for everyone.
Targa is an elegant, casual indoor-outdoor Italian bistro with great food and a terrific new menu including delicious breakfasts, lunchtime specials and inventive dinners. Try the Tiramisu, it’s out of this world.
For a classy night out under the stars, dine on the deck at Byron’s most exclusive resort. Go for dukkha rubbed lamb rump, Berkshire pork rack or Balinese fish curry for a meal that you’ll want to pester your friends with on Facebook!
Dinner & Drinks
BBFF2016’s Catering Partner. Set in the heart of Byron Bay on Jonson street, Republik Restaurant & Bar presents a stylish comfortable environment. We offer a warm and hospitable welcome to the whole community!
The menu changes weekly and uses the finest fresh produce sourced locally from the northern rivers. The menu includes a range of contemporary dishes based on global influences.
Republik’s wine list is a diverse representation of different wine styles, from both boutique and major producers around the globe. Theircocktail list is tantalizing and if you are looking for something different our well travelled bartenders will be able to create a cocktail to suit your mood.
A chic, Melbourne style bar/restaurant with great sharing plates, tapas and cocktails – as well as chilled out live music every Sunday arvo. The softshell crab sliders will make your ‘last meal list’ in a heartbeat!
Manuel and his team will welcome you at this breezy resort style bar and restaurant featuring delicious and contemporary Sardinian fare. With a passion for the best fresh local produce, Basilico is Byron’s new kid on the block.
Fun Night Out
As a creative hub and all round great place to be, Byron Bay attracts lots of musicians on their Eastern seaboard tours. It can offer the chance to discover great new talent or get up close and personal with a big name act in an intimate setting. For comprehensive listings of this week’s gigs and artists in and around the Bay – see http://www.echo.net.au/gig-guide/
Some of the top venues include:
Byron Bay’s iconic pub venue, The Beach Hotel stands on the ocean’s edge with its large, bustling beer garden open to the sea breeze. Watch the whales with a cold beer, catch the big game or dance the night away to DJs, live bands and soul queens.
The haunt of Byron’s local fraternity, ‘The Rails’ is an old Railway station perched on an abandoned railway line that once ferried sun and fun seekers into town. With live music every night for the past 25 years (excluding Christmas Day), The Rails buzzes to the sounds of bluegrass, rock, folk or blues night after night – all the while serving delicious pub grub and a selection of local and classic Aussie beers.
Watch the world go by from the window seats at the Northern, a grassroots rock and indie music venue with a solid pub menu and quality tunes every night. Check out who’s playing in the back room – you never know when your favourite band might pop up.
La La Land is a great rooftop bar on Byron’s main drag in Lawson Street. Freshly refurbished, it’s an awesome place to hear live music from some of Byron’s most talented up and comers over a well-made umbrella drink, or to hit the dance floor with live DJs into the early hours.
A breakfast with one hell of a view – watch the sun rise at Cosy Corner and follow it up with the breakfast special at the illustrious Byron Beach Café! Be there early or be prepared to wait briefly for a table.
With a fantastic breakfast menu, coffees and fruit smoothies – we recommend the GI Joe breaky – and the best muffins in Byron. Belongil Bistro also plates up a great dinner menu served under the stars.
With an all vegan menu and situated along the side of a church – Manna Haven might not be everyone’s cup of chai. The food might tempt you back to the church pew though, with amazing tofu scramble, delicious fritters, tasty smoothies and a raw chocolate mousse cake without fault. Hallelujah!
Dip Café Restaurant and Bar lounges on Fletcher St in the sun – churning out premier coffee, incredible pancakes, scrumptious pesto scrambled eggs and corn fritters to write home about.
Laze on the grass with a perfect long black, a fresh strawberry Danish and an omelette burger – the perfect antidotes to whatever the night before served up!
Best restaurants around greater Byron
Booking recommended at all these establishments.
Harvest Café, Newrybar
Harvest Café is an elegant and relaxed local institution in Newrybar. Baking their own breads in a wood-fired oven, and using produce from the café’s own five acre organic farm, it’s fine fare fresh from the providore. Take a short stroll around the tiny town’s shops and stock up at Harvest’s own super premium deli next door.
Fig Tree, Ewingsdale
Open only for Sunday lunch and for Farmers Market dinners from Thursday to Saturday, Fig Tree serves a unique menu using seasonal, homegrown and locally sourced or self-farmed produce to create a Byron dining experience like no other.
Mavis’ Kitchen, Uki
With an extensive kitchen garden and views over Mt Warning, Mavis’ Kitchen and Cabins is a great spot to drop in and unwind. Sit on the old homestead’s first story deck and share a platter of pork rillettes and Persian feta, or indulge in the 3 hour Slow Cooked Greek Style Lamb – out of this world!
For something more than a little special – book Town’s Uptown for the six-course degustation menu – served on the upper floor of this beautiful verandah wrapped building. Or, try Downtown for relaxed lunches with a twist, unbelieveable cakes and moreish coffee.
The Italian Diner, Bangalow
Situated on the main strip of idyllic Bangalow, The Italian Diner serves up some of the most delicious Italian fare in the region. The perfect spot for a warm evening, sit by a larger than life Sophia Loren and enjoy the outstanding Prawn & Chili Spaghetti. Open for breakfast and lunch 7 days, and dinner Weds – Sat.
Best Byron Experiences
Wondering about what to do in Byron Bay? The town and the area surrounding it provide many options to fill your basket with locally grown vegetables or handmade clothing. Lean back, relax and enjoy Byron Bay’s vibe.
Byron’s Trademark Experiences
Whether you’re stocking up on fresh leaves at the Byron Bay Farmers Market on a Thursday morning, or heading out to Uki or the Channon for a market with a bohemian twist – the Byron shire is chock full of markets selling everything from hair feathers to hula hoops; beeswax candles to organic fudge. A great vibe every time.
For a small town, Byron is overflowing with options for great yoga classes – with anything from Hatha to Ashtanga, Bikram to aerial yoga. Check out http://www.findyoga.com.au/YogaIn/ByronBay for listings or go tohttp://www.zenaerialyoga.com/ if you fancy indulging in floating savasana whilst hanging upside down. Namaste!
After a hard day’s surfing, shopping or sightseeing, a massage is a must. Leave the hustle of Byron behind the closed doors of boutique spas such as Gaia Retreat or Sulis; or head to the home away from home, Relax Haven for amazing, affordable massages complete with sauna, natural therapies like kinesiology and Reiki, or a therapeutic spell in the flotation tank – bliss!
Head out to Mullumbimby to visit Kiva Spa, with contoured spa pools, wood fired saunas and an oxygenated cold plunge pool in a tropical garden setting. Or book in at the secluded and beautiful Gymea, tucked away amongst rainforest in Uki.
Fire twirling and drumming on the beach
Before the sun sets on Byron every Friday, the drummers and fire twirlers come out to play! Join in the dancing in the drumming circle, chat to new friends or stand hypnotised by the fiery trails left by the seemingly effortless poi.
Fantastic buskers abound in Byron Bay. Enjoy dinner then take in the tunes of the talented folks that keep Byron’s main streets alive with toe-tapping or even booty-shaking good tunes.
Stock up on boardies and bathers, dreamcatchers or a Go Pro on Jonson Street, wander down Lawson Street for designer resort wear from Unplugged or Myee Carlyle or stray onto Fletcher Street for something a little more upmarket like Hope & May or 11:11, kimonos from Spell or great holiday reads from Mary Ryan’s.
The Great Outdoors
Catch sunset from the Pass & Lookout
Watching the sun set with the ocean crashing beneath you is one Byron Bay experience that you should not miss! The Pass is a perfect spot for a gentle sunny late afternoon swim.
Make the trek from Clarke’s Beach, The Pass or Watego’s Beach to Byron’s iconic Lighthouse built in 1901. This path is a well-worn local favourite for walking and running and a must-do experience for visitors. Look out for dolphins and enjoy panoramic views across Byron Bay to Mt Warning. Reward yourself with a coffee at the Lighthouse café.
Byron Bay’s surrounds provide myriad secluded swimming spots for a gentle paddle without all the big salty waves! From Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head with its healing tea tree properties to the hidden tea tree lake in Suffolk Park, there are plenty of options to lay a towel beside and take a splash.
If there is one thing that Byron Bay is not short of, it is beaches. And dreamcatchers. But never mind those, with beaches stretching from the Wreck all the way down to Broken Head, you won’t struggle to find an isolated spot. Surf some of the country’s most famous waves, or relax in the soft sand and watch the world go by – joggers, dog walkers, wanderers and beachside yogis.
Catch the sun’s rays before the rest of Australia as it hits the country’s most easterly point at this sacred indigenous place. Book an overnight trip at a nearby Bed ‘n Breakfast or camp at the foot of the mountain, dine under the stars, and then embark on a sunrise walk to the summit before dawn.
Byron Bay’s surrounds are home to some stunning waterfalls, from the superstar 100m Minyon Falls to the secluded Killen Falls at Fernleigh with its watery drop from the ledge into a cool swimming hole.
Coorabell’s Scenic Drive
Take in the Coolamon Scenic Drive for stunning views across the hinterland – try to catch the aftermath of a rainstorm for an eerie quiet and its atmospheric mists. Take the drive all the way to the tiny town of Federal where you can drop in at the surprising Japanese fusion café, Doma Café. It offers great sushi, coffee and Haloumi burgers.
Special Byron Experiences
Learn to Surf
Byron Bay is a beacon for surfers with so many beautiful beaches and breaks to choose from. It’s the perfect place to learn to surf from the pros that make it fun and easy for you to get out there and catch your first wave. Try Surfing Byron Bay or Mojo Surf or Black Dog Surfing.
The crystal clear waters off Clarke’s Beach provide the perfect jumping off point to kayak out towards Julian Rocks in search of dolphins, turtles and – in season – whales.
The only skydive in Australia that takes you to a jaw dropping 14,000ft!! Leave your stomach in the plane as you leap out above Byron Bay and hurtle towards the ground with an exhilarating 60 seconds of free-fall. Not for the faint hearted!
Test your mettle with a swing on the flying trapeze in a fun and interactive lesson at Circus Arts – or go for a scramble to the top of their new climbing wall.
Roadside stalls on Midgin Flat Road
Also known to some locals as ‘Fruit Salad Road’ this beautiful drive towards Harvest Café features some incredibly rich farming lands and properties that sell a wide array of produce fresh off their farm through a good ol’ fashioned honesty box system. Get beautiful citrus fruits, dragon fruit, bananas, potatoes, you name it! Some also sell local coffee and honey.
A quaint beachside town with an iconic pub with live music Sunday afternoons and a great artisan market, Brunswick Heads shows a very different side to the region. Plenty of food options including the excellent Footbridge Café, a beach less frequented than its traffic-heavy Byron cousins, and a glassy river perfect for fishing, stand up paddle boarding or floating on an air mattress with an icy six-pack; Brunswick Heads makes a chilled out worthy distraction from the thrills and spills of Byron Bay.
Drive out past Mullumbimby into the stunning hinterland for a stroll around Crystal Castle. The enormous manicured grounds feature an awe-inspiring collection of huge crystals from all over the world and its world famous peace stupa (Buddhist monument). Make sure you are there at 3.10pm for the free daily Peace Experience and enjoy snacks at the excellent café with a world class view.
If you’ve exhausted everything that Byron Bay has to offer, you might want to go and meet some miniature animals. Yes, it sounds bizarre, but Crystal Creek’s hour long interactive tour introduces you to some incredibly cute and friendly naturally miniature horses, cows and donkeys – as well as a family of Chihuahuas. Or if tiny animals don’t float your boat, grab some food at the Rainforest Verandah Café and feed the native fish, turtles and eels in the creek!