Byron Bay is home to beautiful stretches of beaches, the Hemsworth family and markets you could live by. Only a one-hour flight north from Sydney, it’s an idyllic long weekend destination, beach getaway and hinterland paradise. Oh, and did I mention the Hemsworth family? Time to visit Byron!
Byron Bay is accessible by road and plane. The drive from Sydney takes just short of nine hours, which, if you’ve only got three days for the trip, is quite a while. You can also fly from Sydney to Ballina (one-hour) or Coolangatta on the Gold Coast (one-hour). There are more frequent flights to the Gold Coast so you’ll be able to pick from more flights and score yourself a deal. We took the Sydney > Gold Coast route.
Shuttle buses operate between Ballina and Coolangatta airports and Byron, but the best thing to do is get yourself a hire car. The drive from the Gold Coast to Byron is about an hour. Having a car also makes it easier to explore Byron’s greater region.
One of the first attractions you’ll spot driving in to Byron Bay is The Farm. As the name suggests, it’s a farm. Explore the farm’s grounds, meet the animals and tuck into your fresh meal at the bakery, restaurant or café. You can even pick and crack your own Macadamias!
Located just across the road from The Farm is an attraction for all you early 2000’s metal heads. Parkway Drive was one of my favourite bands to listen to growing up, and the name comes from the street they jammed on. Unfortunately, the street no longer has a street sign (thanks to all the tourists who continued stealing them) but the name is painted on the road.
Arguably the most popular attraction in Byron is the lighthouse. Overlooking Cape Byron National Park, Tallows Beach, Main Beach Byron Bay and Wategos Beach, it’s an imposing structure that glistens in the sunlight. Parking might be an issue because there’s not much available so pack your shoes in case you need to park further away and walk up. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles in the water too!
NB: You will need to pay a National Park entry fee to park at the lighthouse and Wategos Beach.
Byron Bay’s main beach is stunning. The white powdery sand leads visitors to warm water lapping the shoreline. Although the beach gets quite busy, it’s large enough that you can find your own spot in the water and on the sand. There are also shady grassy spots further away from the water.
Tallows Beach is one for the surfers who like their waves on another level. The seven-mile stretch of beach extends from the lighthouse to Broken Head National Park. The Broken Head end is where the swimmers are. Pack your hiking shoes too because there’s a gorgeous walk through the headland that provides stunning lookouts over Byron and out to sea.
If, like us, you mistimed the infamous Byron Bay markets, be sure to check out Bangalow Markets. Full of arts and crafts, food and antiques, they’re typical of the area and showcase the best of the region.
If you do have a car, head out to one of the many national parks located in the Byron Bay Hinterland. From Minyon Falls and Killen Falls to Newrybar and Macadamia Castle, the Hinterland is full of attractions and lookouts.
Hire a car if you can. It’ll make getting around easier and allow you to explore more of the region. It was the best decision we made and allowed us to stop off at beaches and lookout spots on the way back to the airport on the Gold Coast.
Have you been to Byron Bay? What do you love most about the region? Let me know in the comments below!