Introducing Byron Bay
New South Wales doesn’t want for beaches. In fact, go a short distance north and south from Byron Bay and you’ll find untrodden sands stretching beyond your vision. Byron’s beaches are nice as well, but what makes them special is Byron itself: one of Australia’s best beach towns. Low-rise, funky, walkable, relaxed are all good descriptions. It is everything that the overhyped, overdeveloped towns across the border in Queensland are not.
Of course Byron does get crowded, which is in direct conflict with its mellow charms. Jonson St can seize up like the arteries of a pie addict and the bars can get jammed. Developers would cheerfully turn Byron into a Surfers Paradise given the chance. But locals are dedicated to preserving the essential small-town soul even as everyone wants a piece. The left-wing council is constantly under assault from business interests, and property prices are sending residents packing.
The thing to remember about Byron is that under all the glitz it is still at heart a small town. The whole place is set up for the several thousand who live there year-round. So if the roads were widened and new shopping centres built, the charm would be gone.
Byron was a quiet, unassuming little village until 1963. That year surfers discovered ‘The Pass’ and over the following years the town became a cauldron of artistically minded people. Surfers adore the seven different beachfronts that surround the point, knowing that at least one will always have a break.
Best places to stay in Byron Bay
Australia - Sydney & New South Wales (Chapter)
New South Wales is rich in history, landscapes and contrasts. It’s home to sophisticated Sydney, there’s a profusion of beautiful beaches, and in almost every corner you’ll find incredible national parks to explore.
Ultimate Australian weekend escapes
Australians spend more than AU$51 billion on domestic travel every year and the latest stats from Tourism Australia suggest Aussies are trading long languid holidays for shorter stays focussed on making the most of a destination...
Byron Bay destination guides
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Byron Bay Day Trip from the Gold Coast
Take a day trip to trendy Byron Bay and relax at a cafe, indulge in some retail therapy or spend time at the beach. You'll enjoy a scenic drive down the coast into New South Wales, and make plenty of entertaining stops along the way. Byron Bay is famous as the relaxed alternate lifestyle capital of Australia. First stop is the Byron bay lighthouse.
Most of the Coast—Sydney to Cairns
The route up Australia’s East Coast has earned its rep as one of the seemingly endless supply of must-do experiences in the country. The classic Sydney-to-Cairns route introduces you to both sides of modern Australia—the bright lights of the big city and the raw beauty of the Outback.
The best places to learn to dive
Dreaming of getting your dive ticket? Looking for a combination of idyllic conditions and reputable dive outfits, we’ve narrowed down the top spots to get certified. Because life’s too short to miss out. Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia Tallow Beach, Byron Bay. Image from Wikimedia Commons. The diving: just 2...