When it comes to Byron these days, cries of 'Paradise lost' echo in the surrounding hills, while nearby unassuming beach towns puff out their chests in pride of being dubbed 'the new Byron'. Sure, this is a place suffering under the weight of its intense popularity – traffic-choked streets, no car spaces and lengthy cafe queues – but while it might not be what it used to be, it's still pretty special.
The local Arakwal people know it as Cavanbah, which translates to 'meeting place', a fitting name when you consider its wonderful mishmash of young international backpackers, holidaying families, ageing hippies, boho-clad seachangers, property developers, models and musicians. Come here to surf epic breaks at dawn and sigh at the enchanting sunsets, refine your yoga moves and hang with beach buskers, idle at cafes, gorge on good food, then kick on at the pub. Wake up, hit repeat.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Byron Bay.
This photogenic, 32-hectare green oasis outside Byron is shared by Three Blue Ducks restaurant, a produce store, the Bread Social bakery, an ice-creamery…
Tallow Beach is a deserted sandy stretch that extends for 7km south from Cape Byron. This is the place to flee the crowds: much of the beach is backed by…
State ParkCape Byron State Conservation Park
The Cape Byron State Conservation Park is home to the Cape Byron lighthouse, plenty of stunning lookouts (including from the most eastern point of the…
DistilleryCape Byron Distillery
Set on the Brook family's scenic farm in Byron's hinterland is the Cape Byron Distillery, home to a much-lauded Brookie's dry gin. It's created with 26…
LighthouseCape Byron Lighthouse
This 1901 lighthouse is Australia’s most easterly and also its most powerful shipping beacon. Inside there are maritime and nature displays. Take one of…
Northwest of the town centre, wild Belongil Beach has high dunes and avoids the worst of the crowds. It's clothing-optional in parts. At its eastern end…
An eastern, and often unexpectedly serene, extension of busy Main Beach. Byron's most popular surf break is at the Pass, where Clarkes Beach meets the…
BeachLittle Watego's Beach
Secluded Little Watego’s (inaccessible by car) is a lovely patch of sand directly under rocky Cape Byron. Head here at sunset for an impressive and…
Immediately in front of town, lifesaver-patrolled Main Beach is busy from sunrise to sunset with yoga classes, sunbakers, buskers and occasionally fire…
ViewpointCaptain Cook Lookout
Start your 3.7km walking track around Cape Byron from the Captain Cook Lookout. The rainforest stretch near the lookout has the best wildlife-spotting ops.
East of Main Beach, the small crescent of Watego's fringes Byron's most affluent enclave. Dolphin sightings are common here.
South of Suffolk Park, this popular clothing-optional, gay-friendly beach is just off Seven Mile Beach Rd past the Broken Head Holiday Park.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Byron Bay.