Byron Bay is that hippie town on the east coast that everybody goes to once and will fall in love with instantly. On my previous Aussie trips I did parts of the east coast and whenever I met fellow travelers that heard I made it to Surfers Paradise, the next approach was if you liked Surfers, you will love Byron. I was excited and ready to be surprised when I boarded the plane in Sydney with destination Ballina.
Yes, you can fly to Byron very cheap either to Ballina or Gold Coast airport, Ballina being the closest one, only 20 min drive from the airport to Byron Bay town center.
Touched down in Ballina, took a shuttle and reached Byron Beach Resort, which was going to be my home for the next four nights. The location is great, just opposite Belongil beach, which I prefer over Main Beach, because it’s not crowded and it’s a better match if you just want to relax.
The town is maybe 20 min walk away, but bikes are available for rent or a free shuttle runs often to town and back.
Belongil Beach is perfect for daytime, sunset watching and at night for chilling under millions of stars. But the action , aka party, happens in the town.
Railway bar and Cheeky Monkey are the most popular bars for those that love live music and alternative vibes. The truth is that live music is impossible to avoid in any case in Byron -not that anyone would like to avoid it – because quite talented baskers are all around the town playing guitar and singing to the eager public. They do a good job and they keep the spirit of Byron Bay alive.
The iconic lighthouse is proudly standing on the top of the hill and can be seen from pretty much everywhere in town.
Bush walks, biking and running trails, they all lead to the beautiful lighthouse and just behind it a short trail will lead you to the most easterly point of the Aussie mainland.
For the sunrise I got up at 4:40 am, took the shuttle from Byron Beach Resort – they organize sunrise tours on specific days of the week – and walked to the lighthouse with half closed eyes still to capture the moment when the sun pops out of the Atlantic and rises over it, lighting up the town.
It wasn’t an easy job to get up at that time, considering that the previous night was a bit long, but it was certainly worth it. Surprisingly many people have been up there and we all together stayed speechless when the sunrise started to happen. It was beautiful!
Walking around the lighthouse I discovered that a big number of people choose this place for morning yoga and meditation or dog walking. I don’t blame them. You get stunning views and definitely a good boost to start a great day.
Byron is the place where I could keep on extending and extending my stay thanks to it’s laid back atmosphere, chilled out people, super friendly locals and fellow travelers and in my case also because I met wonderful swiss people that woke up my beautiful memories related to Switzerland.
I didn’t end up extending my stay, after 4 days I went to Brisbane, but in 4 days can’t back to Byron for the night not because Brisbane is not great, but because Byron is just a bit cooler if you’re after relaxed time by the beach.
This time I’ve chosen to stay at Byron Holiday Park, all ready for new adventures, hence I booked a tent instead of a room.
The staff at The Aviary are extremely friendly and my tent was more than comfy. It rained a bit at night and some birds made weird noises cause yea, it’s Australia, but the experience has been awesome. I’m about to check out soon and I know for sure that I’ll return again here and I’ll claim a tent. But by then I’ll tell you about some daytrip options that are easily doable from Byron Bay.
Nimbin could be considered the little sister of Byron, it’s smaller, even more chilled out and even more hippie and colorful.
Not that I’d have any interest, but involuntarily I saw how easily you can get marijuana there, just on the street and without any cover.
Some people walk their white camel as others do their dogs.
I spent around 3-4 hours in Nimbin, which happened to be the meeting point for catching up with a friend from Brisbane, but liked it. Nimbin seemed to be interesting place at daytime, I can imagine how much more interesting it becomes at night.
You may go to Crystal Castle if you want a little bit of spiritual experience, to relax and get yourself together. The experts there will introduce you to the world of the crystals, pointing out the healing effects that each type of crystal has and you can also participate in some demo activities that run daily.
However, even if crystals are not your cup of tea, the place is beautiful, more like a botanic garden type of park with nice plants and flowers, bamboo trees and Buddha statues.
Write your wish on a paper and tie it next to thousands others, maybe, maybe it comes true. Get your lunch at the restaurant that offers great nature landscapes. Buy a souvenir at the shop. Believe it or not it’s easy to spend half day there just wandering around and taking in the scenery.
If you made it to Crystal Castle, Mynion Falls it’s just a short drive from it and it’s quite nice, I assume even nicer if it rained the day before. If time allowes, hiking all the way to the base of the falls is an option, where a dip in the fresh water is a must.
Broken Head Nature Reserve
Broken Head nature reserve is near Byron Holiday Park and it has a nice and calm beach, a possibility to do a walk along the coast with views over the Three Sisters Rocks.
Relaxing and gorgeous, the surroundings of Byron Bay are just as appealing as the town itself.