What is so good about Byron Bay, anyway? As it turns out, a fair bit!
It has been called Australia’s ultimate beach town. It tops many of the ‘must-see’ destinations in travel guides. And it’s likely all your friends have visited and recommended the place.
But what is so good about Byron Bay? As it turns out, a fair bit!
As the most easterly point on Australia’s mainland, the region in northern New South Wales is a popular tourist destination, attracting more than 2.2 million visitors every year.
Byron Bay's Tallow Beach 😍 Image: @flyhigh.flyfree Instagram
Byron Bay is renowned as a popular surfing destination, offers a great setting for backpackers, and has become famous for its paddock-to-plate food culture. In more recent years, the beachside town has experienced a wellness boom, with yoga classes, spa treatments, and reiki practitioners available in abundance.
People also talk about the ‘vibe’ of Byron Bay that is unmatched elsewhere – a laidback, hippy atmosphere coupled with a lively energy thanks to a vibrant arts and culture scene.
So, if Byron Bay is a destination that doesn’t sound too unbearable to you, read on to find out why it has earned the status of Australia’s best beachside town and why you must visit.
Byron Bay is a surfing haven
With several outstanding surfing beaches, you’re spoiled for choice in Byron Bay.
Close to town is Belongil Beach, known for the surf spot called The Wreck, which is popular with beginner surfers.
With its gentle waves and long sandbank, Clarkes Beach is also good for beginners, and ideal for body surfers, long-boarders, and paddleboarders.
This could be you surfing Clarke's Beach! Image: @liahherzer Instagram.
The Pass is one of the top surfing spots in Byron Bay thanks to its big swells, consistent sets, and peeling right-hand waves. The waters here are usually quite busy because they are suitable for surfers of all levels.
Tallow Beach (locally known as Tallows) is a reliable spot when the other beaches are flat, but is best suited to experienced surfers including short-boarders.
A little further out is Broken Head beach, which some claim has a massively underrated surf break, and offers right-hand point breaks for seasoned surfers.
Find a world of wellness in Byron Bay
Known as the spiritual and healing capital of Australia, Byron Bay has long been a destination for people seeking wellness and enlightenment.
Yoga and Byron Bay go hand-in-hand, so you won’t be surprised to find plenty of yoga studios dotted around town. Opt for a private session at luxury resort, go for a group class, or choose a sunrise practise where you can take in the beauty of the outdoors.
Lean into Byron's wellness scene. Image: @bodyhubofficial Instagram.
If relaxation is more your thing, book in a massage to soothe the soul. Again, there are plenty of options around town, including deep tissue and remedial massage, Swedish massage, and Ayurvedic massage.
While you’re exploring wellness, you may like to try a range of alternative treatments – something Byron Bay is notorious for. You’ll find easy access to treatments like reiki healing, Ayurvedic medicine, naturopathy and herbal therapy, kinesiology, aura readings, psychic healing and more.
Byron Bay is a food-lover’s delight
If you’re the kind of traveller that likes to make holidays an eating affair, then Byron Bay is sure to satisfy.
Despite the town’s laidback beachside atmosphere, it has a surprisingly sophisticated food scene, with everything from casual cafe dining to raw food bars, vegan cuisine, and classic pub meals.
Start with breakfast at Combi, where you’ll find an organic menu of superfood smoothies and goodness bowls, plus classics like avocado on toast and buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup.
Byron Bay makes healthy food oh so appealing. Image: @wearecombi Instagram.
For a laidback lunch, make your way to Treehouse on Belongil – enjoy a traditional woodfired pizza while soaking in the view of the palm trees and the sound of crashing waves in the background.
Dinner can be what you make it. For a traditional pub meal (chicken parmigiana, anyone?) with a side of live music, you can’t go past Beach Hotel. Or spice things up at Miss Margarita, a colourful Mexican cantina that offers all the favourites like nachos, enchiladas, and tacos – just don’t forget to add a margarita or two to your order.
This is just a taste of what’s on offer, but there’s no denying that Byron Bay is a destination for food lovers.
Connect with creativity in Byron Bay
If you’re a creative or have a love of the arts, chances are Byron Bay will draw you in.
The region’s creative arts talent can be discovered on the Byron Shire Arts Trail, which showcases the works of local artists across studios, galleries, and art shops.
The town is also home to several arts and music festivals – for writers and literary enthusiasts, there’s the Byron Writers’ Festival; for film buffs, there’s the Byron Bay International Film Festival; and for music lovers, there’s the iconic Byron Bay Bluesfest and Falls Festival.
There's no shortage of festivals in Byron Bay. Image: @fallsfestival Instagram.
Byron Bay is also a popular choice for creative retreats and workshops, such as Wanderlust City Projects which blends creative learning with local experiences to teach you how to write and photograph for travel.
Of course, this only scratches the surface of what’s on offer in Byron Bay, but we’re sure you’ll agree that there’s quite a bit that makes this seaside town worth a visit.
Written by Rachel Wagner
Rachel Wagner is a freelance producer who writes about the good things in life - travel, culture, creativity and how to tread lightly on our Earth along the way.
She previously flexed her creative muscles as a Podcast Producer for the Mamamia Women’s Network before she gave up the desk life to travel the world. Over the past three years Rachel has found her home in Melbourne, Scotland, England, Mount Buller and the Bellarine Peninsula. And now? Torquay baby!
Her top travel tip is not to be afraid of exploring a new place alone. You’ll be amazed at how many locals and other travellers you meet along the way, plus you’ll never have to say no to a spur of the moment adventure.