Ultimate Byron Bay Bucket List: How Many of These 15 Activities Can You Tick Off?
If you’re coming to the Byron Bay area for the first time or the 100th time, the following bucket list could help guide you to some of the many amazing things to do in Byron Bay. There are a million reasons why people come to holiday in Byron Bay, but most people would list: beaches, surfing, laid back culture and excellent food. And if that isn’t exactly what most people would put on their list for ultimate holiday, then we need to chat.
But, seriously, we lay out below our Ultimate Byron Bay Bucket List. Are you up to the challenge of tackling all of these 15 fun things to do in Byron Bay? Do you have others to add to this list? Let us know!
1. Catch a sunrise at Cape Byron Lighthouse
You simply just can’t avoid it. Everyone who visits Byron Bay ranks this activity as their no. 1 must do. So go ahead and get up early one of the first few days you are in town, and make the trip here. It really is worth the hype. For a sunrise visit, it is best to drive and park either in the free parking near the top or the paid parking right at the top. The Byron Bay Lighthouse is located on the most easterly point of Australia, which will make you among the first people in Australia to see the sun that day. The view is spectacular–take the photo that you’ll probably end up framing later to remember your Byron Bay holiday.
2. Ride the waves
Byron Bay is famous for surfing, so it’s natural when you come here for holiday to want to try out this sport. In fact, Byron Bay ranks as one of the top 50 places in the world to surf. The problem is picking where you’ll try out surfing first. The beaches here are truly spectacular with warm waters facing three directions – North, East and South – so you should be able to catch a wave at one of the eight breaks no matter what the surfing conditions. But before you head out to any of these surfing spots, be sure to check out the Byron Bay surf forecast. You can use the Coastal Watch, where you can get a live look at conditions, or SwellNet, where you’ll get a chance to look ahead with the surf forecast.
Then check out our blog post on the 10 best surf spots in the area. Or sign up for lessons with any of the excellent surf schools in Byron Bay.
3. Soak up the sun at Main Beach (or any of the gorgeous beaches)
It is almost required that while on holiday in Byron Bay that you make a pit stop at Main Beach. It’s location can’t be beat, just a short stroll to the centre of town, and the beach has some of the best surfing and views in the area. There’s even a great park just off the beach, Apex Park, which makes this a perfect stop for families.
But don’t stop there, check out some of the other excellent beaches in Byron Bay, like Cosy Corner, The Pass and White’s Beach.
4. Go kayaking (with dolphins, no less!)
Get up close to dolphins, turtles and whales when you choose Byron Bay kayaking as one of your holiday adventures. You won’t be sorry you did! Go Sea Kayak Bryon Bay provides a three-hour tour around Byron Bay Marine Park, which gives you up and close time with its resident dolphin population. Cape Byron Kayaks also offers kayaking tours for Byron Bay holiday goers. With two tours available most days, this kayak company leaves from Clark Beach and heads out to the Cape.
5. Check out the Arts Trail
The Byron Bay Arts Trail takes you through the Arts and Industry Park where you can visit lots of galleries, studios and showrooms, many of which will give you a chance to see Byron Bay artists at work. Be sure to grab a map that guides visitors to participating studios as well as coffee shops and restaurants in the park. As you walk along, look for flags marking the Arts Trail locations. The trail offers a chance to see such artwork from ceramics and glass art, to painting and sculpture.
6. Admire Minyon Falls
Located within the World Heritage Nightcap National Park, Minyon Falls provides a chance for holiday visitors to take in the Byron Bay hinterland. Marvel at the beautiful falls and, if it’s a clear day, the view all the way out to the coast at the lookout before you head down the trail. The hike, considered hard due to the steep incline, is a 7.5 km round trip. Getting to the bottom is well worth the effort when you feel the cool water and enjoy the view back up the approximately 100 metres tall falls. (Note: No swimming here because it is home to the endangered Fleay’s barred frog.)
7. Go shopping in Byron Bay (and Bangalow if you have time!)
The town centre of Byron Bay, Jonson and Fletcher Streets in particular, play host to many cool, distinctive shops offering up everything from clothing to home wares to jewellery. If you are looking for more artsy, local wares then head over to the Arts and Industry Estate where you’ll be able to view work from glass blowers to soap and candle makers. Check out our blog posts on more shopping ideas as well as a post about shopping excursions an hour or less from Byron Bay. The one not to miss is Bangalow — it tops most visitors’ lists as one of the best places to shop on a Byron Bay holiday.
8. Snorkelling at Julian Rocks
Located just five minutes from the shore of Cape Byron, Julian Rocks features more than 400 types of tropical fish, three species of sea turtles, rays and many more animals. Snorkelling is an easy way to experience the gorgeous surroundings of the marine reserve without taking up too much time (allowing more time to tackle activities on this list!). Most of the local companies make it easy for tourists to go snorkelling by providing all the equipment – allowing you to just show up!
9. Grab a drink at the Rails
There are lots of places to grab a drink in Byron Bay (see a post here about it), but one of top choices is The Rails, or at least that’s what you should call it if you want to sound like a local. But this top Byron Bay pub’s actual name is the Rails Friendly Bar, due to the fact that the bar happens to be an old railway station, right next to old railway tracks. Head there for your late night cocktails and enjoy some live music – in fact, the bar claims that it is the only pub in Australia that has featured live music every night of the week for 30 years.
10. Watch another sunrise, this time at Mt. Warning
About an hour from Broken Head Holiday Park in Wollumbin National Park is the 1,100m high Mt. Warning. Hikers suggest heading out early in the morning – pre-sunrise, so bring lights – to be among the first to see the sunshine in Australia atop the summit. It will take you about two hours to get to the top (maybe more in the dark) and the last 250 metres is done by chain assist, but we promise the amazing 360 degree views are well worth sacrificing some sleep. But if you’re worried about doing this in pre-dawn conditions, this hiking destination is also worth coming to at any time during the day. You’ll still enjoy magnificent views of the area that stretch from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay.
11. Go whale watching
One of the best places in the country to view migrating whales, Byron Bay gives you a front row seat for watching these magnificent animals during the winter and spring (May to November). There are several excellent vantage points in the area from which to catch the whales in action. First off, if your timing is right, then combine your sunrise viewing with whale watching when you’re at Cape Byron Lighthouse. Another option for whale watching is right in our Byron Bay holiday park’s backyard—the Broken Head Nature Reserve where you can follow the Three Sisters walking trail to a lookout where people often spot whales. Or turn over the whole experience to the experts by taking a whale watching tour. These guides are so confident that you’ll see a whale that many of the tours guarantee a sighting. There are many tour options, but the largest are Whale Watching Byron Bay and Blue Bay Whale Watching. Both Byron Bay activities run about two to three hours.
12. Attend a festival in Byron Bay
Among the many reasons to take a holiday in Byron Bay is the great selection of festivals that the area hosts. From the Splendour in the Grass and the Byron Bay Bluesfest, music festivals certainly are high up on the list of ones to choose, but there are also lots of other kinds, such arts-related like Byron Bay Writers Festival and Byron Bay International Film Festival to food centred festivals like Sample Food Festival or Ballina Fine Food & Wine Festival. Check out our blog where you’ll find annual posts about many of the large festivals or you can visit the festival’s websites.
13. Visit the markets
Every Thursday you can visit the Byron Bay Farmers Market, also located at the Butler Street Reserve. From 8 to 11 am, you can find an excellent range of fresh produce. If you’re in town on the first Sunday of month, then you’ll be able to visit the Byron Bay community market at Butler Street Reserve. It opens at 8am and runs until 3pm. Spend your time checking out the vendors’ stalls where you’ll find a wide variety of wares from jewellery to house products.
14. Take a yoga class
Byron Bay is considered Australia’s unofficial yoga capital. So this activity definitely belongs on any Byron Bay bucket list. A great starting point is Byron Yoga Centre, considered one of Byron Bay’s best yoga studios. John Ogilivie, considered a top yoga instructor in Australia, opened this studio in 1988, and it is one of the longest running schools in the country. Another terrific option is to combine Byron Bay activities. If you visit Main Beach during your holiday, then you can stop in for a class at Beachside Yoga & Massage, located above the Byron Bay Surf Club. Here you can drop in for a class without even bringing along a yoga mat as mats are provided.
However, these are just two of the many studios in the Byron Bay area, so check out our guide for more options.
15. Nosh on delicious food at Byron Bay restaurants
Quite a few people look forward to meals when on holiday, and Byron Bay won’t disappoint a certified foodie or even someone who just likes a good meal out. We keep abreast of the many excellent eateries in Byron Bay, and we have several guides to help you. Whether you are looking for a more high-end experience or just want some cheap grub, we’ve got you covered.
- Foodie Guide to the Byron Bay Area
- Discover These Off-the-Beaten-Track Restaurants in Byron Bay
- 15 Best Byron Bay Restaurants, Cafes & Bakeries
- Best Cheap Eats in Byron Bay
Tackle the bucket list from your site at Broken Head Holiday Park
Literally set up camp at Broken Head Holiday Park where you can stay for reasonable prices and have money to pursue this Byron Bay bucket list. We have accommodation to fit your style from powered and non-powered campsites to beach shacks. You and your partner, family or friends will be able to settle in and start planning out how to tackle your own bucket list!