12 Fun Things Kids (And Adventurous Adults) Can Do In Byron Bay
If you’re from abroad and heading for Australia or – as is more likely, you already reside here and are looking for somewhere fun, relaxing and where you and the kids will be entertained from morning to night – then you definitely don’t want to miss out on staying in our Byron Bay family accommodation.
Byron Bay was voted one of Australia’s Top 10 travel destinations by Trip Advisor 2013, and is just a 15 minute drive from our Byron Bay caravan park and cabins. That’s quite an accolade considering the reviews and judging were by the public – the very people who come and experience the attractions for themselves first hand – rather than a panel of office-based travel experts.
So, what exactly makes Byron Bay so special? Well, it’s quite a list. There are the amazing rainforest and unspoiled Byron Bay beaches for a start, not forgetting the incredible array of marine life – bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, whales and rays. Then there are the eight nature reserves with their hundreds of different species of wildlife, flora and fauna. And we haven’t even started on the wildlife and birds. One thing is for sure, 1.7 million holiday makers and tourists every year can’t be wrong (last years’ tourist statistics for the area).
Meanwhile, regardless of the hinterland and coastal attractions of Byron Bay there is the town of Byron Bay itself (population 30,000) which still retains a bit of a hippy feel from the late 1970s. This means there are plenty of colourful costumes and ethnic restaurants to be found in the area. And for that reason alone the town can prove a magnet for tourists looking for a laidback vibe. Here’s our list of some of the things you can do in Byron Bay itself, and just within an hour or two’s drive from our Byron Bay family accommodation.
1. Byron Bay Lighthouse
The Byron Bay Lighthouse (an icon found on many a mug or magnet) sits on the most easterly point of Australia. Built in 1899, it boasts tremendous views across the ocean and inland. It’s often rated the top attraction here by tourists who stay in our Byron Bay family accommodation for the first time.
The coastal walk to the Byron Bay lighthouse takes around two hours from the car park and is a fun way to exercise and spot some of the water-bound sights as well as rainfall gullies. The walk is slightly steep but manageable for the vast majority of able-bodied holiday makers and youngsters.
By far the best bit of the Byron Bay Lighthouse trail – as far as we’re concerned – are the numerous opportunities it offers to spot dolphins, sting rays, turtles and sea eagles (and, if you’re lucky enough, humpback whales in the winter months).
And after all the effort of reaching the Byron Bay Lighthouse, there’s a café where you can enjoy refreshments. It’s also very well known for its ice creams and milkshakes (try them: we’re sure you won’t be disappointed and you can forget worrying about the calories too – you’ve just walked them off!).
2. Captain Cook Lookout
This is a reasonable 4km trek around Cape Byron which starts at the Captain Cook Lookout on Lighthouse Rd and goes around the outskirts of the nearby rainforest. If you’re a big wildlife fan then keep a look out for wallabies, bush turkeys and feral goats – you should be able to spot a few (just keep your camera at the ready for some impressive holiday shots). However it is the stunning views across the gloriously blue Tasman Sea in particular that really attract tourists here.
3. The Pass
A great place to visit from our Byron Bay family accommodation if you want to see the breaks in the surf for which the nearby beaches of Watego and Little Watego are so well known. Then there are the shoals of dolphins to watch (again, another great photo opportunity).
4. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
The Gold Coast’s most popular native wildlife and coastal rainforest park, Currumbin boasts several hundred species of native Australian wildlife on show, both in their native bush lands and rainforest habitat.
It’s situated in Tomewin Street in Currumbin and is about an hours drive from our Byron Bay family accommodation. Currently the proud recipient of an Advanced Eco-Tourism certificate, the park offers you the opportunity to cuddle a koala, watch a free-flight bird show or check out a snake display – whatever takes your fancy. There is also the wonderful kangaroo feeding time which is worth a visit to the sanctuary in itself.
The Extreme Green challenge is a favourite with daring outdoors types since it’s an exciting tree-tops ropes course which features 14 challenges including ladders and rope swings. If you’re feeling fit we say ‘go for it.’ Meanwhile, we are in no doubt whatsoever that young ones will love the adventure playground, as well as the interactive science activity zone.
There is excitement at night when the aboriginal dancers appear in costume and perform some amazing traditional dancing – and they’re often watched by some of the more nocturnal wildlife in the park which you can go looking for during a two and a half hour walk.
5. Tweed River Art Gallery
A must for art lovers of all ages, the Tweed River Art Gallery is full of historical Australian portraits as well as work from Byron Bay artists who have represented the area in their work. Located in Mistral Road Murwillumbah, the gallery boasts a good café, four exhibition spaces, a workshop centre, performance space and a library. You will find it open Wednesday to Sunday from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Admission is free so a good place to visit when you inevitably start to run out of dollars towards the end of your Byron Bay holiday (yes, we’ve all been there!).
6. Dreamworld & WhiteWater World
Looking for Byron Bay kids activities? Well kids – and adults who haven’t lost their sense of adventure – are just going to love Dreamworld in Coomera. There are the Big 8 Thrill Rides to tackle, such as the freakily named Tower of Terror II, The Claw, The Giant Drop, and Pandamonium then there is the chance to meet all your favourite Disney characters such as Shrek and Puss in Boots – and all at the DreamWorks Experience.
Wildlife fans will love the big cats at Tiger Island (if ever we heard an appropriate name for a bit of land it’s here) while those with a penchant for kayaking and roughing it in water in general will be quite at home at WhiteWater World where there are five impressive waterslides to have a go on, and all ranging in fearsomeness.
It’s a bit of a cliché but Dreamworld and WhiteWater World really are great Byron Bay kids activities that make a fun day out for the whole family. And what’s more the kids (not to mention parents) are nicely tired out at the end of the day so that early bedtimes at our Byron Bay family accommodation are even desirable. Yep, the kids really will be asking you if they can go to bed now. Won’t that be a lovely change?
You can pick up a one day World Pass which gives you entry to both theme parks (i.e. WhiteWater World and Dreamworld) or a Holiday World Pass which lasts a total of 21 consecutive days (that’s 21 nights of early beds!).
7. Bush Walking
Byron Bay has always been a huge pull to those who love bushwalking in tropical rainforests and coastal routes. And no wonder. There are an amazing number of routes – both on the outskirts and inland. And the two certainly aren’t mutually exclusive. That’s because there are an impressive number of trails which combine both the breezy aspect of coastal trekking and the inland wonders of the rainforest. You can read up on some of the parks if bushwalking is your thing.
Most of the bushwalks are featured in maps of the area’s eight National Parks, one of which – Broken Head Nature Reserve – our own Byron Bay family accommodation sits in. The others are:
- Wollumbin National Park,
- Nightcap National Park,
- Border Ranges National Park,
- Bundjalung National Park,
- WhianWhian State Conservation Area,
- Victoria Park Nature Reserve and
- Mebbin National Park.
You may not fancy the sport of surfing yourself but it’s certainly fabulous to watch. Surfing is a popular past time at Byron Bay – an area famous for its sea breakers and superb surfing conditions. In fact, it’s a haven for surfers in general, attracting keen young board’s men and women from all round Australia, and even New Zealand, to book cheap Byron Bay holidays at our campground.
The main beach on Byron has small waves which attracts the beginner surfer and those just looking for an easy day. It means you’ll be guaranteed to catch sight of one or two sportsmen there. However, it’s the wide rollers of The Pass that cause the most excitement in the area, especially since they break far from the shore and can provide a longer ride. This is where to come for some spectacular surf viewing.
Nearby Watego’s Beach is also interesting to spectate at. It’s for the more experienced surfer – or at least one who is used to the sea and its moods at this particular point. That’s because although the waves are smaller than those at The Pass, the surf itself is far more difficult to negotiate and more likely to cause surfers to topple off their boards. The beauty of the last two beaches is the fact that shoals of dolphins can often be found joining in with the surfers and is worth going along for in itself.
9. Byron Bay: Belongil Beach
Those who are not afraid to dare (undress, that is) will probably find themselves on Belongil Beach at some point thanks to its nudist section. A regular crowd meets here and tourists are always welcome to join in the monthly games of nude cricket and sprinting, and which usually take place on the third Sunday every month. Access to the beach is via the car park in Tyagarah Nature Reserve but don’t take along your camera – understandably photography is frowned upon here.
It’s only one part of the beach that’s reserved for topless bathing etc. The rest of it is frequented by couples and families as it is a beautiful stretch. Not only that but it has a reputation for dolphin spotting AND it’s dog friendly. Meanwhile, the Treehouse on Belongil is perfect for a juice and spot of pizza after all that sea air before heading back to your Byron Bay family accommodation.
10. Dolphin Kayaking
No, we don’t mean dolphins actually kayaking, but rather joining in while you’re kayaking. Cape Byron Marine Park is the location for this popular fun and family-friendly experience. And it’s well worth a visit, even just to watch.
11. Byron Bay Ballooning
An amazing way to see Byron Bay is from the air – in a hot air balloon and at approximately 2,500 ft to be exact. The whole family can join in the trip seeing as the balloon lifts around 12 individuals in its basket at the one time.
Air ballooning really is a sensational way to hit the skies since it’s almost silent. After your experience there is a champagne breakfast to tuck into (but it’s for adults only – sorry kids). The one disadvantage about ballooning, especially if you’re a late night party goer, is the fact that the balloon usually takes off no later than 5am (then again, you could always stay up all night at our Byron Bay family accommodation and not go to bed at all).
12. Byron Bay Golf Club
Of course there was always going to be a golf course right here on beautiful Byron Bay. And what a course! It’s loved by golfers and non-golfers alike since the club house proves a great place for cold beer and dinner (or lunch). As far as the golfer is concerned though, the first nine holes on the course are hilly while the back nine are more on the flat side – a nice mixture, we reckon.
The above are only some of the attractions on offer from our Byron Bay family accommodation. We can tell you about others but we’re sure you’ll discover them for yourself when you start investigating this amazing coastal and rainforest-filled resort.