Byron Bay is about 30 minutes south of Cabarita and for thousands of years it was a place where Aboriginal people came to swap stories, find brides and husbands and trade goods. What used to be a sleepy little seaside town has now become a mecca for tourists, particularly international backpackers and surfers. The population increases all the time and currently sits at around 30,000. It’s teaming with activity – from surf lessons and skydiving, to hang-gliding, kayaking with dolphins and horseriding along the beach, to golf and fishing. Just to name a few.
The atmosphere, the scenery, the views and the food – it’s hard to pick a favourite.
Things to do
Byron’s most famous, and the most popular features are Cape Byron and the Lighthouse. Cape Byron is the most easterly point of Australian mainland and can be accessed via a walking track which starts at the lighthouse itself. Here you can enjoy views to Lennox Head in the south and across the Bay to Mt Warning. You can’t go to Byron and not go to the lighthouse, get your photo taken smiling as you stand next to the sign that tells you that you’re at the eastern most point of Australia, take a walk to the point itself if you have the time and energy, and keep an eye out for dolphins frolicking in the waters below (or whales if the season is right).
Arakwal National Park is a nice place to visit and if you’re a surfer, there are plenty of options. Tallow Beach is part of Arakwal National Park, a beautiful coastal heathland located just south of Cape Byron and the Lighthouse – and the beach is quiet, the waters were shallow and you can see to the bottom for metres and the sands are clean – if you love Byron beaches but aren’t a fan of the crowds, this is where you should go. Though be aware there are no lifeguards here so be extra careful. It’s great for surfing, swimming and fun in the sand. Other popular beaches are Wategos, The Pass, Belongil, The Wreck, Broken Head or Cosy Corner.
If you’re more of a land-lubber, visit the national parks in the hinterland. Mt Warning National Park surrounds Mount Warning which is part of a remnant caldera of a much larger extinct volcano (the Tweed volcano). The Park is rich in plant, bird and animal life and part of the Shield Volcano Group of the World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.
Nearby is Brunswick Heads, a small coastal village just 15 minutes from Byron which has retained its traditional seaside village atmosphere. It is quiet, with fantastic beaches and the river which hosts a protected rainforest as well as a harbour and small marina for fishing boats and other small vessels. From the harbour, you can take an Eco Cruise with Byron Bay Eco Cruises & Kayaks. The cruise is a beautiful way to see the area from another angle – along the Brunswick River and the waterways of the Brunswick Valley. The commentary is fabulous and as you learn about the area’s history and the environment, you can enjoy some bird spotting, watch as mullet flew out of the water and just enjoy the ride and the views. The tour is fun, comfortable and the scenery is picture perfect.
Staying in Byron
Byron Bay offers a full range of accommodation for the traveller, whether you’re on your own, with a partner, travelling with friends, or taking the family away for a holiday. You will find a range of options to suit – from holiday apartments or studios, to backpacker’s hostels, holiday houses, hotels, resorts, retreats and lodges. And don’t forget about camping grounds and caravan parks. The options are endless. One place that tops the cake though is The Oasis Apartments & Treetop Houses. Bordering the Arakwal National Park, there are a few choices of accommodation there – including self contained holiday apartments, treetop houses and beach houses. The pool looks amazing, there is a spa, gym with an outside deck and BBQ, sauna and games room with plenty to keep children of all ages entertained.
Wake up to the sounds of whip birds calling just outside your apartment, watching the sun rise, and admire the resort’s green grasses and the bright treetops, combined with the mahogany buildings – such a beautiful contrast with a true oasis feeling. This truly is Byron Bay’s best kept secret when it comes to accommodation!