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What to See and Do in Byron Bay - Between the Ocean Floor and the Mountain Top

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Byron Bay’s beaches are certainly its main attraction. Longboard surfers first discovered the destination in the 1960s, attracted by good waves, unspoiled natural beauty, and a relaxed feel. If you do get tired of fine white sand and clean, cool surf, there’s plenty more to keep you occupied. You can walk, cycle, dive, and paddle to Byron Bay’s highlights, and afterwards simply kick back and soak up the chilled vibe.

Dolphin and whale watching in Byron Bay


A great way to get close to the friendly bottlenose dolphins that inhabit Byron Bay’s marine park is by kayak. With Cape Byron Kayaks you can paddle out to the dolphins’ habitat while learning about local history and keeping an eye out for surfacing sea turtles, before surfing the waves back to the beach. During migration season, from June to early November, you may get up close to naturally curious humpback whales from the comfort of a whale watching boat.


  • Cape Byron Kayaks, Opposite 60 Lawson Street, Byron Bay, NSW, 2481; Tel: +61 2 6680 9555; Website: Cape Byron Kayaks

  • Blue Bay Whale Watching, P.O. Box 271, Brunswick Heads NSW 2483; Tel: +61 4889 04411; Website: Blue Bay Whale Watching

Diving Julian Rocks


The mix of tropical currents and cooler waters at Julian Rocks, only 2.5 km offshore, makes it one of Australia’s finest diving sites. The protected waters around this volcanic bluff are home to more than 500 marine life species, including turtles, stingrays, and harmless wobbegong sharks. The abundance of colorful coral makes your dive an even more vivid experience. Sundive leads group dives to the rocks. If you need lessons Pro Dive will help get you up to speed before you take to the sea.


  • Sundive Byron Bay, Shop 8, 9-11 Byron St, Byron Bay NSW 2481; Tel: +61 2 6685 7755; Website: Sundive Byron Bay

  • Pro Dive, 8 Middleton Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481; Tel: +61 2 81161199; Website: Pro Dive


Where to surf in Byron Bay


Consistent breaks and mild temperatures make Byron Bay a mecca for surfers, and you’ll see surf culture’s impact all over the town. Wategos Beach has slower waves ideal for longboarders, and Byron Bay Malibu Club has regular get-togethers there. The Pass is a world-renowned, challenging break that’s not for the inexperienced. If you’re a novice, the smaller waves at Main Beach are for you - Black Dog Surfing can help you to hang ten in no time.


  • Byron Bay Malibu Club, PO Box 350, Byron Bay NSW 2481; Tel: +61 411 111 111; Website: Byron Bay Malibu Club

  • Black Dog Surfing, Shop 4/5, 11 Byron St, Byron Bay NSW 2481; Tel: +61 2 6680 9828; Website: Black Dog Surfing


Discovering the hinterland of Byron Bay


Pedal power will get you secluded spots that you otherwise wouldn’t reach, and Mountain Bike Tours will show you the way. Ride narrow trails through the rainforests of Nightcap National Park, take a dip in a cool mountain swimming hole at Minyon Falls, or discover wild stretches of pristine beach. Watching the sunrise over the ocean and hinterland with 360-degree views from the summit of Mount Warning is an experience you won’t forget.


  • Mountain Bike Tours, PO Box 409, Byron Bay NSW 2481; Tel: +61 429 122 504; Website: Mountain Bike Tours

  • Byron Bay Adventure Tours, PO Box 791, Byron Bay NSW 2481; Tel: +61 1300 120 028; Website: Byron Bay Adventure Tours


Charming Bangalow


Even when it’s not buzzing with visitors who come for the handicrafts and local organic produce at the outdoor market (4th Sunday of every month), picturesque Bangalow is more than worth the 15-minute drive. The main street’s Colonial-era buildings, with their wide verandahs, are home to cafés, galleries, and artisanal shops. The Bangalow Hotel is an authentic Aussie pub that’s the spot for a cold beer on the terrace, or eclectic modern cuisine. When you're done shopping, take a stroll and relax in the shade of the trees that line peaceful Byron Creek.


  • Bangalow Market, Bangalow Showground, Bangalow NSW 2479; Tel: +61 2 6687 1911; Website: Bangalow Market

  • Bangalow Hotel, 1 Byron Street, Bangalow NSW 2479; Tel: +61 2 6687 1314; Website: Bangalow Hotel