Byron Bay was one of my favourite stop offs on our big East Coast Australia roadie! This bohemian coastal suburb in New South Wales is a surfers paradise, a bohemian dream and a great place to wander barefoot and reconnect with yourself for a few days (though I can’t promise you won’t want to stay forever)…
I travelled to Byron Bay by campervan. It’s an absolute must stop on any East Coast Australia bucket list or a great place to visit if you fancy escaping Sydney or Brisbane for a mellow staycation. There are loads of campsites in Byron, but not many freedom camps, and they do tend to be more expensive than elsewhere.
Byron Bay via Campervan
The good news is that if you book your campervan via my favourite rental guru, Sammy of RatPack Travel, then you’ll save yourself some pennies for the road, making Byron Bay a viable stop off. If you haven’t heard of RatPack (though, unless you’re new to my blog, you’ll know I’m a massive fan girl!), they’re a cool, indie company based out of a bus in Byron Bay who make booking vans, activities and other Aus and NZ travel ultra easy.
Service is down to earth, honest and approachable but best of all, they guarantee to beat any direct quote. It is quite literally a no brainer; Sammy is so passionate about making travel honest and accessible that he gives a cut of his commission to the customer! Kick off your Byron Bay roadie by filling out this form or via WhatsApp here. Don’t forget to swing by the RatPack bus, say hello to the team and see what Byron gems they’ve got to offer.
There are a few different campsites in Byron. I stayed at Glen Villa which is slightly cheaper than others because it’s about a 10 minute walk from the beach. No sweat though, it’s still ultra close to town, the shops, bars and the surf. Facilities are good and they’ve got a cute little pool.
Not my van, but how cute!
Where to Eat and Drink
Treehouse on Belongil
Treehouse, opposite the beach, is a super chilled place to hang out in the retro chairs or laze in a hammock and enjoy delicious, fresh food. There are great salads and coffees and the decor is dreamy.
Right near Main Beach, Miss Margarita is a popular Mexican joint serving great tacos and – you guessed it – Margaritas! Try and put your name down for a table outside if the weather is nice, it gets a bit stuffy indoors but the decor is cool and kitschy.
If you’re after a cool, laptop-friendly spot to munch on granola and acai and pretend to be in Canggu, Bali then you’ve come to the right place. Grab a coffee and a spot in the shade!
The Farm at Byron Bay Cafe
The Farm at Byron Bay is a great place to spend a morning or afternoon (see below) and the cafe is great too. Grab a huge stuffed bagel, fresh sausage roll or a pastel de nata and a cold kombucha.
Folk is a a bit of Byron rite of passage: find a spot outside, read a book and enjoy lunch in the sun.
What to Do
Byron Farmer’s Market
Every Thursday morning you’ll find locals shopping for their veggies at this organic farmer’s market.
The Farm at Byron Bay
The Farm, on the road out of Byron, is a cool place to spend a morning or afternoon watching the animals, dancing amongst the sunflowers and sipping a cold kombucha. The vibe here is great and ultra family friendly too.
Listen to Street Busker’s at Sunset
Every evening the main street transforms into a bohemian paradise where incredibly talented barefoot buskers will serenade you into the night. These are not your usual street performers, but seriously stunning singers and musicians and to listen along for free (but be generous with the tips, of course!) is a total privilege.
Home of the worlds largest Amethyst Crystal, Crystal Castle sits up on a hillside and is a lovely, vibey place to spend a few hours, regardless of whether you know much about crystals or not. There’s a rainforest walk, a bamboo corridor and of course – a lot of crystals!
Cape Byron Lighthouse
You can either hike or drive up to Byron Bay Lighthouse. The former makes a great way to spend sunrise but if you’re short on time or energy then it’s $8 to park. The lighthouse is active and located at Cape Byron. It’s Australia’s most powerful and intense lighthouse!
The Most Easterly Point of Mainland Australia
Just on from the lighthouse you’ll find the Most Easterly Point of Mainland Australia. The views are stunning and you can even take a cheesy photo with the sign to prove you made it! We watched two giant sea turtles playing in the surf below.
Nightcap National Park
Explore the rainforest in the Byron hinterland and follow walking tracks to swimming pools, cascades (like Minyon Falls) and lush greenery.
Learn to Surf
Byron is a surfers mecca and there are loads of surf schools catering to all abilities to pick from. If you’re going to grab a board and give it a go, this is an iconic place to do so.
Kayak with Dolphins and Turtles at Sunrise
Paddle out into the gentle waves at sunrise at Clarke’s Beach, enjoy the beautiful light and keep everything crossed for dolphin pals to join in the adventure! You can book here.
Day trip to Nimbin
Nimbin is the ultimate hippie town about 70km west of Byron. It’s a tie-dye step back in time and an ultra famous ‘alternative lifestyle‘ destination named the cannabis capital of Australia – ha! There are lots of day trips that cost around $50 each, but as Nimbin is pretty small they usually include a few other stop offs. You could easily self-drive, unless you’re there for a special cookie or two…
Best of the Beaches
Byron Bay’s Main Beach is busy but beautiful. If you’re happy sharing your space with other surfers and sunbathers then it’s a great spot, and ultra accessible too. In the evening you can sit and listen to buskers, dance along to drum circles and get #vanlife envy at the campers in the carpark.
A large sandy beach and humpback whale heaven during the migration season!
Wategos is my favourite Byron Beach! It’s perfect for surf or for lounging on the sand or sitting on the rocks and reading a book.
The Pass is a surfers hotspot under Cape Byron where you can ride an awesome wave or climb the stairs and watch the surfers do their thing. It’s pretty small with limited parking so get there early.
Tea Tree Lake
The warm, orange water is supposed to have healing properties, so head down to Tea Tree Lake off of Suffolk Park Beach for a revitalising swim.
These posts might help you:
50 Things to Know Before Travelling to Australia
Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Campervan in Australia
15 Reasons Australia Should be on Your Bucket List
The Ultimate East Coast Australia Bucket List