Byron Bay is a beachside town in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 772 kilometres north of Sydney and 165 kilometres south of Brisbane.
Aboriginal people called the area 'Cavvanbah'. European history began in 1770, when Captain James Cook found a safe anchorage and named Cape Byron after his navigator, grandfather of the future poet, Lord Byron. It wasn't until the 1880s, when Europeans made more permanent settlement, that the streets were named for other English writers and philosophers.
If you are looking for a great surfing spot along the east coast or just a pleasant beach to sit down and relax then Byron Bay could be the place for you. Byron Bay is a unique and colourful town that attracts many visitors to the area. There can be some congestion especially in the summer months, but it is still definitely worth visiting Byron.
Byron Bay has plenty of cafes and bars as well as some great music venues. And of course surf shops which sell surf products as well as hire boards and give surfing lessons. If you want a change of scenery then all you have to do is head inland towards the hinterland and nearby bush. There are a wide range of activities to keep you amused.
The main highstreet in Byron Bay is Jonson Street which leads into Bangalow Road. Everything is situated along or just off of this street, from shops, cafe, restaurants and accommodation. It even takes you right to the Main Beach.
Beaches stretch about 50km, leading you right upto the Gold Coast. West of main beach is Belongil Beach and the nudist Tyagarah Beach. East of Main Beach you will come to Cape Byron.
The selection of beaches inbetween these two places can be great for surfing, especially off of The Pass towards the south end of Clarks Beach. You may even catch a glimpse of some dolphins. The beaches include Clarks Beach, Wategos and Little Wategos Beach.
Cape Byron itself reaches out to the most easterly point of Australia's mainland. It is the perfect place to watch the sun rise after those long nights out or the beginning of those early relaxing mornings. Captain Cook named Cape Byron after the poet Byron's grandfather who in the 1760's sailed around the world.
Once you get to Cape Byron, you will be greeted with the large Byron Bay Lighthouse. You can wander right out to the Cape, and stand at the most Easterly point of Australia. The views are amazing.
From the lighthouse you can also take a 3.km trail around the Cape offering more wonderful views and the opportunity to see a range of wildlife. During the whales migrating seasons you may see them passing Cape Byron, so keep your eyes peeled around June/July and September/November.
There are some fantastic views along the coast. South of Cape Byron the beaches continue, again offering fabulous surf. Some places can be a bit rocky so beware. Tallow Beach leads from Cape Byron to Broken Head where you will find a selection of nudist beaches. The next beach along the coast is Seven Mile Beach which will take you to Lennox Head.
Inland from Broken Head is the Broken Head Nature Reserve which makes a great day out into its beautiful rainforest. There are a couple of tours that take you into the bush and rainforests surrounding Byron Bay.
There are also plenty of other things to do in and around Byron. Other than surfing, the waters also attract divers. A great place where you will see an array of marine life is at the marine park at Julian Rocks. If you prefer to be up in the air then why not try out hang-gliding or if you are daring enough have a go on the flying trapeze.
An alternative to the thrill and adventure of Byrons activities you can also learn to relax with the help of floatation tanks, massage and healing crystals. Byron Bay hosts numerous alternative therapies that work wonders after a long day. There is also a market in Byron Bay, held along the Butler Street Reserve on the first Sunday of each month.
There are plenty of places to stay in Byron Bay, although it can get very busy so book in advance. Accommodation includes mainly camping grounds and hostels, although also offers a selection of motels, hotels and b&b's. They stretch all along the coast around Byron Bay with plenty within walking distance of the main town, so you are sure to find something that suits you.
Byron Bay is also not short on places to eat out. There are plenty of takeaway bars serving a range of typical takeaway as well as healthy and vegetarian alternatives. There are also a number of restaurants across a wide price range.
Nightlife is also great in Byron Bay. Whatever your style it is here. The Railway Friendly Bar, Beach Hotel and Great Northern Hotel all offer live music on various nights. The Top Hat Bar offer relaxed cabaret night while the Latin offers everything Latin from food and music to dancing. A couple of nightclubs in the area include Cocomangas and the Carpark Nightclub, again offering a selection of music.
You will have no problem getting around Byron Bay. The majority of places are within walking distance as long as you are wearing a comfortable pair of shoes. You can also hire bikes or take a local bus.
Getting to and from Byron Bay isn't a problem. A train runs in both directions everyday in the evening. Buses run north and south along the coast passing through Byron. It is best to book tickets in advance as otherwise it is first come first served, so you may be disappointed.