About The Author: Cal Bailey runs Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after two years on backpacking around the world. If you want to learn more about life on the road or his blogging, you can read his latest blog posts.
Located by the beach in the state of New South Wales in Australia you can find the small town of Byron Bay. Although it has a population of less than 10,000 people, it sees a lot of visitors. The easternmost point in Australia, the best-known things about Byron Bay are its amazing beaches, distinctive shopping markets, and fun festivals.
If you’re planning on visiting Byron Bay, but you’re on a budget, here are some free or cheap places that you can see and things to do in Byron Bay.
The Byron Bay Lighthouse
If you go to Byron Bay, you absolutely can’t miss the beautiful and iconic lighthouse. Dating back to 1899, this lighthouse offers breathtaking views of the sea, possibly sprinkled with some dolphin sightings.
This is also a great little hiking opportunity and you can reach the top in about an hour. It’s around 4 km to the top. On the way, you’ll see magnificent beaches along Byron Bay, and if you go in the morning, you’ll witness one of the best sunrises you’ve ever seen. You can rent bikes as well. You can either do the hike or choose to relax in one of the beaches on the way like Wategos, Tallows or The Pass.
If you’re the outdoorsy type and want to explore nature, then you should check one of many trails that this place has to offer. There are both walking and biking trails here. Some of the best trails in Byron Bay are:
- Three sisters walking track is a 1.6 km long trail in Broken Head Nature Reserve. You can have picnics there, hang out at the beach or watch the whales during whale season.
- Mt. Warning is a 1,100m high mountain that you should climb early in the morning to avoid the sun. It’s a more advanced option and takes around two hours to the top.
- Protesters Falls is another great option with a 1.2km walk to one of the tallest falls in Australia. You’re not allowed to swim in the water because it is the home of the endangered Fleay’s barred frog.
If you prefer cycling, then consider going down the following trails, but keep in mind that renting bikes will cost you something.
Visit the famous markets
Byron Bay has monthly markets that are worth visiting and are very famous in the area. They happen on the first Sunday of each month. Town residents go shopping there, and you can find a good variety of goods here.
Usually, the prices are reasonable and there’s a lot of entertainment and street food. So even if you’re looking for a free option, you can just look around and enjoy the cheerful atmosphere and admire the crafts, clothes, food, kids’ toys, and more.
Minyon Falls should be a must-visit on your list of things to see in Byron Bay. They’re located in the World Heritage Site of Nightcap National Park. The hike to the falls is difficult due to quite a steep incline. It’s also a long hike, around 7.5 km in both directions. However, the effort is worth the view of the stunning waterfalls.While you’re there you can also visit the nearby Killen Falls.
Feel the music
Byron Bay is the kind of place where music is a part of the local culture. There’s fun entertainment everywhere and even on the streets. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you prefer; there’s something for everyone.
There are many bars and pubs where you can listen to live music almost every day, and quality music performances by artists on the street at almost every corner of town. On every sunset at the Main beach there is a drum circle where people gather to drum and dance. This is an experience that you don’t want to miss.
Go swimming in Tea Tree Lake
The Tea Tree Lake (or Lake Ainsworth) is a great place to visit in Byron Bay. It is said that the water from the lake has healing powers. This is thought to be due to the tea tree plants that grow next to the lake. Their oils enter the water of the lake and produce something of a “medical bath.” These oils are great for your skin and leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated. The fact that the lake is shallow makes the temperature perfectly warm and comfortable for swimming.
Visit the beaches
Byron Bay has some pretty amazing beaches where you can relax and enjoy your days. Just relaxing on the sunny beach and refreshing in the cool waves is enough, but if you want to do something more, you can try surfing.
Byron Bay has some great windy beaches for surfing, and the best part is that all of the beaches are free to enter. The year-round good weather in the area makes this an enjoyable activity. Some of the greatest beaches are The Pass, Watedo’s Beach, Cosy Corner, The Wreck, and Belongil Beach.
If you’re visiting during winter, you can catch the whales’ voyage from Antarctica to give birth in a warmer climate.
Have you visited Byron Bay? What were your favorite things to do and see? Is there something you’d add to this list?