The small town of Byron Bay offers plenty of ways to fill a long weekend. A range of amenities and sights—from hippie-style shops and surf schools to a stupa blessed by the Dalai Lama—have made Byron a popular stop for travelers heading down the Gold Coast from Brisbane. Here are a few ways to enjoy a 3-day stay in Byron Bay.
Day 1: Explore the Sights
Start your trip by exploring Byron Bay’s many offerings. Visit shops, local art galleries, cafes, and restaurants in town, and enjoy seasonal farmers markets and festivals. Immerse yourself in the crafty, creative spirit of Byron at the Arts and Industry Estate, or check out the World Peace Stupa, which is housed inside the Crystal Castle at the nearby Shambhala Gardens.
In the afternoon, meander through villages like Mullumbimby and Nimbin, or spend an entire day swimming under rain forest waterfalls. If the weather's right, take a dip down at the conveniently-located Main Beach. Most guided tours of the area combine several area highlights on half- or full-day itineraries.
Day 2: Beach Adventures
Start the day off early with a surfing lesson on Byron Bay's Main Beach. Known for its nice breaks and overall gentle nature, the beach is popular with both beginners and experienced surfers. After your morning workout, pause for breakfast, then heading off for a late morning walk along the Cape Byron Walking Track. This trail takes visitors to the Captain Cook lookout, Wategos Beach (where you can stop for a swim), and the Cape Byron Lighthouse.
If you’d rather see these sights from above, try a tandem skydive. Not only is the freefall experience exhilarating, but it also offers a scenic overhead view of the area. (If you’re lucky, you might even spot whales, dolphins, rays, and more in the region's waters.) Before heading back to town for some late afternoon shopping and dinner, explore more beaches, including Wategos and Little Wategos.
Day 3: Day Trips by Land or Sea
On your last day, enjoy the gorgeous landscapes outside of Byron Bay. Head to Wollumbin National Park (formerly known as Mount Warning National Park), about an hour from town, and hike through the UNESCO-listed subtropical rainforest to the mountain’s summit for panoramic views. You can also book an overnight adventure in the park that includes kayaking and a campfire dinner. Alternatively, opt for a hike in Nightcap National Park, another World Heritage site in the hinterlands where you can cool off from your hike with a refreshing swim at Minyon Falls.
If you prefer snorkeling or scuba diving to hiking, take a boat to Julian Rocks Marine Reserve. The unique area has plenty of nooks and crannies to explore and is home to a variety of animal species that enjoy the warm currents that come down from the north. Be sure to bring an underwater camera to capture the colorful fish, rays, turtles, and sharks.