Byron Bay or Bust – by She Who Wanders
So you’ve finally made the decision to head to the land down under! Congratulations, you’ve definitely made the right choice. So now with the visa done & dusted thanks to Sherpa you can now get started with the best bit of your pre-adventure organization; the planning!
Where to go, what to see, what you want to experience, the works. I know it can sometimes be a little overwhelming trying to figure it all out & maybe you just want to wing it. But never fear I’ve got you covered on a must see spot that should be on everyone’s Down Under to-do list; Byron Bay. A sea side surf town in New South Wales, your nearest airport will be Brisbane & from there, it’s a quick 2 hours drive down to what is one of my favourite places in all of Australia. With my favourite places comes some of my favourite things, so here are my top 10 must do’s in Byron Bay.
1. Stay at Holiday Village Backpackers
Where to lay your head at night? The age old question, and with so many options on offer it can sometimes be hard to choose. But let me tell you, that Holiday Village Backpackers is definitely a great choice for budget accommodation and an even better place to make some new friends. Located within less than 10 minutes from the beach, right next to some great bars/restaurants & conveniently next to a grocery store there’s nothing more you could want in terms of location. If you need more of a huge in the right direction, the staff is wicked & will help you make the most of Byron, and if that still doesn’t do it for you? The hostel has a pool and outdoor bbq facilities to make your amazing days turn into even more amazing nights!
2. Party at Woody’s Surf Shack
If after your post surf day bbq & pool session you’re in need of a place to let loose & get into the Byron Bay nightlife then look no further than Woody’s. Less than 2 blocks from Holiday Village Backpackers, they often run bar/food specials with the hostel for its guests & most nights of the week there are different specials going on from surfboard giveaways to live jam sessions, this is the spot to continue the fun well into the night.
3. Catch Sunrise at the Lighthouse
Cape Byron, the eastern most point of Australia and home to a fully functioning lighthouse less than 5 km from the main town & also the most stunning setting for a sunrise. You can drive up to the top, or if you want to get the full effect then a walk from town along the beach is the way to go. From the top, you’ll get incredible views towards the town, and best to keep your eyes peeled because seeing whales & dolphins is something you won’t want to miss.
4. Sea Kayaking
Byron Bay has no shortage of water sports for any age & activity level, but one I would highly recommend is sea kayaking! With many tour companies to choose from, I found myself drawn to GO Sea Kayak from word of mouth around town, and I was so happy I chose to go out for the morning with them. With river tours or dolphin spotting tours, there is something for everyone depending on your interests. They’ll give you a safety briefing before you get out into the water & as you tour around the experienced guides will make sure you get your chance to see as many animals as they can find.
5. Fish & Chips on the Beach
I mean this one feels like a no brainer really. Some of the best fish and chip shops set up right next to the beach because there is seriously no better feeling than eating local catches straight from the ocean you stare at while enjoying the view. So do yourself a favour and check out the fish & chip food truck as you rock up to Main Beach!
6. Get inspired with Craig Parry
Now don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of Craig Parry before, I didn’t either before I’d arrived in Byron Bay but now I can’t get enough of his work. A local with an incredible talent and passion for photographing his home town, he has a gallery on Fletcher street where he showcases his prints. And if you find yourself lucky enough to be around when he’s running a photo workshop I’d totally recommend checking it out *(so I can live vicariously through you of course.
7. Catch a Wave
Byron Bay is synonymous with surfing, and you’d be crazy not to pick up a board & get out there. No matter what your experience level there are spots all around Byron for any level of surfer, and if you aren’t feeling the surf lessons, grab yourself a body board and skim the shorelines. Top picks for surf lesson shops would definitely have to be MOJO, Soul Surf School & Byron Bay Surf School for those looking to hang ten for the first time.
8. Wategos Beach
On your way up to the Lighthouse, you’ll be sure to see this little slice of heaven. If you wanted a different sunrise view than from the lighthouse then this is your spot! Check out the surfers catching a “dawnie”, soak in the sun with your friends or just stroll the beach itself this small protected beach is definitely not one to be missed on your trip to Byron.
9. Get Local at the Farmers’ Market
Who loves eating as much as I do? Hopefully, a few of you are nodding in agreement. So, if you do or if you can’t get enough of a good market then be sure to stop in at Byron’s Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 8-11am. A local establishment for the last 15 years, if the fresh produce doesn’t pull you in then the local music & charm will be sure to have you wandering through.
10. & of course… Keep an eye out for Chris Hemsworth
For any ladies (or gents) out there with a set of eyes, it’s no surprise that Chris Hemsworth is a well sought after Australian icon. Who just so happens to call Byron Bay home when he’s not off saving the world as Thor, so keep your eyes peeled you never know who you’ll see in Byron Bay.
How many of these can you cross off of your travel bucket list? Let us know! If you’re travelling to Australia, you might need an eTA visa – you can get it here with Sherpa – and for cheaper than the Australian Government site! As always, Travel Easy!
The Sherpa Team sends a huge thank you to guest blogger and Ambassador Laura for her thoughts on beautiful Byron Bay! You can follow her adventures through her website She Who Wanders, and you connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Do you want to contribute to Sherpa? Have a blog idea we should cover? Check out our Initiatives Page and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!