Located in the far northeastern corner of New South Wales, Byron Bay is a hip beach resort that draws travelers for its legendary surf and laid-back bohemian vibe. It’s surrounded by ancient subtropical rainforests to explore and home to earthy cafes and gourmet restaurants that showcase the local produce. Byron is also renowned for its arts and music scene, hosting the famous Blues and Roots Festival each year over the Easter long weekend.
The streets of Byron Bay are lined with innovative art galleries and surf shops where you can rent boards, with a weekly farmers market showcasing the region’s organic produce. Yoga retreats, massage centers and spas dot the town, together with pubs and bars that ignite after dark.
Be sure to follow the coastal path that leads from the main beach to Cape Byron, the most easterly point on mainland Australia. It’s topped by the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse where you can soak up the views and sometimes spot migrating whales. Surf breaks can be found in all directions, including the long waves of Clarke’s Beach and the pounding surf of Tallows. Just offshore lies the Julian Rocks Marine Reserve - a popular scuba diving destination where you can come face-to-face with sea turtles, manta rays and wobbegong sharks.
Head west to explore the Northern Rivers Hinterland, including World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park that is home to the distinctive peak of Mount Warning. Go hiking through the lush rainforests of Nightcap National Park and to the dramatic Minyon Falls or just enjoy the scenic drives between the picturesque hinterland villages.