Byron Bay is a vibrant and unique coastal town located in the far north-east of NSW, home of the eastern most point of Australia, the famous Cape Byron.
The bustling collection of streets, shops and services that make up Byron Bay town sit adjacent to the safe, north-facing coastal pocket that is Byron’s iconic Main Beach.
BYRON BAY HISTORY
Named ‘Cavvanbah’ by the local Bundjalung people, the town of Byron Bay’s roots sit firmly in industry, with origins in dairy farming, timber and agricultural products.
Following the debut of the Aquarius Festival in 1973, Byron Bay began to develop its progressive and alternative identity, with ‘hippies’ and those seeking alternative lifestyles pouring into the shire for the festival, with many settling in for the long term.
From here, these settlers pioneered the uniqueness of Byron Bay, including respect for and consultation with the local Indigenous people, which continues today.
A mix of artists, artisans and creatives, progressive entrepreneurs, digital and technical experts, organic farmers and growers and more gives Byron Bay it’s diverse and eclectic melting pot of locals and the sophisticated, desired and alternative culture it embodies today.
Formerly the site of a long jetty, the Main Beach of today is a postcard-perfect, world-famous white sand beach with rolling blue waves and mountain views, all framed by grassy hills and the backdrop of the bustling Byron Bay town.
This busy beach is home to the iconic Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, one of the oldest clubs in Australia and the proud home of the lifeguards who patrol the beach in the summer months.
THINGS TO DO
Byron Bay town is an electric hub of activity with a diverse retail precinct offering a range of shopping, including boutique and local designer fashion, cheap and chic beachwear, homewares and handmade artisan products, markets and more. Byron Bay has resisted the influx of major chains and brands, instead focussing on promoting local goods and services, adding to the uniqueness that Byron has become famous for.
Byron Bay also boasts a buzzing restaurant, cafe and nightclub scene for all tastebuds and age groups. With local-loved pubs and taverns featuring garden bars, live music and beach views, a range of diverse restaurants focussed on fresh local produce, cafes with quality organic coffee and cuisine and a vibrant nightlife for the night-owls, town has got all and every need covered when it comes to eating, drinking and entertainment.
A range of practical services are available too, including Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets, branches and ATM’s for all the major banks and numerous medical, professional and alternative health services.
Movies, massage, yoga and a vibrant art and craft scene are just some of the added extras in the bustling, energetic and diverse town of Byron Bay.
Safe, sheltered and patrolled in summer, Main Beach is the ideal swimming beach for families. It’s banks are lined with children’s play equipment, picnic areas and shady trees, perfect for family beach days and it’s close proximity to Byron Bay’s shopping precinct ensure the beach is bustling and busy all year round.
Consistent swell suited to most skill levels make north-facing Main Beach a popular surfing spot, with both right and left easy-going beach breaks on offer. To the west is the infamous ‘Wreck’ and Belongil Beach, and to the right you can find Clarkes Beach blending around to The Pass and beyond to Wategos. All with their own unique characteristics and fun waves to surf.
In calm seas, snorkelling or scuba diving just offshore from Main Beach, near the remains of the old jetty, can gain a glimpse of Tassie II, a sunken ammunitions supply ship lost at the end of WWII, now known as ‘The Wreck’.
Main Beach is alive with entertainment. Often the site of live music, buskers, fire dancers, bongo drummers and more, the banks of Main Beach showcase the diverse alternative culture that Byron Bay has become famous for.