You can sum up Australia’s easternmost town by saying it’s a melting pot of surf culture, alternative philosophies and hedonistic indulgence.
Or you can explain its magic in images: humpback whales cruising past the headland; rainbows on the mountains across the bay and hang-gliders coasting above the lighthouse. Our new-age paradise is known for its sweeping surf beaches, trademark lighthouse, lush rainforests and colourful mix of people. It's the place to try yoga on the beach at sunrise, massages and mud wraps at hinterland retreats and some of Australia’s best regional dining.
Five ways to experience Byron's magic
1. With sand between your toes...The epic waves have been attracting surfers to Wategos and Main Beach for years. Today visitors come to Byron’s beaches for meditation, massage, hang gliding, walks and sheltered swimming as much as tubular waves.
Kayak with dolphins from Main Beach or snorkel or scuba dive at Julian Rocks Marine Park. Hit the popular surf break The Pass or go horse-riding and beach fishing on Seven Mile Beach, near Lennox Head. Wind along the peninsula on the Cape Byron Walking Track and see Australia’s first sunrise turn the Cape Byron lighthouse pink.
2. With good food...Buy exotic fruit from the famous monthly Byron Bay Community Markets, where jugglers, mime-artists and musicians add to the colour. Or stop at a roadside stall for coffee, avocadoes and macadamias. At the September Taste of Byron festival, you can sample food and coffee from Byron’s finest restaurants and best baristas.
Enjoy everything from sinful breakfasts to fresh juices and gelato in Byron’s thriving cafés. Or dine on carefully-prepared organic fare at award-winning restaurants and luxury guesthouses. To really embrace the laidback Byron lifestyle, sit down to a leisurely lunch of local seafood.
3. With your pulse racing...Soar like a bird over the Cape Byron Lighthouse and Wategos Beach on a tandem hanglide. Or join a gliding joyflight to Mount Warning. Float over the beaches and subtropical countryside in a hot air balloon or freefall above it on a skydive. Learn to surf from Main Beach or four wheel drive through the rainbow-fractured waterfalls and rainforest of Byron’s hinterland. Swing from a high-flying trapeze Byron’s Circus Arts Trapeeze School and horse ride in the hills of Bangalow.
4. With nature all around....Walk the Cape Byron Track, and be one of the first people in Australia to see the sunrise. Then wind through the thick rainforests, rare coastal vegetation and windswept cliffs of the Cape Byron Headland Reserve. Watch humpback whales migrate along the coast between May and November and spot turtles, rays, dolphins and harmless sharks in the clear water. Hike to the rim of an ancient volcano and take in views of Gondwanan forest and farmland in Mount Warning National Park. In Nightcap National Park, you can walk to the base of Minyon Falls and meet nocturnal animals on a night vision bushwalk. Natural beauty abounds wherever you are in Byron.
5. In deep, relaxing bliss...Invigorate your body, mind and soul in Byron Bay, the heart of a rainbow region famous for alternative healing practices. Find inner peace at a meditation retreat or lying on an unspoilt beach. Unwind with yoga, pilates, acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy, massage, reiki and day spa treatments at one of Byron’s many rainforest-fringed retreats. If you’re seeking spiritual guidance, get an astrology, tarot or psychic reading or sit with a visiting guru. It’s all part of the magical Byron experience.
Credit: Tourism Australia Copyright