Things to do in Byron Bay: Where to Eat, Drink, Stay and Play
Looking for a chic coastal escape that oozes charm? Here are all the things to do in Byron Bay.
Once a place swarming with surfers and backpackers, now a tranquil oasis where locals and holidaymakers sit harmoniously side by side, the serene setting of Byron Bay is a dreamy destination that oozes laid-back charm.
Whether you're visiting or staying for the long haul, Byron's beauty is all-embracing, drawing in the crowds with its stunning beaches, local boutiques, fresh local produce and a thriving restaurant scene where sea-changing chefs and artisans champion paddock-to-plate ambitions, with sustainability at the core.
The welcome sign says it all: ‘Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out’. And when you arrive in Byron, that's exactly what you'll do.
So, if you're craving a weekend by the coast where you can switch off and unwind, this is the place to do it. Our handy guide will help you uncover some of the best that Byron has to offer. Just don’t be too surprised if you start to find yourself dreaming of a permanent move — you have been warned.
Things to do in Byron Bay: Eat
Byron Bay and the surrounding borders have long been a rich environment for fresh, quality produce, matched perfectly with a fusion of fine dining and equally refined, yet, laid-back cafés. From the ocean to the hills, make sure to spread your appetites wide by discovering the very best of the area's culinary delights.
Is it even a trip to Byron without a meal at Light Years?! After closing the original venue in October 2022, Light Years Byron Bay is back and better than ever in the brand-new Jonson Lane precinct, complete with a new head chef, Joachim Borenius, and an expanded food and drink menu.
The refreshed menu stays true to the Asian-inspired classic and much-loved Light Years style of share plates for group dining, with highlight dishes on the menu including a prawn toast donut, served with a yuzukoshu dipping sauce; salt and pepper tofu seasoned with szechuan pepper umami salt (vegan); hot and tingly BBQ lamb ribs; and honey king prawns with typhoon shelter crumbs.
As for the drinks, there are all the old favourites, like their beloved Netflix and Chill cocktail with popcorn-infused rum, passionfruit and lemon will return, and new creations such as the Kiwi Matcha Margi with tequila, kiwi puree, matcha syrup, and lime; and a Szechuan Sour (subtly flavoured yet strong enough for drinkers to experience its mouth-numbing quality) with szechuan shiso infused gin, Aperol, vermouth, and orange. Run, don’t walk to make your booking!
139 Jonson St, Byron Bay
If you fancy a dining experience to remember, you'll want to ensure you make one of Frida's Field's long lunches. They host three long lunches per week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and they're packed with seasonal dishes created from produce sourced from the Northern Rivers region. You'll enjoy a share-style menu that encompasses locally made sourdough, condiments, three starters, a main with three sides and dessert. Be sure to leave around three hours for the full experience.
76 Booyong Road, Nashua
For a taste of the Mediterranean, look no further than The Hut. The menus are designed to share and the food is all about spotlighting the best local produce on offer. You'd be a fool not to order the heavenly saganaki and then follow it up with the tagliatelle, lamb ragu with sugo rosso. They also offer a signature banquet menu ($89 per person) for groups of eight or more and have a dedicated vegan menu to boot. Situated in the old O’Possum Creek Schoolhouse, the stunning views will take your breath away.
471 Friday Hut Road, Possum Creek
Former executive chef at Harvest Newrybar Matt Stone opened Ciao, Mate in 2022 and it's fair to say it's become somewhat of a sparkling gem in the local foodie scene. The electric, welcoming atmosphere only gets better when you peruse the creative menu featuring Italian classics with a twist — think wood-fired pizzas, outstanding yet out-of-the-box pastas and amazing cocktails. It's seriously yum, mate!
33 Byron Street, Bangalow
Located in the quaint town of Newrybar, about a 20-minute drive from Byron Bay’s CBD, dwells Harvest, a trendy and well-curated eatery offering an extensive, flavoursome menu. Covering all bases, Harvest offers a relaxed deli and café, set within a lovingly restored vintage building, and fine dining in their more upmarket restaurant – a contemporary Queenslander situated directly next door. Either way, a visit here promises fabulously fresh and delicious food.
18-22 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar
Raes Dining Room
An exclusive boutique retreat with an idyllic beachfront setting. Aside from the gorgeous, stylishly designed rooms (of which there are seven), Rae's renowned restaurant, with an open-window framed view of the nearby Wategos Beach, is one of Byron's biggest draws. Serving contemporary Australian with a Mediterranean influence, every taste is catered for. Start with some locally caught oysters before delving into their delicious à la carte menu.
6/8 Marine Parade, Byron Bay
Beach Byron Bay
In a town full of stunning beaches, it’s only natural Beach Byron Bay would sit atop its golden sands. An alfresco hotspot boasting stunning panoramic ocean views – be sure to book a table for dinner, just in time to watch the sunset.
2 Massinger Street, Byron Bay
If you’re on the hunt for a cool, yet casual place to eat, head to Folk — a charming café set within a converted weatherboard cottage with an easy-breezy vibe. The menu features a selection of fuss-free foods, including the likes of zesty avocado toast and freshly baked croissants, that you can choose to devour inside or out. We suggest nabbing a spot outside on the gigantic cushions, so you can sprawl out with your coffee (and cake) in hand.
1/399 Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay
Things to do in Byron Bay: Drink
Nothing says 'holiday' like cocktail or two in the sun. And since Byron is one of Australia's top tourist destinations it’s best to find out in advance where to book a spot. Whether that’s a coffee stop the locals swear by, or a delicious cocktail at the latest new haunt, these watering holes should do the trick.
As far as charming wine bars go, Bar Heather is without a doubt the cutest one in town. Pop in for a sip of one of their many divine independent wines, sourced from around the world and then stay for a bite of some of their equally as delish food. Standouts include the oysters with green chilli mignonette, the white asparagus with hemp seed cream and the egg noodle with cuttlefish and ink.
G9 / 139 Jonson Lane, Byron Bay
Pixie Food & Wine
What do you get when you marry the lax beachy vibes of Byron Bay with traditional Italian fare? Pixie Food & Wine! This vibrant new venue brings a modern and coastal twist to classic Italian cuisine with head chef Matteo Tine (previously of Grossi Florentino) calling on his Sicilian roots and more recent experience in Melbourne to offer nostalgic flavours within refined dishes.
The menu showcases the best local seafood with some standouts including savoury sfinci (Sicilian fried doughnut) filled with a warm cacio pepe sauce, finished with a thin slice of house-made air-dried stone axe bresaola; Mooloolaba house-smoked Albacore tonno pastrami, with pickled and fresh heirloom radish giardiniera; and spaghetti alla chitarra made with a sourdough pasta, vongole and bottarga sauce, a fermented chilli oil, and lemon and fennel pangrattato. The drinks list has been curated by drinks specialist Joe Jones (Romeo Lane), who has worked alongside Tine to create drinks that complement the flavours and ingredients in the dishes. The wine list has a mix of modern and new-world wines, as well as Italian classics.
139 Jonson Street, Byron Bay
The Mez Club
Located along Byron’s main high street, The Mez Club is a must for cocktail hour. This beautifully designed venue has a rustic Mediterranean vibe, with white-washed walls, floor-to-ceiling doors and beautiful Moroccan-style furniture. The cocktails served here are fresh and vibrant and dangerously moreish. The Turkish Princess’ and ‘Classic Margarita’ come highly recommended.
4/85-87 Jonson Street, Byron Bay
Coffee before cocktails is essential, and it’s unlikely you’ll find a better cup in Byron than at Top Shop. As the name suggests, this locally loved café sits on the top of a hill and is best known in town for serving up excellent, Single Origin coffee, along with a tasty range of burgers and sandwiches. Heads up — this place can get rather busy, so just in case you can’t find a seat, do as the locals do and sit on the grass by the road for a makeshift picnic.
65 Carlyle Street, Byron Bay
‘Barrio’, meaning “neighbourhood” in Spanish, has an industrial-style interior, yet still manages to feel warm and welcoming, thanks to large wooden communal tables, an open kitchen with an Argentinian wood-fired oven and grill, and outdoor tables and picnic rugs. The food served here is authentic and has a suitably well-refined cocktail list to match.
1 Porter Street, Byron Bay
Things to do in Byron Bay: Stay
From boutique Palm Springs-inspired villas right in the heart of town, to private and secluded country cottages perched high up in the hills, Byron has plenty of unique places to rest your head. Here's our pick of the best...
Bask & Stow
Tucked away in a quiet back street, just 10 minutes from Byron's buzzing dining and shopping strip, this bright and sunny guesthouse is all about style and simplicity. Laid-back and effortlessly chic, the casual beachy vibe wafts through Bask & Stow as cool as Byron's fresh sea breeze. Towering palm trees, swaying hammocks and clusters of cacti bring a taste of coastal living, and there's a small plunge pool with umbrellas where you can cool down from the sweltering summer heat.
40 Marvell Lane, Byron Bay
Byron View Farm
Although first and foremost a wedding venue, Byron View Farm also holds a charming, self-contained cottage on its property — where the 360-degree uninterrupted views, from ocean to mountain, act as the main attraction.
This one-bedroom retreat is perfect for couples who are looking to experience all of the beauty that Byron’s hinterland has to offer. The large, wrap-around verandah is perfect for watching the sunset, and by night, you can even sit back and watch Byron’s iconic lighthouse spin round and round.
194 Street Helena Road, Ewingsdale
Elements of Byron
If you’re looking to stay somewhere a little more high-end, you will find this and more at Elements of Byron. As the only beachside resort in town, Elements is the very definition of indulgence. A paradise within a paradise, featuring ninety-nine modern villas with all the trimmings and two resort-like pools.
But it's the ‘adults-only pool’ – with a swim-up bar, pop-up taco van, blue pastel-coloured deck chairs, and bright-white cabanas – that you'll want to nab a spot at. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a world-class spa and restaurant onsite, along with private access to Belongil Beach.
144 Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay
Things to do in Byron Bay: Explore
The best part of being on holiday is planning out how to spend your newfound hours of freedom. Fortunately, Byron has an infinite variety of leisurely pursuits. Whether it's spending an entire day soaking up the sun on the beach, browsing through one boutique store after the next, or taking a short drive out to one of the many surrounding villages — Byron's bounteous selection is guaranteed to surprise and delight.
It’s no secret that Byron is famed for its many spectacular beaches, dotted up and down the coast. There's Main Beach right on the edge of town, The Pass, with one of the best surf breaks, and Tallow Beach’s long sandy stretches.
But for an option that’s just as beautiful, with easy access, Wategos Beach is where you should lay down your towel. Tucked in below the cliffs of Cape Byron, you can park right in front, and skip down the few steps to the sapphire waters below. When you’re done basking for the day, just pop up and grab a coffee, juice, or a cocktail from the nearby Raes.
Described as an 'immersive social, bathing and dining experience' you're going to want to dedicate an entire day at The Banya. Built on the sun-drenched bricks of a former bank, The Banya is a modern experiential twist on a traditional European bathhouse — a first of its kind in the heart of Mullumbimby.
Kick things off at The Bathhouse, which features a lap pool, two hot mineral pools, a wood-fired sauna, a steam room and a cold plunge. There are also several massage treatment rooms and a gorgeous rooftop sundeck for post-treatment relaxation. After the Bathhouse, guests are encouraged to stay for a long lunch or enjoy a few drinks. The on-site bar and dining are focused on casual refinement with small share plates and nutritious staples. Wine, cocktails and health elixirs round out the offering. We already feel zen!
35-37 Burringbar St, Mullumbimby
Cape Byron Distillery
A trip to Cape Byron Distillery is a delight for all the senses. The cellar door is located in the heart of this family's farm, just 15 minutes from the centre of Byron. Opt for the Brookie's Rainforest & Gin Tasting Tour which takes you through the property's rainforest, gin in hand, to learn about the botanicals used in Cape Byron's beverages. They also offer guided tastings, whisky tours and cocktails on the balcony should you be short on time.
80 St Helena Road, McLeods Shoot
The Farm Byron Bay
This 80-acre working farm located in Ewingsdale, houses a collection of micro-businesses, all operating with the same motto — to grow, feed, and educate its guests. Here you'll find the celebrated Three Blue Ducks, a much-loved restaurant and produce store, and The Bread Social, an artisan bakehouse baking everything from bio-dynamic sourdoughs to light buttery pastries. As well as food, there are farm tours, sunflower fields and picnic areas where you can BYO.
11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale
Whale Watching Tour
Byron Bay is one of the best places to enjoy the annual humpback migration from May to October. Out of the Blue offer one of the best tours in town with an onboard marine biologist sharing their knowledge throughout. A specialised underwater hydrophone allows you to listen to live whale song whilst you enjoy the incredible coastal scenery and keep your eyes peeled for breaching whales. Best of all, they offer a 100% whale sighting guarantee otherwise you're welcomed back for a free second trip.
Lance Ferris Wharf, 12 Fawcett Street, Ballina
Spell & The Gypsy Collective
Love yourself a bold print or a pop of colour? Female-owned label Spell & The Gypsy Collective’s fabulously feminine designs are a staple along Byron’s shores. Bold, bright, and beautifully boho, their signature prints and all-encompassing styles will take you from the beach to the bar effortlessly. In each collection, you’ll find a spirited mix of dreamy resort pieces, relaxed wardrobe essentials, and occasion wear that champions the feminine spirit.
15 Browning Street, Byron Bay
Byron Bay is bursting at the seams with gorgeous homeware stores, so much so, it’s almost impossible to leave without an item (or five) to take home with you. One of our favourites? Marr-Kett, a treasure-filled space located along one of Byron’s main stretches, Fletcher Street. This store specialises in vintage and custom-made Moroccan rugs, as well as artisan-made homewares, sourced both locally and globally. And just in case you can't fit that coveted rug in the car or in your suitcase, you can always make your purchase through their website and meet your one-of-a-kind rug at home.
Shop 5a 21/25 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay
Peruse the chic flagship store of cult Byron Bay brand, St. Agni and get your cool-girl, minimalist wardrobe sorted. With premium ready-to-wear pieces in their signature 'less is more' aesthetic, and a gorgeous selection of leather accessories and footwear, your minimalist era starts here.
4 Acacia Street, Byron Bay