Top 10 things to do in Byron Bay this summer
Shoes off, swimmers and sunnies on…summer is here! Although Byron is one of Australia’s top holiday destinations year-round, there’s no doubt that Byron comes alive in summer. The beaches are full of sun-kissed locals, holidaymakers and salty-haired surfers, the bars and restaurants are pumping and it’s holiday vibes all round in the Bay!
Planning a visit? Make the most of your holiday with our top 10 things to do in Byron Bay this summer.
1. Hit the Beach
Whether you’re in the mood for a swim, a surfing sesh or a beachside stroll, Byron Bay’s golden beaches are the pick of the bunch. Better yet, you don’t have to travel far to find some of the best in the area. Just 50m from The Surf House in the centre of town you can practically roll out of bed and straight onto Main Beach right on our doorstep.
A long stretch of sand within walking distance of the town centre connects some of our favourite beaches; from Belongil Beach (North of Main Beach) through to Clarke’s Beach and round to Wategos Beach and Cape Byron, the easternmost point of the mainland of Australia.
Keen to explore a bit further afield? Located in Broken Head Nature Reserve, White’s beach is a stunning secluded hidden gem and a firm favourite amongst locals.
In need of some beachside-inspo? Plan your beach-hopping itinerary with our guide to the best beaches in Byron.
2. Explore The Hinterland
Byron may be famous for its surf and beach lifestyle, but it’s also well worth exploring a little further inland. The Byron Bay Hinterland is a reason to visit Byron in its own right with beautiful scenery, cool little historic towns, country pubs, waterfalls and world heritage listed rainforest.
The Eltham Hotel | 35mins from Byron Bay
A popular local sipping spot, The Eltham hotel has made a name for itself as a must-visit pub in the Hinterland. This historic Northern Rivers pub serves up good food, cold beer, live music and a great atmosphere all round.
Bangalow | 20mins from Byron Bay
Bangalow is a picturesque town just a 20-minute drive from Byron. Explore the eclectic mix of homewares shops, fashion boutiques, good restaurants and cafes serving locally roasted coffee. Here at the weekend? On the 4th Sunday of each month, check out The Bangalow weekend markets for local artisan goodies and live music.
Killen Falls | 30mins from Byron Bay
Get ready to see one Insta-perfect waterfall. Killen Falls, about a 30-minute drive from Byron, is a must-see with a natural swimming hole, waterfall and a cave to explore. Be sure to follow the boardwalk up to the viewing platform (approx 700m return walk) at the top of the falls.
Driving to Byron Bay? Enjoy central Byron parking at The Surf House for $10/day when you stay.
3. Dine Alfresco
Nothing says summer vacay like enjoying good food and sipping on a marg (or three) in the sunshine. Lucky for us Byron is full of open-air restaurants, bars and cafes to soak up those sunny days and balmy summer evenings. Don’t miss a moment of sunshine with our top outdoor picks for breakfast, dinner and drinks.
Our Fave for Breakfast:
Top Shop Byron Bay
Top Shop is an old 1950’s milk bar turned cute coffee shop on a hill with a laid-back and fun atmosphere. Their focus is on local organic produce, happy customers and full tums. Choose to have your brekkie outdoors under a boho umbrella or pick up a picnic blanket and set up for a lounge on the grass under the sun.
Our Fave for Lunch, Dinner and Drinks:
If it’s good enough for Chris Hemsworth…Much-loved by celebs, locals, and tourists, Treehouse is one of our favourite laid-back dining spots in Byron. Serving delicious wood-fired pizzas and good cocktails in a pretty fairy-lit woodland setting, you can’t go wrong. You’ll find Treehouse by Belongil Beach just a short walk from town.
Great coffee, fresh local produce, outdoor dining under the trees and another slice of wood-fired pizza heaven, ‘The Roady’ located between Byron Bay and Suffolk Park is top on our list of outdoor dining spots. Open from 6am make sure to get your morning coffee fix with a side of freshly baked muffins or pastry or visit for a dinner with signature and seasonal wood-fired pizzas to die for.
This fun, modern restaurant in the heart of town offers amazing Asian cuisine in a bright and modern al fresco setting. Our recommendation – the truffled mushroom dumplings are simply delicious and the cocktails are pure perfection.
Our Fave for Drinks:
When it comes to enjoying a few outdoor bevvies you can’t beat Byron’s only rooftop bar at The Surf House. Enjoy exclusive guest access to the rooftop, daily drink specials and great tunes. Serving up your favourite cocktails, local brews and light bite options on the daily, head on up for happy hour from 3-6pm for $5 wine, beer and spirits.
4. Visit Local Breweries
There’s nothing quite like a cold beer on a hot summer day in the Bay and no better place to start than a visit to Byron Bay’s own local brewing legends, Stone and Wood. Cool down with a tasting paddle to try the best of the old favourites as well as limited edition brews. Located within Byron Bay’s Arts & Industry estate, make the most of the area with a mooch around boutique shops and creative businesses between beerios.
Gin-lover? Get set for an immersive gin tasting experience at Cape Byron distillery home to Brookies gin. Tour the rainforest, sip on gin and learn all about the distilling process from the experts.
Keen to try a Brookies cocktail in town? Head on up to The Surf House rooftop bar for special edition Brookie’s cocktails this summer!
5. Picnic on the Beach
Whether you’re a fan of the humble sausage sizzle and cracking open cold one or it’s all about the gourmet smorgasbord, you can’t beat a beach picnic on a hot summer’s day. Byron is full of stunning beaches equipped with picnic and BBQ facilities for you to enjoy a beachside feed under the sun. Find a shady spot on the grass at Wategos Beach or head to Main Beach offering picnic areas and free-to-use BBQs aplenty, dotted along the coast towards Cape Byron Lighthouse.
Planning your picnic? Why not make use of our onsite shared kitchen facilities to prep and pack your beachside picnic? With local organic produce stores including Santos Organics and Fundies Organics, as well as supermarkets Aldi and Woolworths a short walk away you can put together a homemade picnic in no time.
6. Learn to Surf
People flock from all over to experience the waves here in Byron Bay. If you’re new to surfing or already a pro riding the waves, there’s no doubt that Byron Bay is one of the best places in Australia to perfect your skills.
Some of Byron’s more sheltered beaches located around Cape Byron offer great conditions for beginners starting out on the waves whilst others provide world-class surf for more experienced surfers.
Your stay at The Surf House includes access to complimentary board hire and the crew will be more than happy to put you in touch with some local surf lesson providers as well as recommend the best beaches in the area for a surf.
7. Swim in Tea Tree Lakes
Pamper yourself ‘Byron-style’ with a cool visit to one of the area’s mystical tea tree lakes. Stained by tea tree in the surrounding forest and thought to be great for your skin, these natural freshwater lakes are well worth a visit to cool down in the summer heat. One of the more popular tea tree lakes, Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head is a quick 20-minute drive from town.
Whilst a beautiful way to spend a few hours in the sunshine be sure to check the blue-green algae status before swimming as strong concentrations of the organism can cause irritation.
8. Sunset on the Beach
Warm summer evenings coupled with Byron’s East facing coastline and interesting landscape makes for a whole host of dreamy beachside sunset spots. One of our favourites is Belongil boasting stunning views of the sun setting over Mount Warning. We like to get here early doors to enjoy the sunset with a few sundowners. Once the sun has gone down, be sure to pop into Treehouse for a bite to eat or a cocktail before the short walk along the main road back into town.
9. Wander around local Boutiques
Take a break from the sizzling sunshine and wander around Byron’s favourite local boutique shops. From powerhouse local labels including St. Agni and Rowie the Label to dreamy boho-inspired Spell & the Gypsy collective, Byron is home to some of Australia’s most beautifully designed local fashion brands. It doesn’t stop there though. Dotted throughout the town centre you’ll find homewares stores, bookshops and colourful cafes.
10. Visit Arakwal National Park
Pop on your hiking shoes and get set for an adventure into the wild. A great little escape from the hustle and bustle of Byron town in summer, Arakwal National Park hugs the coastline below Cape Byron from Cosy Corner and Tallow Beach. Easily accessible from Byron Town Centre (approx 30mins walk or a quick drive in the car) the National Park offers hiking paths and climbs for all levels. Don’t forget your swimmers for a well-deserved post-walk swim at Tallow Beach.
So here it is, our top things to do in Byron Bay this summer. Planning a visit? We hope you enjoy exploring our beautiful town!
Staying local? Our surf-inspired accommodation offers a one of a kind accommodation experience in the heart of Byron Bay. Enjoy the convenience of private and shared room options to suit all travellers, complimentary surfboard hire and exclusive access to Byron Bay’s only rooftop bar. Check availability and book your stay today.