James Cook of 1770 Botany Bay fame found safe anchorage at what is now Byron Bay and named it Cape Byron after explorer John Byron, who was the first captain to circumnavigate the globe in less than two years. The region remained somewhat undisturbed for another two centuries, when in the 1960s, surfers stumbled across the incredible surfing conditions. Byron Bay soon developed a reputation as a laid back, almost hippy town, with a congenial spirit. Today the camaraderie and gnarly surf breaks remain but quality accommodation, gorgeous eateries and hip bars now provide on-shore entertainment to the masses that flock each year.
Byron Bay has great weather year round, but swimming during the winter is a tad chilly. In January the temperature climbs to around 27 degrees and in July the mercury hovers around 19 degrees during the day. Winters are drier with the majority of rain falling in summer.
The city hosts a number of festivals each year and has a number of luxury resorts to accomodate visitors. The East Coast Blues and Roots Music Festival is an acclaimed music event celebrating blues music and the Splendour in the Grass Music Festival attracts major music acts for the appreciation of fans. Whale watching is generally best during September and October.
The nearest airport to Byron Bay is at Ballina, a 30 minute drive away and handles passengers from Sydney and Melbourne. The following airlines fly to Ballina:
Flying from Sydney to Ballina takes about one and half hours and Melbourne to Ballina takes two hours.
In recent years, Byron Bay has undergone a transformation and now boasts luxury resort style accommodation. Most hotels have their own pools and all the modern amenities associated with this accommodation class.
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
The bulk of activities at Byron are focused around the sea and the beach. Byron’s popularity started out with surfing and certainly the quest for the best breaks continues along the coastal stretch. The beach adjacent to the township is generally known as the central beach for Byron. Nearby Watego’s Beach and Tallow’s Beach are less crowded and therefore are definitely worth considering. General swimming and sunbaking are other favoured pastimes.
For hiking enthusiasts, the Mt Warning Summit Track offers fantastic vistas to those who reach the top. A stroll up to the Byron Light House, an icon of the region, is a must do for all visitors. There are also a variety of rejuvenating spas, health retreats and yoga centres to refresh the soul.
Byron is known for its night life. When the sunsets, clubs pump up the volume as DJs spin the decks with the latest tunes well into the early morning.
Once you’ve had your Byron fix, consider venturing north and check out the dramatic coastline as you drive through Brunswick Heads, Kingscliff before chugging into Tweed Heads, the border town of Queensland. There’s some great bush walking options around Tweed including Mt Cougal and Wagawn.
Don’t Leave Without…
A good book in between sea-based activities, whilst lying on the beach is a necessary accessory.
Things to be careful of…
Apply and reapply plenty of sunscreen for all outdoor activities. Wear a hat and t-shirt to protect your skin.
Always swim between the flags. If you’re caught in a rip, don’t attempt to swim against the pull but rather signal the lifesavers for assistance.