If you are a surfer, you may have heard of Byron Bay in New South Wales in Australia. It is the most easterly town of Australia where there are many spectacular beaches for surfing.
But you don’t need to surf in order to enjoy the quaint little town of Byron Bay. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches, bike around town, boutique shopping or simply relax in the most charming coastal town.
Byron Bay is the perfect coastal destination for a weekend getaway from Brisbane, Gold Coast and even Sydney. But if you can only spend one day in Byron Bay, it is still worth visiting.
In this post, I’ll show you all the best things to do in Byron Bay on your own and how you can maximize your day trip to Byron Bay with my efficient 1-day itinerary.
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Before you take a day trip to Byron Bay
Before you take a day trip to Byron Bay, take a look at my list of 17 things you need to know before travelling to Australia. I included information about Australia including applying for ETA, transportation, money and accommodation.
Here are additional travel tips that you may find useful for your Byron Bay day trip:
- Byron Bay is a safe city for solo female travellers.
- Highly recommend staying for at least one more day. There is so much to to do in Byron Bay as it is one of the top places to visit in Australia.
How to get to Byron Bay
The closest airport to Byron Bay is Ballina Byron Gateway Airport. Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Regional Express and FlyPelican have flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle to Byron Bay.
If you are flying in from overseas, you will have to connect either through Sydney or Melbourne first then take a domestic flight to Byron Bay.
There are two options to travel from Ballina Airport to Byron Bay:
- Shuttle Bus – several companies offer shuttle bus services. The journey takes 30 minutes. Steve’s Ballina Byron Transport costs $20AUD one way and $35AUD return.
- Car Hire – several reputable car rental companies at Ballina Airport.
If you already have a rental car and will be driving to Byron Bay, you could be coming from Sydney, Brisbane or Gold Coast.
- Sydney to Byron Bay – it will take over 8 hours of driving. The total distance from Sydney to Byron Bay is about 766km. It is a long drive! You might want to split it up and visit Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour in between Sydney and Byron Bay.
- Brisbane to Byron Bay – it will take about 2 hours to drive the total distance of 166km from Brisbane to Byron Bay. The route will pass by Gold Coast as well. Byron Bay makes an excellent weekend trip from Brisbane!
- Gold Coast to Byron Bay – it will take over an hour and about 95km to get to Byron Bay.
Greyhound Australia is Australia’s long-distance bus operator. The bus system has many routes, and many connect different parts of the country. The Greyhound bus has recline seats, USB chargers, and free wifi.
The easiest way to purchase a ticket is online. Go to Greyhound Australia, and search for your route.
- Sydney to Byron Bay – there are two direct buses and about $100AUD. Both buses are overnight buses, and the entire journey takes about 12 hour and 45 minutes. There are several stops along the way for food and bathroom breaks.
- Brisbane to Byron Bay – there are four direct buses to Byron Bay. About $41AUD each way depending on how early you book your ticket. And it takes about 3 hours for the entire journey.
- Gold Coast to Byron Bay – catch the Greyhound bus at Southport, Surfers Paradise, or Coolangatta in Gold Coast. The bus ticket costs between $25 to $35AUD each way. And the journey takes about an hour up to 3 hours depending on where you hop on the bus.
How to get around Byron Bay
If you are staying in Byron Bay, you can walk to almost anywhere. Most of the cafes, restaurants and shops are concentrated around the town centre.
You can also hire a bike and cycle around town and to surrounding areas as well. There are bike paths in and around Byron Bay which makes biking around that much easier. Just remember to wear a helmet when you are on a bicycle.
And if you decide to get a rent a car, that works too. There is plenty of parking around town, at different accommodations, at the park and beach, etc.
Like I mentioned already, cycling around Byron Bay is a lot of fun and a great way to see the town and surrounding areas. There are a few places you can rent bikes.
- Byron Bay Surf and Bike Hire – rates start at $15AUD for half a day, $20AUD for a full day. Don’t need to call ahead or reserve a bike; just pop into the store and rent one on the spot. Remember to bring a photo ID. You can also rent surfboards, standup paddleboards and other equipment.
- The Bicycle Emporium – rent the cutest vintage Lekker Jordaan bikes (see photo below). Collect the bike in Ballina (at their location) for free or they will deliver the bicycle to Byron Bay for $30AUD per bike each way. The cost of renting a bike for the day is $25AUD for same-day return. Bring a photo ID and reserve ahead of time. Or if you are staying at Wake Up Byron Bay, the hostel has the same type of bicycles, and they will loan it to you for free while staying at the hostel.
How many days in Byron Bay
If you ask me how many days you should spend in Byron Bay, my answer is forever! Honestly, it is one of the best beach towns I have ever been to. I didn’t want to leave!
But with time and budget constraints, it is possible to see Byron Bay on day trip. And if you have an extra day, you can visit other beaches, try other outdoor activities and see the surrounding areas as well. And if you are staying longer, there are many tours around Byron Bay.
But ideally you would want to spend at least a few more days to soak in the atmosphere. Byron Bay is pretty magical!
Best things to do in Byron Bay alone on a day trip
Byron Bay is paradise on earth! A day trip to Byron Bay includes visiting beautiful sandy beaches, panoramic coastal views, an easy hiking trail to a lighthouse and the most easterly point of Australia mainland.
I included an interactive map of all the places you will see during your day trip to Byron Bay. You can find more information about each attraction by clicking on the individual pin.
For Byron Bay day trip activities, follow the numbered blue pins.
1, 2, & 3. Visit Byron Beach, The Pass and The Wreck
Start your Byron Bay day trip with a visit to Byron Beach, the main beach in Byron Bay. The beach is rather beautiful during the early hours of the morning. I saw many people walking up and down the beach; it is quite peaceful.
To the east of Byron Beach, you will reach The Pass, a favourite spot for more experienced surfers. In the morning, high tides cover most of the beach so you’ll have to take the pedestrian walkway to The Pass.
And to the west of Byron Beach, The Wreck is just north of the public parking lot. The Wreck is more like a surf break than a beach. It is named after the SS Woolongbar shipwreck. You can still see part of the shipwreck protruding out of the water. If surfing is not your thing, you can snorkel in the area to see the shipwreck.
Before hiking up to Cape Byron, visit one of the cafes in Byron Bay for a lovely brunch.
4. Start hiking the Cape Byron Walking Track
From the centre of town, walk east along Lawson Street and Lighthouse Street and follow the signs for Cape Byron Walking Track in the Cape Byron State Conservation Area. The walking track is a marked path that will take you to everything you need to see in Cape Byron including several beaches, lookout points, and a lighthouse.
5, 6 & 7. See Clarkes Beach, Fisherman’s Lookout and Wategos Beach
Near the beginning of the path, it will lead you to Clarkes Beach. It is a sandy beach excellent for swimming and surfing.
As you keep walking, you’ll reach The Pass (again, if you haven’t been already), and you’ll reach Fisherman’s Lookout. Walk up the flight of stairs to get a view of the beach and water. The rock formation in the area is quite stunning.
Then you will reach Wategos Beach, a smaller beach than Clarkes Beach but just as scenic. Many people like to hang out here as it is not as busy as the main beach. Also an excellent spot for swimming, surfing and stand up paddleboarding.
8, 9 & 10. See Cape Byron, Most Easterly Point, and Cape Byron Lighthouse
Continue up the Cape Byron Walking Track and see Cape Byron next. It might feel like it is the most easterly point but it is not. This is a spot where you can see fantastic coastal views.
As you continue on the path, the most easterly point of Australia mainland is next. You will not miss it – there is a sign, and many people take photos here.
Then walk up to Cape Byron Lighthouse. It is possible to take a 20-minute tour of the lighthouse and visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse Maritime Museum. The lighthouse is one of Byron Bay’s most visited sites.
Then descend the path on the other side of the Cape Byron and you will see a panoramic view of Tallow Beach. Keep walking on the track, and it will take you back to Lighthouse Road.
11. Watch the sunset from Byron Beach
If you are back in town early, stroll through the town as it is quite charming. There are many boutique shops selling clothing, souvenirs, and more clothing. I’m not a big shopper, but I quite liked browsing through all the shops.
Then head back to Byron Beach just before sunset. Many people hang out on the beach or by the lawn overlooking the beach. It is one of the best spots to view the gorgeous sunset in Byron Bay. Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the view.
If you are spending more than one day in Byron Bay
If you have an additional day in Byron Bay or taking a weekend trip, you can see a few more things in Byron Bay on your second day.
Follow the purple pins on the map below for the itinerary for your second day in Byron Bay.
1. Bike to The Farm Byron Bay
Rent a bicycle and cycle to The Farm Byron Bay to take a tour of the farm and eat a hearty breakfast from the bakery or the restaurant, Three Blue Ducks. The Farm has farm animals, a garden shed, and a market selling local produce.
Follow the bike path for 8km. It will take about 40 minutes.
2 & 3. Try surfing in Byron Bay
Rent a surfboard from surf shops like Byron Bay Surf and Bike Hire or Soul Surf School and head over to The Pass or The Wreck. Or sign up for a half-day surf lesson at Soul Surf School. They also have private surf lessons if you want one-on-one instructions.
There are other equipments you can rent for the day, like standup paddle board, skateboard, and snorkel set. Or sign up for a yoga class and have a zen afternoon.
And if you want to participate in other group activities, consider kayaking with dolphins and turtles or even skydiving!
4. Visit Tallow Beach
To finish the day, visit Tallow Beach on the southeast side of Byron Bay. You can easily walk there from Byron Bay via Lawson Street and turn into Tallow Beach Road. The road will take you directly to Tallow Beach.
Tallow Beach is popular with surfers, and locals love hanging out there too. It is my favourite beach and the most beautiful beach in Byron Bay. And the sunset here is quite magical.
If you are spending more than 2 days in Byron Bay
And if you are spending more than a weekend in Byron Bay, there are other things to do alone in Byron Bay.
Follow the green pins on the map and the suggestions below:
- Enjoy the hippie side of Byron Bay and experience a festival or tour the town of Nimbin, which is 65km west of Byron Bay.
- See glow worms in a forest and swim in a waterfall on a day trip to the Hinterland
- Walk through ancient forests in the Nightcap National Park and swim in Minyon Falls on a day trip to the Hinterland
Want more options? Check out some of these tours around Byron Bay:
Where to stay in Byron Bay as a solo traveller
It is a bit more expensive to stay in Byron Bay than in Sydney and Melbourne but experiencing the quaint beach town is worth spending more.
There are a handful of budget accommodations and many mid-to-high-end accommodations around the town.
Follow the yellow pins on the map and see the suggestions below:
- Byron Bay YHA ($) – There is a Youth Hostel Australia (YHA) in almost every major city in Australia. This YHA is in a modern building with an outdoor pool, shared kitchen and spacious public areas. Get a basic bunk bed in a dormitory or double room with your own bathroom.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
- Wake Up Byron Bay ($) – Located opposite Belongli Beach, get a dorm bed or private room in this newly built beachy hostel. They have daily activities like beach yoga, pizza night, live music, and free bike rentals. You can ride the Jordaan Lekker bikes for free! The hostel has a shuttle bus to the town centre, or you can bike there in 15 minutes.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
- The Lord Byron ($$$) – The 4-star modern hotel has quaint luxury rooms. The deluxe queen single room is nicely decorated. The bathroom is clean. And the room has a balcony and kitchenette too. The hotel is just south of the Greyhound bus stop near the town centre.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
Where to eat in Byron Bay
Eating in Byron Bay isn’t exactly cheap. I noticed the food is more expensive than in Sydney and Melbourne. But there are affordable options like fast food and buying food from grocery stores.
Follow the red pins on the map and the suggestions below:
- Combi Byron Bay ($) – the colourful decor makes Combi one of the prettiest cafes in Byron Bay! Try their gluten-free pear & coconut muffins, topped with creamy cashew & macadamia frosting. It is one of their favourites and is usually sold out by lunchtime.
- Goodies Juice Bar ($) – not a sit-down restaurant but their açai bowl is quite delicious!
- Bayleaf Cafe ($$) – a very popular cafe with a fantastic breakfast menu. I tried the dukkah poached eggs. It comes with sourdough bread, house-made dukka and lavender-infused honey.
- Byron Fresh Cafe ($$) – the menu focuses on fresh ingredients and healthy options at this charming restaurant. It is an excellent spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And if you don’t have the chance to dine in, pick up a coffee and pastry to go and enjoy it on the beach.
- Three Blue Ducks ($$) – located at The Farm, the restaurant serves delicious organic food in a barnyard setting.
- Sparrow Coffee ($) – they make a solid flat white. They open early if you want your coffee as soon as you get up.
- Barefoot Brew Room ($) – a cozy little coffee shop with excellent coffee. Can you tell I love coffee? Ha!
Are you ready to take a day trip to Byron Bay?
Byron Bay is a lovely little beach town and one of the best surf towns in the world! Almost everyone I spoke to who knows Byron Bay can’t stop praising it!
And Byron Bay is always a favourite amongst travellers and locals. The coastal town is the perfect getaway for a weekend. But it is still worth visiting if you only have one day in Byron Bay.
And I definitely hope you can spend more than just one day in Byron Bay. Yes, the town is expensive, but it is one of the best destinations in Australia. You don’t have to skip this town because of the price tag. You can still make the most especially when you follow my Byron Bay itinerary.
So I hope you’ll include Byron Bay on your next solo trip to Australia! Let me know in the comments what you think of Byron Bay and if you are keen to go.
Thank you for reading my Byron Bay Australia post
You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Australia:
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- Great Ocean Road 2-day self-drive itinerary
- How to spend 3 days in Sydney by yourself
- Top 10 things to do alone in Gold Coast
- 36 things to do alone in Brisbane
- Best things to do in Noosa in one day
- Searching for fairy pools in Noosa
- 10 days in Australia: best of East Coast Australia
- Australia 4 week itinerary for a solo traveller