The beachside paradise of Byron Bay has plenty on offer to keep you entertained throughout the cooler months. Whether you’re keen to check out local markets, enjoy the region’s festivals, get closer to nature, or experience the local arts and music scene, there’s something for everyone year-round.
Explore the Cape Byron Walking Track (Year Round)
Follow the 3.7km loop as it winds through lush rainforest and across the dramatic clifftops of Cape Byron. You’ll need about 2 hours to complete the walk, but the scenery is so stunning, before you know it you’ll have arrived at Cape Byron Lighthouse, a striking feature of this coastal reserve.
Visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse (Year Round)
Perched on the edge of the Cape Byron Headland is the idyllic Cape Byron Lighthouse. Both the lighthouse and surrounding cottages were built in 1901, and you can take a short guided tour (around 20 minutes) between 10am and 3pm. Once you reach the top of the lighthouse you’ll be rewarded with 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean; you may even spot a whale during whale migration season between May and November.
Attend the epic Splendour in the Grass Festival (July)
With music acts and performances ranging from the contemporary to the cutting-edge, the laid-back environs of nearby Billinudgel is the ideal setting for this iconic Aussie 3-day festival. Day passes are available, or you can purchase a camping ticket and immerse yourself in the festival vibe.
Go whale watching (May – November)
Humpback whales migrate north from May to November, and since Byron Bay is mainland Australia’s most easterly point, it’s prime whale watching territory. See if you can spot them from the Cape Byron Headland or Lighthouse, or sign up for one of the many whale watching tours in the area. Cruises are a popular option, and there are also kayak tours.
The Byron Bay area is blessed with a string of bustling local markets. The Byron Bay Community Market, held on the first Sunday of the month, boasts over 300 stalls including local arts and crafts and food stalls. The nearby Bangalow Market is held on the fourth Sunday of the month under the laurel trees of the Bangalow Showgrounds. The markets have a strong arts focus and have been running since 1982. For fresh local produce, head to the bi-weekly Ballina Missingham Farmers Market held in Missingham Park, Ballina. And don’t forget to check out the Channon Craft Market in Channon, just 20 minutes from Lismore, held on the second Sunday of the month.
Experience the Byron Bay Writers Festival (August)
This annual 3 day festival brings together writers and booklovers in one of Australia’s largest regional literary events, with a strong focus on Australian writing and writers. The festival program is both relaxed and rigorous, with over 100 Australian writers in attendance each year.
Held in July, the Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival showcases local restaurants, producers, wineries and breweries. Here you can taste fabulous food by talented chefs, sample local produce, taste local wines, and join in the activities and see cooking demonstrations. Bangalow’s Sample Food Festival is held in September and attracts over 15,000 visitor annually. There are over 200 stallholders at this annual event, including local restaurant owners and farmers.