Byron Bay 1-Day Itinerary: the complete guide

Byron Bay is a beautiful coastal town near NSW and Queensland border. It has been renowned for its beautiful surfing beaches and quirky town centre.

Although Byron Bay has become increasingly overrun with tourists over the years, you can still find many peaceful beaches to surf and cute streets to explore in Byron Bay. Its iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse and idyllic coastline are still breathtakingly beautiful as it once was.

If you are still debating whether you should visit Byron Bay, the answer is yes! Byron Bay is still a charming surfing town that everyone should check out at least once in their lifetime. To make your visit more enjoyable and laid-back, you should plan your visit to Byron Bay during weekdays and outside school holidays.

In general, I suggest spending at least two days in Byron Bay so you can explore Byron Bay’s impressive coastline and beautiful hinterland at a relaxed pace. However, if one day is all you have for Byron Bay, you can still fit in all of Byron Bay’s highlights with a packed itinerary.

In this article, I have compiled a compact yet practical itinerary for visiting all of Byron Bay’s highlights within only 1-day. I hope this itinerary is helpful for you.


With Byron Bay being one of Australia’s most popular coastal destinations, everything from food to accommodations comes at a premium in Byron Bay. So as you can predict, dining out in Byron Bay can be costly too.

Depending on your budget level, you can save money by enjoying toast or cereals at your accommodation or splurging on a gourmet breakfast in one of the quirky cafes around Byron Bay.

Since Byron Bay has never been short of good food and drinks, there are various cafes to choose from around Byron Bay. A few suggestions from me are:

  • Combi Byron Bay: a cute cafe in the heart of Byron Bay. They offer a range of healthy options at a decent price point.
  • Bayleaf Cafe: a bustling cafe with delicious breakfast and coffee, but at a higher price point.
  • The Pass Cafe: located right next to The Pass, a beautiful surfing beach along the Cape Byron Walk. It can be a great option if you plan on having breakfast along your morning walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse instead of first thing in the morning.

Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk

After breakfast, we will explore Byron’s idyllic coastline and check out its most iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse on foot.

A loop walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse can be completed in multiple ways. With various designated car parks along the coastline and near Cape Byron Lighthouse, you can choose a walk that best suits your need.

The most involved option is to start and finish your walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse from Byron Bay town centre. Being the longest walk, this circular walk can take around 3 hours, depending on fitness level.

In my case, I parked near Captain Cook Lookout and followed the Cape Byron Walking Track via The Pass, Fisherman’s Lookout, Wategos Beach, and the Most Easterly Point before arriving at the highlight of this walk, Cape Byron Lighthouse. From the lighthouse, I followed Tallow Ridge Track back to my car at Captain Cook Lookout, with the stunning sight of Tallow Beach on my left.

This loop walk only took me less than 2 hours to complete. In my opinion, this is the best option for visiting Cape Byron Lighthouse, as it is densely packed with all the highlights of Byron Bay’s picturesque coastline, with the least amount of walking involved.

With that said, there were some steep sections along this walk, such as the walk between Wategos Beach and the Most Easterly Point Lookout & Tallow Ridge Track. So make sure you wear comfy walking shoes.

If you are not interested in a coastal walk, you can also drive up to Cape Byron Lighthouse and snap a few photos there without going on a hike.

Most Easterly Point of the Australian Mainland

About halfway through the Cape Byron Lighthouse loop walk, you will arrive at one of the most rewarding lookouts in Byron Bay, the Most Easterly Point of the Australian Mainland.

As the name suggests, this lookout is located at Australian Mainland’s easternmost point. There is where you can see the first glow of sunrise on Australia’s mainland. It is only a short walk from Cape Byron Lighthouse. If you are not keen on making an entire loop walk around the coast, make sure you have at least checked out this spot when visiting Cape Byron Lighthouse.

As the Most Easterly Point of the Australian Mainland, you can obtain a spectacular and unobstructed view of the wild Pacific Ocean from its lookout. It also makes a perfect place to spot migrating whales between May and October each year.

Being the Most Easterly Point of the mainland and up on a headland, it does get quite windy here. The wind was so strong that I couldn’t even hold my camera still when I was there. So make sure you bring a windproof jacket to keep you warm, especially if you plan to spend some time here soaking in its breathtaking views.

Cape Byron Lighthouse

Cape Byron Lighthouse is undoubtedly the most iconic landmark in Byron Bay.

Constructed in 1901, Cape Byron Lighthouse has been navigating for passing ships for over 120 years. This beautiful ivory-white structure has also been the face of Byron Bay for decades. Hence, it has also become one of the most visited attractions in Byron Bay.

Cape Byron Lighthouse is located on the higher end of Cape Byron, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Byron Bay and its expansive coastline. With its proximity to the Most Easterly Point, Cape Byron Lighthouse is also one of the best spots for a mesmerising sunrise along this coastline.

During your visit to Cape Byron Lighthouse, be sure to also look out for whales and dolphins, as this is also one of the best vantage points in Byron Bay for spotting these cuties.

Being a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, Cape Byron Lighthouse gets very busy, especially during the weekends and school holidays. With that said, if you visit it early in the morning, you can sometimes have the lighthouse all to yourself to enjoy (as shown in the photos above – they were taken just before 7.30 am & there were barely any visitors around. I visited the lighthouse around sunset on the previous day & it was packed with people).

Parking can also be a headache around Cape Byron Lighthouse. The closest car park to Cape Byron Lighthouse charges a flat rate of AUD 8 for a car and AUD 4 for a motorbike. Even with this rate, it is still always packed during the day.

If you are okay with an uphill walk, there is a small metre parking area just outside the gate for Cape Byron Lighthouse. In my memory, the starting point for this parking lot was AUD 4 for the first hour. Although it is a steep 5-minute uphill walk from the car park to the lighthouse, the views of the lighthouse and Byron Bay are rather impressive.

The Farm Byron Bay

The Farm Byron Bay is a local gem worth checking out when in Byron Bay. It is a working farm with a cafe and a restaurant on-site. It is conveniently located just off the Pacific Highway and makes an excellent rest stop.

The small farm within this facility allows visitors to check out its farm animals and fresh produce. Guided farm tours are also available to learn how farm animals and produce are looked after and grown in The Farm Byron Bay. Tickets for this guided farm tour were AUD 15 per adult (cheaper for kids) when I visited.

For me, the best part about The Farm Byron Bay is, in fact, the food! A cafe and a restaurant are on-site at The Farm, offering fantastic foods and drinks. When I visited, the restaurant was closed, but the cafe was open, with a great selection of baked goods.

I wasn’t very hungry, so I only ordered a quiche and a latte for lunch. They were both so good that they made me longing for more. I ended up getting a danish and a sausage roll for takeaway, which I devoured within hours after leaving The Farm (lol). The danish was my favourite, with crispy pastry and unique (but delicious) toppings. Most importantly, it was not overly sweet like many other danish. I freaking loved it! I wish I could live in Byron Bay just to have this danish every morning!

As everyone’s different, so are our tastebuds. Hence, I don’t usually make strong recommendations for food in my blogs, but The Farm Byron Bay is different! I really really loved the food, the coffee, and the rustic vibe in this place & I highly recommend you try it out too!

If desired, you can also grab some takeaway food and enjoy them as a picnic on the farm. A milk bar and ice cream parlour are also here, perfect for those hotter days.

Byron Bay Hinterland

After an early lunch and a brief rest at The Farm Byron Bay, we will head into Byron Bay’s lush green hinterland to check out the impressive Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park.

In theory, the drive to Minyon Falls from The Farm Byron Bay takes only about 40 minutes. However, as you get closer to Nightcap National Park, the road will become increasingly winding, narrow, and bumpy. There were also a lot of potholes along the drive when I last visited, which I believe will not be fixed for a while. So make sure you drive safely and plan sufficient time for this drive.

Nonetheless, a drive within Byron Bay Hinterland is a must-do when visiting Byron Bay. Along the drive, you will be presented with rolling mountain ranges, lush green ancient rainforests, and charming historical villages. This is a contrasting view from the sunny surf town you have just visited.

Once you have arrived at Minyon Falls car park, follow the walking track (Minyon Platform Track) from the car park, you will soon arrive at Minyon Falls Lookout. From Minyon Falls Lookout, you will be presented with a spectacular bird’s eye view of the beautiful Minyon Falls plunging deep into the gorge below.

From Minyon Falls Lookout, you can take the 4.5-kilometre bush walk down to the base of Minyon Falls for an even more magnificent view of this impressive waterfall. Due to its long distance and the rocky sections near the bottom of Minyon Falls, this walk is relatively challenging. Depending on your fitness level, you need to plan at least 3 to 4 hours for a return walk between Minyon Falls Lookout and its base.


  1. Near the base of Minyon Falls, the track can get very muddy and slippery. Make sure your shoes are water-resistant and slip-resistant.
  2. To avoid leeches, wear long pants + long socks.
  3. Pack water and snacks for the hike, and you will need them.
  4. Toilets & picnic facilities are available near the car park.

If you are not into long hikes but don’t mind driving further into Byron Bay Hinterland, you may want to check out Protesters Falls instead of Minyon Falls.

Protesters Falls is minimally an additional 30-minute drive into Nightcap National Park from Byron Bay. However, the return walk from its car park to the base of Protesters Falls is significantly shorter and more manageable when compared with Minyon Falls.

Return walk to the beautiful Protesters Falls from its car park only takes about 20 minutes. With that said, the long, winding, and bumpy drive to Protesters Falls can be challenging for some drivers, so it is more of a personal choice regarding which waterfall you would like to check out when visiting Nightcap National Park.

On your drive back from the hinterland, make sure you also drive by and check out St Helena Lookout for an impressive panoramic view of the hinterland, with the stunning Pacific Ocean in the distance.

Sunset at Main Beach & Byron Beach

Main Beach and Byron Beach are a continuous stretch of soft sandy beaches, only a stone’s throw away from Byron Bay’s bustling town centre. With the beautiful sight of Cape Byron Lighthouse, a stroll along Main Beach and Byron Beach make the perfect activity around sunset in Byron Bay.

If you’d like to, you can also continue this beach walk to the quieter Clarkes Beach and the idyllic The Pass. However, you are likely a little exhausted by this point. So why not grab some fish & chips and picnic along this beautiful beach while enjoying the sunset?

With that said, please don’t leave anything behind after visiting the beach, as I sadly found a lot of trash left behind on Main Beach and Byron Beach. There were mainly plastic packages and bottles. Discovering this amount of waste on a supposedly pristine beach was just heartbreaking.

I wish we could all protect these beautiful beaches and the planet together.

Byron Bay Town Centre

As a highly sought-after holiday destination, Byron Bay’s town centre is always bustling with various shops, cafes, and restaurants.

If you love shopping, you will be delighted with all the unique and quirky boutiques and souvenir stores along the streets of Byron Bay. Many close by about 5 pm, so you should check them out during the day instead.

If you still need to have dinner, then you are in luck! You can find many different cuisines in Byron Bay town centre. They range from budget-friendly options to high-end restaurants. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

During your walk around the Byron Bay town centre, make sure you also pay attention to all the colourful mural art in its back streets. Although murals can be found on every street in the town centre, the most beautiful ones I found were all tucked away in its lesser-visited side streets.

Among them, my favourite murals are the beautiful ocean-themed murals in Surf Alley & the colourful murals on the bitumen road and buildings in Lanteen Lane.

More than One Day in Byron Bay?

If you have more than one day in Byron Bay, there are still heaps of stuff to do and places to visit in Byron Bay. Here is a list of my suggestions.

Tallow Beach

Tallow Beach is an expansive stretch of sandy beach along the eastern end of Byron Bay. Tucked away by the beautiful bushland of Cape Byron State Conservation Park and Arakwal National Park, the pristine Tallow Beach feels like a secluded private beach, as it is much less visited than the rest of Byron Bay beaches.

Like the rest of Byron Bay beaches, Tallow Beach is also a great surfing beach. With the stunning view of Cape Byron Lighthouse on its northern corner, Tallow Beach makes the perfect beach escape from the bustling town centre of Byron Bay.

Arakwal National Park

Since Tallow Beach is right beside the beautiful Arakwal National Park, make sure you also check out the walking tracks around Arakwal National Park if time permits.

If you take Pacific Vista Track from Tallow Beach, you can get up to a little lookout on the other end of Arakwal National Park for a stunning panoramic view of Cape Byron Lighthouse, Arakwal National Park, and the peaceful Tallow Beach.

If not, you can also drive to this lookout via Paterson Street. Just park near the ‘water tank art’ & the lookout will only be a couple of minutes walk from there.

Byron Bay Markets

Like many other coastal towns in this area, Byron Bay is well-known for its weekend markets. The most popular ones are the Byron Community Market (1st Sunday morning of each month), Byron Beachside Market (Saturday mornings), and Byron Twilight Market (late Saturday afternoon to night).

All these markets will have a good variety of stalls selling local produce, handicrafts, jewellery, clothing items, and food! Being in Byron Bay, live music and that distinctive bohemian vibe are also a must for all these markets. They will all make a great day out when visiting Byron Bay on the weekend.

Macadamia Castle

Don’t let the name fool you. Macadamia Castle does sell tasty macadamias, but it is not a castle. It is a wildlife sanctuary with a cafe and a gift shop.

For families with kids, this is a must-visit place in Byron Bay, as there are a lot of interactive activities within the sanctuary. Although there weren’t many animals within the sanctuary, you could pat and hand-feed animals, such as kangaroos, goats, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

There is also a cafe adjacent to the sanctuary for you to grab some food and drinks. As a grown-up, I must admit, the hot macadamia nuts were what really interested me!

Within the little shop next to the cafe is a small section selling hot roasted macadamia nuts and a range of macadamia-inspired gifts. There was a wide selection of flavours to choose from. You can find regular salted and unsalted macadamias, as well as some unusual flavours, such as wasabi, chilli, and coconut.

My favourite was the wasabi-flavoured roasted macadamia nuts. If you like wasabi, you’ll love this flavour too!

Crystal Castle

If you have more than one day in Byron Bay, you may wish to spend one full day in the picturesque hinterland instead. If so, you should also consider visiting Crystal Castle when driving to Minyon Falls.

As you may be aware, Byron Bay is well-known for being a hippy town with beautiful crystals sold at every street corner you turn. If crystals interest you, you will love visiting Crystal Castle too.

As the name suggests, Crystal Castle houses a vast collection of beautiful crystals. Many of them are also very photogenic and make great photo opportunities. There are tranquil gardens within Crystal Castle, creating a serene feel.

With that said, a visit to Crystal Castle also comes with a steep price tag of AUD 49 per adult. I actually gave it a miss, even though other travellers I met have strongly recommended it.

However, if you are into crystals and are okay with its hefty ticket, it can be a great additional stop along your drive to Minyon Falls.

Where to Stay in Byron Bay

Being a popular holiday destination, accommodations in Byron BayOpens in a new tab. are generally more expensive than in nearby capital cities, such as BrisbaneOpens in a new tab. and SydneyOpens in a new tab.. This is the same whether you are looking for a budget-friendly dorm room, a standard double room, a holiday apartment, or a luxury getaway.

Being a budget-conscious traveller, I will list a few budget-friendly suggestions from each category to help you find the best place to stay when visiting Byron Bay.

For a hostel stay, most of the hostels around Byron Bay are conveniently located around its town centre. The cheapest options can be found at Backpackers Inn On The BeachOpens in a new tab.. But as a reputed hostel chain, you can never go wrong with YHA Byron BayOpens in a new tab..

For a standard double room or apartment, the most budget-friendly and convenient options are Byron Bayside Central Studio ApartmentOpens in a new tab. and Bayhaven LodgeOpens in a new tab.. They are all ideally positioned near Byron Bay town centre with free parking, yet offer a private room at an affordable price.

For a boutique apartment overlooking Byron Bay’s famous Main Beach, check out Beach SuitesOpens in a new tab..

For a more laidback beach-front apartment, check out WategosRentOpens in a new tab. at Wategos Beach or Ocean Suites Byron BayOpens in a new tab. at Tallow Beach.

If you are visiting with a large family, this luxury three-bedroom guest house near the town centre and the beach, Azur Byron BayOpens in a new tab., may just be what you need.

How to get to Byron Bay

Although Byron Bay is only a small town off the northern corner of NSW, it can be easily visited by various modes of transport.

By Car

Like many coastal towns in Australia, Byron Bay is more accessible and best visited by car. In fact, it is usually visited as part of a road trip along the beautiful east coast between SydneyOpens in a new tab. and BrisbaneOpens in a new tab..

From Sydney, it will take around 8 hours to drive to Byron Bay, providing no resting stops along the drive. However, this is not only unsafe but also non-practical. With many beautiful coastal cities and national parks along this drive, you should at least take a few extra days (if not weeks) to explore places such as NewcastleOpens in a new tab., Port MacquarieOpens in a new tab., Coffs HarbourOpens in a new tab., Waterfall WayOpens in a new tab., and YambaOpens in a new tab. along your drive from Sydney to Byron Bay.

From Brisbane, it only takes less than 2 hours to drive to Byron Bay. Along this drive, you will pass through the famous Gold CoastOpens in a new tab., which you may also wish to check out.

By Air

There are a few airports near Byron Bay. Among them, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is the closest and only a 30-minute drive from Byron Bay. However, being a small regional airport, flights to Ballina Byron Gateway Airport are relatively limited and expensive, with most of its flights coming from Sydney only.

If you are visiting from other Australian cities, you will be better off flying to either Brisbane or Gold Coast before heading down to Byron Bay by car or bus.

To travel from the airport to Byron Bay, I suggest hiring a rental car. This is the quickest and easiest way to get to Byron Bay & the best way to explore Byron Bay and beyond.

Many car rental companies are around this area if you need to hire a car. From my experience, East Coast Car RentalsOpens in a new tab. and JucyOpens in a new tab. have the best pricing; BudgetOpens in a new tab. and HertzOpens in a new tab. tend to have many more pick-up locations and vehicles to choose from.

If driving is outside your consideration, airport shuttle and regional buses are available from Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and Brisbane/ Gold Coast to bring you to beautiful Byron Bay.

How to Get Around Byron Bay

I did mention that it is better to discover Byron Bay by car. However, this does come with a catch, that is, parking. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of parking spots around Byron Bay, although some are always well-packed. The problem with parking in Byron Bay is the cost!

Most car parks (designated and off-street) around Byron Bay attractions and even beaches charge for parking. Most are ticket parking, starting at AUD 4 for the first hour. Some of them, such as Cape Byron Lighthouse, charge even more. This makes driving around Byron Bay rather expensive.

With Byron Bay being a small regional town, using public transport is not very practical for getting around town. So I suggest hiring a bike to explore Byron Bay town centre and the Cape Byron area. This will make your visit much more manageable and enjoyable.

With that said, when exploring outside of Byron Bay town centre and Cape Byron, most car parks were still free when I visited. So you will still be better off renting a car to explore the greater Byron Bay area.

If driving around or riding a bike is outside your consideration, guided tours are also available to explore Byron Bay and beyond. A couple of options you may want to check out are:

Watch This 1-Day Byron Bay Itinerary on YouTube

Bec's Travel Itinerary

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