Byron Bay needs no introduction. Nestled in the far north of New South Wales, it’s an iconic holiday town where environmentally conscious locals rub shoulders with free-spirited travellers and the odd Hollywood celebrity. It’s also home to the TripADeal HQ.
This coastal paradise is where we started back in 2011 – and it never gets old living here.
Want to come visit our slice of heaven? Here are five things you should know first.
1. It’s been a place of meeting long before backpackers came to town
The local Arakwal people of the Bundjalung nation refer to the area of Byron Bay and Broken Head as ‘Cavanbah’, which translates to ‘meeting place’. It’s been a place of meeting since long before the barefoot hippies, backpackers and surfers came to town.
This is also true for the aquatic world. Julian Rocks (Nguthungulli Nature Reserve), a small islet group just off the coast, is home to an incredible array of marine species, with the meeting of warm waters from the north and cold waters from the south resulting in perfect conditions for fishies big and small to live and thrive. It’s one of Australia’s greatest diving locations.
2. Not everyone is an influencer
While we do have an above-average number of people who consider themselves “influencers” here in Byron Bay, not everyone shares every intimate detail of their life via Instagram. We don’t all wear white linen or active wear down the supermarket either, nor do we constantly spruik the benefits of going vegan. The majority of us are just regular people getting on with our daily lives, embracing the delights that make this town such an amazing place to live and work.
3. The natural beauty really is as spectacular as everyone says
Everything people have said about Byron’s golden beaches and turquoise waters, its soothing tea tree takes and remnant Gondwana rainforest is true. Byron is a true natural paradise! Doing the famous Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk from the surf club up to Australia’s most easterly point atop Cape Byron is the best way to soak in the natural beauty. The view changes with the light, so multiple treks along the way at different times of the day are highly recommended.
4. There’s more to the industrial estate than meets the eye
Affectionately known as the ‘Induzzy’, the Byron Bay Arts & Industry Park is more than just an industrial area. Sure, you’ll find your typical mechanics and landscaping wholesalers, but there’s also an undercurrent of creativity permeating its busy streets. There are trendy boutiques and bakeries, breweries and distilleries, martial arts and yoga studios, art galleries and jewellers, and so many amazing restaurants and cafes. It’s easily a destination in itself.
A few of our staff favourites are McTavish Surfboards, who make a mean macadamia latte in their onsite cafe; Street Sushi, whose tasty bento boxes are a must-try; and the always-fabulous Barrio restaurant, who will make you realise that maybe you can win friends with salad. Best of all, it’s just five minutes drive or an easy 15-20 minutes walk from the town centre.
5. The hinterland is bursting with things to see and do
Think everything worth doing in Byron Bay involves the beach? Think again. Its hinterland hides a treasure trove of experiences too.
You could go chasing waterfalls at Minyon and Killen Falls, delve into the area’s alternative lifestyle in Mullumbimby (known to the locals as Mullum), shop up a storm in the charming village of Bangalow, or just enjoy driving through the undulating countryside.
If you’re into sampling boutique alcohols (who isn’t?), be sure to stop by Cape Byron Distillery in St Helena (home of the ultra-delicious Brookie’s Gin), visit the sensational Stone & Wood tasting room in the industrial estate, or the newly-opened Wandana Brewing Co in Mullumbimby.
As the entrance sign to Byron Bay so eloquently puts it: ‘Cheer up, slow down, chill out’.