Byron Bay is a coastal town in Australia’s state of New South Wales. It has a really laidback feeling to it and from my point of view was composed of three types of inhabitants; tourists and backpackers, surfers and hippies. Within an hour of our arrival to Byron Bay we caught one of the most epic sunsets and sipped on a delicious locally brewed IPA.
Byron Bay marks days 64 to 65 of our gap year honeymoon. We enjoyed our time in this chill coastal town and we squeezed in every last activity we could from sunrise to sunset. Having spent a little over 24 hours in Byron Bay, we thought it would be fun to share our adventures with you by comprising a list of 10 things to do in Byron Bay in 24 hours.
Amazing sunset from Fishermans Lookout in Byron Bay.
10 things to do in Byron Bay in 24 hours
1. Visit Byron Bay Brewery for a bite and a locally brewed IPA
We arrived in Byron Bay shortly after 3pm and were hungry and wanting to try a local beer. We found this brewery recommended on Google and were quite surprised when we arrived. It’s tucked in a beach neighborhood and has tasty beers and delicious food. There is an indoor seating area and a leafy beer garden out back. The brewery also hosts live entertainment every night in the beer garden. We didn’t stick around for the music because we wanted to catch sunset on the beach, but we did take advantage of their beer + wings happy hour deal. If you don’t drink, we still recommend visiting for a delicious meal or live entertainment.
Byron Bay Brewery. At the end of the hall there is a beer garden in the backyard.
2. Watch the sunset at Clarkes Beach
After filling up on a delicious meal, head over to Clarkes Beach to catch the best sunset you’ll ever see (I’m not kidding). We both were in awe of the sunset and mirror effect of the sun and clouds in the wet sand. We took our time walking along the beach for over an hour before reaching The Pass, a famous surf break, and Fishermans Lookout, a 2-story view platform with even better views of the sunset and surfers.
Incredible sunset!! We've never seen one more beautiful.
We can't get enough of this mirror effect.
The stairs to Fishermans Lookout.
Casey at the top of Fishermans Lookout. Great spot for watching the sunset and surfers.
3. Go surfing
We didn’t surf while we were in Byron Bay due to time constraints but I know Casey was jealous watching dozens of surfers catching waves at the Pass as the sun set. You can rent boards in town but make sure you follow the surfers code. As you walk down the boardwalk to the beach, you’ll see posted signs about giving and gaining respect in the water, listing tips about right of way, things to not do and more.
Surfers at The Pass. Watching from Fishermans Lookout.
4. Walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse for sunrise
Cape Byron Lighthouse is the most easterly lighthouse in Australia and offers spectacular views of the surrounding beaches, ocean and sea cliffs. Start your morning early, around 5am, so you have plenty of time to walk to the top of the hill and arrive before sunrise. Once you make it to the top, set up your camera and enjoy a beautiful sunrise. If you’re not up for the walk, you still need to get to the lighthouse early as parking is limited and fills up fast. We saw heaps of cars parked illegally, even with no parking signs posted about.
Beautiful sunrise from Cape Byron lighthouse.
Cool picture from Cape Byron lighthouse Casey edited.
5. Get Brunch
After checking out the lighthouse we worked up an appetite and were ready to fill our bellies. Luckily there is no shortage of brunch spots in Byron Bay. Aussies love their avocado toast and we were on a mission to find some for ourselves. We brunched at Safya Cafe & Restaurant, a trendy spot with a diverse menu putting a middle eastern twist on brunch. The avocado toast was one of the best we’ve ever had. Smashed avocado over organic sourdough bread with honey, lime, coriander infused ricotta, topped with an egg and garnishes. My mouth is watering just thinking about this delicious meal.
Delicious brunch at Safya Cafe.
6. Visit Lennox Head
Lennox head is a seaside village 20km south of Byron Bay. It’s worth the 30 minute drive and isn’t as crowded as Byron Bay. As you arrive into town pull off at the Pat Morton Lookout. Here you can sit and take in the stunning panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Seven Mile Beach in the distance. There is an easy walk to a viewing point where you might see hang-gliders taking off. We’ve read it’s also an ideal spot to watch for whales between June and November.
The view from Pat Morton Lookout in Lennox Head.
Selfie at Pat Morton Lookout.
7. Take a dip in the Pacific Ocean
There is no shortage of beaches to dip your toes in the water between Byron Bay and Lennox Head. We stopped by Seven Mile Beach in Lennox Head for a swim. We found that the beaches at Lennox Head weren’t as crowded as the beaches we visited in Byron Bay. With strong rip currents we also opted to swim in area with a lifeguard.
Lovely beach swim at Seven Mile Beach.
8. Cool off in Lake Ainsworth
Lake Ainsworth, also known as Tea Tree Lake, is a short 3 minute walk from Seven Mile Beach. It is a freshwater lake and was the perfect way to rinse the salty ocean water from our bodies. We also found a shady tree to sit under and marvel at the colors of the oily lake water. We were hesitant to swim at first due to the dark color of the water. We learned the lake is tinted brown due to oils from the tea trees along the banks. After a good soak we were feeling rejuvenated and smelling fresh like a tea tree.
The top layer of Lake Ainsworth is oil. It was sooo nice to swim here.
9. Stop by Stone & Wood for a beer tasting
After a hike and a swim, we had worked up an appetite so we headed back to Byron Bay to Stone & Wood Brewery. The brewery was established in 2008 and brews a variety of ales and lagers. Upon arriving we learned they do not have food but we stayed for a beer sampler. We were disappointed they don’t brew IPAs but nonetheless the sampler we had was tasty. The brewery offers tours for $20 but they need to be booked in advance. We’ve done a few tasting tours on our travels, otherwise we might’ve joined the tour to learn more about the brewery and the brewing process. We were still hungry after leaving and stopped by a food truck for burritos down the street from Stone & Wood. If you have more time, we recommend heading back into town for a tasty meal.
Stone & Wood Brewing Co.
10. Visit Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens
Our last stop in Byron Bay was Crystal Castles. It is located 25 minutes northwest of Byron Bay and is home to the world’s largest crystals. We started our visit with a peace meditation session. It was an enriching experience to lay in silence as the instructor uses two dozen different types of crystal bowls to deepen your inner and outer sense of peace. After the meditation we explored the world peace stupa, labyrinth, reflexology path, enchanted cave and more. As you wander around the property there are beautiful crystals everywhere. The two largest crystals on the property, and also the largest in the world are the amethyst cave and crystal geodes. The crystal geodes stand at a breathtaking 5.5 meters and are made up of amethyst, calcite crystal flowers, quartz and agate. The enchanted cave is the worlds largest amethyst cave. It is 5.5 meters wide and weighs over 20 tons. Crystal Castles has a lot to see and do, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to experience all it has to offer. Day passes are $25 and can be purchased at the entrance.
The Enchanted Cave, the worlds largest amethyst cave.
Casey poking his head in the Enchanted Cave.
Hannah standing between the worlds tallest crystal geodes.
Large bamboo forest on the property.
We might be crazy for only allowing ourselves 24 hours in Byron Bay, but based on our experience it’s totally doable to see and do a lot in one day. If you’ve been to Byron Bay and we’ve left a must do off our list, let us know in the comments!
Did you know?
Crystal Castles offers an Enchanted Cave Immersion and you can sit and meditate inside the amethyst cave. The total experience lasts one hour and costs $80. You can book your meditation session on their website.
If you’re backpacking and plan on camping or sleeping in your van in town, think again. Unlike many other towns in Australia, Byron Bay imposes strict fines on campervans parked in town after certain hours. If you’re looking for free accommodations, we recommend getting out of town and staying at a rest area. You can find free accommodations, as well as paid camping spots on WikiCamps, the app we wrote about in a previous post.