Weekend destination: Byron Bay
Long past its ‘70s hippie roots, Byron Bay is today one of Australia’s top holiday destinations.
With its pristine beaches and lush natural beauty, it’s easy to see why Byron Bay has been a playground for local surfers, nomads and eco-adventurers for years. And thanks to its vibrant food, arts and culture scene, this coastal beauty is truly the jewel in NSW’s crown.
Heading to Byron Bay for the weekend or a short getaway? Start planning with this handy travel guide
Travelling from Sydney Airport
Start your trip off on the right foot by driving in the safety and comfort of your own car to get to the airport. Whether you want to be as close as possible to the Domestic terminal or save on airport parking, there are plenty of parking options to choose from at Sydney Airport.
Our P1/P2 carpark is just a short 2-5 minute walk to T2 and T3 Domestic, while our P3 carpark is a 5-8 minute walk to T2 and T3 Domestic. You can save up to 70% by pre-booking online, so it’s a good idea to arrange parking early to get the best deal.
And don’t forget there are lots of great places to eat and shop at the airport while you wait for your flight.
Travelling from Ballina to Byron Bay
The closest airport to Byron Bay is Ballina, and luckily, it’s less than an hour to get there from Sydney.
From Ballina Airport, you can either hire a car to pick you up at the airport and drive to Byron Bay, or buy tickets for an airport shuttle bus. Travel time from Ballina to Byron Bay by car or bus is around 35 minutes.
Pro tip: if you’re driving from the airport, don’t forget to stop off on the way and check out the iconic Big Prawn. Standing nine metres high and weighing 35 tonnes, the giant crustacean has a somewhat checkered past. After being unveiled in 1989, it was slated for demolition in 2009 until the local community rallied to save it. Since undergoing a makeover in 2013 (including getting a tail), it now sits proudly outside Bunnings on River Street.
If you’re planning a more extended stay close to the airport, you’ll find some great options for boutique accommodation in Ballina as well.
Things to see and do around Byron Bay
Arriving at Byron Bay, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking natural beauty and a buzzing food and arts scene.
Main, Clarkes and Wategos beaches are some of the area’s most popular and are patrolled throughout the year. Belongil Beach at the northern end is a little quieter and dog-friendly. Little Wategos is Australia's easternmost beach and is accessible along the path to Cape Byron Lighthouse.
Cape Byron Marine Park stretches 37 km along the coastline from the Brunswick River northern training wall to Lennox Head. Here you can snorkel, dive off Julian Rocks and kayak near dolphins, turtles and even whales during whale-watching season. The nearby Cape Byron walking track boasts incredible ocean views, while the Wollumbin (Mount Warning) trail weaves through ancient rainforest.
Markets and shops
There’s no better place to discover Byron’s creatives and artisans than the local markets and boutiques dotted along the main streets. Byron Community Market takes place on the first Sunday of every month at the Main Beach foreshore, and Byron Twilight Markets are held every Saturday night from August to April at Railway Park.
Food and drink
Byron Bay has developed a reputation for being a foodie heaven, and for good reason. In the area you’ll find everything from vegetarian and vegan fare to Mexican feasts, tapas, fresh seafood, locally made chocolates and more. For a taste of locally grown produce and culinary creations, stop by Byron Bay Farmers Market, open every Thursday from 7am to 11am.
Heading to Byron Bay from Sydney? Pre-book parking at Sydney Airport and save!
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