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A Week in Byron Bay: Nature and Serenity

The Pass Aerial

Surrounded by stunning coastal and hinterland landscapes, Byron Bay is a nature-lover’s haven, filled with breathtaking moments and awe-inspiring experiences.

From hinterland waterfalls, native rainforests and a coastline known around the world for its pristine beaches, crystal waters and rich marine life, here you’ll find the serenity of nature all around you. Amid such beauty, the biggest challenge is selecting what to see in Byron Bay and the surrounding region.

To help you to plan your holiday, we’ve created this in-depth guide to Nature in Byron Bay. It’s filled with ideas and information for what, where and when to visit to enjoy the best of the natural beauty here. We’ve even included some local secrets that will help you see this famous place through fresh eyes.

The guide is organised into 3 sections: Amazing Mornings, Memorable Days and Perfect Evenings.

From sunrise to sunset and beyond, we’ve offered ideas for every moment of your days. Read on, get inspired and start planning what to see during your stay.

Your week of pure Byron Bay nature begins right here.

Download our handy pocket-sized guide to Nature in Byron Bay.

Sunrise yoga couple

Amazing Mornings…

It doesn’t take long for you to discover Byron Bay’s natural beauty.

As the first rays of a new day’s sun appear over the ocean horizon—broken only by the iconic outline of Julian Rocks—this coastal landscape slowly reveals itself in a timeless golden glow.

You can witness this daily ritual from many places, each offering a fresh dose of inspiration. As a resort guest, wander down to Heart of the Bay directly from your villa in just a few minutes. This elevated grass area offers unbroken views of Belongil Beach, the ocean and sunrise beyond.

Where to catch the sunrise

Heart of the Bay and Belongil Beach – directly accessible on foot from Elements of Byron

Cape Byron Lighthouse – 15-minute drive

Mount Warning – 1-hour drive, 2-hour ascent

For a close-up on the action, head down to Belongil Beach via the Beach Club and watch the sun rise, standing on the sand or in the surf. To the south is Belongil Estuary, part of a protected nature reserve, which is a particularly stunning place to see in the early morning. Then head for breakfast at Azure Bar and Grill, where you’ll find a range fresh and delicious fruits, muesli, pastries and other natural fare.

Get an elevated view with an early morning trip to Cape Byron Lighthouse and watch the sunrise with a panoramic view of the bay, town and hinterland beyond. Driving to the lighthouse takes around 15 minutes from Elements of Byron and you can follow it with breakfast at one of Byron’s best cafes.

And for those who are looking to be immersed in nature before the sun’s even arrived, take a head torch and head to Mount Warning for a hike to the summit pre-dawn. With an hour’s drive and an ascent that takes around two hours, you’ll need to leave plenty of time to arrive in time for the spectacle.

But a spectacle this truly is. From the summit, you’ll be one of the first people on Australia’s east coast to see the new sun, watching as it unpeels the hinterland and coastline before your eyes. Where does this rank on a list of what to see in Byron Bay? Pretty close to the summit!

When you’re ready to back to sea level, stop in at Mavis’ Kitchen (details below) for a breakfast that’s worthy of the view.

Woman trail ride horse

Your reconnection to nature begins right here each morning at the resort.

With Beachfront Yoga at 7am, start every morning connecting deeply to your body and breath. Surrounded by views of the ocean at the idyllic Heart of the Bay, this gentle practice will leave you feeling balanced, relaxed and full of energy.

After breakfast, walk through Byron Bay’s native rainforest that borders Elements of Byron. There’s over 2 kilometres of trails to discover and plenty of wild delights to see, including direct access to Belongil Estuary and the protected nature reserve beyond – not to mention the pristine beach.

To see this landscape with more knowledgeable eyes, join a Guided Rainforest Walk with our experienced ranger. This tour will reveal the flora and fauna of this place along with stories of its history and how we nurture this native environment.

Zephyr Horses

  • From $99/person (book online)
  • Total Trip Time: 1-1.5 hours
  • Meet at 144 Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay, 2 minutes from Elements of Byron

Guided Rainforest Walk

  • Free, included in the Nature experience
  • Total trip time: 45-60 mins
  • Meet at Elements Reception: 9am Thursday and Sunday, 10am Friday or 3pm Saturday or book a private tour.

You’ll discover not just what to see here and across Byron Bay, but how to look to unveil the wonders of this coastal landscape.

But why walk when you can trot, canter and gallop?

Weave along forest trails before emerging onto the expansive beach to feel the sea breeze on horseback with Zephyr Horses.

This unique coastal horse ranch offers personalised tours of the rainforest trails and Belongil Beach, giving you an exhilarating experience of discovering the awe-inspiring coastline on horseback.

With tours throughout the day and options to travel at sunrise or sunset, there truly is no better way to discover this landscape.

Wategos beach

Stepping beyond the resort, this coastline and hinterland landscape plays host to countless natural wonders and stunning walks. From the waterfalls of Byron Bay’s hinterland to the tea tree lake to the variety of beaches and marine life beyond the shore, there’s so much to discover. To make it easier, here’s our must-see guide to Byron Bay’s nearby nature!

The bay’s rich marine life can be spotted from a range of places. For an aerial view, head up the Cape Byron Walking Track from The Pass or Wategos car parks. Taking the signposted turn-off as you walk up from Wategos Beach, descend to Little Wategos beach to spot the array of marine life visible from sea level. Or, to get really close to dolphins, turtles, rays and tropical fish,

join a sea kayaking tour (see more below) or get beneath the waves on a SCUBA diving trip.

Another place of natural beauty is Broken Head, the headland south of Byron Bay. Its name describes its rugged, wild appearance: a headland that dissolves into a ragged collection of rocks and cliff faces.

Located just beyond the shore on the south side of the headland are the Three Sisters, a rock formation with strong Aboriginal significance. It’s also a great picnic spot, with an ocean view and plenty of grass to lay out a blanket on. This coastal path extends via an adventurous rock scramble across to Kings Beach (low tide only – do not attempt at high tide) making a 2.4km loop track back to the car park.

Continuing south from Broken Head, travel to Lennox Head to discover a lake with natural rejuvenating properties. Just inland on the northern side of town is Lake Ainsworth: a dunal lake surrounded by trees.

Its distinctive brown colouring comes from a staining caused by the oils from the tea trees that surround the water. The variety of benefits of these oils are well known to communities around the world. Even a quick dip will leave your skin and hair noticeably reinvigorated.

And with the ocean, only a couple of minutes’ walk away, enjoy the bracing waves of the ocean beach and the tranquillity of the inland lake in one trip.

Little Wategos Beach

  • Park at Wategos Beach or Cape Byron Lighthouse (Lighthouse Road)
  • Travel time: 17-minute drive & 10-minute walk

The Three Sisters

  • Park at Broken Head Car Park (Broken Head Reserve Road)
  • Travel time: 25-minute drive / 20-minute walk

Lake Ainsworth

  • Park at Pacific Parade, Lennox Head
  • Travel time: 30-minute drive /walk

For a More Natural Brunch…

  • Doma, Federal – Creative Japanese fusion menu, expertly crafted in this quiet hinterland cafe. From 7:30 am daily
  • Harvest, Newrybar – Local, organic and wild-foraged artisan food that’s always worth the trip. From 8 am daily
  • Mavis’ Kitchen, Uki – Country-style restaurant on a 25-acre farm in the shadow of Mount Warning. From 9 am Wed-Fri, 8 am Sat-Sun
  • Shelter, Lennox Head – Minimalist cafe serving local, seasonal food right next to the ocean. From 6:30 am daily
  • The Farm, Byron Bay – Delicious dishes made with fresh produce from this 80-acre farm. From 7 am daily

Memorable Days

See Byron Bay and its surroundings effortlessly by spending a day or two coasting around on an electric bike. Available at Elements of Byron (reservations are made directly through Sunshine Cycles), these bikes are powered by solar energy. Their vintage designs are created using reused materials.

Byron Bay is made for cycling, with separate cycle lanes all the way into town and wide roads in the town centre with plenty of room for everyone!

Here’s our suggestion of a great day exploring Byron Bay by bike:

Take a spin from the resort over to Three Blue Ducks at The Farm (journey time: 15 minutes) and enjoy a delicious brunch, lunch or picnic on this picturesque 80-acre farm.

Then jump back on your bike and head along the cycle paths into town to browse the shops, bask on the beach or have a quick dip in the ocean (journey time: 25 minutes).

When you’re ready to visit your next destination, cruise up to Cape Byron Lighthouse. Powered by the sun, this ascent will feel like a breeze (journey time: 18 minutes)

Sunshine Cycles

  • From $55/day (book online)
  • Pick up bikes from Elements of Byron resort

Byron Train

After taking in the view, head back towards town for a spot of dinner or some more beach time before coasting back to the resort.

And if you’d rather someone else drive, enjoy travelling into and out of Byron Bay via the Byron Train.

Being fully solar-powered, this refurbished vintage train is a world-first and a Byron experience that’s quickly become a must-do.

Couple beach bike ride

If you’re ready to explore the nature beyond Byron town, look no further than these fantastic tours of the bay and hinterland.

To discover the rich marine life and to unveil an unbroken view of the coastline, head out on a Sea Kayaking Tour with Go Sea Kayaks.

These half-day excursions travel out passed Australia’s most easterly point and the iconic landmark of Julian Rocks. Their experienced guides will point out all there is to see—including the local wildlife—while regaling you with the story of this landscape.

There’s a good chance of seeing rays, tropical fish and turtles on this tour. But the heroes of any sea kayaking trip are the bay’s bottlenose dolphins. Go Sea Kayaks guarantee that you’ll see these much-loved mammals – if not, you’ll get to go out with them again for free!

To discover what to see in Byron Bay’s hinterland, get on the water with a River Kayak Tour along the Brunswick River.

This gentle 2-hour tour uses the tidal current to float effortlessly downstream through one of New South Wales’ most beautiful river systems. You’ll discover the fascinating river wildlife with local nature enthusiast guides and can even enjoy the opportunity to snorkel too.

Another gentle way to explore the Brunswick River is with Stand-Up Paddle boarding (SUP).

Let’s Go Surfing offer introductory lessons while Brunswick Buccaneers offer convenient hire of SUP boards, canoes and kayaks, right on Brunswick River.

Go Sea Kayaks – Sea Kayaking Tour

  • $59/person (book online)
  • Total trip time: 3 hours
  • Tours depart The Pass at 9:30am and 2pm daily

Go Sea Kayaks – River Kayaking Tour

  • $69/person (book online)
  • Total trip time: 2 hours
  • Tours depart Brunswick Heads (pick up available)
  • Times vary – depend on high tide

Let’s Go Surfing

  • $75/person (book online)
  • Total trip time: 2.5 hours
  • Tours depart Wreck Surf Shop, 6/4 Cavanabah Arcade, Byron Bay

Brunswick Bucaneers

  • $50/half day
  • SUP boards, kayaks and canoes
River kayak

One particular highlight of Byron Bay’s hinterland is its range of gorgeous waterfalls. Here’s our guide to Byron Bay’s cascading natural wonders, all accessible with only a short walk.

Minyon Falls, located in the World Heritage listed Nightcap National Park, are the area’s best known falls. The main lookout is adjacent to the top of the falls, offering breathtaking views of the valley. It’s accessible by car, via the unsealed Minyon Falls Road from Repentence Creek.

The pool at the bottom can be reached via a walking track—a 4km return from Minyon Grass Viewing Platform—that descends into the gorge and finishes with an exhillerating though not overly challenging rock scramble.

From here, gaze up at the water falling from far above while enjoying a little forest bathing amid the lush rainforest.

Stop in at Doma Cafe in Federal on your way to or from Minyon Falls for a delicious snack or delightfully inventive meal.

Also found in Nightcap National Park are Protestors Falls. These towering falls are found within bangalow palm forest near Terania Creek. Their name comes from the first successful anti-logging protest, staged here in 1979.

As they are home to an endangered species—Fleay’s barred frog—swimming is prohibited. The view from the bottom of these falls, however, is so stunning as to more than satisfy every nature lover.


Heading south, Killen Falls is located just inland from Lennox Head. Surrounded by the last remnants of big scrub rainforest, this nature reserve is accessed via a boardwalk leading to a cliff-top viewing platform.

While swimming is prohibited here too, the serenity of these beautiful falls will undoubtedly leave you feeling utterly at peace with the world.

While in Lennox Head, take time to visit the impressive coastline—another of the region’s must-see vistas. The powerful break is great for expert surfers and a bracing view for all onlookers.

For top-quality sustenance in Lennox Head, look no further than the minimalist cafe, Shelter. Enjoy local, seasonal dishes from their talented chefs with the powerful ocean only metres away.

Byron Bay’s Hinterland Waterfalls

Minyon Falls

  • Nightcap National Park, near Repentence Creek.
  • 45-minute drive from the resort

Protestors Falls

  • Nightcap National Park, near Terania Creek.
  • 75-minute drive from the resort

Killen Falls

  • Killen Falls Nature Reserve, near Lennox Head.
  • 30-minute drive from the resort

…and Perfect Evenings

As the evening arrives, head into Byron Bay for the nightly event that’s simply breath-taking.

From the best vantage point in town at Cape Byron Lighthouse, watch the sun slowly set over the hinterland hills. Each night is a different kind of spectacle: sometimes the sky becomes a golden blanket of dusk, on other days deep red and purple rays weave through straggles of clouds to create an image worthy of an abstract painter.

Descending back down to sea level, take time to enjoy the nocturnal calm that settles over Byron’s beaches. Stroll along Main Beach, Clarkes Beach and Belongil Beach to the chorus of waves, shimmering like transient gems under the moonlight.

Harvest restaurant
Byron Bay sits at the southern end of a region known as The Green Cauldron, renowned for its fresh produce and lush farmland. And many of the area’s best restaurants celebrate this beautiful produce in creative dishes that bring out all its natural goodness.

Three Blue Ducks sits on an 80-acre farm at the edge of Byron Bay. Inspired by cuisines from around the world, their masterful chefs create exquisite dishes. Much of the produce comes straight from the surrounding fields.

With outdoor seating available, you can watch the stars drift passed as you tuck into the finest tastes of this land.

For a more coastal palette, head to Beach Byron Bay, the town’s only Hatted restaurant. With views over Clarkes Beach and the ocean beyond, you’ll savour a menu inspired by the Mediterranean with a delightful refinement borne out of simplicity.

When it comes to delicate taste combinations using the finest locally-sourced ingredients, there are few better restaurants in Byron Bay.

Restaurants Celebrating Nature in Byron Bay

If you’re willing to travel a little, then head to Harvest Restaurant in the idyllic hinterland village of Newrybar. Featuring in numerous top food & wine guides, Harvest uniquely celebrates wild, native and foraged ingredients in a menu filled with wondrous curiosities.

For a special experience of the connection of food, foraging and nature, book a Wednesday evening at Harvest. Their Wild Harvest features chefs and foragers presenting a unique gastronomic journey from the results of a day’s foraging. On all fronts, this restaurant is well worth the journey.

And for nights where you want fine-dining on your doorstep, look no further than Azure Bar and Grill at Elements of Byron. Their talented chefs create seasonal dishes from locally-sourced produce. The menu is a true celebration of the natural abundance of this region, expertly crafted to surprise, delight and satisfy.

But if a more casual dining experience fits your mood, head to Barrio or The Treehouse, both located close to Elements of Byron.

Barrio is a relaxed neighbourhood eatery and bar, serving a South America-inspired menu. With a charcoal grill and wood-fired ovens, experience the delight of their bright combinations and smoky tastes that will transport you far beyond the contemporary decor.

Dine outdoors in the retro kitsch of The Treehouse. With wood-fired pizza ovens, a long list of cocktails and regular live music, this is dinner served in quintessentially natural Byron Bay-style.

Central lagoon pool at dusk

To finish an evening, wander back to the resort to gaze up at Byron’s last must-see: the dramatic night sky. Up at the Heart of the Bay, far from the town’s lights, the twinkling ceiling gets revealed more clearly. Take a picnic blanket and lie down to spot some shooting stars.

Alternatively, next to the Fire Pit with a drink from the Lobby Bar and watch the flames dance impossibly atop the water. Here conversations unfurl more slowly, with the sound of water, fire and quiet chatter the only distractions.

While slowly unwinding from the day, you can decide what to see in Byron Bay tomorrow as you continue exploring the breathtaking nature of this coastal landscape.

Want more inspiration for things to do in Byron Bay? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Byron Bay.

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