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Byron Bay Day Trips

Lennox Head seven mile beach

Byron Bay is a heady blend of untouched nature, buzzing events and visitors from all over the world.

Most first-timers make a beeline for the town itself, with good reason given its undeniable list of noteworthy attractions. But venture a little further and whole new worlds open up, literally and metaphorically. The towns surrounding Byron Bay boast a distinctive charm, and a strong community fabric.

Don’t miss the chance to explore these gems for a fun, multi-faceted perspective of the Byron Shire in this guide to some of the area’s best day trips.

Harvest Newrybar

1) Bangalow & Newrybar

A 15-minute drive from Elements of Byron, through the lush hinterland, lies the picturesque town of Bangalow. The name is believed to come from the Banjalang Aboriginal word ‘Bangalla’, which means a ‘low hill’ or ‘a kind of palm tree’.

Its main street is an alluring mix of federation buildings and boutique shops, such as fashion and interiors store Bisque Traders or the Island Luxe Tribe

You may smell The Flower Bar before you see its bountiful blooms flowing from the door. The luxury florist creates botanical art and offers a series of elegant gifts. Or visit an emporium straight out of the imagination. Wax Jambu is a heady collection of fashion, homewares and fun at home in the town’s historical general store. 

Before heading out of town, fuel up at one of Bangalow’s cafes or restaurants. Woods Cafe is a favourite for its cosy seating area dotted inside and around the exterior of the unassuming home of seasonal bites and addictively good coffee. 

Dine on oysters to the beat of live jazz in the genuine warmth of You Beauty. Visit Red Ginger and feel like you’ve stepped into a lane in old Shanghai as you browse aisles of authentic Asian food and homewares. 

For something distinctly Italian (and incredibly delicious) book a booth (if you can) at Caio, Mate!.

Next stop is Newrybar, about six kilometres down the road south of Bangalow, just off the Pacific Highway. What this tiny hamlet lacks in size is made up for through loads of country charm. 

Historic and hip at the same time, Newrybar has been put on the map by the culinary institution Harvest with its much lauded sustainable ethos and celebration of local, seasonal Indigenous ingredients. There’s no better place than here for a lingering three-course lunch (or dinner). You can also take home some of their fine products from the Harvest deli next door.

Give yourself plenty of time to amble through the Old Pacific: an outstanding emporium of hard-to-find artisanal treasures, designer clothing, homewares and floral art.

Just 10 minutes west of Newrybar is Frida’s Field in Nashua – a working 120 acre farm and contemporary country dining restaurant. It offers languishing, long-table lunches with three-course set menus: on Friday, Saturday and Sundays..

2) Brunswick Heads

‘Pretty’, ‘quaint’ and ‘vintage cool’ are words that tend to be associated with Brunswick Heads, or ‘Bruns’ for short if you want to go native.

A 20-minute drive from Elements, this town is nestled on the mouth of the lovely Brunswick River. This feature, in cahoots with the family-friendly Torakina Beach and nearby Brunswick Heads Main Beach make it one of the region’s most popular spots for holidaymakers.

After you’ve had your fill of sun-kissed activities, it’s time to check out the rest of the town.

Start with a brunch at the ever-popular Footbridge café, grab some calamari rings from one of the (gourmet) fish and chip shops for a picnic in the riverside park across the road, or simply head to the longstanding Brunswick Hotel, famous for its great live music.

After that, stroll around town and discover some of the area’s boutique shops like Lazybones, a sustainable label with a vintage twist.

If you’re lucky, you might just catch the Brunswick Heads Markets, held on the first Saturday of each month in Memorial Park.

The town also has a line-up of quirky annual community events. These range from the Old and Gold Festival in June, a second-hand trash and treasure fair that sprawls across much of the area, to the Brunswick Hot Rod Run, a spectacle for motorheads. Here are more of the area’s homegrown festivals.

If you’re around Brunswick Heads in the evening, make sure to catch a film or live event at the beautifully restored mid-century modern Brunswick Picture House. It’s a special way to do something intensely local and fabulously fun!

3) Mullumbimby

Affectionately known as the ‘Biggest Little Town in Australia’, Mullumbimby is a unique and undeniably ‘colourful’ town.

Mullumbimby’s long history of embracing counterculture, from way back in the seventies, is still evident in its large numbers of resident ‘characters’ and chilled-out vibe.

The drive into Mullumbimby is itself dramatic with a steep rollercoaster road and striking views of the 260-metre high Mount Chincogan.

Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the town itself, which consists of only a few main streets laid out in a grid. There are plenty of great eating spots, including the popular Pink Lotus and the equally crowd-pleasing pizzeria, Milk and Honey.

On Friday mornings, the community gathers at the Mullum Farmers Market, worth checking out for this fact alone. Still in town is the gorgeous Mullumbimby Community Gardens, another great spot for people – and plant – watching. Here you can share a pot of chai for a fixed price, or grab a bunch of kale (or whatever’s in season) in return for a small donation.

A few kilometres away is the magical (yes, magical) Crystal Castle. Perfect for big kid and little kids, this lush sanctuary is well worth the entry fee. Not only can you bask in the energy of amazing crystals, but there are also plenty of garden walks and a great store to purchase treasures to take home with you.

Discover a European-inspired bathhouse that ignites the body’s natural detoxification powers through wood-fired sauna and steam rooms, cold plunge pools and hearty dishes in the dining room. Welcome to The Banya.

Lake Ainsworth & Seven Mile Beach

4) Lennox Head

South of Byron Bay, Lennox Head (or to the locals, simply Lennox) is a flat and straightforward drive less than half an hour from Elements of Byron. It’s a perfect escape from the bustle of Byron.

The scenery along the way is spectacular, thanks in part to Seven Mile Beach, which, according to authorities, is actually only just 5.3 miles long.

With its world-famous right-hand point break, surfing has defined the culture of Lennox, with a swag of competitions held there throughout the year. The best spot to watch intrepid surfers catching waves (and hang gliders) is from the Pat Morton Lookout.

Lovers of water activities will enjoy Lake Ainsworth, which offers kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and plenty of picnic facilities. Take note of its glorious tea-stained water from the tea trees nearby.

Soak up the relaxed Lennox lifestyle with delectable dining at Shelter, or head to Williams St, a casual bustling eatery that plates up tasty fresh dishes, right across the road from the beach.

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

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