Byron Bay is synonymous with carefree, sun-kissed living, making it a magnetic destination for just about anyone, including families.
With its natural beauty, abundant space and a wonderful array of kid-friendly activities, the region is a popular destination for parents planning a getaway for the winter school holidays.
If you’re heading to this part of the world in July, sit back and enjoy the ride as you sample the wonderful ideas we’ve hatched for you in the 2019 Byron Bay winter school holidays guide.
1) Family activities at Elements of Byron
At Elements of Byron, you’ll enjoy all the creature comforts of a luxurious resort while resting easy in the knowledge that your children will be having a ball too. You won’t need to venture far to get your kids involved in a host of fun-filled activities.
Where: right in the heart of Elements
What’s on: grab your kids’ rashies and head to our centrally located pool, which is temperature controlled year-round. Parents have the option of relaxing in the heated spa or private cabanas. When it’s time to refuel, Breeze Poolside Bar and Eats offers full poolside food and drink service.
Where: rainforest trails around Elements of Byron
When: once a day on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday (or book a private tour)
What’s on: join the resort’s very own naturalist and land manager for a 1.5km guided educational walk exploring the nearby coastal rainforest and its amazing mix of vegetation and wildlife.
Where: Zephyr Horses stables, next to Elements of Byron
When: Monday to Saturday (by appointment only)
What’s on: Zephyr Horses offers small, personalised horse tours on the beach and woodlands. Kids must be 8+ for group tours and 3+ for private tours and pony rides.
Where: coastal bushland on Element’s eastern edge
What’s on: our all-natural adventure playground is ready to take on even the most energetic little and big kids. It has 15 different sections inspired by parkour.
Where: Access directly from the resort
What’s on: Check out the Belongil Estuary abundant with wildlife, birdlife and marine biodiversity, and host to threatened plant and wildlife species (including the little tern).
Where: Bayshore Drive, Arts & Industrial Estate
When: departs North Beach station every hour from 10am to 5pm daily (kids under 5 ride free)
Children 6-13 years: $2
What’s on: touted as the world’s first solar train, the Byron Solar Train is a winner with kids and a wonderful way to get into the town centre (and back). The immaculately restored 1949 era two-carriage heritage train chugs along a coastal bush track. The journey takes ten minutes one way.
During the Byron Bay winter school holidays, Elements of Byron also offers babysitting services by chosen suppliers, Kids’ Club. We encourage families to book ahead to ensure staffing can be arranged.
For more fantastic ways to get the most from your winter school holidays, browse through our Family Activities Guide.
2) Experiences around Byron Bay & beyond
Where: 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale (a 5-minute drive from Elements)
When: open Monday to Thursday, 7am to 4pm. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7am to 10pm.
What’s on: The Farm has something for the whole family. It’s a working farm, a produce market, a sustainable and socially driven enterprise, a rustic eatery and an overall fantastic place for the kids to run around. They’ll love checking out the free-roaming chooks, cows pigs, and playground. “Farm Kids” offers a variety of educational programs and school holiday activities just for kids.
Where: different locations around Brunswick Heads (a 20-minute drive from Elements)
When: anytime, preferably on a fine weather day
What’s on: what could be more magical for the family than to roam around the picture-perfect Brunswick Heads looking for secret fairy houses? For clues on how to embark on this free self-guided adventure, download a link from the website or pick up a clue sheet from The Visitors Centre.
Where: 30 Fingal St, Brunswick Heads
When: check the website for what’s on these winter school holidays
What’s on: visit this lovingly restored and utterly charming old theatre to make a day of it in Brunswick Heads. The Brunswick Picture House offers a fabulous mix of film, live events, music, workshops and family-friendly entertainment.
Where: 17 Centennial Circuit, Arts & Industrial Estate
When: open Monday to Friday (9am to 6pm), Saturday (9am to 2pm). Sunday closed.
What’s on: a wonderland of experiences awaits in this massive 1200 sqm indoor space. Circus programs, a breathtaking 10-metre high flying trapeze, indoor rock climbing, a kids play space and more, the Byron venue is set up to entertain, thrill and delight toddlers up to teens.
Where: 81 Monet Dr, Montecollum (a 30-minute drive from Elements)
When: 10am to 5pm daily
What’s on: it’s not every day you get to visit a magical sanctuary and stand between two of the tallest crystals on earth and sit in an ancient amethyst cave. Set in Byron’s lush hinterland, this venue also boasts a labyrinth, a playground, giant statues and enchanting gardens. A $78 family day pass is available for 2 adults and 2 children.
Get more details on all these activities for the Byron Bay winter school holidays in our Things to Do for Kids guide.
If you’re itching to go further afield and discover more of what Byron Bay has to offer these winter school holidays, dive into the tips revealed in our Best Family Day Trips from Byron Bay.
3) Where to eat
Eating out with younger children can quickly turn into chaos if the establishment isn’t family-friendly. It pays to know which spots in Byron have menus, and spaces, specially designed for pint-sized patrons. Here are some of our top picks:
Where: 65 Carlyle Street, Byron Bay
When: 6.30pm to 4pm daily
What to expect: a chilled out space where parents can get great coffee, the kids can tuck into healthy acai bowls (or the children’s menu) and everyone’s happy. Perched on a hill, there’s plenty of patches of grass to be claimed and pavement space for chalk drawing.
Where: 30 Tweed St, Brunswick Heads
When: 7am-9pm daily
What to expect: a leisurely energy refuel with a choice of more-ish gourmet burgers available all day. Soak up the atmosphere of the renovated old general store while tucking into their creative burger builds. Kids will love the chicken schnitzel or Little Moo beef burger.
Where: Elements of Byron
When: open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
What to expect: we might be a bit biased, but we reckon Azure Bar and Grill offers one of Byron’s best dining experiences. Enjoy a family-friendly ambience surrounded by luxurious design and warmth. We’ve got a special Juniors Menu and super tasty wood-fired pizzas. Children under 12 eat for free from the breakfast buffet when accompanied by an adult!
Where: Feros Arcade, 12/26 Jonson St, Byron Bay
When: 11am to 8.30pm everyday (Friday and Saturday to 9pm)
What to expect: a hole-in-the-wall-style Mexican venue with plenty of finger-licking food. You’ll get tacos that rock with flavours, friendly staff and casual vibes fit for the whole family.
Where: 25 Childe Street, Belongil Beach
When: 7.30am to 11pm daily
What to expect: combine a stroll along the dog-friendly Belongil Beach with a chow down at Treehouse on Belongil. Famous for its wood-fired pizzas and retro-kitsch décor, this spacious spot has a kids menu with all the classic favourites.
Where: 5/59a Station St, Mullumbimby
When: Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm
What to expect: a cosy, casual restaurant plating up wood-fired artisanal pizzas. Milk and Honey can get busy, so you might want to book ahead. No longer just a local haunt, this pizzeria does thin-crusts and Italian flavours authentically and bursting with flavour.
Want to know more? Check out our Best Byron Bay Restaurants for Families Guide.
4) Our pick of kid-friendly beaches
Byron is known for being a year-round destination. With average temperatures in July sitting at a pleasant 19 degrees, beaches continue to be a to be a family hot spot. With fascinating rock pools, gentle waves and plenty of opportunities for making sand castles, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the perfect stretch of beach for your kids.
Where: Brunswick Heads (an 18-minute drive from Elements)
Parking: along South Beach Road or grab a park in Brunswick Heads village
Best for: young families and day-long picnics
What to expect: Torakina Beach is a perfect spot if you’ve got toddlers. Located in a protected cove north of the break wall at the mouth of the Brunswick River, you can spend hours here splashing at the water’s edge. For a diversion, explore the two playgrounds next to the river.
Where: Byron Bay (an 11-minute drive from Elements of Byron)
Parking: Main Beach car park ($4/hour 9am to 6pm daily)
Best for: families with kids of different ages
What to expect: a great way to combine spending time at the beach and wandering around the town centre. There are plenty of places where you can fuel up on food, interact with locals and soak up the town’s vibe.
Where: Byron Bay (a 12-minute drive from Elements of Byron)
Parking: Clarkes Beach car park off Lighthouse Road ($4/hour 9am-6pm daily)
Best for: young families, body surfing and a quieter beach experience
What to expect: Clarkes Beach is a superb choice for families, thanks to its gentle waves. Introduce your kids to body surfing, or spend hours wandering around the shallow tidal pools which regularly form here. Bring a picnic or enjoy the best of beachside dining at the aptly named Beach Byron Bay.
Where: Byron Bay (a 15-minute drive from Elements of Byron)
Parking: large car park located next to The Pass Café, just off Lighthouse Road
Best for: families with kids of all ages
What to expect: an extraordinary and diverse range of experiences. Suitable for children who are just learning how to swim to those who can confidently body surf – or surf. The Pass is also a great spot for watching seasoned surfers. To get a panoramic view, clamber up the Fisherman’s Lookout wooden platform at the eastern end of The Pass.
Where: Byron Bay (a 15-minute drive from Elements of Byron)
Parking: Wategos has limited parking spaces. More are available at The Pass or Cape Byron Lighthouse car parks.
Best for: families with older kids
What to expect: located just west of the Cape Byron headland, Wategos Beach is a lovely spot for BBQs, scenic walks and a more serene beach experience. If you’re all feeling energised, follow the paved path over the rocky cliffs to the west of Wategos and continue east up to the town’s famous lighthouse. It’s a stunning trail that’s sure to work up a sweat, but totally worth doing at least once.
Broken Head Beach
Where: Broken Head nature reserve (a 23-minute drive from Elements)
Parking: the picnic area at the end of Broken Head Reserve Road
Best for: endless space and headland adventures
What to expect: located just 10 minutes south of Byron Bay, this beach is less for family swimming and more about adventure (and a secluded bush feel). With spectacular views along the coast and a host of small bays that can only be reached by foot, there’s more than 3kms of space. Run with abandon, explore the protected rock pools and admire the expert riders on the wild swells.
Intrigued? Want to know more? Here’s the rundown on Byron’s best beaches for families.
Want more inspiration for things to do in Byron Bay? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Byron Bay.