Byron Bay’s appeal as a year-round destination becomes evident in May, even as the region leisurely heads towards ‘winter’.
With cooler, but still very comfortable, average temperatures, many continue to brave the beaches (a wet suit in hand can help!). But there’s plenty else on offer.
Spoiling one of the most special people in your life – your mum on Mother’s Day – at one of Byron’s many lauded eateries. Soaking up the feel-good vibes at two of Byron’s most enduring sporting events. Experiencing the magic of whale watching.
These are just some of the things that make the area spring alive during this special month. Let’s discover our Top 5 things to do in Byron Bay for May.
1) Whale Migration
From May to September
Byron Bay’s association with whaling goes way back. First as a whaling town (between 1954 and 1962) and today, as one of the most spectacular spots in the world to watch these wonderful creatures.
As if whales aren’t impressive enough. Every year in May and June, humpback whales migrate north along the east coast of Australia, in what is seen as one of the longest migrations in the animal kingdom!
During this annual event (we reckon a must see at least once in your life), the whales journey over 2,500km from their Antarctic summer feeding grounds, past Cape Byron headland, to the tropical waters further north. There, they give birth before returning again, past Byron, with their babies in tow.
Popular viewing spots include Cape Byron Lighthouse, Australia’s most easterly point, and even from Belongil Beach, not far from Elements of Byron. Another special way to witness this spectacle is through a whale watching cruise hosted by eco-tourism venture Out Of The Blue Adventures, where you can expect to have a marine biologist on board as your tour guide.
2) Mother’s Day in Byron
12 May 2019
Mum’s the word on 12 May this year, when we celebrate Mother’s Day. What better way to show your mum you care than treating her to a heavenly treatment at Osprey Spa or a decadent dining experience?
For a touch of modern Australian, look no further than hatted restaurant Beach Byron Bay. Or book a table at Three Blue Ducks at The Farm for a refined, rural dining experience that most people can’t get enough of – and it’s only 10 minutes from Elements.
The French are known to be great romantics. For a little piece of France in Byron Bay, head to The Petit Snail where you can get all the classic dishes, including escargot de Bourgogne. You guessed it – snails (in garlic butter)!
Discover more of Byron’s best restaurants and bars.
For a sweet treat, the area has some of the finest chocolate-making artisans. Try Puremelt Chocolate in Mullumbimby (but maybe not the hemp love bites if your mum’s around) or order online from Loco Love, another fine ambassador for the conscious health chocolate movement.
3) Ocean Swim and Triathlon
Ocean Swim – 5 May 2019 | Triathlon – 11 May 2019
In Australia, a six-pack can most often be found in the institution known as a bottle shop. But in May, you can spot plenty of them in and around the waters of Byron, when the bay comes alive with buffed bodies and happy folk.
Earlier in the month is the Byron Bay Ocean Swim Classic. Now in its 32nd year, this fantastic family-friendly event throws out a challenge for people of all ages. Whether you work out your abs or your vocal chords cheering people on for the classic 2.2km event or the mini swim (open to entrants from nine up), just get involved. It’s worth it.
Next in line, on the following weekend, is the Byron Bay Tri. Described as “an iconic multi-fun weekend”, this swimming, cycling and running event has been ticking along for more than 23 years. Along with promoting a healthy lifestyle, we think it’s also a great opportunity to show off your lycra!
4) Pig Flicks Cinema
If you’re wondering where Pig Flicks Cinema got its name from, the answer is simple. Back in 1898, it was an old piggery.
Today, Byron Bay’s longest running cinema, loved for its hand-selected (often quirky) repertoire of films, sits within the Byron Bay Brewery. This means you can get all dark and moody with an art-house film, and then shake it all off after by sampling one of the venue’s very own uniquely flavoured craft lagers.
Find out what’s showing now at Pig Flicks cinema.
Feeling like staying at home and relaxing? At Elements of Byron, you can access a range of unlimited movies for free, including recent releases. So get cosy and watch away from the comfort of your villa.
5) Dinner at Fleet or La Casita
The dynamic duo behind the esteemed Fleet restaurant in Brunswick Heads has taken on another challenge (apart from having their first baby) in the form of a second culinary outpost.
La Casita, which roughly means “the small house” in Spanish, is yet another passion project for chef Josh Lewis and manager Astrid McCormack.
Taking over a former Mexican restaurant and injecting the space with a refreshing vibe, La Casita promotes Mexican cuisine with a coastal feel (think seafood, light and fresh).
Expect a more casual dining experience than at the two-hatted Fleet. Discover more of Byron Bay’s best restaurants and bars.
Want more inspiration for things to do in Byron Bay? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Byron Bay.