Head up to the lighthouse
This is the lighthouse monument at Byron Bay. I have read that it is the most easterly point on the mainliand of Austrlalia.
There is a great museum about the lighthouse keepers from Australia up here. As well, this vantage point affords a view that is amazing of beaches on both sides of the point.
Sometimes there are paragliders launching from the top of the hill as well.
This place is worth seeing and it is free except for the parking right by the museum.
Australia's Most Easterly Point - Byron Bay
The headland above Byron Bay is the most easterly point in Australia and is the home for a magnificent Lighthouse. Not only is it the most easterly point , the location is renown for its surfing beach and is situated on the northern New South Wales coast only 2 hours drive from Queensland's Gold Coast. The region has outstanding hinterland with many historic small towns which are well worth spending a few days to visit.
Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve
Across the river from the town of Brunswick Heads is the Nature Reserve, a mixture of coastal and river walks along with natural bush vegetation.
It's a great spot to distance yourself from people and find that virtually deserted bit of beach. Although only on the other bank of the river, there is no direct access from Brunswick Heads itself (other than by private boat). Therefore, access involves driving out onto the Pacific Highway, crossing the river and then driving back along the northern banks of the river, the 'suburbs' of New Brighton and finally a short drive along an untarmac'ed road (in good condition though). Takes about 20-30 minutes.
Approximately 25kms south of Byron Bay is Ballina, a fairly large town that serves the area as well as a place for low-key tourism. Like many of the towns on this coast, it is built at the mouth of a river and therefore offers coastal and river beaches and waterfronts. The Pacific Highway cuts through it and as such offers a wide-range of accommodation and services. The beach here runs north from Ballina to Byron, broken by dramatic headlands and rocky outcrops.
There's also a small airport at Ballina, serviced by Virgin Blue, which makes it a great 'entry point' for this part of the coast.
Cape Byron Lighthouse
Byron Bay's most prominent neighbor is the Cape Byron Lighthouse, located out to the east of town.
Situated about 100 meters above the sheer wall of rock with the Pacific Ocean below, the Cape Byron lighthouse really is beautiful. It was designed and built in 1899, and was commissioned in 1901... after a one-day wait, due to of all things... bad weather keeping Sir John See the honorable away because of no lighthouse to guide him in!
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Nimbim - a cultural phenomenon
Part of the Rainbow County, Nimbim is the 'capital' of drug culture. This quiet little town became the centre of the 1970s hippy dope culture and continues to be so today. Sadly, it has also become the heroine centre, many of the dealers selling the less harmful to bankroll their own, more serious, fix. Bought up on liberal ideology, today the experience of walking through Nimbim is anything but pleasant - virtually everyone from 16 to 116 is selling the weed (and surpisingly openly), with grannies as well as their grandkids approaching you with the various choices. It is overt, it is pushy, it is unpleasant (unless you are one of the 70% that visit Nimbim to purchase the famed 'speciality').
Which is a great pity as Nimbim is located in the centre of some stunning landscapes, close to both the Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Forest and forms the ideal stopover (or at least should!) for coffee or lunch. And just down the hill from the town is the Nimbin Rocks, an Aboriginal sacred site.
Walk Beautiful Byron Bay Beach
I went for an early morning walk on the beach but experienced some unexpected rough weather which revealed a different aspect to the normal tourist expectation. There had been a storm during the night and I caught the tail end, dark sky, squalls and a rough sea. However I enjoyed my walk on the beachfront and remembered a previous walk several years earlier when the sun shone.
Parklands Along Beachfront
For those that do not like sitting on the sand under the fierce sun you can move onto the parklands overlooking the beach. Nicely grassed with plenty of trees for shade will allow you to enjoy your day at the beach with less than 100 metres walk to the water's edge.
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Byron Bay Surf Club
On the beachfront nearly in front of the Beach Hotel is the Surf Club which provides lifeguard services to the public enjoying the beach and surf. The Life Saving association is highly respected by the Australian public for the free services they have provided over the last 100 years. The clubrooms store the surfboats, boards, jet skis and other equipment used to patrol the beach.
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Visit the Most Eastern Point in Australia!
Located just past the Byron Bay lighthouse is a rock cliff that is geographically the eastern most place in all of Australia. What a unique experience, and it did not even take any effort!
Byron Bay is a beautiful place to have this landmark, and I was glad Sarah and I could share it!
The landscape around you is really breathtaking, between the jagged rocks, the pounding surf, and the pristine walking trails, you will enjoy seeing this.
In the area around Byron Bay there are several walking tracks. You’ll pass rainforest, rugged cliff faces and amazing views of the ocean.
We took the walking track from Byron Bay to the Lighthouse (see other tip), and it was a beautiful walk.
The terrain is isolated - be back before it gets dark, and remember to bring water on your walk.
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Byron Bay is blessed with a beautiful beach by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. It's a very popular spot for swimming, surfing and diving.
The beach is patrolled by lifesavers but it remains wise to stay between the flags. Although heart attcks are more common than shark attacks down under it pays to stay alert as an unfortunate surf skier discovered here in October 2007.
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Byron Bay is a perfect place for a spot of whale watching. Humpback whales begin their annual migration in May/June when they head north to warmer waters to breed. They return south around September/October when they often come into the Bay and breach and frolic with their calves. A truly amazing sight.
There are a number of companies around Byron that offer whale watching tours and take you out on a boat so you are up close and personal. A good example is Underwater which is endorsed by New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The whales are also visible from the shore so if you are in the ares during these months keep your eyes peeled. I could only find a piccy of a pod of about 25 dolphins I saw off shore there recently so if you can see them I hope you enjoy. Dolphins are also a regular fixture of the landscape. Enlarge the pic and see if you can make them out :)
The Byron Bay icon is the Lighthouse, found at the extreme easterly end of the Bay and which is the most easterly part of Australia. Built in 1901, the structure dominates the surrounds and can be seen for miles around (the whole point! :)).
The area around the Lighthouse is the Cape Bryon Natural Reserve - steep pathways leading up from Clarke's beach (and others) below. Fantastic views to be had of the coastline in both directions and, if you're there at the right time, chances are you will see plenty of whales out to sea (June-Sept).
You can walk up from the beaches (pretty steep though!) or you can drive to the top of the headland (car park cost A$5)
Splendour In The Grass
Splendour in the Grass is unquestionably a one-of-a-kind festival on the Australian music circuit, spread out over two days and located in scenic Byron Bay.
In spite of the increased popularity with bigger crowds every year, it doesn’t seem to detract from the festival’s general joyful-happy-go-lucky atmosphere.
If you get the opportunity to make the journey to Byron Bay for Splendour in the Grass, I strongly recommend you take the trip.
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