torakina beach and turquoise water on a sunny day in Brunswick Heads

Best Byron Bay beaches

If you’re coming to Byron Bay for a holiday, you need our guide to the best Byron Bay beaches. And here’s a Spoiler Alert: they’re all amazing. Whether you want a side of people-watching with your beach frolic, or you’re dreaming of a secluded lost paradise-type situation, we’ve got you covered. Let’s hit the beach.

Oh hello, you gorgeous thing, you”. Wategos is a truly stunning spot. It doesn’t matter how many times you wind the corner that heads down to the beach, the site of Wategos is breathtaking every single time. The parking, however, would drive a saint to swear. Let’s just say it’s quite limited. So yes, you may have to do a few laps to get a park but you will eventually be successful. And it’s so worth it. There is plenty of shade, great BBQ facilities and even a coffee van (dreams do come true!) and it’s just so damn beautiful you can easily spend all day there. If you’re feeling sporty, it’s just a short hike to Australia’s Most Easterly Point. Yep, Wategos is pretty much perfect.

drone view of wategos beach in Byron Bay
Photo: byronbay.com.au

Ahh, the serenity! This is the beach to visit if you’re after all the private beach feels. Little Wategos feels secluded and a million miles away from town, but it’s actually just a small hike along from Wategos, proper and is as equally blissful.  To get there, park at Wategos and start heading up the track that leads to the Lighthouse. When you come to a fork in the track, take the path on your left and head down to Little Wategos. It’s important to note that it is best to visit when the tide is low. High tide swallows most of the beach so be sure to check the tide times before you go. You can look in our local paper for this info or just ask a surfer – they’re everywhere and more than happy to talk tides.

sunny day at Little Wategos Beach in Byron Bay
Photo: byronbay.com.au

You’ve no doubt seen the photos. The Pass is one of Australia’s most iconic beaches and when you visit you can see why. It’s glorious. On a beach day, you will find local and visiting families set up for the long haul under pandanus palms, and surfers of all skill levels revelling in the crystal clear waters and (mostly) gentle waves. Bring your camera and take the quintessential Byron Bay photo from the lookout. The sunset is usually pretty special too. Come in the morning, stay for the day.

drone view of The Pass beach in Byron Bay
Photo: Nigel Raynard

They don’t call it Main Beach for nothing. What can we say, it’s a very social beach. Main Beach at the top end of Jonson Street is the closest beach to town and many of the international backpackers find themselves at Main Beach to lounge, play volleyball, catch up with new friends and, of course, swim. It’s also where workers from town are most likely to have a cheeky swim during their lunch breaks. There’s often a busker on the lawn, great views of the lighthouse and you can even grab a fresh coconut from the cutest little food stall, Coco Rasta, who camps out at Main Beach most days during summer. What more could you possibly want?

Summer sunny day at Main Beach in Byron Bay
Photo: wavesbyronbay.com.au
Torakina Beach (Brunswick Heads)

And relax. Torakina Beach is a hot contender for Team Sienna favourite. It’s right at the sweet spot where the ocean meets the river and like the rest of Brunswick Heads, it’s so very peaceful. It’s also very sheltered making it an ideal spot for young families. If you’re in Brunswick Heads and need a spot to cool off after lunch and some shopping, this is the haven you are seeking. Head over the bridge on foot and you will find Torakina on the other side of the carpark. We love Torakina so much, we named one of our colours after it.

torakina beach and turquoise water on a sunny day in Brunswick Heads
Photo: elementsofbyron.com.au

Dreaming of blues? Us too. You will find our collection of beach-worthy blues here.

byron bay market stands

The ultimate Byron Bay market guide

Summer is here and in Byron Bay, that means we are in peak market season. If you want to know what’s on where, you’re going to need our Byron Bay Market Guide. Read on for all the market culture you’re ever going to need or scroll through for a handy market timetable.

homemade blue and turquoise ceramic cups at byron bay market
Sienna x Byron Bay markets

As you probably already know, the local markets play a big part in Byron Bay life. It’s a place to meet friends, grab a chai and wander the aisles. Who knows what you’ll discover! It’s the launching pad for many makers and designers – including Sienna. We launched with 13 colours in 2014, and here we are today. Market life was such a beautiful time in our early days, it’s hard work, yes, but it was also so wonderful chatting to our customers, making friends and getting inspired by all the artisans who pour so much love into what they do. A big shout out to everyone who came by our stall to say ‘hi’ and encouraged us to keep going. It meant a lot to this little eco-beauty start-up.

Farmer’s market life

Who loves fresh food? Everyone! We take food pretty seriously here and healthy eating is a way of life for most people. It’s not uncommon to see people carting jars of green smoothie around town to sip on the run, or kids dipping veggie sticks into tahini dip while their mums grab a coffee. (Yes, we know, we know). So it makes sense that there is a strong farmer’s market culture. At the moment, you can catch the iconic Magic Bus to the recently relocated Byron Farmer’s Market. The bus stop is outside the Visitor’s Centre. Come for the farm-fresh veggies, stay for a coffee and a chat. Remember to BYO bags and baskets for the win.

Instagram: @byronfarmers

carrots at the farmer's market in byron bay
herbs and green oinons at the farmer's market in byron bay

Farmers market dates and times

Bangalow Farmers Market, Saturdays 8-11 am
New Brighton Farmers Market, Tuesdays 8-11 am
Byron Bay Farmers Market, Thursdays 8-11 am
Mullumbimby Farmers Market, Fridays 8-11 am

Byron Bay markets

The Byron Bay community markets are just good fun. For a start, there are always great tunes from local musicians and delicious food to be had. But beyond that, the markets are an expression of Byron Bay culture in all its vibrant glory. And while the town itself might have changed a bit, the atmosphere at the market is the same as it has always been. In this crazy world of fast fashion and mass production, the Byron markets are a special opportunity to meet makers and support small business. Grab a unique gift from one of the many talented artisans showcasing their wares or find a fantastic frock from the next generation of fashion success stories. Sit in the shade of a She-Oak, sip on a cane juice and enjoy the vibes.

Instagram: @byron-markets

Byron Bay markets dates and times

Byron Community market – 1st Sunday of the month (and the 3rd Sunday of the month in January)
Byron Beachside market – 8th Jan 2020 + every school holidays
Byron Twilight market – Saturday nights 4 pm-9 pm, Nov – May 2020

byron bay market stands
Jewellery stand at byron bay market
handmade Wood Chopping Board stand at Byron Bay Market
Byron Bay Candles stand at byron bay market
Bangalow market

You can find the Bangalow market nestled under the shade of 11 huge camphor laurel trees, which give the market a certain ‘magical forest’ vibe. It’s really quite a beautiful setting, especially in summer where the shade is a welcome respite from the heat. Bangalow is a historic village about 15 minutes-drive from Byron Bay and there is plenty of parking onsite. It’s one of the area’s most popular markets – we’ll see you there!

Bangalow market dates and times

Every 4th Sunday of the month

Bangalow Market handmade ceramic and cushions stand
Bangalow Market artisanal Soap bars stand
Bangalow Market crystal grid cloth stand
More markets we love
Yep, there’s more.

Byron Flea Market – behind the library on the 2nd Saturday of the month, 9am-2pm.
Byron Flea is actually a community program aimed at helping local youths gain skills and work experience in a market setting. Even the entertainment is performed by Byron Bay High music students.

The Channon – 2nd Sunday of the month
Beloved for its old-school Byron hippy vibes, the Channon market is out in the hills and feels a world away from bustling Byron. Wonderful.

Brunswick Heads Market – 1st Saturday of the month, 7 am-2 pm.
Combine a high-tide dip in the river with a visit to the market.

Lismore Car Boot Market – 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month
Sienna Founder, Danielle, is a big fan of this market. A veritable treasure trove of plants, homewares and more than one really decent vintage stall.

See the Visit Byron Bay website for more details.

All the dates

First Week of the Month

Brunswick Heads Markets – 1st Saturday of the month
Byron Bay Markets – 1st Sunday of the month (+ 3rd Sunday Dec & Jan)
Pottsville Markets – 1st Sunday of the month
Lismore Car Boot Market – 1st Sunday of the month

Second Week of the Month

Byron Flea Market – 2nd Saturday of the month
Kingscliff Markets – 2nd Saturday of the month
The Channon Markets – 2nd Sunday of the month

Third Week of the Month

Byron Bay Markets – 3rd Sunday December & January
Lismore Car Boot Market – 3rd Sunday of the month
Mullumbimby Markets – 3rd Saturday of the month
Alstonville Markets – 3rd Saturday of the month
Pottsville Markets – 3rd Sunday of the month
Uki Buttery Bazaar – 3rd Sunday of the month
Murwillumbah Markets – 3rd Saturday of the month

Fourth Week of the Month

Kingscliff Markets – 4th Saturday of the month
Nimbin Markets – 4th and 5th Sunday of the month
Bangalow Markets – 4th Sunday of the month
Coolamon Scenic Drive lookout in byron hinterland

A day in Federal – Byron Bay Hinterland

Head for the hills

 

When we first moved to Byron Bay many moons ago, all we wanted to do was explore. So we jumped in our cars to head for the hills. It might sound like a cliché, but our reality looked like the stuff of our daydreams; waterfalls, swimming holes, quaint little villages with the yummiest wholefood and hunting for treasure in artisan stores were all on the agenda. And not much has changed. A trip to the hills is always a good idea, and we’d love to show you one of our favourite spots: Federal. So, whether you are a local or are reading this from the other side of the world, come and take our tour of this creative hub and natural wonderland.

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You’re about to be on ‘hills time’

 

You can’t deny that Byron Bay is almost magnetic in its beauty, but there is plenty to see just beyond the coast. Federal is an easy 23 km from Byron along the Coolamon Scenic Drive – and ‘scenic’ it is. Your first stop should be the lookout as you first turn on to Coolamon Scenic Drive. There are stunning 360-degree views of the coast, Wollumbin (Mount Warning) and lush rolling hills. Take a deep breath and relax. You’re about to be on ‘hills time’.

Coolamon Scenic Drive lookout in byron hinterland
view of the road at minyon falls lookout in byron hinterland australia

On the road to Federal

Drive through the winding hinterland roads with banks of wildflowers, corridors of trees, breathtaking views of the ocean and Byron Bay lighthouse and before long you will find yourself in Federal. It’s safe to say that this is not your typical country town. Artists looking for space to create, join families, hippies, baby boomer sea changers and everyone else you could imagine who have come for a more ‘country soul’ type lifestyle.

Doma Café for lunch

 

Stop in for lunch at Doma (3/6 Albert Street, Federal). Doma was opened by Japanese chefs Takayuki Kuramoto and Takashi Yaguchi in 2012 and is often described as a Japanese/Australian fusion. Everything here is good. You simply cannot make a mistake so pick a spot in the garden and enjoy. Don’t take our word for it though. This humble little café has even been very positively reviewed in the New York Times.

📍 Doma café – Federal
Colour – Florence nail polish

doma cafe outdoor terrace in federal byron hinterland

Time for a caffeine hit

 

Moonshine Roasters is a small, family-owned and operated roastery and espresso bar. They’ve been roasting in the hills for close to a decade and supply loads of the cafes in Byron Bay. Is it time for a coffee? Or a chai? Pop into their House of Shine (447 Federal Drive, Federal) to refuel before you get involved in some retail therapy.

📍 Moonshine Roasters – Federal
Colour – Peace nail polish

Moonshine cafe sign and outdoor terrace in Federal Byron Hinterland

Retail therapy, hills style

 

With its rustic tin walls and sky-high bush poles, The Hills Emporium (441 Federal Drive, Federal) would be worth a visit, even if it didn’t house the most covetable collections of artisan-made fashion and interiors. Owners Kaidee and Bulan make and source items that resonate with their ethical and sustainable ethos and all we can say is… “yes”.

📍 The Hills Emporium – Federal
Colour – Embrace nail polish

view of the hills emporium shop from outside in federal byron hinterland

Wild swimming under a spectacular waterfall

 

Is it time for a wander through the bush and perhaps a swim under a 104 metre tall waterfall? Yes, it is. Minyon Falls (Nightcap National Park) is a hop, skip and a jump from Federal but please take care on the roads; they can be slippery if there has been heavy rainfall. There is a lookout with the most glorious views from the top of the falls, as well as lots of micro walks in and around the national park. It’s possible (and wonderful) to swim at the base of the falls or in a pool further down. We all love a wild swim, but some things to remember are that rocks can be slippery and the winds can be wild if the falls are really pumping. The other thing to consider is sunscreen and bug spray – both can disastrously upset the balance of delicate ecosystems.

📍 Minyon Falls – Byron Bay Hinterland
Colour – Marble nail polish

Minyon falls lookout in Byron Bay Hinterland Australia

Federal, we love you

So that’s Federal. Not bad for a village with a population of 700. We hope you have a great day out!

Protestors Falls Byron Bay

The top 3 waterfalls in Byron Bay

We are so lucky to have some absolutely beautiful waterfalls an easy day trip from Byron Bay. Whether it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon or a midweek meander, these are the spots Byron Bay locals turn to. Some of these waterfalls are easily accessed via a short walk, while others require a bit more planning and a decent hike to reach. Be sure to check out our favourite swimming spots when you’re ready to hit the coast again.

Killen Falls

Killen Falls (Killen Falls Drive, Tintenbar) is perfect if you only have an hour or so to spare. A small carpark leads to the viewing platform overlooking the falls, or take the short track down to the bottom of the falls. The path can get slippery, so be careful if it’s been raining.

Killen Falls Byron Bay

Minyon Falls

Minyon Falls (Nightcap National Park) is one of the largest waterfalls in the area. Water thunders down from 104 metres and it is absolutely spectacular after rainfall. The lookout at the top of the falls is a short walk from the carpark –and it is no exaggeration to say the views are stunning – with granite cliffs and dense bushland as far as the eye can see. Be sure to bring your camera. If you’re looking for a full-day adventure, the Minyon Falls walking track allows you to wander through the forest past beautiful creeks leading to the bottom of the waterfall. The track is 13km return, so be prepared with plenty of food and water to last you throughout the day.

Minyon Falls Byron Bay
Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/tk_five_0/show/

Protestors Falls

Also in the ranges of the Nightcap National Park, the World Heritage-listed Protestors Falls is another definite stop if you’re travelling through Northern NSW.  It’s a short walk to Protestors Falls from the carpark but expect some short, steep hills. You’ll be able to rest and refuel with a picnic at Terania Creek on the way back. At the time of writing, swimming is prohibited in all creeks nearby to protect the habitat of the Fleay’s Barred Frog.
Protestors Falls Byron Bay
Photo credit: Bradley Bow

Leave no trace

We all know the importance of leaving no trace. So please be sure to be self-sufficient and leave the area as you found it. It’s a good idea to check official websites before visiting if you have any questions or to check directions – patchy mobile reception means you may not be able to rely on GPS. We hope you love exploring our local waterfalls and experiencing all this incredible area has to offer!
byron melbourne roadtrip the blue pool bermagui sunset

Byron Bay road trip

There is something so special about an East Coast road trip. Before low-cost air travel was the norm, this trip was a classic rite-of-passage experience, and it’s still as magical as it ever was. So pack your bags, cue the playlist, jump in the car, and head north to Byron Bay from Melbourne. It’s a great opportunity to explore the Australian coastline and discover some amazing spots along the way. Start from Melbourne and follow the Princess Highway to Sydney, and then take the Pacific Highway from Sydney to Byron Bay. For the lucky ones who can take their time and meander up the East Coast, we’ve mapped out our favourite towns and beaches along the way for your Melbourne to Byron road trip adventure.

road trip vintage beige volkswagen winnebago in front of the beach in australia
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Wilsons Promontory

 

Begin your Byron road trip with a stop off at Wilsons Promontory, 200km from Melbourne. This may not be the usual route but, once you get there, you will understand why we love it so much. The stunning national park at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia offers granite mountains, rainforest, open forests and sweeping beaches. The 3-day trail walk tours are a stunning start to your journey.

Wilsons Promontory wooden bridge and forest view in Australia

Lakes Entrance

 

Three and a half hours from Wilsons Promontory is Lakes Entrance. Drive down Seaview Parade for unparalleled views over the town centre, marinas, Cunninghame Arm and down Ninety Mile Beach.

drone view of lakes entrance in Australia
photo credit : visitvictoria.com

The Blue Pool

 

The Blue Pool is the next on our list. It’s located 350km from Lakes Entrance in a small town on the south coast of NSW called Bermagui. This gorgeous, natural rock pool is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The pool is set against a backdrop of dramatic cliffs. You may have seen the photos, but this is a spot you need to see in person. A natural rock pool washed with clear ocean water, The Blue Pool is situated at the bottom of a dramatic cliff face and you just know it will look amazing in your travel snaps.

blue pool in bermagui Australia
photo credit: visitnsw.com

Jervis Bay

 

Jervis Bay is your next stop. It’s 200km north of The Blue Pool and is famous for having some of the whitest sand in the world. This natural wonderland is a haven for bottlenose dolphins, penguins and other sea creatures. A definite stop on your East Coast road trip.

Jervis Bay beach on a sunny day in Australia
photo credit: visitnsw.com

Sydney

 

Three hours later you’ll arrive in Sydney. Stop for a meal or even the night. The iconic Bondi to Bronte walk is a favourite of ours. Stretch your legs and breathe in that fresh coastal air.

Sydney coastal walk with view of Sydney opera and CBD

Crescent Head

 

If you’re starting fresh the next morning, head north for five hours and stop in at the sleepy surf town, Crescent Head. Take the Big Hill Rainforest track and find yourself a spot to take in sweeping views of the ocean.

big waves in Crescent Head beach Australia
photo credit: surfinn.travel

South West Rocks

 

A short drive north (just under an hour, but worth the extra stop!) you’ll arrive at South West Rocks. This seaside holiday town is situated at the mouth of the Macleay River and boasts uncrowded beaches in Arakoon National Park. The ocean here is literally crystal clear.

South West Rocks beach in a sunny day
photo credit: big4.com.au

Coffs Harbour

 

Yes, Coffs Harbour has the Big Banana, but it also has so much more than that. It’s an easy 100km drive north of South West Rocks and is a good spot to refuel and recaffeinate. Be sure to visit Sealy Lookout for spectacular views from the Forest Sky Pier at Sealy Lookout, a short drive from the city through hillside banana plantations. The wheelchair-accessible platform extends almost 22 metres over rainforest escarpment. Otherwise, simply wander the marina or sneak in a cheeky surf on your way up the coast.

Sealy lookout in Coffs harbour banana plantation
Photo credit: visitnsw.com

Yamba

 

It’s the last stop on your Byron Bay road trip! Keep heading north and two hours later you will land in the coastal town of Yamba. Take a refreshing dip in the ocean pool, and get your caffeine fix in town!

Yamba artificial ocean pools in the morning light

Byron Bay

 

You’re here! About 90 minutes later you’ll reach Byron Bay. We know you’ve read all about what to do in Byron, but if you’re looking for inspiration, you can read all about our Byron summer bucket list, or favourite swimming spots.

surfeur on the beach holding his board and looking at the waves

Byron Bay Sunset and Sunrise – Local style

Who loves a beautiful sunrise or sunset? Us too. Living in Byron Bay, we are very lucky to have big beautiful skies all year round. Whether it’s the blazing oranges and reds of an Autumn-Winter sunset or the neon pinks and oranges of a Summer sunrise, we are there to take it all in. And we’re not alone. Visitors and locals alike can be seen sitting peacefully and taking a moment to observe the natural rhythms of the sun and the moon. You can do that too now; you’re on Byron time.

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Sunrise

 

The iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse is the most obvious spot to enjoy the sunrise. It’s set at the most Easterly point of Australia so the sunrises are spectacular. The hour before the sun finally peeks over the horizon is beautiful, as the sky lights up with pastel shades of orange, pink and blue. Walk (or drive) up to the lighthouse with plenty of time before sunrise, find a spot to perch yourself and settle back and relax. If it’s a peaceful and calm morning, you can hear the first birdsong of the day and the waves crashing down below.  There is usually quite a crowd up at the lighthouse – even as early as 4.30am – but it’s a gentle crowd, all there for the same thing: to watch the sun come up. It’s a beautiful way to start the day.

Sunrise in Byron Bay

Sunset

 

Main Beach in downtown Byron Bay is the hub of sunset activity every evening. It is the perfect spot to go with friends and a picnic blanket, find a patch of grass and chill out. The reflection of the sky onto the ocean is spectacular on both low-cloud or clear days. Park at Clarkes Beach and walk along the boardwalk for an amazing view and photo opportunity. There is an opening in the trees that looks out across Clarkes, down to Main Beach, and you can watch the sun set over the mountains in the distance. Magic.

Sunset in Byron Bay

Byron Bay, we love you

Next time you’re visiting set your alarm early for at least one sunrise, and break away from the pub or restaurant one evening to watch the sunset from Main Beach. It will be the best light show you’ll ever see.