It may have been crowned Australia’s most expensive destination (thanks Hemsworth brothers and Splendour in the Grass) but visiting Byron Bay doesn’t have to break the bank. You can still soak up those hippy vibes and get that sun-kissed glow on the cheap!
Here are 7 FREE things to do in Byron Bay, so you can spend more on those acai bowls, boho escapes and surf lessons.
1. Wander the markets
Byron has some of the funkiest crafts and tastiest produce in the Northern Rivers area, and where better to find these than a local market?
There are heaps to choose from, depending on whether you want to try artisan goods or find a pair of handmade earrings.
Check out the Byron Community Market, held on the first Sunday of every month, for artwork, hand-made jewellery, massages and music.
There’s also the Artisan Market, held every Saturday night during spring and summer, and the Farmers Market, held every Thursday morning, for delicious local food and homemade goodies.
Byron Community Market
First Sunday of every month, 8am-3pm
Butler Street Reserve
Every Saturday from October to Easter, 4pm-9pm
Railway Park, Jonson Street
Byron Bay Farmers Market
Thursday morning, 8-11 am
Butler Street Reserve
2. Visit the lighthouse
Located on the most easterly point of Australia, if you make it here for sunrise, you’ll be one of the first people in the country to see the sun! Cool huh?
Even if you can’t bring yourself to make it there that early, there is still tons to do at any time of day.
Wander the Cape Byron Loop Walk, a 3.7km stretch of walking tracks, boardwalks and beach paths with postcard-worthy views, or stay at the top and watch for whales.
3. Take the plunge at Minyon Falls
With great walks, picnic spots and BBQ facilities, this is the perfect day trip from Byron. The scenery here is almost prehistoric, and there are some of the best views the area has to offer.
Take the track through Nightcap National Park and lush the rainforest to reach the falls themselves, cascading 100 metres over the jagged cliffs.
You can climb almost to the top of the falls, and, if you aren’t scared of heights, enjoy watching the water plunge down into the gorge below!
4. Catch some free music
Famous for it’s great music festivals and local artists, Byron is one of the best spots to listen to home-grown Aussie music. You don’t need to shell out hundreds for a festival ticket either, most of the pubs in town have free live music each night.
The Rails Hotel is a good place to start, with a funky beer garden and free live music every night of the week.
Byron Bay Brewery and Buddha Bar also has some great bands on most nights, and local favourite the Great Northern Hotel is another hot spot. You can also call into the Beach Hotel for some tunes overlooking the ocean – you’re in Byron Bay after all!
86 Johnson Street, Byron Bay
Mon-Sat 10am-12am, Suny 12pm-12am
Byron Bay Brewery and Buddha Bar
1 Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay
Tues 5pm-late, Wed-Sun 12pm-late
Great Northern Hotel
35 – 43 Jonson Street, Byron Bay
Mon-Sat 10am-3am, Sun 12pm-3am
5. Hit up the beaches
There are plenty of stunning spots around Byron Bay to choose from, so grab your swimmers, towel and get moving!
Head to Clarkes Beach for windsurfing, body-boarding and paragliding or Wategos Beach for more sheltered swimming.
There’s also White Beach, which is a real hidden gem. You’ll need to drive then walk 15 minutes to reach this spot, but it’s worth it for the secluded paradise that awaits!
6. Get your art fix
Byron is home to some of Australia’s funkiest makers and creators, so wandering the free galleries around the town is a great way to spend a day.
The Lone Goat Gallery has regular exhibitions from local visual artists, and Jules Hunt Studio Gallery is a great place to purchase original work and even speak to the artist herself!
Lone Goat Gallery
28 Lawson Street, Byron Bay
Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-12pm
Jules Hunt Studio Gallery
2/10 Brigantine Street, Byron Bay
Mon-Sat, 9am – 5pm
7. Watch the sunrise or sunset
Sure, you can get these on any holiday, but there’s something about watching the sunset and rise over the Byron Bay water that’s especially magical.
Whether you’re catching the view from the top of Cape Byron, or from the comfort of the sand on Main Beach, this is the perfect start or end to the day.
So go on, grab a drink and get toasting, you’re not in Byron Bay every day!