Byron Bay is only a two hour drive south of Brisbane, which makes it the perfect destination for a short getaway. The coastal town is famous for its beaches and it full of tourists in the summertime. But many find it’s actually better to visit in the cooler months, when the town is less busy and you have some of the stunning attractions all to yourself.
It’s probably a good idea to start thinking about this trip as autumn approaches! Pick up your cheap car hire deal from DriveNow at Brisbane Airport and let your journey begin.
Do the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk
Make sure this walk is at the top of your to-do list once you get to Byron Bay. The iconic lighthouse sits on top of sea cliffs. You can reach it from the base of the hill, which is a difficult walk, or by simply driving most of the way and walking the last part. It’s the perfect lookout to admire the easternmost pint of mainland Australia. You’ll be treated to splendid views of the coastline.
Check out the Bangalow Markets
You don’t necessarily need a lot of money to pick up some good buys at the Bangalow Markets. Drive 20 minutes and you’ll come across a world of handcrafted goods, unique jewellery and ceramics. There are 300 stalls and a whole bunch of freshly baked delights to look at. The markets are held on the fourth Sunday of the month. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s still lovely to browse the stalls and meet the skilled artists, who will no doubt take every opportunity to talk about their creations.
Hit the beaches
Byron Bay is most famous for its idyllic beaches. White sandy shores and clear blue waters… what else could you ask for? The beaches may cool down in autumn but that means you’ll also get to escape the crowds. Main Beach is popular with families and it’s also home to many surf schools. If cold water scares you then all you need is a wetsuit and you’ll hardly feel it. If surfing isn’t your thing then pack a hot lunch and enjoy a picnic on the sand.
Head to the Ballina Historic Waterfront Trail
Drive south to discover one of the region’s iconic walking trails. THis one takes you from the gorgeous Fawcett Park to the North Wall, teaching you all about the area’s history. You’ll learn about the Richmond River and the role it played in the region’s early years, along with the arrival of European settlers. There are 19 interpretive plaques along the walkway to fill in the gaps for you. When you learn about an area’s history, it makes you appreciate what you see in town today.
Exlpore the Macadamia Castle
Head to Ballina’s Macadamia Castle for a day full of family fun. The kids tend to bolt straight to the nursery to see the animals. You’ll find native friends plus little rabbits and even a reptile display. You can also take the kids for a game of mini golf or treat yourself to a BBQ lunch. You’ll come across plenty of delicious food including gourmet macadamia products. There’s even a display where you can learn about the local macadamia nut industry.