10 Adventurous Activities to do in Byron Bay
Everyone that’s traveled the East Coast of Australia has fallen in love with Byron Bay. For such a small beach town, it has amassed a loyal following for a location of culture and creativity. It is young, laid-back (perhaps a little hipster) and a real representation of the attitude a surfer town should be. In my short 3-days I was absorbed by the gorgeous breakfasts, talented musicians that fill the streets and the inclusive community Byron Bay has created for itself. Along with creative pursuits, Byron Bay has a whole host of adventure and outdoor pursuits to embark on. Here is my list of the 10 Best Adventurous Activities to do in Byron Bay. (You may need more than 3 days) whilst basing myself at Aquarius Backpackers Hostel.
1. Sunset Hike to Byron Light House
On the most Eastern point of Australia sits a lone lighthouse that overlooks Byron Bay and its surroundings. A 30 minute hike from the town centre, expect to take in spectacular views of hidden beaches, kangaroos and one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen (so beautiful that there was clapping afterwards.) If you are an early bird, a sunrise hike may be of more interest and you can get the lighthouse to yourself. One top tip, leave the jeans at home! The steep steps and heat does not do well for hike flexibility…I learned the hard way.
2. Learn to Scuba with Sharks
The ocean around Byron Bay is unique. It’s the point where the Coral Sea from the North meets the Tasmanian Sea in the South and the Cape stretches out into the Pacific Ocean. This alignment means there is a unique ecosystem that breeds special marine life around the area. A particularly popular spot to learn to scuba is around Julian Rocks where Thresher, Wobegong and Nurse Sharks reside and you can get up close and personal with them.
3. Snorkel with Turtles
Just because you don’t have your SCUBA license (like me) does not mean you’ll miss out on the fun! Those who are still interested to see some marine life can be taken to the same spot as the divers with Dive Byron Bay. The only restriction is you won’t be able to dive as deep. There’s some definite pros and cons to this.
Cons: I was unable to get close to the sharks ( I could see them with the divers as I was bobbing jealously from the top). Pros: A jelly fish did stroke my face (it didn’t sting) and the snorkelers were the only ones to see a turtle. One point for snorkelers!
4. Kayak with Dolphins
This was by far the most popular adventure activity in Byron Bay and was booked out days in advance. The tour guides take you to a route through Byron Bay Marine Park Rivers, right up into the sea where you will be in close proximity to dolphins, sharks and turtles. You will also learn about the bay’s history and indigenous culture. I was gutted to have missed out on the space, so pre-book with Cape Byron Kayaks!
Maybe you’re a little bored of land-based activities or perhaps coming face-to-face with a shark is not extreme enough for you. Then what about hurtling yourself out of a plane from 14,000 feet? Well Byron Bay Skydive can take care of that for you. Granted your first few go’s may have to be attached to someone via tandem, for those thrill-seekers and death -defiers (me), this might be the activity for you. Check out my review of Byron Bay Skydive here.
Top tip : The wait prior to the jump can take a while, so I recommend bringing something to do to pass the time…or just take a nap. The jump will soon clear your drowsiness.
The second air-based activity gives you a little longer to take in the views of Byron Bay paradise. You will fly tandem with an instructor and take a few steps down a slope to be lifted into another world where you can soar above the skies. You can find out more with Poliglide.
7. Surf / Stand-up paddle-board (SUP)
With surf and SUP rent at relatively cheap prices ($20 – $24 AUD for half a day), this is one of the the lowest cost outdoor activity you can embark on. With 3 beaches to test your skills on at close vicinity to each other, you can spend most of your days soaking up the rays and mastering those GoPro shots. Note that there is a very strong current and the lifeguards only oversaw the swimming parts of the beach, so always check conditions and be sure of your ability before wandering in solo.
8. Take a day-trip to Nimbin
Byron Bay was and still is very much a surfer haven and a lot of the community and creative spirit came from it’s hippie roots. Not so much adventurous in the sense of adrenaline-seeking, however a few hours in-land from Byron Bay sits a place called Nimbin, which is known as the weed capital of Australia. If you are that way inclined and want to have a more spiritual adventure then a day-trip to Nimbin is a must!
9. Mountain Bike Tour
If you are looking for another unique perspective of Byron Bay and reach areas inaccessible by foot, then a Mountain Bike Tour could be the best shout. Taking you through tours along subtropical rainforests, through fire trails, downhill and log jumps you will see another side to Byron Bay. There is even the option to attach an overnight camp and hike up Mount Warning for those of you who really want to get their sweat on.
10. Marvel at the Whales
Saving the most anticipated activity for last. Byron Bay is one of the best spots in Australia to experience humpback migrations. Byron Bay Whale Watching are one of the better tour groups to travel with as they only take small groups and the fare contributes to whale research. Just note that the whale-watching season is between June and November so align your trip to those dates to avoid disappointment!
Have I missed anything out? Which of these activities tickle your fancy more? Would you have freaked out as bad as I did with the jellyfish? Looking forward to hearing from you below!
Note I am not endorsed by Aquarius Backpackers Hostel, however they provide free dinner, have a sick pool and all these activities can be booked through them if you choose to stay at their hostel, so check them out!
Location: Byron Bay, Australia
How To Get Around: Walk, Cycle, Cruise Board
Currency: AUD Australian Dollars
Best Bits: Skydiving, Surfing, Chasing Turtles (don’t worry I did’t touch it)
Be Wary: Strong currents when surfing, Falling in love with the area and living there forever
I Visited: Jan 2017