Here in NSW we’re about to enjoy an annual treat in the form of a long weekend. With warmer days and spring truly arrived, it’s the perfect time to take a short break in Byron Bay.
And sure, despite there being plenty of places to sign up to organised trips or to spend out shopping, wining and dining, there are also plenty of things to do to add to the memories of your stay that won’t hurt your pocket.
Here’s our pick of five free things to do around Byron Bay:
1. Be the first in Australia to watch the sun rise over the ocean
Located on the most easterly point of Australia, Byron Bay Lighthouse is the perfect place to see first light. The walk up to the lighthouse is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike so although we can’t guarantee that you’ll be alone to watch the sun rise over a sparkling ocean, you will get to experience a super special start to the day. For free. Everyday! sunrise around 5:30am.
2. Get those toes tapping at the Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival
Less than half an hour down the road is Ballina, not only the closest place to Byron for all your bigger shop and supermarket needs but also host to the third annual Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival. The festivities kick off with a FREE Twighlight Concert at the Ballina Amphitheatre at Missingham Bridge, alongside the Richmond River. Bring chairs, blankets and the family (but leave the drinks at the guesthouse – it’s an alcohol free event). Friday 3rd October 6:30pm-10:00pm.
3. Hike down to the bottom of Minyon Falls (or enjoy the views from the lookout)
To experience some of the area away from the beaches and bustle of Byron Bay, take a drive out to Minyon Falls where you can surround yourself in a rainforest experience. Choose to gaze out over treetops stretching off into the distance – all from the safety of the easily accessible lookout – or lace up your hiking shoes and make the 4.5km descent down to the base of the falls for a more physical experience. Bring a picnic to enjoy near the top of the falls or to refuel at the bottom. TIP: go earlier in the day to avoid night-time driving along rough roads.
4. Get lost in craft, colour and people watching at the Byron Bay Markets
Yes, the Byron Bay markets are a free entry event but will you walk away without spending out at least a little? With so many handcrafted, unique gifts and tasty products on display, probably not. But wandering by stalls filled with colour, quality and quirk, you can feast your eyes and immerse yourself in all things Byron. And that’s for free. Sunday 5 October 2014 Butler Street, Byron Bay. 8:00am-3:00pm
5. Creatively express yourself through drumming and dance
A Byron collective gather every night at Main Beach and say goodbye to the day with the beat of their drums, joined by tourists and travellers and anyone with a desire to feel that beat. To immerse yourself in the Byronian spirit, join in or dance (as if no one is watching, of course). If you miss one of the sunset sessions, there’s always another option – the drumming session that usually springs up at the Byron Bay Markets around 4:00pm. Every day for the sunset drumming sessions. Sunset around 6:00pm. Drumming at Byron Bay Markets 4:00pm; market details as above.
In a few days, here in NSW we get a spring treat in the form of a long weekend. Lots of people will come to visit the area. Lots of people will treat themselves to wonderful experiences. Many happy memories will be created.
And the best thing? It can be all be done on a budget.
Please pass this post on to anyone who might find it useful!