Byron Bay is situated in the far north of New South Wales and on the very eastern tip of Australia - Cape Byron is the easternmost point of mainland Australia. This small beach town was put on the tourism map back in the 1970s when it was on the hippy trail later becoming a popular backpacker destination. It is to a large extent the legacy of Byron’s early days that set it apart from other spots along this beautiful stretch of coast. Whether the actual beaches in and around Byron Bay are any better than those a little way up or down the coast is a moot point, it is the whole package that makes this a special place.
Byron’s beaches are without doubt the town’s greatest asset and there are a few to choose from all of which face into the the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. And it’s easy to escape the summer crowds on Main Beach; the short walk to Tallow beach reveals 7 km of pristine sandy beach - more than enough to go around. There are also some quality surf spots in and around Byron Bay, most notable are Wategos, a long point-break favoured by longboarders, Lennox Head and “The Wreck” off Belongil Beach - a powerful wave best left to the real surfers!
Whilst the trustafarians, wanna-be surf bums and barefoot sixties throw-backs might not be everyone’s cup of tea Byron is still is a great place. For starters the developers haven’t been allowed free reign as in places like Surfer’s Paradise up the coast. So there are no high rise blocks and the town pretty much blends into the vegetation that lines the beach. Over recent years the town has definitely shifted a little upmarket, but to date this seems to happily coexist with the backpackers etc and has not affected the laid back vibe of the place.
A couple of words of warning though, watch out for schoolies week (end of November) when the town can become inundated with drunken teenagers celebrating the end of high school. Also, Byron Bay has the highest number of shark attacks for any beach in Australia, earning itself a place on the list of most dangerous beaches in the world.
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