Byron Bay's main attractions are the beach and
its waves, it is a great surfing spot, and its cafes and generally
just hanging out enjoying the scene. During summer months the
town gets a bit crowded and congested and you should book your
accommodation and tours well in advance. And if you plan to join
the Newyears Eve celebrations here you need to plan even further
ahead, the police usually blocks off the main road to stop people
overcrowding the town!
Finding your way around is pretty easy, just about everything
is situated along or just off the main street Jonson Street; shops,
cafes, restaurants and accommodation, and the main beach is also
reached along this street. Beaches run all the way from here up
to the Gold Coast for about 50km.
There is also a nudist beach here named Tyagarah Beach, and you
can spot dolphins right near the beach and also whales during
the migrating season as they pass Cape Byron around June/July
The local population likes their town just the way it is, and
when Club Med and McDonald's wanted to move in public pressure
and the overwhelmingly green Byron Shire Council made it very
clear they were not welcome and succesfully kept them out.
Byron Bay used to be known as 'cavaba' by the traditional
owners, the Banjalang Aboriginal tribe but, like most places along
the east coast, was renamed by Captain James Cook on his journey
up the coast in 1770, after Vice-Admiral John Byron who was the
grandfather of the famous 19th century poet, Lord Byron.
After Cook had passed it took until 1928 when Captain H.J. Rous
arrived and gave the bay to the north of Cape Byron the name Byron
Bay. In the 1840s timber cutters arrived to cut down the huge
red cedars in the hinterland which kept them busy until the 1850s.
The actual Bay was slowly settled by Europeans starting from 1869
and settlers were extremely happy to discover that the rich soil
was perfect for growing bananas, pineapples, corn, potatoes, basically
anything. By 1886 the town of Byron Bay was now starting to happen
and shops, hotels, pubs, a jetty and a post office were built
and in 1890 the town got connected to the outside world by railway.
Other milestones in the town's history include 1901 when the lighthouse
was built and 1962 when they stopped whaling off the Byron coast.
Nowadays the local economy is tourism and surfboard manufacturing.
Byron Bay weather today
Byron Bay weather forecast