Without a doubt, Byron Bay has to be one of Australia’s most beloved and iconic destinations. Named, ‘Cavvanbah’, by the first Australians, meaning ‘meeting place,’ this gorgeous coastal town boasts laid back vibes, spectacular beaches, fantastic food and an endless list of must-try activities. Best of all, it’s the ideal destination for a road trip, with some excellent regional gems to discover along the way. To help you plan the perfect Byron Bay road trip here’s our three-night, four-day itinerary. Scroll to the end for your free pocket guide!
Watch our full itinerary play-out in this Byron Bay road trip video:
9:45 am Springbrook National Park
We started our road trip in Queensland, just south of Brisbane, but you could start yours anywhere! Immersing yourself in nature is a great way to kick things off and, for us, a visit to the stunning Springbrook National Park was the perfect fit. The Natural Bridge circuit is an easy 1km loop, taking you through ancient Gondwana rainforest to the spectacular rock arch formed by the force of the waterfall over the basalt cave. An easy walk, you’ll only need an hour or so to do it at a leisurely pace with plenty of time to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.
11 am Border Crossing Lookout
The drive through the hinterland calls for a brief stop at the Border Crossing Lookout as you make your way from Queensland into New South Wales. It’s an ideal spot to pause and soak in the natural beauty of Northern New South Wales for a few moments and to change your clocks if visiting during Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)! Keep in mind, you may need to adjust the timings of this itinerary from this point on if your visit coincides with daylight savings time. To find the lookout spot, just type it into Google Maps!
12 pm Lunch in Murwillumbah
The laid-back, artsy town of Murwillumbah is the next stop on your road trip. Located on the foothills of the McPherson Range in the Tweed Volcano valley, it’s all things lush and green. Here, you can explore the heart of the town, ducking into local boutiques, bars and a few wonderful thrift stores, if you like. Grab a delicious bite to eat at Wild Thyme, where you can enjoy burgers, salads, toasties and all manner of goodies from their bakery cabinets.
2 pm Check-in at your Kingscliff accommodation
Make your way to the coastal town of Kingscliff, home to beautiful beaches, amazing beachside hotels and resorts as well an abundance of restaurants and cafes to choose from. We stayed in Kingscliff for one night but you could easily extend your itinerary and make it two or three nights.
Overlooking the South Pacific Ocean, Peppers Salt Resort & Spa is a wonderful place to stay in Kingscliff. Located within Salt Village, it offers a laid-back, coastal atmosphere surrounded by pristine beach and great food. We stayed in a one-bedroom suite with direct access to the resort’s impressive lagoon-style pool, one of two pools on-site!
Fully self-contained, our room featured a king-size bed, separate shower and bath, laundry facilities, kitchen, air-conditioning, free wifi and so much more. Once you’re check-in and settled in your room, I recommend taking some time to unwind and relax with a swim then enjoy your suite. Find more Kingscliff accommodation options here.
6:30 pm Dinner at La Barrita
Grab dinner at Salt Village, a very short two-minute walk from the resort. There is a range of spots to choose from, including Darbaar Indian Restaurant, Sea Salt Italian Ristorante, Mahsuri Thai and Fins Restaurant. We got our dinner to-go from La Barrita, taking it back to our suite to enjoy while overlooking the pool. It was a lovely, laid-back way to end the day and make the most of our room.
6 am Sunrise swim
If you’re an early riser or enjoy having a pool all to yourself, wake up at around 6 am and slip into the lagoon pool for a sunrise swim. We found it to be a peaceful and refreshing way to start the day! If sleeping in is more your style, stay tucked up in bed and enjoy your well-deserved rest.
10 am Breakfast and markets
Held every Tuesday morning at River Street, nestled along Marshalls Creek, the New Brighton Farmers Market is a great way to start day two of your road trip. Home to more than 30 farmers and food producers offering up the region’s best and freshest produce including fruit and veggies, sourdough, eggs, milk, cheeses, coffee, honey and more. You can also grab breakfast at the market, including yummy crepes, Sicilian fare, baked goods and tasty coffee. If your visit doesn’t coincide with the market, you may like to enjoy breakfast at a local Kingscliff cafe like Choux Box Cafe & Bar or The Salt Mill.
11:30 am Explore Bangalow
It was only a decade or so ago that Bangalow was a farming community, known only to locals. Now, it’s famous for its wonderful boutiques, fantastic food scene, the annual Bangalow Music Festival and iconic 100-year-old-federation buildings. Spend some time exploring the main street and keep an eye out for small signs on shopfronts, sharing more insight into their history. You could also extend your itinerary to include a one or two-night stay in Bangalow! Find and book Bangalow accommodation here.
1 pm Lunch at Butcher Baker Bangalow
Once your hunger kicks in, make your way to Butcher Baker Bangalow, housed in a heritage building on the main street. The in-house bakery crafts delectable goodies including pastries and sweet treats and the lunch menu features house-baked bread and buns too! Try one of their famous burgers, sandwiches or keep it light with a salad.
2 pm Check-in at your Byron Bay accommodation
Make your way to The Beach Shack, one of Byron’s best boutique accommodation spots located a short walk from Belongil Beach and close to the town centre. Here, you’ll find six stylish, self-contained shacks, each with their own private entrance. Fully self-contained, we loved having our very own home away from home in Byron Bay and really enjoyed the privacy and space The Beach Shack offered.
Our room featured an open-plan living and dining area with a fully-equipped, modern kitchen, restored timber furthers, washing facilities, bath over shower, free wifi and more. There’s also a sandstone-edged pool, ideal for cooling off on those hot summer days! Find more Byron Bay accommodation here.
4 pm Cocktails at Loft
If sundowners are on your Byron wish-list, head directly to Loft, located close to Byron Bay’s Main Beach. Overlooking the street below, you can sink into the effortlessly cool atmosphere while enjoying happy hour cocktails, beer and wine while nibbling on charcuterie and cheese or tucking into delectable fresh seafood.
6 pm Sunset at the Cape Byron Lighthouse
Your first afternoon in Byron isn’t complete with a visit to the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse. Built in 1901 on Australia’s most easterly point, the lighthouse was operated by resident keepers right up until 1989. Now, it’s a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset while taking in breathtaking views over Byron Bay and beyond.
8 pm Dinner at Yulli’s
Once the sun goes down, make your way directly to Yulli’s, a modern Asian restaurant serving up plant-based bites that will leave your tastebuds very happy. Tuck into small, medium and large plates that are best-enjoyed family-style. Your only problem will be narrowing it down to a few choices because, honestly, everything is great! We loved the edamame and coconut money bags, san choy bao and the steamed leek and ginger dumplings.
7:30 am Breakfast at Folk Cafe
It’s important to fuel up before your first full day of fun in Byron Bay! Head to Folk, located just outside the main town area. This quaint cafe is surrounded by lush gardens and pumps out great music and truly wonderful vegetarian and plant-based food. The coffee is unreal and the menu includes tantalising options like the Folk burrito, organic tahini and citrus granola and a range of breakfast favourites and unique treats.
9 am Sea turtle snorkelling experience
Byron Bay boasts some absolutely spectacular coastline and beautiful beaches so it makes sense to take advantage and dive into a water-based activity or two! Try a 3-hour sea turtle snorkelling experience out to Julian Rocks or, if you have more time, a 5-hour introducing scuba diving tour (no certification required!) You could also join a whale-watching cruise, learn to surf, kayak with dolphins, go stand-up paddleboarding and so much more!
1 pm Lunch at Foxy Luu’s
All that fun in the water is sure to have built up your appetite! Make your way to Foxy Luu’s, an inconspicuous spot serving Asian street eats in a relaxed setting. Make sure you arrive hungry because the food here is unreal. We absolutely loved their bento boxes, with options for vegans and meat-eaters. Healthy, fresh and simply bursting with flavour, you’ll eat every last bite.
2 pm Explore Byron Bay Town
Take the afternoon to slowly delve deeper into Byron Bay, exploring the network of streets lined with clothing stores, quirky boutiques, cool bars, cafes, galleries and more! You may also like to head out to the Buch Shed or the fabulous Stone & Wood Brewery for a drink or two.
7 pm Dinner at The Roadhouse
Freshen up at your accommodation then make your way to The Roadhouse, a Byron Bay institution! We loved the dark, rustic interior that’s cosy and welcoming, perfectly paired with great music and cocktails. There’s plenty to choose from on the mouth-watering menu but you absolutely cannot skip the wood-fired, hand-stretched, biodynamic, two-day fermented pizzas! Seriously, the crust is unbelievable and the chefs do a great job of hero-ing all that delicious pizza base goodness.
9 am Breakfast and markets
Enjoy a sleep-in at your accommodation then head out for coffee and food! There are a few great markets to visit in the area, including the Bangalow Markets held Saturdays from 7-11 am and the Byron Bay Farmers Market, held Thursdays 7-11 am. Here, you can get your hands on fresh produce and goodies to take home as well as great food and coffee. If your visit doesn’t coincide with the markets, there are plenty of cool cafes to choose from in Byron Bay.
10 am Visit The Farm
Spread over 80 scenic acres, The Farm is an actual working farm home to a community of growers, producers, eateries and educators with a shared passion for growing food using traditional, sustainable methods that are spray and chemical-free. You can do a self-guided tour or join a guided tour on foot or horseback!
12 pm Lunch at Three Blue Ducks
Whatever you do, make sure you arrive at Three Blue Ducks with a big hunger. Located on-site at The Farm, you’ll definitely need a reservation to avoid disappointment. The menu here is nothing short of impressive and you really can’t go wrong when it comes to choosing what to eat. We loved sharing a selection of plates family-style and felt it was one of the best meals we ate all year! If you only eat at one spot on this whole itinerary, make it Three Blue Ducks.
Your Byron Bay Road Trip pocket guide
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