Byron Bay town itself has many beautiful things on offer: delicious cafes and restaurants, the iconic Byron Bay Lighthouse and of course, the beaches… but there is so much more to see.
Byron Bay is known for a lot of things but its public transport is not one of them, as most people walk, drive or cycle to all locations and if they don’t have a car… their friend sure does. So if you’re visiting the area, hiring your own car is the best and only way to travel so you can get to the beaches that are a bit more tucked away, the lighthouse to watch the sunset without having to walk home in the dark and most importantly the surrounding Northern Rivers.
At Byron Bay RentACar, we provide the vehicle and inspiration you’ll need to experience the ultimate Byron Bay holiday. We have small/medium cars for day trips, wagons that can comfortably sleep 2 for when your explorations take you even further away from the bay and of course, 8-seaters for the bigger groups.
Rent a car and see for yourself that Byron Bay is a lot more than a tourist hotspot by exploring the beautiful hinterland, waterfalls, national parks and neighbouring towns.
So what are you waiting for… your Byron Bay adventure awaits.
Enjoy exploring our list of the best things to do in Byron Bay.
Best Restaurants in Byron Bay
Byron is home to a vast range of delicious cuisines with various restaurants and pubs to choose from. For delicious and fresh south-east Asian food, Light Years, tucked away in Bay Lane will not disappoint. Loft Byron Bay boasts beautiful views of the bay if you’re seated in the terrace area, as well as fabulous cocktails.
For all you vegan’s out there, Yulli’s serves up modern Asian cuisine that will leave the non-vego’s in awe and finally the Byron Beach Hotel will always be a classic, with live music and expansive outdoor areas under a fairy light covered teepee. However, if you want to take a ride in your hire car and get out of the hustle and bustle of central Byron Bay town, here are some must try’s.
Treehouse on Belongil | Byron
Located just outside the centre of Byron Bay, day or night, Treehouse on Belongil will have you covered. Step off the beautiful sands of Belongil beach after your morning surf and grab a delicious coffee to start your day.
Then once the sun goes down it’s time for wood-fired pizza (the best in Byron Bay), cocktails and live music; but they’re much more than just Pizza.
With an open aired, casual dining layout, eclectic decor and relaxed vibes, you’ll be sure to have fun here.
La Casita | Brunswick Heads
Just north of Byron Bay in the sleepy, beachside town of Brunswick Heads, La Casita is doing anything but sleeping. Open Friday to Monday for Lunch and Dinner, this modern, Mexican restaurant is casual and groovy, filled with rustic decor and a lot of charm. The best way to describe their food – simple, quality, delicious.
It’s a small interior only seating 10 but outside in the leafy courtyard there’s space for 30 and they leave half the restaurant for walk-ins so if you get a hankering for Mexican, you won’t be left in the cold. The restaurant is just a short walk from the centre of town, during the day it might be a bit harder to spot, but after dark when the neon “Mexican” sign is glowing you won’t miss it.
Eltham Hotel | Eltham
This charming, country pub is a hidden gem only 40 minutes drive from Byron Bay. Established in 1902, Eltham Hotel is the centrepiece of the small historical town of Eltham. 15 kilometres shy of Lismore, if you take the right route (down Bangalow Road NOT the highway) you’ll get to enjoy a beautiful scenic drive on your journey from Byron Bay.
When you arrive, Eltham Hotel will not disappoint. There are good pub feeds and there’s GOOD pub feeds. At Eltham Hotel they’ve got your pub classics, of course, but also an array of delicious “non-pub” meals. The outdoor courtyard is the perfect place for a relaxing arvo with your mates.
Best Byron Bay Cafes
One thing we’re not short on here in Byron Bay is cafes — extensive, is probably the best word to describe it. Next time you’re in Byron definitely grab an açai bowl from The Byron General Store or bring a picnic blanket and sprawl out on the grass with an epic burger from Top Shop. Ooh and don’t forget Espressohead (located near Byron Bay library), their smashed peas with feta, salsa verde and poached eggs is next level.
Many may think the cafe scene ends after the stretch between Barrio (Sunrise) to Roadhouse (edge of Byron Bay before Suffolk Park)… which are both fabulous by the way as well, but there is so much more to explore behind the wheel of your Byron Bay hire car.
Best Beaches in Byron Bay
Best Waterfalls in Byron Bay
This stunning waterfall is part of the Nightcap National Park, 45 minutes from Byron Bay. Although its most impressive when overflowing after heavy rain, Minyon Falls is beautiful all year round. At the top of the waterfall lookout you can explore the creek, rock pools, and gaze down at an incredible expanse of vibrant rainforest treetops. If this isn’t enough, take yourself down the 13km return walking track. You’ll find yourself surrounded by Australian rainforest and wildlife, topped off by the refreshing swimming hole at the base. The park has picnic, BBQ facilities and toilets, allowing you to enjoy the scenery and fresh air all day.
This not-so-hidden gem is now a popular tourist attraction… and it’s no secret as to why. For a view from the top, follow the walking track up to a lookout over the water. The base of the waterfall can be found by following the distinct (but steep) dirt track, and then along the rocky creek surrounded by luscious, green rainforest. Once you’ve reached the base and taken in the stunning 10m falls, follow the shallow rock pool around up into the cool, rocky cave behind the waterfall. For the full experience, climb down underneath the falls for a very, powerful “shower”. Don’t forget to snap that Insta pic!
If you’re up for a little adventure, head for a drive through the beautiful scenery out-skirting Alstonville to Marom Falls. Just a 500m trail walk under fences and through the fields, this waterfall is a secluded oasis where farms and forest meet — away from the tourist traffic. At the end of the track you’ll find yourself at the top of the rocky cliff with the only two ways down – jump off into the pool below or scale the slippery, uneven path down the side. Make sure you come prepared as there are no amenities, and leave this beautiful location just as you found it!
Nature Reserves & Hiking near Byron Bay
Byron Bay is where the forest meets the sea. Now that we’ve discussed our favourite beaches, it’s time to move back into the hinterlands to explore Byron’s other half. Believe or not, our coastline is not our only wonder.
Nightcap National Park
Located in the Lismore hinterland just 45 minutes inland of Byron Bay, Nightcap National Park’s beauty is incomprehensible. This World Heritage Listed treasure is host to many stunning nature walks. They range from a light 45 minute stroll to a full blown one and a half day exploration.
With 4 picnic areas (all with amenities) it makes for an ideal day-trip but can also be extended into a camping adventure and we haven’t even gotten to the best part. In addition to the gorgeous rainforest landscapes and bush walks, both the spectacular Minyon Falls and Protestor Falls are situated in this national park. If you are in the mood for a refreshing freshwater swim, the swimming hole at the base of Minyon Falls is the way to go. While Protestor Falls is visually spectacular, swimming is discouraged as it is home to the endangered Fleay’s barred frog. Words will by no means do this rainforest justice. The only thing to do is to drive out and experience it for yourself.
Border Rangers National Park
Located near Murwillumbah on the rim of a vast volcano sits Border Rangers National Park. With over 30,000 hectares of National Park this gem boasts abundant rainforests, stunning views, pristine creeks and spectacular plunging waterfalls. Being a part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage, much of the flora and fauna remain protected, unchanged and untouched since ancient times.
The national park offers scenic walks, cycling, camping and picnic facilities, so take extra care to not make a mark on the environment while you are visiting. Start with a sunrise at Pinnacle Lookout and work your way down through the array of waterfalls – Brushbox Falls, Evans Falls, Selva and Swanson Falls and if you can’t wake up that early, venture to the Pinnacle last for a sunset of dancing pastels, the perfect way to end your day.
Bald Rock National Park
Located in Tenterfield, just south of the Queensland border, Bald Rock National Park garnered its name from its most prominent and striking feature – Bald Rock, which rises 200 metres above its surrounds. Stretching 750 meters long and 500 meters wide, Bald Rock, decorated at the hands of water-streaking, holds the crown as the largest granite rock in Australia.
There are two marked tracks to lead you on your expedition. Bungoona walk is the easier of the two but we still wouldn’t call it “easy”, taking you past granite boulders on a gradually ascending bush walk. Then on the other hand you have — Rockface walk, a steep walk on the exposed side of Bald Rock, both leading to the summit. Regardless of how you get to the top, this is the time to step back and enjoy the panoramic views and stunning scenery. If climbing a massive rock isn’t your thing, explore the other array of bush walking tracks on offer.
The Best Places for Camping in Byron Bay
Camping is one thing we’re not short of here in Byron Bay with many campgrounds available such as; Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park, Broken Head Holiday Park, Red Devils Camping Ground and Clarkes Beach Holiday Park, but that’s not the kind of camping we’re talking about.
For full, honest to goodness, camping, there are many beautiful locations to explore and Byron Bay is the perfect jumping off point to head straight on south down the highway (don’t worry it’s not very far). Pack up your car and grab your mates for the weekend, you won’t regret it.
Things to Do in Byron Bay
Where can I find a Theme Park?
Being a small town we don’t have any theme parks located directly in Byron Bay, but if you head north just over the Queensland border there is an epic array of Australia’s best theme parks for all you thrill seekers! Hot tip for speedily getting onto rides: we highly recommend going on a weekday and steer clear of the public holidays.
As a theme park, water park (seasonal) and zoo, Dream World is the whole package and has something on offer for all ages. For you adrenaline lovers, Dream World is home to the tallest free-falling ride in the country, the iconic Giant Drop, dropping 39 thrilling stories at the speed of gravity, along with many other rides that are sure to get your heart racing.
Then head over to Tiger Island for an up close and personal experience with the jungle’s most fearsome predator or to the Corroboree to observe some of Australia’s most beautiful native animals… yes, that means pictures with Koala’s. Find your happily ever after with the full Dreamworks experience: “A world where fairy tales come true,” at their film inspired rides (especially good for the young ones).
Wet 'n' Wild
What could be better on a hot day, than slipping and sliding into Australia’s Biggest’n’Best Water Park? Do the words Tornado or Kamikaze spike your interest? Because they’ll definitely spike your heart rate. You’ll find both of these and more in the Extreme H20 zone for the biggest drops, fastest speeds and most twists and turns. If you want to stand over a trapdoor and enjoy a vertical, free fall drop into one of four transparent, looping slides, then this is the place to be, but if not, probably steer clear and take full stock of all the brilliant rides around the rest of the park.
Time to chill? Laze around in a comfy tube as you float through the soft, river waters of Calypso Beach, amongst sub-tropical gardens, a pirate castle and of course, a Caribbean Shanty town… Heat up in the hot tubs of Whirlpool Springs or cool down in the Giant Wave pool once you’re all “thrilled” out.
You can’t beat Australia’s number 1 theme park, with countless Warner Brothers movie inspired rides and maximum levels of thrill. The Superman ride will leave you breathless, reaching 100kms an hour in only 2 seconds… and that’s just the beginning.
If the film side interests you more, enjoy their 4D film experience, stunt shows, parades or their studio showcase – the largest Warner Brothers showcase in the Southern Hemisphere with authentic props and costumes from all your favourite hit movies… Suicide Squad anybody? Are rollercoasters not scary enough? If you’re in Byron over October, Movie World puts on a seasonal Halloween event with terrifying mazes, haunting precincts and a whole lot of spooky fun coming out after dark – it’s called Fright Night for a reason.
Other Locations Worth Driving To
Ready for your Byron Bay holiday adventure?
Book a hire car and enjoy the freedom of exploring Byron Bay and its beautiful hinterland.
6 reasons people love Byron Bay RentACar include:
- Great prices. More often than not, we deliver the cheapest car hire Byron Bay has to offer.
- 50% off on our courtesy shuttle bus from Ballina Airport to Byron Bay RentACar (surfboards ride free)
- Full license not required (yes, Green P-platers you’re in the clear with us)
- No young driver fee
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Unlimited kilometres