Where to Stay in Byron Bay – A Guide to this NSW Coastal Town
Byron Bay is a seaside town located in the far northeastern region of New South Wales, near the border with Queensland. This town is a popular tourist destination famous for its laidback atmosphere, its beaches, surfing spots and scuba diving and snorkelling sites. In this post, we will explore the best areas to stay in Byron Bay, NSW.
The main tourist attractions in Byron Bay all revolve around the sea and beach life. This beautiful coastal town is considered a prime surfing destination and is the easternmost point in mainland Australia.
From a tourist standpoint, the most interesting area in Byron Bay is around Cape Byron. This lovely seaside district is home to several attractions such as Cape Byron Lighthouse, Cape Byron Walking Track, Wategos Beach, and The Pass surfing spot. See accommodation in Cape Byron.
The area around Byron Beach is considered Byron Bay’s City Centre and is home to most shops, restaurants and pubs in town. Here, you’ll also find Main Beach, The Wreck surfing spot, Byron Community Market and the Lone Goat Art Gallery. See accommodation around Main Beach.
Finally, a few hundred metres northwest you’ll find Belongil Beach, a great area for newbie surfers and families. See accommodation around Belongil Beach.
Nature lovers cannot miss Arakwal National Park, located south of Cape Byron, and nearby Tallow Beach, great for swimming and birdwatching. Julian Rocks is a great place for snorkelling and scuba diving in Byron Bay.
Byron Bay has a humid subtropical climate. This means the town has warm summers (21-28 ºC) and very mild winters (13-19 ºC). Most rains happen during the summer. The best time to visit Byron Bay is from late spring to early autumn (October through April).
To reach Byron Bay by air, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is located 35 km south of Main Beach, in Ballina. This airport offers a few domestic connections in Australia, including main cities like Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Much busier and with a wider range of domestic and international destinations, Gold Coast Airport is located some 65 km north.
Byron Bay is also well-connected to Sydney and Brisbane via a network of long-distance buses operated by Greyhound Australia, NSW TrainLink and Premier Motor Services. The main station is located on Jonson Street. Check coach routes, schedules and fares.
When it comes to public transport, Byron Bay is connected via an urban bus network. Additionally, a small railway line operates between the Byron township and North Beach station. Other than that, the city offers traditional taxi, mobile ride-sharing apps and rental car services.
However, Byron Bay is compact enough to walk around its most central suburbs. That said, the best area to stay in Byron Bay is around Main Beach. As mentioned above, this centrally located area is home to the CBD and it’s very well-connected to all the suburbs, attractions and the airport. See accommodation around Main Beach.
Keep reading to find out more about our top picks for the best areas to stay in Byron Bay, NSW.
Best Location in Byron Bay, New South Wales: A Quick Guide
These are the best suburbs to stay in Byron Bay according to your travel style and what you want to do in town. Keep on reading to find out more about each particular suburb.
- Best location in Byron Bay for sightseeing: Wategos Beach and Cape Byron
- Best location in Byron Bay for first-time visitors: Main Beach & CBD
- Best location in Byron Bay for nightlife: Main Beach & CBD | Belongil Beach & Sunrise Beach
- Best location in Byron Bay for nature lovers: Tallow Beach
- Best location in Byron Bay for business travellers: Main Beach & CBD
- Best location in Byron Bay for families: Belongil Beach & Sunrise Beach
- Best location in Byron Bay for surfers: Wategos Beach | Main Beach
- Best location in Byron Bay for beach lovers: Belongil Bay
Best Hotels in Byron Bay, NSW by Theme
Looking for something in particular? Here’s a list of some of the top accommodations in Byron Bay. No matter your reason for visiting this town, we got you covered!
- Most unique hotel: Victoria’s At Ewingsdale
- Best mid-priced hotel: Sea Breeze on Main Beach
- Best budget hotel: Bay Motel
- Best luxury hotel: Victoria’s At Wategos
- Best boutique hotel: The Bower Byron Bay
- Best hotel with a pool: Outrigger Bay
- Best Inn / B&B: 28 Degrees Byron Bay – Adults Only
- Best backpackers hostel: Wake Up! Byron Bay
- Best resort: The Villas of Byron
- Best aparthotel: Byron Quarter Apartments
The Best Areas to Stay in Byron Bay, New South Wales
1. Recommended area: Main Beach & Byron Bay CBD
The City Centre is the best area to stay in Byron Bay.
This lively area is home to the main cultural landmarks, art galleries, cafés, restaurants and shops in town.
Byron Bay CBD is centred around Jonson Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, with bus stops, supermarkets and several restaurants and shops.
Neighbouring Fletcher Street is where most of Byron Bay’s shopping and nightlife are located.
As you move north towards the ocean, you’ll find Main Beach and Byron Beach, two of the best beaches in NSW.
If you like surfing, Main Beach is the place to go. Home to Byron Bay’s Surf Club and The Wreck, a unique surfing spot caused by the sunken SS Wollongbar.
The area around Main Beach and along Jonson Street is also home to most of Byron Bay’s accommodation options.
Here, you’ll find everything from backpacker hostels to the most exclusive resorts and tourist apartments.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in Byron Bay, NSW:
- City Centre
- Very well-connected
- Best area for nightlife
- Surfing spots and beaches
Accommodation in this area
Sea Breeze on Main Beach
Offering a garden and barbecue, Sea Breeze on Main Beach is set in Byron Bay, directly opposite Main Beach. Arakwal National Park is 800 m from the property. Free WiFi is featured and free private parking is available on site.
Aquarius Backpackers Resort
Situated in Byron Bay, 2.3 km from Little Wategos Beach, Aquarius Backpackers Resort features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a bar. 1.4 km from Arakwal National Park and 3.3 km from Cape Byron Lighthouse, the property provides a shared lounge and a garden.
Overlooking Byron Bay’s Main Beach, these stylish boutique apartments and studios offer secure car parking and free WiFi. Penthouse apartments with private rooftop swimming pool and panoramic ocean views are available.
2. Belongil Beach & Sunrise Beach
Belongil Beach stretches for over 2 km from the Main Beach seawall to the mouth of Belongil Creek.
This area of Byron Bay is far less crowded than the CBD and the beach also offers a more relaxed atmosphere compared to Main Beach.
Belongil Beach is also a popular surfing spot for beginners as well as for expert surfers. On its southern end there’s The Wreck.
A great portion of this suburb is occupied by the Cumbebin Swamp Nature Reserve, a great place for birdwatching.
The streets leading to Belongil Beach from the CBD have a very laid-back atmosphere. On the other side of the creek, in the Sunrise Beach area, you’ll find several shopping and dining districts, particularly around Bayshore Dr. Nearby Stone & Wood Brewery offers guided tours and tastings of local ales.
The Sunrise Beach area is connected to Byron Bay CBD via a train service. The Byron Bay Train Line uses a solar power converted 1949 locomotive to connect Byron Bay Station to North Beach Station.
Belongil Beach and Sunrise Beach offer several accommodation options ranging from small hotels to luxury resorts.
Why is this a recommended area to stay:
- Great area for surfers
- Best area for families
- Stone & Wood Brewery
- North Beach
Accommodation in this area
Bluewater on the Beach
Surrounded by tropical gardens, Bluewater on the Beach features self-contained villas with balconies and stunning ocean views over Belongil Beach. Some of the Villas boast an idyllic beachfront location, whilst some are just a 5-minute stroll away. Free WiFi and free parking are included.
Wake Up! Byron Bay
Situated at the Belongil beach front and refurbished in 2018, Wake Up! Byron Bay offers modern accommodation with the bohemian beach vibe of Byron Bay. It features an onsite bar and restaurant and free high speed WiFi.
East On Byron
Situated amongst the peaceful surrounds of Belongil Beach, East On Byron is a 15-minute walk from the heart of Byron Bay. The landscaped gardens feature a lagoon-style pool and hot tub.
3. Wategos Beach & Cape Byron
Wategos Beach is a family-friendly beach located 2 km east of Byron Bay CBD and Main Beach.
This lovely sandy beach is ideal of sunbathing, swimming and surfing. It is a preferred spot for longboarders and beginners, as waves tend to be gentler-rolling.
At the far end of the beach you’ll find the steps leading up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse.
This historical landmarks is located on Australia’s easternmost point. Opened in 1901, it is one of the oldest buildings in Byron Bay.
Cape Byron is a a very popular area for hiking and for whale watching.
Sparsely developed, this area has a quiet atmosphere and heaps of natural attractions.
Accommodation in this area tends to be exclusive and here you’ll find some of the town’s best high-end apartments and resorts.
Why is this a recommended area to stay:
- Nature and amazing views
- Great area for families
- Quiet area
- Exclusive accommodation
Accommodation in this area
Just a 3-minute walk from Wategos Beach on the Cape Byron headland, The Watermark offers self-contained accommodation with free WiFi and a private patio with ocean views.
Wategos Surf Shack
Located in Byron Bay in the New South Wales Region, 400 m from Cape Byron Lighthouse, Wategos Surf Shack boasts an idyllic beachfront location with sea views. It offers kitchen facilities and a BBQ area.
Victoria’s At Wategos
Victoria’s At Wategos offers accommodation with views over the garden, outdoor pool or Cape Byron Lighthouse. Providing surfing amenities, it is just 100 m from Watego Beach in Byron Bay.