Top 5 FREE things to do in Byron Bay
1. The Lighthouse Walk
The perfect way to energise you for the day ahead. See migrating whales, local dolphins, friendly faces and of course the Lighthouse itself as you move through this stunning landscape.
Please Note: Appropriate walking shoes, water and sunscreen are recommended. Clarkes Beach car park utilises paid parking with a pay station in the centre.
Starting at the Captain Cook lookout at the Clarkes Beach car park (on Lighthouse Road), walk up the road directly opposite the car park until it flattens out, there you’ll find the beginning of the path on the right. Along the sandy track and up the steps through the rainforest until you pop out with views down to Wategoes beach (on your left) and from Tallows beach all the way up to Broken Head (on your right). From there wind up around the headland to the Lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Make sure to look down the cliffs to the turqoise waters which are often the playground to dolphins, whales and turtles.
Stop for a lighthouse tour or to learn it’s history in the small museum at the base before continuing down the steps and along the ridge. There are numourus spots to stop and stretch your sights towards the horizon, take photos or catch your breath. Descending the ridge down the steps you will come to a right hand turn towards the bottom, this is the path to ‘Little Wategoes’ a cosy beach and lookout, well worth the small detour.
From there continue on to ‘Wategoes’ beach to watch the longboarders, take a dip in the tranquil waters or use the toilet facilities. Behind the BBQ area at Wategoes beach the path continues on to ‘The Pass’ a hot spot for surfers and scuba divers alike. This can be a busy car park with boats being loaded into the ocean. At the bottom of the boat ramp find the stairs up to the lookout, a popular vantage point to take in the surfing below, Mt. Warning and Mt. Chincogan in the distance towards Mullumbimby and the whole of Byron’s arching bay. You then have two choices, continue along the beach around the corner to Clarke’s beach and finally up the steps to the car park from which you started. Alternatively find the path to the right of The Pass Cafe and continue up to the main road and the boardwalk which winds next to it. This too will take you back to the car park. For many, walking the Cape Byron Lighthouse is part of their daily ritual, making it our favourite of all the free things to do in Byron Bay.
For more information please visit the National Parks web site HERE
2. The Farmer’s and Community Markets
From funky alternative and bohemian wears to local hand crafted wood and metal work, delicious food vans and craft activities there really is something for the whole family.
The farmer’s markets are held every Thursday morning from 7am – 11am at the Butler Street Reserve. Coming into Byron turn right at the round about instead of left across the train tracks. There is parking available by donation. Full of fresh local produce and hand crafted artisan food products, your taste buds are truly in for a treat. Looking for free things to do in Byron Bay? The markets are a great place to meet up with friends, grab a cup of coffee and listen to a local musician busking. Learn more HERE.
The community markets are also in the Butler Street reserve between 8am – 3pm on the 1st Sunday of the month + 3rd Sunday in December & January. So much to do, see and eat! Popular local fashion labels Spell & The Gypsy Collective and Arnhem both started in this very market. Be entertained by busking circus acts, live music and the eclectic mix of people that visit this popular market.
3. Art Galleries
Byron Bay is home to some incredible talented artists across a variety of mediums.
Is a community run gallery showcasing local artists and exhibitions. Located in the Byron Bay Library Corner of Lawson & Middleton Street. Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9.30am – 5pm, Thursday 9.30am – 7pm and Saturday 9.00am – 12 noon.
Has ethically sourced, authentic Aboriginal artefacts, local, original arts, craft, jewellery and gorgeous gifts. Located in the Byron Community Centre at 69 Jonson Street and open 10am – 6pm all week and weekend.
Is a local painter showing by appointment on 02 66 770 270.
Last but certainly not least is the super talented photographer Craig Parry.
Craig specialises in underwater and aerial landscape photography earning him a position as Sony Global Ambassador, working with clients such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Travel Channel and winning numerous awards. His powerful photos of Migaloo, the white whale, will leave you breathless. His gallery is located at Shop 7, 8 Fletcher Street and is open 10am – 5pm every day except Sunday when it closes at 4pm.
4. Byron Arts and Industrial Estate
A short 5 minute drive back out of Byron Bay is the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate. Amongst this small labyrinth of roads lies an array of cafes, restaurants, factory outlets, a brewery, professional services, artists, sports centres and so much more.
Local artist Jules Hunt will delight you with fabrics, lighting, ceramics, sculpture and photography in her gallery at 10 Brigantine Street, open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm.
Hammer & Hand offer a collective of metal workers creating bespoke gifts and custom pieces. Located at 4 Ti Tree Place and open 10am – 4pm 7 days.
Pack Saddle Leather sell a range of leather goods, handcrafted to the highest standard. Located at 1/25 Brigantine Street and open 8am – 5pm Monday to Friday and Saturdays by appointment.
The Byron Bay Train is the world’s first truly solar run train and operates daily from the Bayshore Drive station near the Elements of Byron Resort & Spa as well as from in town behind Byron Car Hire. While not technically part of the free things to do in Byron Bay list, as there is small fee, it’s very affordable and well worth it. This nostalgic adventure will thrill adults and children alike.
5. Sunset Drum Circle at The Wreck
Byron Bay has a rich recent history of alternative culture. Free thinkers, adventurous souls and creative spirits meeting to share in the joys of this magical place.
Often, on the rocks along The Wreck car park, such free spirits meet to dance, jam with djembe drums as the sun turns the colours of Autumn. Join in for a dance or just watch as Byron comes alive. There is often also musicians setup on the grassy areas below the children’s playground on main beach just up from the drum circle.