The backpacker’s guide to Byron Bay: Private Lessons with a Surf Champion + Top 5 Bars & Restaurants

Byron Bay might be the last place on the east coast of Australia where the original surfer hippie vibe is still alive. When you drive through the town center you will see tanned surfers with long hair and beards carrying their boards in one hand and giving you the peace sign with the other. It’s a very layed back place with small bars and cafés, where you sit at the open windows, listening to musicians on the corner of the street.

To give you the complete tour I brought in a specialist, with whom I stayed myself when exploring Australia: Amanda lives in Byron Bay and has been involved with tourism for a long time. She is a natural explorer type and loves to check out new spots. Be it a reastaurant in the city center, a quiet spot on the beach or a place to get a surf lesson, she is the one who knows where to find it.

See Byron with her eyes and don’t miss her Top 5 places not to be missed when you’re in the area. Enter Amanda:


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Wir arbeiten mit Experten und Einheimischen zusammen, um dir Insider-Wissen und Geheimtipps aus erster Hand zu liefern. Damit die Information so authentisch wie möglich bleiben ist unser Gedanke, sie in der Rohfassung zu präsentieren. Wenn du diesen Artikel allerdings lieber in deutsch vorliegen hättest, dann hinterlasse uns einen Kommentar am Ende der Seite. Ein einfaches “Toller Artikel, aber ich würde ihn lieber auf deutsch lesen.” reicht vollkommen aus.

Byron Bay: The most easterly Point of Australia

Set your watch to Byron Time when you visit

Set your watch to Byron Time when you visit

If you look at a map of Australia and locate the most easterly point, then you’ve found Byron Bay. A mecca for surfers, artists and musicians alike, Byron Bay has a very strong appeal and is a “must do” for anyone travelling along the east coast of Australia.

Because it’s so well known and receives over one million visitors each year, people are often surprised to learn the permanent population of Byron is only around 9,000. If you arrive here around New Years Eve or when the annual Bluesfest is on at Easter you would find this especially hard to believe! This small town is a favourite beach holiday destination for Australians as well as international visitors and therefore it’s always worth booking your accommodation well in advance here due to the high demand. Many people who arrive and can’t find a bed plan to sleep in their cars instead, then find out the hard way there are parking inspectors searching cars at night who issue $200 “illegal camping” fines for this.

Surfing with the Champions – The real Surfer’s Paradise

If you’ve been thinking of taking a surf lesson while you’re in Australia, Byron Bay is a great place to do this and there is no shortage of surf schools offering anything from a 3 hour lesson to a 5 day surf camp. There are also a number of private lessons available for one on one tuition from some legendary surfers who now call Byron Bay home, including Rusty Miller (former USA surfing champion).

Surfer's Little Secret: The waves are best in the early morning

Surfer’s Little Secret: The waves are best in the early morning

If you’d rather swim than surf you’re spoilt for choice in Byron Bay with stunning beaches on both the east and the northern sides of town.  Main beach is patrolled by surf life savers and is only a 5 minute stroll from the centre of town.  If you prefer a beach a little less crowded Clarkes Beach is just past main beach and is a great place to watch the surfers and kite surfers at The Pass nearby.  Tallows Beach is a long stretch of coast perfect for jogging or long beach strolls.  But possibly the most stunning is Wategos Beach, with perfect views of the lighthouse from the water it’s a place to float on your back and soak up the feeling of being in paradise.

Byron Bay is also known for it’s healthy lifestyle and traditionally is known as a place of healing.  While you’re here indulge in a massage or take your pick from detox treatments, reiki, sound therapy, psychic readings, reflexology, intuitive counselling, kinesiology, reflexology, iridology, hypnotherapy and naturopathic remedies.  There is a good selection of vegetarian restaurants and health food stores.  You’re bound to feel healthier when you leave than when you did when you arrived.

Amanda’s Top 5 Bars and Restaurants

There are also plenty of great places to eat, drink and enjoy live music in Byron.  Here’s a run down of my favourites….

Amanda’s Pub Recommendation for Byron Bay

Byron Beach Hotel (Bay St)

The town grew up around this ever popular iconic pub and with views out over main beach it’s the perfect place for a beer in the afternoon after a swim.

Amanda’s Restaurant Recommendation for Byron Bay

The Top Shop (65 Carlyle St)

This used to be a small milk bar but now is a very popular burger café where the locals sit out the front on the lawn chatting in the sun.

Amanda’s Restaurant Recommendation for Byron Bay

Fishheads (1 Jonson St)

Grab some take away fish & chips then stroll across 10 meters to the beach and watch the sunset.

Amanda’s Restaurant Recommendation for Byron Bay

Kinoko (23 Jonson St)

head here for fresh and delicious sushi and Japanese curries. They have a sushi train or you can sit at a table if you prefer. Even if you don’t usually like sushi, Kinoko may change your mind!

Amanda’s Pub Recommendation for Byron Bay

The Rails (Jonson St)

officially named “The Railway Friendly Bar” everyone knows this great little pub as The Rails. They have free live music every night, locally brewed beers on tap and burgers for $14. It’s got lots of character and a great atmosphere.

As the sign says as you enter Byron Bay: “Cheer up, slow down, chill out” and enjoy your time in this special place.

Stay with Amanda in Byron Bay

Your home in Byron

Located in a very quiet neighbourhood Amanda lives in a perfect place to relax and unwind in a tranquil setting. The beach is only a 10 minute walk away, the Arakwal National Park where you can often see wallabies and black cockatoos right behind the house and the center of Byron Bay can be reached on foot. And the best part: She hosts travelers from all around the world!

I’ve stayed with Amanda myself and enjoyed her company as much as her house. There is no better place to stay in Byron, so make sure to check our her airbnb listing.

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