Locals Guide to Byron Bay

Byron Hinterland

What to do in Byron? There is just so much to do and explore. To help you plan your next Byron Bay getaway we have created the ‘insiders’ guide to Byron Bay, local style! We’ve asked each of our team to provide their favourite local places to swim, eat, shop and play.

Favourite Breakfast and Coffee – Maree, Park Manager

The best locals hang out for a fantastic coffee and relaxed, carefree atmosphere has to be The Top Shop. Sit on the grass and enjoy a locally blended coffee with a delicious home-made muffin or their famous ‘breakfast burger’. This is a great place to stop after a lighthouse walk, early morning surf or to just soak up the sunshine. Located outside the town centre and slightly back from the beach, this cafe is a little harder to find but I promise you won’t regret it!

In the Byron hinterland, I also love a weekend breakfast at Harvest Cafe in Newrybar. This beautifully renovated old farm house bakes their own breads and pastries on-site in a 100 year old wood-fire oven. Magic with a morning coffee, some locally made jam and the weekend paper.

Favourite Beach Experience – John, Park Caretaker

If unpopulated and secluded beaches with pristine white sand, palms and astonishing natural beauty are your thing, then the little known ‘Whites Beach’ near Broken Head is for you! It is off the beaten track and there are no life guards, so this needs to be considered. However if you want to get away from the crowds, this is the perfect beach.

To get there, drive towards Broken Head beach and take the dirt road on the right before the Broken Head Beach car park and head into the national park. Follow the road past ‘Kings Beach’ car park, which is a nudist beach, until you get to a small dirt car park. Once parked, follow the well-worn path through the rainforest down to the beach. This path is fairly steep, but enjoys some magnificent ocean views and is well worth the effort. Don’t be surprised if you’re the only people on the beach!

Favourite Local Shopping – Hannah, Receptionist

I love to go shopping in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate. It’s located just outside the town centre and has a wonderful mix of local fashion designers, home wares and hand-made jewellery boutiques. For the girls, check out Spell Designs, Goddess of Babylon and Byron Designworks and for the boys drop by Maddog Surfboards, McTavish Surfboards and Bear Surfboards.

If you’re in town for a few days, then head to the picturesque hinterland town of Bangalow for a cool collection of vintage shops, quirky home wares and for some serious fashion fabulousness the gorgeous Island Luxe! Shopping is thirsty business, so be sure to also pop into the Bangalow pub for a drink on their back veranda. It never fails to delight!

Favourite Cheap Eats – Paul, Park Manager

Eating out in Byron Bay can quickly become very expensive and hunting down a great meal at a reasonable price can be a bit of a challenge. My favourite cheap eats for a great meal is Pizza Paradiso in Suffolk Park. A favourite with the locals, Pizza Paradiso offers ‘giant size’ pizza’s on Tuesday nights for only $20! Choose to eat in, takeaway or they deliver and there’s a great little bottle shop located next door for BYO wine or beer.

Favourite Family Place to Eat – Sue, Receptionist

We love to take the family to the Suffolk Park Pub. ‘The Park’, as it’s affectionately called by the locals, has a fantastic large outdoor deck overlooking tropical gardens and an all-weather kid’s playground. They offer a traditional pub menu with lots of variety including vegetarian dishes and fresh local seafood. On Monday nights, KIDS EAT FREE, so for anyone on a budget this is a great way to enjoy a meal out with the entire family.

Favourite Hinterland Pub – Sarah, Marketing Manager

It has to be the Eltham Pub. Located in the Byron hinterland in the small historic village of Eltham, the Eltham pub is a great way to meet some local north coast characters! Grab a stool at the front bar and you’ll be chatting with the resident farmers in no time. The pub has a fantastic award-winning bistro with some of the best slow-cooked Bangalow pork in the district! The pub is well over 100 years old and is a favourite meeting place for visitors and locals alike.

Favourite Romantic Dinner Spot – Pauline, Receptionist

It is hard to go past the Byron Beach Cafe for their summer dinners. They have a large outdoor dining deck that looks out to the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy watching the sun sink slowly away over the mountains while sipping on a chilled glass of wine or cold beer. The cafe has won multiple awards and the food is always incredible. The dining deck has a retractable roof and at night, the atmosphere is very romantic with twinkling tea lights on the tables and the stars above. Bliss.

Favourite Local Drive – Jack, Park Maintenance

There are so many choices! Some of my favourite weekend drives include Coolamon Scenic Drive, which offers incredible views of Byron Bay, the lighthouse and the mountains. Another one of my all-time favourite drives is to Minyon Falls. This drive takes you through some of the prettiest countryside in the entire region. Once you arrive at the Minyon Falls car park, it’s just a short stroll through ancient palm trees to the waterfall’s viewing platform. What a view!