Holidaying with the family is one of life’s great joys. You can spend time away from the chaos of everyday life, reconnecting with one another, somewhere new…
If that somewhere happens to be Byron Bay, fear not, your adventure needn’t be stressful. This popular coastal hotspot of Northern NSW is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and there’s a reason that kids love it, too.
If you’re planning a holiday to Byron, or find yourself in town with an empty itinerary, we’ve got you covered with nine of the best activities to keep the young and old entertained.
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1. Visit The Farm
Part working farm, part eatery, part kid’s haven – The Farm provides an enchanting and playful insight into the rural side of Byron Bay.
Just five minutes drive from the centre of town, kids can spend their days running, playing and getting up close to lots of adorable farm animals. On weekends, grab a beanbag and relax under one of the many trees.
On school holidays, the kids’ workshops are designed to inspire and educate. Each one is filled with hands-on, creative, highly visual and mindful activities to support the appreciation of the surrounding natural land, animals and community. Watch your children learn about ethical farming practices, as well as how food is grown, composting, animal care and plenty more – all while having fun!
2. Join the circus
If you’ve ever dreamed of running away and joining the circus, say hello to (pretty much) the next best thing.
Seven days a week, rain hail or shine, Circus Arts Byron showcases the best indoor playground paradise for toddlers, teens, adults and every age in between.
Explore all the circus-themed activities you can think of – from an indoor climbing wall, Olympic sized trampoline, flying trapeze, and jumping castle and tumble track.
On school holidays, Circus Arts offers programs tailored to certain age groups, all available for kids as young as one. Once they’re all worn out, simply head to the on-site café for a bite.
3. Visit The Crystal Castle
Journey into the lush Byron Hinterland and you’ll be rewarded with an enchanted sanctuary housing two of the tallest crystals on Earth.
Take a magical stroll around the labyrinth-like Shambala Garden, learning about the Naren King who initially envisioned Crystalight back in 1986. Since then, residents and visitors have travelled to visit his collection of natural crystals from all around the world.
The crown jewel of Crystal Castle is the Enchanted Cave, formed over 120 million years ago in northern Uruguay. It’s approximately 5.5 metres and was made when a giant bubble formed inside a molten lava flow. Kids will love spending time looking at the millions of tiny amethyst crystals, making this the perfect family escape.
And if you’re there on school holidays, be sure to book face painting!
4. Hit the local markets
There really is no better way to discover the true essence of Byron shire than by visiting one of the community markets on offer.
The Byron Bay Community Markets, held on the main beach foreshore, take place on the first Sunday of each month. They are filled with handmade wares, food, art and trinkets.
The Channel Markets are on every second Sunday, and the Bangalow Markets are held on the fourth Sunday of every month. Here you’ll find an abundance of family-friendly entertainment, featuring live music, arts and crafts and face painting.
There’s also the Byron Flea Market, housing eco-friendly and second-hand treasures.
And to stock up on the famous local food from the region, head to the Byron Farmers Market, open from 7am to 11am on Thursday mornings.
5. Macadamia Castle
You’ll find this animal-lovers paradise just 20km south of Byron Bay, in the Hinterland estate of Knockrow.
Macadamia Castle opened its doors in 1975 and has since grown to become one of the area’s most popular tourist destinations for both its entertainment and education opportunities.
Kids can spend the day at The Animal Fun Park, feeding the goats, holding the rabbits, watching the birds, chasing emu’s around the park, all the while learning about conservation and wildlife at the daily talks given by the friendly animal keepers.
There’s also mini-golf facilities for active kids who want to give that a go, as well as a climbing frame, face painting and a train ride.
6. Let’s Go Surfing
The natural landscape of Byron is a playground in itself – particularly for those who can make the most of it.
Catching waves at one of the many popular beaches is a rite of passage for many Byron-goers, so it’s good to get them started young.
Let’s Go Surfing is one of the most popular schools in the country, making it the perfect place to wet your feet as a beginner. There are board rentals for all levels, with lessons running almost every day of the year.
There are an array of family-friendly lesson options on offer. The Byron Kids lesson is for kids between 5-7 years wanting to enjoy a one-off during the school holidays. The Kids Weekend lesson is for those aged 7+ looking to surf consecutively for six weeks. Nudie Surf Groms is for ages 5+ looking to get a taste of surfing. For groups looking for something a little more exclusive, there’s also the Family Private lesson. Or why not try your hand at stand up paddleboarding?
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7. Ride the world’s first solar-powered train
Only in Byron would you find something so retro yet sustainably powered. The Byron Bay Train is the world’s first (and only) solar-powered train – encapsulating the beauty of the 1949-era alongside contemporary green technology.
The train runs along a three-kilometre coastal track, linking the town centre with the North Beach Precinct and Byron Arts Estate. Kids will love learning on board the beauty of this two-carriage train, which takes 10 minutes one way or 25 minutes return.
A scenic bounty on this piece of history costs $4 one way for adults, $2 for kids aged 6-13. Any younger and you can travel for free! Check out the timetable on their website.
8. Go for a snorkel
One of the many beauties of Byron Bay is that so many of the kid-friendly activities are freely accessed via the great outdoors.
Just five minutes from the Bay will land you smack bang in the middle of one of Australia’s premier diving locations. Called the Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve, the group of small islets are a significant marine site to the local Arakwal people, who have several important Dreamtime stories associated with the area.
Your kids will get lost in the plentiful colours of the ocean, and make sure they keep their eyes peeled to sea turtles – three different species call this place home. It’s also one of the few places you can swim and snorkel alongside rare tropical species only found on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Byron Bay Dive Centre caters for all levels of snorkelling experience, so book with them in advance.
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Byron Bay is a festival hot spot and many of them accommodate families by dedicating special areas or days to kids.
No matter what time of year you visit the area, there’s likely to be something fun on the calendar for you.
There’s Bluesfest over Easter, which is an all-ages music event with an exceptionally wholesome environment. July’s Splendour in the Grass is Australia’s biggest music festival, with Little Splendour held alongside the entire three-day event. The Byron Bay Writers Festival has a kids’ day in August, as well as the Sample Food Festival in September. These are just a selection of a really good bunch, so be sure to peruse the entire offering when you’re in town.