The coastal town that almost needs no introduction, this perennial favourite on the NSW North Coast is a place of big skies and big ideas – and new and noteworthy bars to drink to them in. Discover what makes Byron Bay striking enough to land it at no. 15 on your list of Top 50 Aussie towns.
Find the complete list of the Top 50 Aussie Towns here.
It’s easy to make friends in Byron Bay. It’s full of people from elsewhere with infectious energy and impulses. It’s a holiday town, where every day is a shindig and tourists extend their stay so long they become accidental locals.
A breathtaking aerial shot of Byron Bay’s main beach.
Head to the northern car park at dawn or dusk each day and you’ll find people walking barefoot along the beach, surfers dusting the sand off their feet, and van lifers sipping from steaming keep cups of coffee.
Your timezone-friendly destination
Travellers fly here from different time zones. Friends drive down from Cairns and up from Sydney for the music festivals. It’s a world of big skies and digital nomads carving out niches. It’s where you will encounter whales and pods of dolphins, see sunsets the colour of molten gold and rockpools teeming with fish.
It’s where your best ideas will come to you. But unless you can afford to buy property here, you will have to face the fact the time will come to leave. Until then, maximise every moment with our guide on new and noteworthy spots to take your Byron bae for a bevvy.
A few of the best bars in Byron
Lovers Lane is one of the hottest new spots to linger in Byron. It’s a grungy yet glam bar and restaurant serving natural wines and crazy-good cocktails inspired by botanicals from the Byron region. It’s got a bit of a disco vibe with caramel lounges and mottled lamps and posters of ’80s-era Ford Falcons.
Linger over cocktails and bar bites at Lovers Lane.
Expect soundtracks that range from hip-hop to house and considered bar bites from executive chef Tyler Preston (Bang Bang, Chin Chin) such as beef tartare and barbecued king prawns.
Hang with the cool crowds at Bar Heather. (Image: Jess Kearney)
Bar Heather is a refined Parisian-inspired place to put on your radar when you’re in the Northern Rivers region.
A rotating roster of vintage collection
Brought to you by the team behind Byron’s best bottlo, Luna Wine Store, and chef Ollie Wong-Hee (ex-Sixpenny, Ester and Franklin), the menu is designed to work with a rotating roster of back vintages from producers such as Matassa and Gut Oggau.
Bunker down in one of the aged green leather banquettes in this sophisticated dark, loud and fun 60-seater bar for lively snacks such as mulloway skewers with tare and cumquat paired with 2018 Maria & Sepp Muster ‘Erde’ skin-contact sauvignon blanc.
This hot new spot with caramel lounges and a disco vibe is grungy yet glam.
The perfect spot to spend your laid-back afternoons
Light Years Asian Bar & Diner is one of the best bars to visit in Byron Bay when you’re dreaming of ways to spend a long, lost afternoon. The laid-back cocktail hangout is tucked away behind Main Beach and it’s caught our eye thanks to the pops of pink, thumping beats and Asian-inspired eats. It’s not new, but it is noteworthy and a very cool find.
It’s also such a successful format that it’s rolled out in Noosa, Burleigh Heads and Newcastle. Head here for miso caramel eggplant, chilli caramel pork and a few pineapple margaritas.