Today marks a year since I was travelling the East Coast of Australia. A year on and my life couldn’t be more different. Instead of camping on beaches with $50 to my name, I’ve got myself a rented house share 350 miles from my home town, working 30 hours as week and hitting deadlines left right and centre at university. Life is good, but I can’t help but wish I was still out in sunny Australia with no responsibilities!
Byron Bay is such an iconic place, known globally for it’s beaches, beer bongs and yoga mums- the Inbetweeners even manage to make it look like the place to be! There’s so much to do there and with travel reps round every corner trying to flog expensive trips, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Whilst the reps are usually very helpful, they are going to give you the expensive options first and push you into spending more than your budget allows (speaking from experience here!). So here’s my version of a perfect Byron itinerary that shouldn’t cost more than $50 a day (or 25 GBP) so you can get the most for your money!
Chase some Waterfalls in Nimbin
Taking the road less travelled is always a better option. Nimbin is, from my understanding, a town centred around it’s love for marajuana- there’s even a ‘happy bus’ tour catering especially for those who want to experience this side of Australia. But this isn’t it’s only pull, it’s real hidden (and far more legal) gem is it’s idyllic hiking spots and breathtaking waterfalls.
Two Bird Tours at The Aviary are the best people to take you there. They offer a rang of full-day hikes for minimal costs, I believe we paid around $40 for a full day out, including an hour swimming under one of the highest waterfalls in NSW! Just remember your bug spray if it’s been raining, you don’t want any leeches snacking on you!
When I took this trip I was very out of shape and although I found the trip extremely tiring, it was very accessible and I felt comfortable enough with the guides to ask them to stop while I caught my breath- so don’t let your age or fitness level put you off!
Don’t miss out on this one! This may be one of the cheapest activities you’ll get from a rep but it’s sure worth it. What better way to see Byron Bay beach than kayak through it’s waters surrounded by dolphins? There are a few companies you can use but after personally using Go Sea Kayak, I can recommend their trip highly. You get a full brief, ages out in the water and coffee and TimTams on the beach afterwards. My trip was postponed a few times due to stormy conditions but I was able to join another trip a few days later, proving that even when there’s bumps in the road, it’s a reliable company.
Lennox Head Beaches
Don’t get me wrong. Byron Bay beach is something you have to see. But it’s crowded, not quite Bondi Beach crowded, but it’s not the kind of beach where you can just relax. Head 30km down the road to Lennox Head, as soon as you leave the centre and head off the freeway, you’ll find plenty of secluded beaches where you’re highly unlikely to see another soul for hours! You still get the same weather and surf conditions but without the commerciality of Byron. Win win? I think so!
Almost all beaches around Lennox Head have free parking, so by heading out of the centre, you’re likely not to spend a penny!
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
I’ve written about this beautiful (though commercial) sanctuary and I firmly believe it’s one of the best ways to get up and close with Australia’s finest! If you ever wanted to channel your inner Steve Irwin and hang out with kangaroos all day then this place is for you. Regardless of whether you aspire to be the Crocodile Dundee or just want to get up and close with Australian animals- you’ll want to take advantage of everything Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has to offer- including holding a real-life koala!
Set just past the QLD, NSW border (well, in Australian milage) you’ll find Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Locally known as a place to take the kids, the vast age of tourists suggests that this is a place for all ages to witness some of nature’s more beautiful, or terrifying creatures.
Tickets start at $69 so incorporate that into your budget however you please, for me it meant camping on the beach for the night and missing a takeout but 100% worth the sacrifices!
Visit the most Eastern Point in Australia
Watching the sun set over the most Eastern point on Australia is a breath-taking experience, not only for the lush waters and crimson skies but there’s something incredibly relaxing about this tranquil spot. It’s unusual for the lighthouse to be packed and there’s room to grab a picnic or spiral out whilst the sun goes down and the stars come up. You can take the full hike from most places in Byron, it’s very accessible and free!
So what are you waiting for? Pack your eskie and beer bong and head down to Byron for a cheap trip to an iconic location! I highly recommend camping all year round as the cheapest option (around $20-30 per night) and it’s a great way to get to know others, without being forced to interact against your will- like most hostels.
Have you been to Byron Bay before? What did you get upto? Let me know in the comments x