One of the most popular surfing, scuba diving, and whale watching destinations on the planet, Byron Bay stands out as one of the most laid-back destinations in Australia, featuring a large number of home-businesses focused on cultural living within the field of arts, including plenty of writers, painters, photographers, and surfers. It is a coastal town with a relatively small population, yet it pulls in literally millions of visitors every year, which is threatening the sanctity of the town’s pristine image as a refuge for the traveler who just wanted a quiet place to get away. While the Aboriginal tribes have been coming here for thousands of years, European history first got its start in 1770 when Captain James Cook landed and named the area Cape Byron.
Despite the area's popularity as a surfing destination, the countryside surrounding offers a lush, green environment for people to go hiking through. The bay itself is the result of the Tweed Volcano, which is estimated to have erupted around 23 million years ago, and visitors can get a bird’s eye view of everything if they take the opportunity to climb up to Cape Byron Lighthouse. There are several National Estate regions in the area, including Broken Head Nature Reserve, Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve, Two Sisters Rock, and Julian Rocks Nature Reserve. The wealth of natural beauty surrounding Byron Bay often overshadows the surfing and water sports these days due to the rise in ecotourism, with plenty of hikers looking to get out into the countryside.
In any case, Byron Bay is one of those perfect destinations to experience a heady blend of lush countryside and perfect beaches and surfing conditions, but it comes at a price: modern tourism. If you can handle things getting a little crowded in the peak summer months then you’ll do just fine. Otherwise, you could always come here during the off months and have it all to yourself with the locals to keep you company.