The trendy laid-back town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia has lots of unique photography spots! Byron Bay is a very popular place for backpackers and free spirits and is a firm favourite on any East Coast Australia road trip itinerary. Many people choose to spend a few days here in Byron Bay soaking up the good vibes and energy. Many even stay much longer as there is just something about this place that beckons you to stay! Here are the best photography spots in and around Byron Bay. You can see them in one or two days, or spread them out over several days.
Byron Bay, or Byron as it is often known, is located in the north east of the state of New South Wales. However in just over one hour’s drive you can be on The Gold Coast in Queensland, and you can even be in Brisbane in less than 2 hours.
BYRON BAY PHOTOGRAPHY SPOTS
Cape Byron Lighthouse
Cape Byron Lighthouse marks mainland Australia’s most easterly point and is an absolute must see on your Byron Bay itinerary. As this is the most iconic and most Instagrammable photo spot in Byron Bay there will always be people here, especially at the weekend. However it is still possible to get pictures without other people in. The lighthouse is so picturesque, located ontop of a cliff overlooking the ocean and you can get some fantastic pictures here, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Sunrise is a popular time to visit as this is the first place in Australia where you can see the sun rise every day. The view of the sun coming up over the ocean is magical. Sunset is also popular and people often come up here with groups of friends with some food, drinks and music and enjoy the view and the sun disappearing over the hills.
From around June to October from the lighthouse you can often see the humpback whales on their annual migration. You’ll also be able to see dolphins throughout the year.
There are several spots at the top where you can take pictures of the lighthouse such as on the path or on the grass next to the fence if you don’t want the path in your picture. If you do jump over the fence be very careful as the cliffs are very steep.
How to get to Cape Byron Lighthouse
Cape Byron Lighthouse is located roughly 3 kilometres from the centre of Byron Bay. It takes around 40 minutes to walk to the lighthouse and it is a fairly uphill walk up Lighthouse Road. Therefore if you plan to visit for sunrise you’ll need to time it well, making sure you start walking about an hour before sunrise. And go prepared with a torch as you’ll be walking there in the dark.
If you have a car you can drive to Cape Byron Lighthouse but you’ll need to get here early to ensure you get a parking spot as they are very limited and fill very quickly, especially during the weekend. At sunrise the top car park is not yet open (the gate is closed until around 8am) so there are even less parking spots if you come at sunrise, plus you’ll still need to walk a little bit up the hill. Be very careful to make sure you park in an official parking spot and pay for the parking as Traffic Wardens are extremely hot in Byron and NSW in general and they hand out hefty fine to cars parked here without a ticket or not in designated parking spaces.
Byron Bay is surrounded by miles of beaches. Byron is a very popular place for surfing and you can get some really Instagrammable pictures here on the beach of surfers.
You can stroll from Main Beach and Byron Beach to the right and keep walking along the beach until you get to The Pass.
The Pass is an elevated viewing platform and is a lovely place to watch the surfers – plus you can often spots dolphins here too! You can get some really Instagrammable pictures on the staircase overlooking the beach, or you can get some looking out over the ocean. If you visit at low tide it will be a lot easier to walk here, whereas if you visit at high tide you’ll need to wade through the water a little to get to the steps!
Halfway between Cape Byron Lighthouse and The Pass is Wategos Beach. Wategos is a beautiful sheltered beach popular with surfers. I actually prefer the sunset at Wategos as opposed to Cape Byron Lighthouse as the beach is west facing so you can properly watch the sunset. It is also a really nice place to be during the day.
You can also go to Little Wategos Beach, which is a lot closer to Cape Byron Lighthouse. This is a lot quieter than the other beaches and is also great for sunset.
Golden Breed Wall
On the side of the Golden Breed Surf shop, located on the corner of Lawson and Fletcher Street in the centre of Byron Bay is a cute rainbow coloured Instagrammable wall – perfect for taking some pictures! Bear in mind if it is too sunny half of the wall will be covered in shade by the nearby trees.
Byron Bay Cafes
Byron is known for it’s cafes that serve up a smashing breakfast and brunch. There are lots of healthy and vegan options available, which is great seeing as you’ll probably spend the majority of your time in Byron in your swimmers on the beach!
Noteworthy Instagrammable cafes in and around Byron include FOLK and Treehouse on Belongil. These two Insta-famous cafes are both located in Belongil which is a couple of kilometres west of Byron Bay. It takes about 30 minutes to walk to either of these cafes and they both serve delicious food and have really nice interiors, perfect for taking some pictures!
Accommodation in Byron Bay
Elements of Byron Resort & Spa is a really nice luxurious hotel to stay in during your trip to Byron. The award winning 5 star hotel is located a couple of kilometres out of Byron Bay, on North Belongil Beach and offers the perfect place to relax for a couple of days!
And now for my favourite photography spots that are very close to Byron Bay and can be visited on a day trip:
One of my favourite places in and around Byron Bay is Crystal Castle. There are so many things to do at Crystal Castle, but the highlight is the twin amethyst crystals. These crystals are the largest and most beautiful crystals in the world, from the amethyst fields in Uruguay, standing at a breathtaking 5.5 metres tall. These crystals were created millions of years ago from molten lava flow and are extremely rare, usually hidden deep below the earth’s surface. When they were discovered in 2016 they were transported to Crystal Castle.
The crystals are positioned exactly where the earth’s energy lines intersect (these are sources of spiritual power and energy). Many of the world’s most sacred sites run along the earth’s intersecting lines of energy currents, such as Lake Titicaca, Ayers Rock, The Pyramids and Stonehenge. You can stand between the crystals and feel the soothing energy from them, It is also the perfect Instagram shot!
At Crystal Castle you also get to:
- sit inside an ancient amethyst cave
- you can wander round the beautiful Shambhala Gardens and rainforest
- meditate infront of Australia’s largest stone blessing buddha
- touch the World Peace Stupa that was blessed by the Dalai Lama
- get lost in the labyrinth
- attend the free sessions held throughout the day.
If you would like, you can pay additional for your reading although make sure to book a slot as soon as you arrive as they book up quickly! Head to the gift shop to book any sessions. The gift shop has some very impressive crystals and gifts for sale at very reasonable prices. You can also have some lunch at the cafe overlooking the giant cafes and a stunning view of the Byron Shire.
Genuinely Crystal Castle is an incredible place – it is such a peaceful place and the energy here is so nice. Entrance is $39 but it is so worth it. Crystal Castle is open 7 days a week from 10am-5pm (last entry 4pm). Allow yourself around 2-3 hours here if you want to experience everything here at a relaxed pace.
Crystal Castle is 20km west of Byron Bay, into the hinterland and it will take you about 30 minutes to get here by car. Car is definitely the most convenient way to get here. If you don’t have a car you can go on a tour to Crystal Castle with the company Vision Walks. The tour includes pick up and drop off in Byron and they pay for your entrance fee. Click here for details and to book.
About a half an hour drive further inland than Crystal Castle is Minyon Falls – a stunning plunge waterfall that descends more than 100 metres.
If you think Byron Bay is hippie, wait til you visit Nimbin! A visit to Nimbin, located 1 hour (70km) inland from Byron Bay, should be on everyones Byron itinerary. This village has lots of wall murals and cute cafes and is the perfect place for taking pictures! There are lots of unique accommodation options here, such as staying in a teepee so definitely try to spend one night here if you can! It gets quite busy during the day with the day trippers from Byron coming in, so try to stay int he evening and enjoy the authentic charm after the tourists have left. There are several companies that organise transport to Nimbin if you don’t have a car.
Those are my favourite photography spots in and around Byron Bay. If you have been to Byron Bay do you have any more Instagrammable spots here that you know?
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