Inspire

How To Take An Insta-Worthy Trip To Byron Bay Without Breaking The Bank

Brought to you by YHA Australia

With over 70 hostels ‘round the country, from Adelaide to Alice Springs, Bunbury to Byron Bay and all that’s in between, they’ve got a room for you, wherever you want to go!

Byron Bay is one of Australia’s most popular destinations; a beachside town renowned as much for its raw, natural beauty as its gourmet scene and willingness to embrace the more spiritual side of life. It’s also home to Chris Hemsworth, so that’s an instant plus.

And, as comes with the territory for such a popular getaway, it’s an Instagrammer’s dream come true. The beaches, the art scene, the waterfalls and the lighthouse; the hardest decision is knowing where to find the gems guaranteed to rake in all the likes.

So, where do you start planning an Insta-escape to the Byron Shire? First of all, you’re going to need a place to stay – there’s way too much to see and photograph in just one day.

Since you’re in town for a weekend on the ‘gram, your accommodation needs to look the part, too. And, though Byron may have a reputation for being pricey, there are options that not only look amazing but won’t break the bank. One, in particular, is Byron Bay YHA.

Image: Byron Bay YHA

Located right in the heart of town, Byron Bay YHA is more flashpacker than backpacker. A new ultra-modern building housing stylish private ensuite rooms, artwork by acclaimed Mambo artist Robert Moore and a mural by Mugla, hammocks in a lush garden… It’s as Instagrammable as the rest of town, without the price tag to match.

Once you’ve locked in your base camp, dumped your bags and liberally applied sunscreen, it’s time to head out with your camera at the ready.

Image: Byron Bay YHA

The best subjects will be the ones you stumble across when you least expect, yet there are a few essential sights you really cannot afford to miss. Here’s where to find them.

The Lighthouse Circuit

 

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Winding from the surf club at Main Beach, skirting the foreshore to The Pass and Wategos Beach, and then up to the lighthouse at Australia’s most easterly point, every step along this picturesque circuit is simply magic. It takes around 1.5 hours to walk the full loop and is best enjoyed in the early morning or late afternoon with the fading sun.


Killen Falls

 

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Hidden within the nearby Nightcap National Park, Minyon Falls is the shire’s most famous waterfall, but photos rarely do the 200-metre falls justice (without a drone). Instead, head to Killen Falls near Tintenbar, which is around 20 minutes inland from Byron. Go mid-week to avoid the crowds and snap a picture-perfect shot of this stunning half-moon cascade.


Crystal Castle & Shambala Gardens

 

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If you love beautiful gardens and precious gems, the Crystal Castle is for you. Tucked away in the emerald hills behind Byron, the Castle features five hectares of gardens to explore, with a bamboo trail, peace stupa, giant buddha, and crystals throughout. Its Enchanted Cave, which is an amethyst crystal large enough to sit inside, is a familiar sight on Instagram.


The Farm

 

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An 80-acre farming hub at the town’s entrance, The Farm is one of the Byron’s most popular hangouts – and it deserves all the likes. It’s stunning! Snap a selfie in the sunflowers, eat (and photograph) amazing food at Three Blue Ducks, and just enjoy life at a slower pace.


Stone & Wood Brewery

 

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Byron’s newest star, The Stone & Wood Brewery, is a great place to sample some of their famous brews, as well as try its more experimental and small batch releases, like the Counter Culture range. Book a tour of the brewery, grab a sample paddle of beers, snap a shot of the Paul McNeil murals on the wall, and just soak up the laid-back Byron vibe.


Bay Lane

 

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Byron’s unofficial ‘eat street’, Bay Lane (behind the Beach Hotel) is home to some of the town’s best restaurants and, more importantly, the famous LOVE sign. Byron Fresh, Asia Joe’s, and Il Buco Pizzeria are just a few of the photo-worthy spots to grab a bite.


Street art

 

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Byron is quickly gaining a reputation for its street art. Check out the mural by the pool at Byron Bay YHA, painted by Sydney street artist Mulga, and then venture out to locations such as the walls of nearby Bayleaf Café, Lateen Lane, and the alley across from The Great Northern Hotel, plus keep an eye out for huge murals in the Arts & Industry Estate.


Sunset at Main Beach

 

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Every afternoon as the sun begins to fade, Byron’s own great migration takes place. Hordes of travellers make their way to the Main Beach carpark hoping to catch a glimpse of the golden sunset across Belongil Beach and out to Mount Warning. If you’re there at the right time, the colours on the sea, sand, and wreck are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

No matter where you go or at what time of year, Byron will have you spoiled for things to see, touch, taste and photograph – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth, either. Pack your bags, bring your camera, and you’ll soon discover there’s a lot to like about Byron and surrounds.

Check out Qantas flights to begin your next adventure.

Byron Bay YHA offers hotel vibes on a hostel budget, leaving you more cash to chase waterfalls and devour Stone & Wood by the paddle. YHA Australia has over 70 properties ‘round the country, from fairy yurts to converted prisons and all that’s in between.

(Lead image: Byron Bay YHA)