Byron Bay is a beachside town in northern NSW, about 759km north of Sydney, 140km south of Brisbane and 40 minutes drive south of the Gold Coast. Cape Byron, a headland adjacent to the town, is the eastern most point of mainland Australia. Byron Bay has a population of about 5600 and is the nucleus of the Byron Shire, which has a population of almost 30,000.
Byron Bay is a beach resort famous for its alternative lifestyle and laid-back atmosphere. It attracts people from all socio economic levels. The beaches, hinterland, surfing, yoga, shopping, partying, dining, favourable climate and diving are reasons why the town has grown and prospered in the last 20 years.
It has a subtropical climate with cooling coastal winds in summer. The town has several beaches popular for surfing. Whalewatching is a significant contributor to the local economy.
Byron bay has numerous cafes, restaurants (many specialising in vegetarian food) and bars. Being among some of the best farmland in Australia, produce is fresh - often organic - with a wide range of tropical, sub-tropical and semi-temperate foods all thriving.
Byron Bay has a taxi service, limited public transport, a public library and a swimming pool. There is a hospital in town and several regional hospitals in nearby Mullumbimby, Ballina and Lismore, with major hospitals on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. There are two public primary schools, a high school, and the Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School.
Dozens of religious and spiritual groups are represented including Christianity, Bahai, Hindu, Islam and more.
Events held at Byron Bay include yoga retreats, pagan gatherings, and music festivals such as the East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival, Splendour in the Grass, the Byron Bay Writers' Festival, the Byron Bay Film Festival and the Byron Underwater Festival.
Byron Bay also has several regular markets including a weekly farmers' market. There is also a craft market on the first Sunday of each month and an artisan market Saturday evenings.