Byron Bay is one of my favourite holiday destinations in Australia and I visit whenever I get chance (you can read about one of my previous visits to Byron Bay here). My editor at Australia and New Zealand magazine just has to mention the word ‘Byron’, and I’m already grabbing my rucksack and planning my itinerary. My last trip for the magazine was a relaxing girl’s holiday (which was AMAZING!), so this time we decided to do Byron Bay with kids and travel as a family. And trust me when I say, Byron Bay is just as awesome for the kids as it is for grown ups!
This post contains compensated links. I was hosted and/or received discounts from a number of these businesses.
Byron Bay Accommodation: Where to stay in Byron Bay for families
As we were travelling as a family of five, we wanted to stay somewhere central where we didn’t need to take the car everywhere. Byron can get busy with traffic and we didn’t want to have the hassle of looking for parking spaces every time we wanted to pop into town to eat or to go to the shops or the beach. I hunted online for the best places to stay in Byron Bay and found the most perfect spot!
Byron Bay family accommodation: Outrigger Bay, Byron Bay
Outrigger Bay offers one, two and three bedroom self-catering apartments near the shops and beach (and when I say near, I mean 150m to the shops and about 50m to the beach from their back gate!) This was ideal for us as when we ate dinner in town our kids would get really tired and it wasn’t far for them to walk (or for us to carry our littlest!) back to bed. #winning
We had a three-bedroom apartment that had two bathrooms – it was absolutely spotless, smart and really comfortable – there was plenty of space for our large family There was a large kitchen with dishwasher (essential when travelling with kids) plus a washing machine (as we stayed at Byron as part of a longer trip we needed to keep on top of our laundry so this was a real bonus). There was a large dining table inside plus we had a large terrace overlooking the gorgeous heated outdoor pool too.
It was May when we visited so the weather was cooling down and it had been a while since we’d dared to venture into our pool in Brisbane, but as the pool at Outrigger Bay was heated it was warm enough even for evening dips. The kids loved swimming in the glowing pool lights a night. It also helped that there was a hot tub next to the pool (I *may* have spent most of my time in there watching the kids in the warm bubbles!)
As Outrigger Byron Bay has secure parking it meant we could ditch the car and walk everywhere, or we could pop out knowing the parking bay was waiting for us when we got back.
Although Outrigger Bay is in town, the resort didn’t feel cramped or noisy – the large palms all around the pool made it feel relaxing and open.
It was the first time I’ve ever stayed IN Byron Bay as every other time we’ve stayed outside town and had to drive in and, trust me, it makes the holiday a lot more enjoyable as it takes all the stress away. We loved that we were surrounded by other families and it was a really relaxed resort where we felt at home. The staff were all super friendly too and my kids enjoyed chatting to whoever they saw around the pool or reception and telling them all about our plans for the day ahead.
We travel a lot and it is difficult for a place to tick all of our boxes but Outrigger Bay managed to and I am sure we will be back again.
If you love Byron Bay, you will also love Noosa. >> Read my post about things to do in Noosa.
Things to do in Byron Bay, Australia
We crammed a lot into our trip to Byron Bay. There are lots of Byron Bay activities to entertain families no matter how young or old your kids are.
Here are our top things to do in Byron Bay and the surrounding area:
Crystal Castle, Byron Bay
The Crystal Castle and Shambala Gardens are home to the world’s largest and most beautiful crystals in the world. Set in 25-hectares of lush countryside, the main building is built in the place where the ley lines (the Earth’s energy lines) intersect. The botanic gardens are stunning, and there are so many crystals and geodes to explore along with exercises to practice mindfulness and relaxation.
Our kids thought it was one of the best places they’ve ever been as they all love crystals and they enjoyed taking part in the exercises such as at the Byron’s World Peace Stupa where you walk clockwise around the structure while turning the brass prayer wheels. The reflexology walk (pictured above) was also a big hit where we kicked off our shoes and let the cool, smooth stones massage our feet. And they really enjoyed the kids’ activity sheets that we picked up when we arrived as it gave them things to focus on during our visit.
The Crystal Castle is home to an enormous purple amethyst geode cave and a five-and-a-half-metre tall smokey quartz geode – both were so impressive. Our kids would have happily stayed for the full day exploring as they adore this kind of attraction. Remember, if you are taking kids along to allow at least half an hour (more like an hour!) to browse the gift shop at the end. Picking which crystal to buy and take home is so tricky!
Open 10am – 5pm daily.
Macadamia Castle, near Byron Bay (this venue has now become Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary)
[Updated: Macadamia Castle no longer exists as it was bought by Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. They still have plenty of amazing wildlife experiences available. Find out more here.)
Macadamia Castle is a great attraction whether it is raining or sunny. I can confirm this as it poured down during our visit and we still had the most incredible day! My kids are 8, 8 and 5 and this was the most perfect attraction for us. It is compact but there is plenty to entertain. We went on a week day during term time (shhh don’t tell anyone!) and as it was quiet (school day + rain) we were able to get really hands on!
We followed the staff around for each of their different talks – from the reptile talk where we got to stroke baby crocs and snakes (and then hold them for a photo for a bargain $10 – check out the blog cover photo at the top!) to the baby farm animal feeding where we fed animals by hand with large bottles of milk. There was a little hut with baby chicks where you could put your hands in and stroke them, and amazing playground which my kids thought was the best, and a little crazy golf course too not to mention a little train that loops around the park for $2 each.
Did I mention pancakes? I really should have – Macadamia Castle serves up the most incredible pancakes. Actually all of the food we ordered there was utterly delicious – we sampled the pancakes, scones and burgers and it was one of the best meals we’d eaten in a cafe a long time. Many people came into the cafe just to eat as it seems it is known locally as a great lunch spot.
Tip: You can order food from a little kiosk from within the park, but if you walk out as if you are leaving the park you can enter into the main cafe and there they have the full menu available and it’s a lot more comfortable if you’re sitting down to eat a proper meal. You can still go back into the park to carry on your visit afterwards.
Pictured below are the kids’ pancakes and they were BIG and got a massive thumbs up (I’m so glad we didn’t buy them adult-sized servings!)
This place was a huge hit for us, and if we lived locally it would be the kind of place we’d buy an annual pass for as my kids love animals and outdoor play.
Cape Byron Lighthouse
Every time I come to Byron Bay I have plans to walk up to the Byron Bay Lighthouse. And every time we run out of time. This time the weather was really against us – we had a lot of rain and wind and we had a lot to cram into a limited time but I made the walk part of the way up to Byron Lighthouse. The views – even in the hazy rain – were spectacular. I am looking forward to coming back again and doing a longer walk in better weather with the whole family.
The Farm, Byron Bay
The Farm at Byron Bay is a working farm that sprawls over 80 acres and is home to a number of small businesses who are working together to create a sustainable, healthy lifesyle. You can take a daily tractor tour around the fields, or go for a walk yourself. The restaurant there gets really busy with locals enjoying the locally produced food. During school holidays they run a number of workshops for kids too.
We popped in for a walk around the fields and the shop. Next time I’d love to plan in time to eat lunch in the restaurant as I bet the food would be incredible.
Tropical Fruit World
45 minutes north of Byron Bay is Tropical Fruit World. This fun fruit attraction involves a two-and-a-half-hour-long tour, so be sure to check out tour start times before you arrive.
The tour includes a tasting of unusual fruits (including custard apple, star fruit and champagne fruit), a ride around the fields on a tractor where you learn all about the fruit that is grown here, a visit to meet the farm animals, a boat trip, a miniature train ride and a play in a big playground (which has a great flying fox!) Highlights for us were cracking open macadamia nuts, browsing the colourful fruit shop, being chased by ducks on the boat ride (they were intent on keeping up with the boat and had the kids in fits of giggles) and the the top highlight was the cafe at the end where we ordered our own personalised flavours of fruit ice cream. Yum!
It is open daily 10am – 4pm.
Discovery Park Byron Bay
On our way back into Byron one day, we were passing Discovery Parks Byron Bay and decided to pay a little visit to check it out. The holiday park was absolutely awesome – it’s the kind of place you could go with your kids and sit back and watch them have fun for a week without really needing to leave the site. The huge jumping pillow was a big hit, but the spectacular water park was the biggest treat. We were only popping in for a look around but the kids couldn’t help throwing themselves in fully clothed (thankfully this mum is used to this kind of behaviour and always has towels and spare clothes in the car, just in case!)
You don’t need to be staying at the resort to experience the park – you can buy day passes for $15 per person which I think would be a great way to spend a day during your family holiday at Byron Bay.
What to do in Byron Bay with kids: Hit the beach!
If you are beach obsessed like me, you might enjoy this post about the best beach wagons on the market.
The huge Main Beach is all the entertainment you really need in Byron Bay – our kids spent hours running around the beach, writing in the sand, building sand castles and jumping the waves. The grassy area behind the beach has a great atmosphere and often has buskers playing. There is a little fish and chip shop on the corner of the car park which means you can get a big box of supper to share and sit listening to live tunes as the sun goes down, then let the kids loose on the playground there to work off their food. It’s one of those care-free family holiday destinations that you dream about.
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Best places to eat in Byron Bay
My favourite eating spot in Byron Bay will always be Miss Margarita. It’s a small Mexican restaurant close to the beach and I cannot visit Byron Bay without calling in. The only issue when travelling with our kids is that they don’t like spicy food so I was a bit worried how I was going to get my Miss Margarita fix. The good news is they have a kids’ menu that includes nachos with cheese and cheese quesadillas – things my kids do like to eat! So my hubby and I got to demolish a plate full of deliciously spicy chicken nachos followed by fajitas in a rich spicy sauce all while sipping margaritas. The kids thought it was the best meal ever and so did we! Plus, as it was so close to Outrigger Bay, we could roll back to our apartment afterwards in just a few minutes.
Byron Bay with kids
Our kids love Byron Bay as much as I do. There is so much on offer for families whether you are on a day trip Byron Bay, a weekend trip or you are staying for a longer holiday. Byron Bay really is one of my favourite holiday destinations and I can’t wait to go back again soon.
Planning a trip to Byron Bay?
Check out these must-reads on Amazon to help you plan your holiday to Byron Bay.
I was hosted or received discounted rates from the businesses mentioned in this article. All opinions are my own. This post contains compensated links which means I earn a small commission from any sales bought through my link at no extra cost to you.