Guide to Winter in Byron Bay
Here’s a little local’s secret: the best time to visit Byron Bay is between April and September every year.
Sun-kissed living is extended through the winter months, even if the daylight hours are slightly shorter. Winter in Byron Bay means you’ll share the surf with the locals, have your pick of the best beach spots, easily find a car park (yes – even at Wategos) and skip the summer crowds. Winter weather is a delightful mix of gorgeous sunshine, blue skies and crispy mountain air blowing in from the hinterland.
Beach days with a difference
While the days get cooler, the ocean temperature tends to stay pleasant right up until the end of August (we promise.) With plenty of sunshine, there’s no reason you can’t continue to enjoy the beach. Go for an early morning swim and follow it with a hot coffee while you sit on the sand. Take a filled with local produce from the markets picnic, go for a run, practice yoga. Rinse and repeat.
Kayak with whales
Byron Bay is considered one of the best places in the country for whale watching, with the Southern Hemisphere humpback whales on their way to the breeding and birthing grounds in the subtropics. At more than 2,500-kms, this is considered one of the longest migrations in the animal kingdom. Whales migrate past Byron Bay from May to November, and there are several excellent kayak tours from which to catch the whales in action. Paddle out into the marine park and learn about local history, aboriginal history, the lighthouse, dolphins, whales, and turtles.
Image credit: Destination NSW
(Eléme) Spa the day away
As we transition through the seasons our skin’s needs also change. Dry winter skin calls for a bit of extra pampering and you’ll probably notice it start to loose some glow and lustre. Book yourself in at Eléme Day Spa at Crystalbrook Byron for a muscle-melting rubdown and deeply nourishing skin-care. The purest, unadulterated, natural ingredients from Australia’s own Sodashi products are used to customise all seductive treatments. We highly recommend the Curative Crystalus, a meditative massage to balance the mind, body and spirit with the use of ancient Australian healing stones and crystals. And don’t forget to take a bottle of the Calming Serum home. An infusion of 12 strengthening botanical oils including Vetiver, Rosehip, Centella, Chamomile and Sandalwood, this soothing and nourishing blend protects and speeds skin recovery for a glowy, clear complexion.
Explore Aboriginal Byron
Dive into the magical history of the area with a guided tour by Delta Kay, an Arakwal Bundjalung woman who is passionate about sharing Aboriginal culture. You’ll have the opportunity to learn some Bundjalung language along the 2-hour guided walks through some of Byron Bay’s most spectacular scenery, as well as all about bush tucker (food), natural medicine, tools, weapons and artefacts.
Shop ‘till you drop
Cooler weather means a very legitimate excuse to indulge in shopping. There are so many awesome local brands to check out in Byron Bay. We recommend heading to the Industrial Estate where you will find local labels such as Naganta, Rowie The Label, Tigmi Trading, and, of course, sustainable St. Agni (our personal favourite) among others. We love St. Agni so much we’ve dressed our entire Experience Curator team in their clothing. Pop past the front desk at Crystalbrook Byron for some outfit inspo.
Image credit: Destination NSW
Grab your runners, togs, a bottle of water and head out to explore some of the many waterfalls near Byron Bay. Our favourite, Minyon Falls, is a 9km track and has a creek at the bottom where you can take a dip or grab a few totally insta-worthy pics of the 100-metre-tall waterfall. We also love Killen Falls, located between Byron and Ballina. Don’t forget to pick up some snacks from the picturesque village of Tintenbar first.
Swim. Sauna. Repeat.
Crystalbrook Byron’s infinity swimming pool is heated to a delicious 27 degrees which means wallowing in the warm water is a year-round (highly encouraged) activity. And while it might be a tad too chilly to laze on the loungers, the sauna is located within the pool area which makes it perfect for a bit of post-pool heat therapy.
It’s a must. Have you always put it off because you’ve been visiting during summer and the heat is just *too much*? We recommend going really early (just after sunrise). The light at either end of the day is seriously spectacular. Jump on the track near the corner of Lawson and Massinger Streets in town and head off. There are lots of stairs and big hills in parts, but it’s all very worth it. The views will blow your mind. If you are walking between August and November, you will be blessed with many whale sightings and most likely dolphins as well.
Image credit: Destination NSW
Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens
Crystal Castle is another magical place that children absolutely love. Tucked away in the hinterland, a 30 minute drive from town, Crystal Castle is home to magical gardens that are filled with Tibetan stupas and prayer flags, buddhas, giant crystals (including the world’s largest amethyst), an ancient labyrinth, bamboo forest, crystal shops, and a cafe. If you are lucky, you might coincidentally time your visit with one of their beautiful sound bath healing sessions that take place each day inside the labyrinth.
Family-Friendly Byron Bay
There’s a huge variety of kid-friendly activities which means Byron Bay is the perfect spot for the school holidays whether you’re spending a week or simply a quick weekend getaway.
Crystalbrook Byron Slurp Society
During the winter school holidays, kids under 12 years old get to stay at Crystalbrook Byron for free. They’ll also be invited to join the very exclusive Crystalbrook Byron Slurp Society. As members of the Slurp Society, they’ll get to enjoy unlimited ice cream for the duration of their stay. What could go wrong?
The Farm is a fantastic place for the kids to run around. The Farm is principally a working farm that also features a fantastic restaurant, sustainable bakery and produce market. The Farm’s fields are home to heritage-breed pigs, heritage Scottish Highland cattle and chickens, all of which roam freely. “Farm Kids” offers a variety of educational programs and school holiday activities just for kids.
Brunswick Fairy Trail
Spend a magical day exploring Brunswick Heads and visiting their local fairy residents. Fairies come here, some to live, and some to holiday in Airy Fairy B and B's. Would you like to see some of their special places? Follows the clues on this self-guided (free) adventure. Maps and information is available to The Visitors Centre.
Circus Arts Byron bay (indoor)
Circus Arts Byron Bay in the Industrial Estate is a super fun place to take the kids. Boasting a massive 1200 sqm indoor space with a 10m flying trapeze, Circus Arts have a number of circus programs on offer to suit all children of all age levels, including full and half day circus programs, flying trapeze, indoor climbing, an Olympic-size trampoline, and kids play space.