The best camping near Byron Bay, New South Wales.
Chill out at one of Australia’s favourite beach holiday getaways in Byron Bay on the NSW far north coast.
The spiritual heartland of the ‘rainbow region’, Nimbin has been famous–or infamous, depending on your point of view–for its alternative lifestyle since the 1970s. Many of the hippies that moved in back then never moved on, and although it’s a bit more commercial these days, the annual Mardi Grass rally and street parade in May is always a colourful event. The shopfronts in Nimbin’s main street are decorated with multi-coloured psychedelic murals and there is a range of shops and cafés selling vegan new age goods, many made from hemp.
Byron Bay Hinterland
Drive up into the hills to explore the cute country towns such as Alstonville with its macadamia orchards and rainforest reserves, riverside Lismore, and charming Murwillumbah, sheltered beneath the shadow of the Mt Warning caldera. The rainforest in the mountainous national parks are part of the World Heritage listed Gondwana rainforests, and the battle to save them from logging in places like Protesters Falls kickstarted the conservation movement in Australia.
Tallow Beach and Lennox Head
The coastal strip south of Bryon Bay offers quieter back-to-basics camping experiences in the beachfront caravan parks and camping grounds in the seaside villages that stretch along Tallow Beach to Suffolk Park, Broken Head Nature Reserve and the village of Lennox Head.
If you fly into Byron Bay you’ll actually land in Ballina, which is around a 30-minute drive south of Byron. Home to one of Australia’s quirkier big things–the Big Prawn–it doesn’t quite have the same holiday buzz as Byron, but the beaches are just as nice and it makes a great base for those looking for affordable camping option, especially for families.
When to Go
Summer is warm and winter is mild, which helps ensure that fashionable Byron Bay is popular year round. It gets really busy during summer holidays, so make sure you book ahead. Byron’s also a hotspot during Schoolies Week (mid to late November) and is best left to the teenagers at this time. At Easter, Byron is home to the Byron Bay Bluesfest, one of the biggest blues festivals in the country. Winter, between June and October, is a great time to see whales.
Know Before You Go
- Cape Byron is mainland Australia’s most easterly point and being among the first in the country to see the sunrise from Byron lighthouse is a rite of passage for many young Australians, especially on New Years Eve.
- Alstonville disappears in a purple haze in autumn, when the Tibouchina trees that line the town's streets burst into bloom with big purple and mauve flowers.
- You never know what you’ll find at the weekend craft markets. Most stall holders move with the markets between Byron Bay, Nimbin, Bangalow and The Channon on alternate weekends. Visit https://www.byron-bay.com/byronbay/market.html for details.
- There’s no free camping in the town centre of Byron Bay. Don’t be tempted to sleep in your campervan in a beachside carpark, rangers can fine you up to AUD$2200 if you get caught.