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Many accommodations in Byron Bay offer free surfboards for guests. If yours doesn't, head to the Byron Surf Shop, Lawson Street at the corner of Fletcher Street (tel. 02/6685 7536), which rents boards. The shop can also arrange surf lessons for around A$25 per hour. The Byron Bay Surf School, 127 Jonson St. (tel. 1800/707 274), offers surfing classes from A$60.

Wategos Beach and an area off the tip of Cape Byron called "The Pass" are two particularly good surf spots; and since each of the beaches faces a different direction, you are bound to find the surf is up on at least one. Main Beach, which stretches along the front of the town (it's actually some 50km/31 miles long), is good for swimming. West of Main Beach is Belongil Beach, the unofficial nudist beach (when authorities aren't cracking down on covering up). Clarke's Beach curves away to the east of Main Beach toward Cape Byron.

The Cape Byron Lighthouse on Cape Byron is one of Australia's most powerful. It's eerie to come up here at night to watch the stars and see the light reach some 40km (25 miles) out to sea. A nice walk just south of town goes through the rainforest of the Broken Heads Nature Reserve.

The best place to dive around Byron Bay is at Julian Rocks, about 3km (2 miles) offshore. Byron Bay Dive Centre, 111 Jonson St. (tel. 1800/243 483 in Australia, or 02/6685 8333; www.byronbaydivecentre.com.au), offers a range of diving and snorkeling tours and runs dive courses, too.

Exploring the Hills & Rainforests

Behind Byron you'll find hills that could make the Irish weep, as well as rainforests, waterfalls, and small farms burgeoning with tropical fruits. A good operator taking trips inland is Byron Bay Eco Tours (tel. 0429/770 686 mobile; www.byronbaywildlifetours.com). A sunrise tour costs A$63 for adults and A$27 for kids under 15; a sunset tour costs A$72 for adults and A$36 for kids, and a photography tour costs the same. On a typical tour you will see plenty of birdlife, as well red-necked pademelons, whiptail wallabies, red-necked wallabies, a flying fox colony, kangaroos, and koalas.

The Nimbin Shuttle (tel. 02/6680 9189; www.nimbinaustralia.com/nimbinshuttle) operates a shuttle bus service to Nimbin from Byron Bay Monday to Saturday for A$15 one-way. The Nimbin Market is on every third Sunday of the month. Visit the Hemp Embassy (tel. 02/6689 1842; www.hempembassy.net) for all things marijuana-related. There are some interesting art galleries in Nimbin, too.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.