Organized Tours from Sydney
An unusual way to get to Byron is on a 5-day surf safari from Sydney with Surfaris (tel. 1800/634 941 in Australia; www.surfaris.com). You can learn to surf along the way, as you stop off at several beaches, staying in dorm accommodations overnight (you can upgrade to double rooms). Trips leave Sydney on Monday morning and Byron Bay on Sunday morning. The safari is an all-inclusive A$599. A 3-day surf safari leaves either on Sunday or Monday and costs A$399. Another surfing operator on this route is MojoSurf (tel. 02/6639 5100; www.mojosurf.com), which runs a series of surf camps, surf adventures, surf stays, and advanced training courses.
Another great trip is with Ando's Outback Tours (tel. 1800/228 828 in Australia; www.outbacktours.com.au), which operates from Sydney every Sunday. It heads inland deep into the Outback on a 5-day trip and returns to Byron Bay. Among the highlights are visits to Lightning Ridge and the wild Glengarry opal fields. The trip costs A$500.
The Byron Visitors Centre, 80 Jonson St., Byron Bay, NSW 2481 (tel. 02/6680 9271; www.visitbyronbay.com), is open daily from 9am to 5pm. A half-hour farther south is the Ballina Tourist Information Centre, on the corner of Las Balsas Plaza and River Street, Ballina (tel. 02/6686 3484), open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Byron really goes to town during 4 days over the Easter weekend with the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival (www.bluesfest.com.au). Up to 30,000 people camp out to listen to up to 80 acts, including the likes of Ben Harper, Midnight Oil, and Joan Armatrading. On the first Sunday of every month, the extraordinary local crafts market brings hippies and funky performers out from the hinterland. Byron Bay is very popular at Christmas time, so book well in advance.
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.