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Byron boasts a sun-drenched climate and a welcoming community vibe

Tucked just below Queensland's border, Byron Bay in New South Wales has become synonymous with a laidback way of living, attracting visitors who are keen to break the shackles of the daily grind. Many Brisbane and Sydney locals choose to hit the highway with the windows down and cruise along the coast en route to the surfing mecca of Byron, but it is quite a lengthy journey from the south (about a nine hour drive from Sydney). Alternatively, fly into Ballina or Coolangatta airports and jump on a bus, train or hire a car to reach your destination.

Byron Bay: Lighthouse

Byron Bay is the perfect destination to kick back and relax. Start the morning right with sunrise yoga on the beach, book a tropical treatment at a day spa or take advantage of natural remedies with a dip in the ocean. Much of Byron's attractions are centred around the water with sea kayaking and cruise tours to spot dolphins and whales and plenty of surfing opportunities for beginners and pros alike. Branch outside your comfort zone on a weekend holiday in Byron Bay and see if you can find your sea legs with a lesson at a local surf school.

Byron Bay: Beach

In peak season, Byron can be notoriously busy but still manages to retain a peaceful atmosphere. Many restaurants in the town centre along Jonson Street, Lawson Street and Bay Lane are seafood-focussed with an importance on freshness, while a number of cafes boast a pleasant hippy aesthetic serving healthy, organic fare. Finish off your weekend away in Byron Bay enjoying the wide ocean views along the Cape Byron Walking Track, making your way to the lighthouse atop the cliffs. Get up early and visit the easternmost point of mainland Australia at Cape Byron to be one of the first people to see the sun rise over the Pacific.

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