'I just got back from Byron Bay with my toddler. Here are my top recommendations.'

When you imagine Byron Bay, you probably picture a few things. 

Pristine beaches. Beautiful people. Chris Hemsworth. Well, technically Chris IS one of the beautiful people, but I feel like he deserves his own shout out.

Having visited nearly every year since I was a kid (even though I am most definitely not one of the aforementioned beautiful people) I've seen my fair share of changes around the place as it's transformed from a quiet hippie town where tie-dye and tarot reading reigned supreme, to a bustling town full of buzzy restaurants and trendy bars.

Located on NSW's north coast, less than an hour from the Queensland border, it has now become a hotspot for celebrities and influencers, which has given it a (totally unfair) reputation of being a bit… well… pretentious. Please don't hate me, Byron. 

Watch: Horoscopes at the airport. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

But there is a reason so many people flock to the area year after year: because there's just no place quite like it. I'm not a woo-woo person at all, but there is something a bit magical about swimming at Clarkes Beach or listening to the musicians who line the streets at night as you wander home with a gelato.


Growing up, my family used to stay at a budget motel that's now been transformed into a swanky adult-only boutique hotel called Swell. Side note, I lost one of my first teeth there on their white gravel driveway and it may remain there to this day so if you find it, lemme know. (Too creepy? Okay moving on.)

A few years ago, my parents fulfilled their lifelong dream of running a guesthouse in Byron Bay called Barbara's. It means I've been fortunate enough to visit with my three-year-old daughter three times (seriously she has no idea what a lucky bugger she is yet) so I feel pretty well-placed to share my top recommendations of where to eat, stay and play in 'The Bay' if you've got kids in tow.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Where to eat in Byron Bay.

North Byron Hotel.

The prettiest pub I ever did see, the North Byron Hotel. Image: Supplied. 


Not to be confused with the Beach Hotel, which sits right across from Main Beach (it's also great, but much more touristy), the North Byron Hotel is a bit of a tucked-away treasure. 

Tucked away to the point where I didn't even know it existed until this year and now I'm kicking myself that I've missed out on it for so long! About six minutes' drive from the main street, this family-friendly pub has an outdoor play area and tons of picnic seating in the garden so you can stretch out and listen to the live bands.

The food is also delicious - I had a chicken schnitzel about the size of my head - and my three-year-old wolfed down some pasta before running around on the grass, while I enjoyed my food coma.

There is plenty of parking if you want to drive, but the best part about getting here with kids in tow is that the Byron Solar Train runs from the centre of town to the pub and back on the hour. It's the first of its kind in the world and my toddler was absolutely obsessed with the novelty of it. It also meant we could have a few drinks at lunch without worrying about driving back. Win win!


Miss Margarita.

Seriously, so yum. Image: supplied. 

Miss Margarita, or Miss Margs as it's known locally, has always been the first place my family goes to eat when we're in the area. It's close to the beach, has a really friendly vibe and serves a killer pineapple margarita. The owners are super welcoming and offer colouring for little kids to keep them entertained.

While I always tell myself I should branch out and try something new, I always order the guac (original I know), and chorizo and pineapple quesadillas because they're just epic.



Ember's claim to fame is that it's the best steak restaurant in Byron and holy hell is this accurate. In fact my dad, a huge foodie, called it the best steak he has ever had in his life.

Big call, but I agree with him in this case. 

We went here twice during our stay this year and twice the time before (can you tell my family loves food?) and it has been great every single time. 

There’s a huge menu including the even huger (hugerer?) 42-day dry age tomahawke. I don’t exactly know why drying it for 42 days makes it so great but it just does. And I still dream about the honey carrots and potato puree.

The Farm Byron Bay.

The Farm. Source: Supplied. 


Okay this isn’t exactly a hot take. If you've ever been to Byron Bay, or even Googled it, chances are someone has told you The Farm is a must-visit. And that's for good reason.

It's a working regenerative farm with an on-site restaurant, bakery, florist and gelateria, so you can stay there all day if you fancy.

There's also a playground, lush green rolling fields and plenty of live animals to visit on the property so it'll keep everyone happy. 

On previous visits, we've eaten breakfast at the cafe or grabbed an ice cream and walked around the grounds, so you can choose your own adventure here.

Byron Bay Services Club.

This might seem a bit rogue, but the local services club goes off in Byron. The bistro here is affordable, family-friendly and bloody delicious.

They do a roast of the day, which I have ordered every single time because… I feel like it’s a crime not to at a bistro. But there's a varied menu offering everything from curries and pot pies to your traditional chicken parmi, and there are often live bands playing, too.


Plus there's a kids' club for children over three to run around and play video games to their heart's content, so they won't be bored if you want to enjoy a long lunch or dinner. 

What to do in Byron Bay.

Wategos Beach.

Beautiful Wategos. Source: Supplied. 

If you're visiting the area, chances are you'll visit Main Beach or Clarkes Beach. But it's also worth venturing out to visit Wategos, two kilometres east of the Byron Bay town centre.


In my opinion, it's the most stunning of the Byron beaches (please don't hate me, locals) and it has a huge grassy knoll with heaps of shade, a mobile coffee van on site at Raes on Wategos, a nearby toilet block and barbecue equipment, which all make the trip much more pleasant.

I looooove the beach but hate the sand (don't pretend you don't too!), so we often love to lay out on the grass for a picnic before heading to the water for a dip, which also saves your stuff from being covered in sand by the time you leave.

Parking can sometimes be tricky in busy periods, so if you've got older kids or are travelling child-free, it's worth doing the coastal walk from Clarkes Beach down to Wategos to check out the incredible view on the way.

Cape Byron Lighthouse.


While we're talking about the coastal walk, it's a rite of passage to visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse while you're in town. In fact, it's against the law not to visit (well, not really but it should be). 

The views are breathtaking and it stands on Australia's most easterly point, so it's worth visiting just for the clout of saying you've done that. Plus, you'll often see wallabies hopping about or dolphins far out beyond the wave break.

You can get there by continuing the path along from Clarkes Beach to Wategos, but there are a lllllot of steps so only do this if you're feeling particularly active. Otherwise you can drive to the top.

Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Previously known as Macadamia Castle, this is such an awesome place for families because it's more like a zoo and a fun park rolled into one. 

There's a splash park, mini golf course and cafe on site, plus you can hand-feed a lot of the baby animals. We were here for hours last time we visited because there was so much to do. 

The Banya.


If you can escape for a few hours without the kids in tow, you MUST try this place. 

The Banya in Mullumbimby - about 20 minutes' drive from the Byron city centre - opened in 2022 and has become one of the most popular bathhouses and spas in the area.

There's a sauna, steam room, thermal pools and a restaurant where you can enjoy cocktails and charcuterie boards between dips. Seriously, how bloody delightful does that sound? Because it is, it really is.

My sister and I booked in last-minute on our recent family trip and I'm so glad we did.


I sometimes find these types of places a bit pretentious, but the staff here were incredibly welcoming and we never wanted to leave.

Where to stay in Byron Bay.

The accommodation options in Byron can suit every budget so it's always worth looking around months in advance to try to nab an early bird deal. 

Of course I'm going to recommend Barbara's because it's literally two minutes from the town centre and has a hot outdoor shower. Need I say more?

And you can book the whole house if you're travelling with a large group of friends and family, or book smaller, separate spaces to suit your family size. We stayed in the two-bedroom 'Verandah' area and that was plennnnty of space for us.

But there are also so many other amazing accommodation options to suit your budget.

There's the First Sun Holiday Park, which has powered sites and cabins right near Main Beach, making it super convenient and a DREAM for little ones. Or the Byron Bay Holiday Park has powered sites, tiny homes and even glamping options right near Clarkes Beach.

Barbara's. Source: Supplied. 


Orrrr if you want to go really bougie on your trip (and why the hell not?) then there is the amazing Elements of Byron. Not only does it have the swankiest lagoon-style pool you'll ever see, it is also mere footsteps from Belongil Beach. Even though it's a little further out of town, it makes up for it with the luxury facilities and the on-site spa. Bliss!

Do you have any top recommendations while staying in Byron Bay? Let us know in the comments below!

You can follow Stacey on Instagram @staceyahicks. 

Feature Image: Supplied. 

This writer paid for her own trip.  

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