Byron Bay sits along Australia's Pacific Coast Highway about 110 miles (175 km) from Brisbane. The outstanding scenery, endless beaches and ideal surfing conditions draw both domestic tourists and international visitors. Byron is one of the best of the thousands of beach destinations in Australia. Not only do people come to visit, but they also choose to host weddings and other special events right on the beach or on the bluffs overlooking the ocean and the coastline.
Despite its rather remote feel, Byron Bay is very easy to reach. Gold Coast is only an hour away by car, and coming from Brisbane requires a scenic two-hour road trip up the coastal highway. Australia's main hub, Sydney, is nine hours away by car. Regular shuttle flights from both Melbourne and Sydney land at the local Byron Airport. Because this is a popular tourist area, bus companies from all major cities in the region offer service to Byron. It is even possible for groups to charter a bus to the area for a wedding or other special event.
The beach is the main attraction in Byron Bay. There are sections with calm water that are great for young swimmers, and there are sections where topless sunbathing is considered acceptable. Life guards and the beach patrol are active during the summertime. Byron Main beach has small but consistent waves, while nearby Watego draws long boarders with its long rolling waves that offer endless rides. Tallow's Beach, which doesn't see many tourists, has larger waves. If you are an experienced surfer or if you want to see experienced surfers tackle challenging waves, this is where you should come. SCUBA diving is popular year-round and in September or October, whales migrate just offshore. Dolphins are regularly seen in the evenings. In some areas, they swim right alongside surfers.
The thing that makes Byron such a great destination for a wedding, besides all the awesome peripheral activities, is its stunning views. The Byron Bay Lighthouse, located atop the coastal highlands, offers panoramas that are simply stunning. People who are lucky enough to hold their event a little bit inland can see BOTH the interior mountains and the ocean. No matter where you host your event, there will be good times nearby. A lively nightlife scene and great restaurants are both on the Byron menu. The Beach Hotel has good food, as does the Balcony Bar, which also serves up a nice selection of cocktails.
Accommodation options are plentiful in Byron Bay. These range from basic motels to luxurious resorts. If you are looking for a place to host your wedding or event guests, options like Byron Bay Apartments can offer privacy and easy access to the beach and restaurants. More upscale venues like the Gaia Resort and Spa offer multi-day pampering packages. The best Byron Bay wedding venue, the Byronview Farm, has its own cottage where the bride and groom (or other special guests) can stay after the wedding has finished. Byronview even lets the bridal party stay at the cottage the night before a wedding.
So obviously Byronview Farm is the event venue of choice in the area. Like all good event venues, it offers a variety of settings. Wedding ceremonies can be held overlooking the ocean or you can choose the scenic forested mountains and valleys as the backdrop for your special "I do" moment. A tent can be used for larger receptions, while intimate after-wedding parties can be held right on the cottage's wrap-around verandahs.
What is your favorite Australian destination? Do you have any recommendations for where to host a wedding along the Pacific Coast? Use the comments section to share your insights.