There are lots of things to do around Byron Bay which can last anything from a few hours to the whole day.
A nice little day trip from Byron Bay is to go along the scenic coast road to Lennox Heads and Ballina. Just beyond Lennox Heads there is a turn off to the Pat Morton lookout where you can watch lots of people surfing and you may be lucky enough to see whales or dolphins from there.
Lennox Heads is a nice, laid back little town with the fabulous Seven Mile Beach and quite a few cafes and restaurants to choose from. The takeaway does great fish and chips and you can eat them at the picnic area just behind the beach. It is 18km from Byron Bay to Lennox Heads and is an easy enough cycle but the road can be quite busy.
Just outside Lennox Heads is Lake Ainsworth which is a fresh water lake and is a very popular place for sailing, canoeing and swimming. It is just 50 metres from the sea behind some sand dunes and is a dark red colour due to the tea trees around its banks. There are lots of BBQs and picnic tables so is an ideal spot to have a picnic and spend a few hours relaxing.
It is then another 12km on to Ballina which is an enjoyable cycle with the road being next to the sea most of the way. Ballina is smaller and less touristy than Byron Bay but has a few things of interest such as the Naval and Maritime Museum and Richmond River Cruises. If you have arrived by car you should also drive up to the Ballina lighthouse where you will get a great view along the coast.
Bangalow is a quaint little town just off the Pacific Highway but you can also get to it from the coast road to Lennox Head and can be done as part of the same trip as above if you are driving. It is 14km from Byron Bay and is quite a difficult cycle with a lot of hills but some beautiful scenery along the way. The main street, which has quite a few traditional Australian buildings on it, runs up to the pretty St Kevin’s Church which has a nice park opposite it. There are a couple of streets leading off the main one which are worth a little stroll along to see some more traditional buildings. Back on the main street Choux Choux Cafe has the most amazing selection of cakes and pies which are just impossible to resist.
If you have a car then you can visit all three of these towns probably in a half or full day but if you are cycling I would recommend going to Bangalow on a different day as it really is quite a climb but worth it nevertheless.
Around Byron Bay are some of the best places on the east coast of Australia to watch whales from land. They pass by from May or June till November or December first on the way north to around the Whitsunday Islands then back south to the Antarctic and the lighthouse in Byron Bay is a great place to watch them pass. You can also do Byron Bay whale watching trips which are available from May to November. One company we can recommend are Whale Watching Byron Bay who offer trips with small groups of no more than 12 people on each boat.