The once sleepy little dairy town of Byron Bay has become one of Australia’s biggest tourist attractions since its discovery by surfers and alternative lifestyler’s in the 1970s. Now the home of millionaires, it still retains its laid back ambiance and the locals continue to fiercely defend its natural attractions.
There is little logic to why Lennox Head hasn’t grown like Byron Bay. It, too, has a long, wide, beautiful beach at its doorstep and a great surfing point just outside the town center. Like Byron, the atmosphere is "beachy" and relaxed. The biggest difference between the two towns may be that Lennox Head has remained primarily a family community, while Byron Bay, ever since backpackers discovered it after the inaugural Blues Fest, has developed into a major tourism center.
When you visit the far north coast, you may be torn between staying in the heart of the action in Byron Bay and staying in the quieter Lennox Head. It needn’t be a dilemma. They are within a stone’s throw of each other, so you can enjoy them both equally.
Why Stay in a Lennox Head
Getting a Lennox Head accommodation makes sense if you want to spend the majority of your time relaxing at the beach or exploring the entire far north coast. The main beach at Lennox is far less crowded than Byron’s and all the restaurants, shops and amenities you need are all located just opposite the beach. When you feel like exploring by car, there is much less traffic than there is in Byron. Head up the hills to Lismore and the hinterland, explore little known beaches around nearby Ballina or spend the day at one of the beaches tucked away in the National Parks and reserves between Lennox Head and Byron. If you’re on a budget, you’ll find that Lennox Head restaurants and accommodations are generally less expensive than those in Byron.
If you’re a surfer and you stay in Lennox, you have the world class waves of Lennox Head to look forward to, but that’s not all. The friendly local surfers at the surf shops along Pacific Parade will tell you about some fantastic spots in and around nearby Ballina you probably have never heard of before. The waves are arguably better than those you’ll find closer to Byron and definitely less crowded.
Why Stay at a Byron Bay
Byron Bay is the place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the action 24/7. By day, there are the beaches and great shops, galleries and cafes right there at your doorstep. By night, there’s always something to do in Byron Bay. For entertainment you’ve got everything from live bands in the pubs and clubs to the buskers in the streets to keep your feet tapping. Even some of the cheap take out cafes in Byron serve gourmet dishes and if you want something more formal, some of Australia’s most renowned chefs call Byron Bay home.
You can have it all from your Byron Bay accommodation if you stay at one of the guesthouses, B&Bs or resorts on the fringes of Byron Bay. Some are located right on the beach while others are Bali-style enclosures that are oases right in the middle of town. Even some of the cheap backpacker facilities in Byron are ridiculously luxurious, including swimming pools, great restaurants and evening entertainment.