Where to stay in Byron Bay for first time: 4 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Byron Bay as a first-timer can be overwhelming. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Byron Bay for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Byron Bay for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Byron Bay and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Byron Bay is a popular beach town located in the northeastern part of New South Wales, Australia. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, vibrant surf culture, lush hinterland, and alternative lifestyle.

Byron Bay has several beaches. Main Beach and Belongil Beach are located near the town center and are ideal for swimming and sunbathing. The Pass and Wategos Beach are also popular among surfers.

The town is home to Cape Byron, which is the easternmost point of the Australian mainland. The Cape Byron Lighthouse, situated on top of the headland, offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and is a popular spot for whale watching during migration seasons.

Byron Bay has a laid-back and alternative atmosphere, attracting artists, musicians, and those seeking a bohemian lifestyle. The town hosts various festivals, markets, and events throughout the year, reflecting its eclectic and creative community.

The lush hinterland surrounding Byron Bay is known for its picturesque landscapes, rainforests, and waterfalls. You can explore places like the Nightcap National Park and the charming village of Bangalow.

The town has a strong emphasis on health and wellness, with numerous yoga studios, wellness retreats, and health food stores. It has become a hub for those seeking a holistic and mindful lifestyle.

Is Byron Bay safe to visit?

Yes, Byron Bay, like most of Australia, is generally safe to visit. However, as with any tourist destination, it’s advisable to take standard safety precautions, such as securing your belongings, swimming only at patrolled beaches, and being aware of drunken people at night.

Where to stay in Byron Bay for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Byron Bay for first-timers and tourists are Jonson Street, Main Beach, Belongil Beach, and Wategos Beach. These areas offer a variety of accommodations and easy access to beaches and amenities.

Byron Bay is small, and you can easily explore the whole town, no matter which area you choose to stay in. Just pick accommodation that suits your budget, and you’ll be all set to go.

If you prefer a central location with easy access to amenities, Jonson Street might be the best choice. For a beach-centric experience, Main Beach or Belongil Beach could be suitable. If you’re looking for a more exclusive and tranquil setting, Wategos Beach might be the ideal option.

During my trip to Byron Bay, I stayed at the mid-range The Lord Byron. It was located in the heart of Byron Bay, close to everything. It was an easy walk to the beach and tourist amenities. My room was very clean and beautiful. The pool was nice with umbrellas and lounge chairs.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Byron Bay for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Byron Bay first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Byron Bay first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Byron Bay, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Byron Bay have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

4 Best & Safe areas to stay in Byron Bay for first-timers and tourists:

1. Jonson Street/ Byron Bay Town Center

Jonson Street and the Town Center is a great choice for visitors and backpackers who want to be at the heart of the action, with easy access to everything Byron Bay has to offer.

This area is known for its lively scene with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Jonson Street comes alive with bars and pubs at night, making it a popular spot to enjoy the nightlife.

Best places to stay in Byron Bay in Jonson Street:

Mid-range ($$): The Lord Byron, popular 4-star hotel in central Byron Bay, on Jonson Street, close to everything. It is a quick walking distance from various cafes, shops, and a woolies supermarket. The lighthouse is walkable. The hotel offers free bike and surfboard hire, free parking, and a lovely pool.

Mid-range ($$): Bayview Beachfront Apartments, in town right on the beach, great 4-star accommodation in central location, easy access to the beach and shops/restaurants of Johnson Street. They have a one and two-bedroom Apartment which is great for family or a group of friends. Accommodations come with a full kitchen and laundry facilities.  

Mid-range ($$): Byron Central Apartments, 4-star self-contained conveniently located only a few mins walk from Main Beach, Clarkes Beach and several popular dining options. The hotel has a large outdoor pool, covered parking, and a barbecue area. You can easily walk everywhere without needing a car.

Mid-range ($$): Aabi’s at Byron, 4-star accommodation on Ruskin Street, 5 mins walk to Jonson Street, 10 mins walk to Main Beach, 40 mins hike to the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Rooms are spacious. 

Budget ($): Glen Villa Resort, 3-star reasonable accommodation, located within  only 2 mins walk from the town center. It features  self-contained cabins with bathrooms and kitchenettes. Short stroll from many restaurants, cafes and shops.

Luxury ($$$): 28 Degrees Byron Bay – Adults Only, 5-star accommodation located on Marvell St in the heart of Byron Bay, within easy walking distance from Jonson Street and the Main beach. It has an outdoor swimming pool, airport transfer, free parking, and beautifully styled rooms.


2. Main Beach

Main Beach is one of Byron Bay’s most iconic and popular beaches. It is situated right in the heart of Byron Bay, easily accessible from the town center. 

Main Beach is known for its gentle waves, making it suitable for beginner surfers. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards, providing a safe environment for swimming. 

Main Beach offers stunning views of Cape Byron and the iconic Byron Bay lighthouse. The beach is backed by a grassy foreshore area with sunset picnic spots, making it a picturesque setting.

The beach is adjacent to a lively promenade lined with cafes, shops, and restaurants. It’s a great place to stroll, grab a meal, or shop for souvenirs. 

Located near Main Beach, the Byron Bay Surf Club is a popular venue for meals, drinks, and events. It offers fantastic views of the beach and is a hub for surf-related activities.

Best places to stay in Byron Bay in  Main Beach for first-timers:

Mid-range ($$): Cape Beach House, 4-star good value for money accommodation in a great location close to the Main beach and Clarkes Beach. 10 mins walk to the town center. The hotel has an outdoor pool, a terrace, and free onsite parking. Its location right at the foot of the lighthouse walk is perfect for the morning sunrise.

Mid-range ($$): Beach Suites, 4-star beachfront hotel, offering views of the Main Beach, It features stylish apartments and studios with a  well-appointed kitchenette. Great place to chill and relax.

Budget ($): Byron Bayside Central Studio Apartments, 3-star hotel located on Middleton St, featuring self-contained studio apartments with kitchenette, laundry facilities and free parking. 5 mins walk from the bus terminal.

Luxury ($$$): Swell Hotel Byron Bay – Adults Only, 5-star beautiful hotel in the heart of Byron Bay, only a few mins walk from the Main Beach, featuring an outdoor pool, free parking, a garden and a bar. It has  well maintained facilities.


3. Belongil Beach

Belongil Beach is located to the north of Byron Bay’s town center, and it’s adjacent to Main Beach. The beach can be accessed from various points along Childe Street and Shirley Street.

Belongil Beach is known for its natural and less developed atmosphere. The area has a more secluded and laid-back vibe compared to the bustling town center.

The northern end of Belongil Beach is part of Arakwal National Park, providing opportunities for nature walks and exploration.

Best places to stay in Byron Bay in Belongil Beach:

Luxury ($$$): The Beach Shack Byron Bay, great 5-star hotel situated just a 5-minute walk from Belongil Beach. The hotel has exceptional breakfast, free airport shuttle services, and an outdoor swimming pool. Close to the beach and the town center yet peaceful.

Luxury ($$$): Shambhala @ Byron, 5-star beachfront hotel, offering private access to Belongil Beach. 15 mins walk along the beach to shops, restaurants, bars and art galleries. Great base for a relaxing holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of Byron Bay.

Mid-range ($$): Aloha Byron Bay, 4-star hotel on Shirley Street, featuring a saltwater pool, free continental breakfast, BBQ area, and the communal kitchen.

Mid-range ($$): Bayhaven Lodge, 4-star accommodation that has a garden, BBQ facilities, family rooms, and luggage storage space. Close to Main Beach, Clarkes Beach and Arakwal National Park.

Budget ($): Wollongbar Motel, 3-star hotel, situated on Shirley Street, Belongil Beach, 5-10 mins drive from Arakwal National Park andCape Byron Lighthouse. The tour desk can help with your travel arrangements.


4. Wategos Beach

Wategos Beach is situated to the northeast of Cape Byron and is approximately a 5-minute drive or a scenic walk from the Byron Bay town center. It’s nestled in a sheltered cove, offering a more exclusive and secluded atmosphere.

Wategos Beach is renowned for its natural beauty, with golden sand, clear turquoise waters, and surrounding cliffs. The beach provides breathtaking views of the Cape Byron Lighthouse.

The beach is known for its consistent and quality waves, making it a popular spot for surfers. It caters to both experienced surfers and those looking to learn, although the waves can be larger compared to Main Beach.

The Cape Byron walking track starts from Wategos Beach, leading to the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse. The walk offers panoramic views of the coastline and is a popular activity for visitors.

Best places to stay in Byron Bay in Wategos Beach:

Luxury ($$$): Victoria’s At Wategos, 5-star accommodation has the view of Cape Byron Lighthouse. They have Great complimentary breakfast. Good base for relaxing. Just a few steps to the Watego beach and 15 min away walking distance from the lighthouse for the sunrise.

Mid-range ($$): Julians Apartments, 4-star lovely  self-catering accommodation on Lighthouse Rd, just across the road from Clarkes Beach, and only 15 mins walk to the town center. It has rooms with fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. Easy access to the walking path to Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Mid-range ($$): WategosRent, 4-star accommodation located  within a short distance of Wategos Beach, Clarkes Beach and Cape Byron Lighthouse. 


In conclusion,  Jonson Street, Main Beach, Belongil Beach, and Wategos Beach are the best places to stay in Byron Bay for first-timers and tourists. These are popular locations for visitors to book their accommodations and explore this beautiful beach town.

You can continue reading about other destinations in Australia in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Byron Bay. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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