How to get to Byron Bay

There are several ways to get to Byron Bay, including flying to Ballina (the closest airport to the town), taking a train or a bus, and self-driving.

How you get to Byron Bay largely depends on your budget and timeframe. Flying is the quickest option, while self-driving is usually the cheapest. If you do have time to spare, embarking on a road trip is one of the best ways to experience the East Coast as you'll stop at various destinations along the way.

Flying to Byron Bay

Flying is the quickest and easiest way to travel to Byron Bay from most states with the exception of Flying is the quickest way to travel to Byron Bay unless you're traveling from Southern Queensland or northern New South Wales where self-driving may be quicker.

The closest airport is Ballina Byron Gateway Airport (BNK), about 35 minutes from the town center. There are daily flights between Ballina and most major Australian cities, including SydneyMelbourneBrisbane, Perth, Hobart and Adelaide with Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Jetstar.

Below are approximate flight times to Ballina:

  • Melbourne to Ballina - 2 hours

  • Sydney to Ballina - 1.25 hours

  • Hobart to Ballina (via Sydney)- 4.5 hours

  • Adelaide to Ballina (via Sydney)- 4.5 hours

  • Perth to Ballina (via Sydney) - 6.5 hours

  • Brisbane to Ballina (via Sydney) - 3.5 hours

Flight availability and prices vary depending on the season and how far in advance you book your tickets, with summer being the busiest and most expensive time to visit. Try to book and secure your flights as soon as possible.

From the airport, you can catch a taxi to your accommodation in Byron Bay or hire a rental car from one of two car hire companies at Ballina airport: Thrifty and Sixt. Rental prices also vary depending on the season, type of car and how long you need it for. You can typically expect to pay upwards of USD$21 per day.

Driving to Byron Bay

While driving isn't usually the quickest option, it's the best way to see as much of Australia's scenery. It also allows for greater flexibility in your itinerary.

It takes about 8 hours to drive to Byron Bay from Sydney, 2 hours from Brisbane and 1.5 hours from the Gold Coast.

The major highways in and out of Byron Bay are all relatively easy to navigate. You should always plan your route ahead of time and leave room in your itinerary for potential disruptions. Also be mindful of traffic when driving through populated areas at peak periods.

If you're driving at night or when the visibility is low, be aware of animals crossing the road and slow down in forested areas.

Public transport

If you don't have access to a car or flying isn't in your budget, you can take public transport. While it isn't the most time-efficient way to travel to Byron Bay, it allows you to see Australia's beautiful scenery (as it goes past your window) without the stress of being behind the wheel.

If you're traveling from the Gold Coast, the Byron Bay Express shuttle bus will take you into the heart of the beachside town for as little as USD$25 one way (or USD$45 return).

If you're traveling from Sydney, you can take a 13-hour Greyhound Australia bus to Byron Bay. It's also fairly cheap at around CAD$73-$143. You can also catch a bus from Melbourne to Byron Bay with Greyhound Australia, Firefly Express, and Premier Motor Service (however, the journey is a long one at just over 17 hours).

Still want to learn about Byron Bay? Return to Byron Bay FAQs

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Most of our East Coast trips via Byron Bay start in Sydney. Join us on a small group adventure through New South Wales and Queensland to discover some of Australia's most gorgeous landscapes.

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