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Free things to do in Northern NSW

24 May 2023


With beautiful beaches, unrivalled landmarks and an impressive art scene, there’s no need to break the bank when visiting the north coast of NSW. free-things-to-do-in-northern-nsw-banner

Here’s a list of nine free things to do in Northern NSW that won’t cost you a cent!


Free things to do in northern nsw

The best things in life are free! Like Northern NSW beaches. Credit: @islandofsea

When it comes to free things to do in Northern NSW, beachcombing with the family is a no-brainer.

Consistently listed among the best beaches in the world, you’d be silly not to spend time enjoying the picturesque coastline of Northern NSW. There are plenty of patrolled beaches for safe swimming as well as countless world-class surf breaks if you’re up for it!


Untitled design   2023 05 25T150148.203Credit: Minyon Falls / New South Wales

They don’t call this area the Northern Rivers for nothing and where there are rivers, there are waterfalls!

Hidden in the depths of the Byron Hinterland lie a number of impressive falls, and while some are easier to get to than others, there's no shortage of opportunity to get wet and wild! 

Killen Falls is popular due to its easy access and a large swimming area that allows you to swim directly under the fall itself. Minyon Falls is another favourite, with its impressive 100m drop truly a sight to behold. Take it in from the top or hike the 13km return track to the bottom and cool off with a refreshing dip. Whian Whian Falls, Dalwood Falls and Protestor Falls are also definitely worth chasing.


Free things to do in northern nsw byron bay lighthoCredit: Cape Byron Walking Track / Visit NSW

While we’re on the topic of hiking and free things to do in Northern NSW, the region has some incredible walking trails made for all fitness levels.

Start easy with the scenic lighthouse walk from Byron Bay’s main town which takes you up to the most Easterly point of mainland Australia or travel around an hour of out town to Nightcap National Park and take your pick of over 15 trails that meander through lush, ancient rainforest.  


Free things to do in northern nsw tyagarah tea tree lake

Tyagarah Tea Tree Lake might change your life. 

Revitalise your mind and body naturally with a visit to one of the many Tea Tree Lakes scattered around the region.

Infused by the oil dripping from the overhanging trees, the water in these lakes is said to have medicinal properties with the local Bundjalung people using tea tree as an antiseptic for centuries. Don’t let the oily look of the water put you off, this film will leave your skin and hair feeling silky smooth after a short dip.

Lake Ainsworth and Tyagarah Tea Tree Lake are two of the most popular and easy-to-access spots that hold strong cultural significance in the area.


free-things-to-do-in-northern-nsw-buskingCredit: Apex Park, Byron Bay / Weekend Notes

The streets of Byron Bay come alive once the sun goes down as the town's famous busking scene comes to life.

Local musicians take to the street every night to perform to large crowds that gather. The talent of these artists is hard to comprehend with many of them going on to make it on the big stage. Recent ARIA award winner, Tones and I, started her musical career on the streets of Byron, so who knows who you’ll come across during your free Byron gig!


free-things-to-do-in-northern-nsw-marketsCredit: Byron Farmers Market

Many artisans frequent the Northern Rivers region making its market scene one of the best in the country.

Byron Bay, Nimbin and Lennox Head all hold monthly markets, selling an eclectic mix of clothes, jewellery, homewares and food that make for a wonderful wander. The friendly stallholders are always up for a chat and love sharing a thing or two about their craft. The region is also known for its incredibly fresh produce which you can sample at weekly Farmers’ Markets. 


Free things to do in northern nsw picnic broken headCredit: Broken Head Picnic Area / NSW Government 

Skip the fancy restaurant and instead head for the coast for a dinner view that money can’t buy.

Thanks to its rolling hills, the region has plenty of headlands that make for the perfect picnic spot. Some favourites include Broken Head, Lennox Head and the lookout at the Byron Bay Lighthouse. Easy!


free-things-to-do-in-northern-nsw-farmCredit: The Farm, Byron Bay / Weekend Notes

It’s easy to forget that the Northern Rivers is a regional area that relies heavily on agriculture.

The Farm is a great reminder of just how sustainable farming supports the environment and the community. Entry is free and a great day out for kids and adults alike. Meet the farm's friendly animals that call the co-op home as well as the many start-ups that make up this a bustling local community.  


Free things to do in northern nsw byron bay waterpark

If spending the day at a pirate ship-themed water park sounds like your idea of a good time, Discovery Parks - Byron Bay is one of many Discovery Parks with full aquatic playgrounds including spray zones, waterslides and play equipment that is free for every guest!

Looking for an easy and free way to keep the kids entertained for hours? Look no further!


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