Just over an hour’s flight, or an eight-hour scenic drive, from Sydney
, will bring you up the east coast to the laid back beach town of Byron Bay. It’s one of the centers of surf culture in New South Wales—and that says a lot considering the competition on this coastline. Downtown Byron Bay’s galleries and thriving restaurant scene are at the ready for when you want to take a break from the waves (and dolphin spottings). If you’re looking for a quieter stretch of sand, head north to Brunswick Heads or south to Lennox Head, both are top surf spots that will also appeal to anyone who wants to relax on the sand or splash in the water.