Byron Bay is the fastest growing schoolies destination in the country:
By Ellen (former Schoolie & Byron Bay local)
Byron Bay is a good place to go to party and relax. It is an awesome place to go with a heap of friends and enjoy yourself without the enormity of the crowd at the Gold Coast. A lot of people often go to Byron Bay Schoolies one week and the Gold Coast the next (if they can afford it!)
Byron's beaches are truly awesome! They are definitely the Schoolies hangout of a daytime and often the site of impromptu beach parties of a night. They are good surfing beaches as well, just remember the rules of surf etiquette. If you are looking for some activities of a daytime; Try a surfing class, or Dolphin Kayaking or snorkelling at Julian Rocks. If you want to go sightseeing-got to the Lighthouse, it is a pretty breathtaking view. Please don't trash the beach because it really sucks going to the beach and wading through glass bottles and used condoms.
Of a daytime there is cinemas and stuff like that, and going shopping as well. But of a day the best thing to do when you have a hangover is pass out on the beach/or in the hotel pool/spa. Byron has loads of clothes shops and lots of cafes. The Juice bar has really good juice, Earth'n'Sea has really good pizza, In the Pink has really good ice-cream and Bay Kebabs has truly awesome kebabs!. Please note-Byron has only one fast food chain-Subway. There is no McDonalds, KFC, Hungry Jacks, etc. There is a really cheap bakery in the middle of town, its open 24 hours, so at 3am in the morning it is overflowing with people. Stick with buying your groceries at Woolworth's. It is definitely the cheapest place for groceries and is packed with other Schoolies.
Generally the 5 star hotels near Byron Bay's CBD are pretty expensive, although the extra money is worth it. Although do read the fine print; if they say no glass bottles in the room they mean it. The lower star hotels are generally good places to stay. The best option is to stay in self-contained apartments rather than hotel rooms. Suffolk Park located just out of town is a good place to stay, renting a beach house is good idea. Although Suffolk beach can get pretty dangerous-big surf sometimes.
A car is not really necessary if you're planning on staying in Byron(close to town.) There are frequent buses running most of the time. There are also buses going to the Gold Coast a lot of the time- it is less than an hour's drive away. A car does come in handy though…If you get bored you can always go to the Gold Coast. If you are staying out of town- you will need to get a taxi home after clubbing. At 3am a lot of people have the same idea so getting a taxi home can sometimes take up to an hour.
By Ellen (former Schoolie + Byron Bay local).