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Northern NSW’s premier food event, Sample Food Festival is returning to the Bangalow Showground on Saturday 4th September 2021. The 10th Anniversary edition of Sample Food Festival will feature a line-up of special guests along with a selection of the region’s best restaurants, breweries, distilleries, local market stalls, and a series of workshops and pop-up events to be announced. The festival has also introduced a number of initiatives this year to allow visitors to plan ahead and enjoy a safe and comfortable festival experience.

For the first time, Sample Food Festival will be offering three ticketed time slots to the event with pre-purchased tickets available along with pre-order menus and QR menu ordering options. Limited capacity picnic experiences will also be on offer for groups of up to six and include festival entry, a reserved picnic spot in the main food precinct with Wandering Folk picnic rug, and umbrella hire. There will be extra room around the festival site for attendees to bring their own picnic rug too.

This year’s headliner is Australia’s number one vegan chef Shannon Martinez, owner of prolific plant-based businesses; Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli, and more to be announced. Byron Bay’s own Magdalena Roze will also be joining the line-up of special guests.

Sample Food Festival was established in 2011 to showcase the incredible produce, chefs, restaurants and creative talent that makes Northern NSW so unique. Ten years on, it’s become even more essential than ever to invest in quality, local produce and support local farmers, restaurateurs, makers, artists and communities. This year Sample Food Festival has received support from the NSW Government’s Regional Events Acceleration Fund to help make this year’s event more exciting than ever.

Event Director Rose Taylor is thrilled that the festival is returning to the Northern Rivers in 2021: “There are so many incredible new restaurants and businesses who have opened since Sample 2019 and we couldn’t be prouder to showcase them amongst so many of our long-standing favourites. We understand planning can be tricky in COVID-19 times and we have been busy making Sample 2021 as safe and fun as ever. The event may look a little different this year, but we have made sure there will be so many more opportunities to connect with your friends and family at the event; sample our regions finest and get your hands dirty with some incredible workshops. We can’t wait to welcome the community to the Bangalow Showground to celebrate Spring and our local chefs, restaurants, distilleries, producers, brewers and creatives; who have continued to work so hard to be there for us throughout these challenging times.”

Sample Food Festival 2021 attendees can look forward to $5 and $10 tasting plates showcasing the menus from some of the region’s finest restaurants including; Harvest Newrybar, Shelter Lennox Head, Beach Byron Bay, No Bones, Forest Byron Bay, Karkalla Byron Bay and Mercado Juarez. In a new initiative for the festival, the Hunter Valley restaurant Muse Kitchen and head chef Josh Gregory will also be attending as a special guest restaurant this year. Palate cleansers from Stone and Wood Brewery, Treehouse Cider, our beautiful Cellar wine bar & local boutique distilleries.

Over 100 lifestyle stalls will be featured at this year’s festival, celebrating the region’s creative makers and producers. Live music and children’s activities will be announced closer to the event, alongside workshops and pop-up events.

Sample Food Festival 2021

Date: Saturday 4 September, 2021
Time: Session times - 8am -10.15am // 10.45am -1.15pm // 1.45pm- 4pm
Location: Bangalow Showground, 1 Market Street, Bangalow 2479
Cost: Pre-purchased tickets are $5 per Adult + BF (child - 16 years and under free)
Picnic Package $80 + BF includes entry for up to six people, a reserved picnic spot in the main food precinct and Wandering Folk picnic rug hire (for session time only)
Refund Policy: In the event of a cancellation, refunds will be issued.

For information on tickets, further announcements, festival workshops and updates visit and @samplefoodevents

Stay in the Byron Hinterland

The Byron hinterland offers views, wilderness and a rich-farming history. Explore the countryside and small villages... and still be able to spend some time in Byron Bay.

To help you start dreaming of your next holiday to the Byron hinterland, here are some of the top reviewed accommodation options available on

Sanctuary in The Pocket - review score 9.5

Set in the Byron Bay Hinterland, Sanctuary in The Pocket is a retreat-style property offering three separate and self-contained cottages. It is situated on 5 acres of tropical and exotic botanical gardens with a tranquil creek.

Located at The Pocket, about 25 mins from Byron Bay.

Wollumbin Palms Rainforest Retreat - review score 9.5

Surrounded by lush forests and lakes, Wollumbin Palms Rainforest Retreat boasts self-contained cottages, each with a fireplace, patio, balcony and a private hot tub.

Located near, about an hour from Byron Bay.


La Rochér Eco Retreat - review score 9.4

La Rocher Eco Retreat offers spectacular, unhindered views from each of its 4 villas. Enjoy vistas of the world heritage Mount Warning / Wollumbin and the distant Border Ranges, along with the serenity, peace and tranquillity that allows you to truly unwind and nourish your soul.

Located near Stokers Siding, about 40 mins from Byron Bay.

Sundays at Byron - review score 9.6

Take in green pastures, endless sky and blue ocean. The full 180º panorama includes Byron's iconic lighthouse, the beautiful coastline looking north to the Gold Coast and finally Mt Warning. This breathtaking vista really does calm the mind and soothe the soul. 

Located at Hayters Hill, about 10 mins from Byron Bay.

Forget Me Not Farm Cottages - review score 9.4

The cottages are inspired by late 19th century workers cottages which look directly onto a peaceful dam replete with rowboat, pontoon and surrounded by horses and cattle in pasture. Forget Me Not Farm Cottages is located on a working cattle farm.

Located at Coopers Shoot, about 16 mins from Byron Bay.


2021 National NAIDOC Poster

The 2021 National NAIDOC Poster, ‘Care for Country’ was designed by Gubbi Gubbi artist Maggie-Jean Douglas.

Using the 2021 NAIDOC Week theme, Heal Country!, as inspiration, ‘Care for Country’ is a bright and vibrant artwork which explores how Country has cared for and healed First Nations people spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and culturally.

The artwork includes communities, people, animals and bush medicines spread over different landscapes of red dirt, green grass, bush land and coastal areas to tell the story of the many ways Country can and has healed us throughout our lives and journeys.

Find out more about the story behind the 2021 National NAIDOC Poster and download your copy of the poster today.


The Mullum Circus Festival announced that it will henceforth be known as National Circus Festival, with its new name and branding officially unveiled alongside its early bird 2021 program announcement.

To be held at the Mullumbimby Showground from September 20 – 26 September, the National Circus Festival hosts a dual program with two distinct streams, including a four-day National Training Program from September 20 – 23, assembling the nation’s best performers in one location to collaborate, trial new shows and develop existing works.

Following the training program, the weekend of September 24 - September 26 will see the festival go into full swing, with a program of more than fifty events set to take the stages over the three-day event, with the first ten acts announced today.

Leading today’s early bird program announcement, ‘Collision’ is the B-boy, Hip hop and Hula Hooper, Pop and lock cross-pollination of contemporary circus and street dance, that sees two Brisbane powerhouse companies in Casus Circus and Mad Dance House combine in this movement epic.

Joining Casus Circus and Mad Dance House is one of Australia’s most celebrated proponents of acrobatics and performance, Alex Mizzen. A trained gymnast and a graduate from the National Theatre Ballet, Alex Mizznen will present her award-winning solo show, which will astound and exemplify why she is known as one of Australia’s finest performers.

Also included in today’s announcement is international Hula Hooper artist Anna Fisher, and the powerful cross point of visual art and circus with Jack Silvestro’s new work ‘December’ - A captivating solo physical theatre performance marking Australia's history and honouring those affected by 2020’s Black Summer.

‘Werk It’ from Victoria’s Circus Trick Tease, is the celebration of spandex, high-vis, vitality and vigour! A riot of colour and movement - big tricks delivered by an all-star cast with more sass and swagger than a TLC video clip.  Kamilaroi man from Mungindi, Dale Woodbridge-Brown, a renowned acrobat from all-male cabaret Briefs: Close Encounters, will be the National Circus Festival MC. While making the trip up the will be Canberra’s Warehouse Youth Circus.

The festival will also host some of Byron Shire’s brightest stars from the world-famous bubble man, circus and sideshow artist, Dr Hubble, Spaghetti graduate success story Hannah Richards, and Spaghetti Circus’ new troupe show: ‘Bails of Hey!’

National Circus Festival Director Alice Cadwell said she was excited to release its new branding along with the first preview of the 2021 festival program.

After our hiatus with the festival, it feels great to come back in such a strong fashion with new branding and an amazing program - this early release is just a tip of the iceberg of what we’re offering in 2021”, Alice said.

“This year’s festival will truly be a celebration of circus for everyone with world-class shows, broad training program featuring highly-skilled teaching artists, fun for the whole family, unexpected delights, a giant Globe, great food and coffee and so much more.” 

To celebrate festival rebranding and to celebrate the announcement of the events first 10 artists for the 2021 festival, organisers have announced a limited run of early bird tickets available via the National Circus Festival website -




National Training Program

Monday 20 – Thursday 23 September


Festival Weekend

Friday 24 – Sunday 26 September


Mullumbimby Showground, NSW


For further information and tickets:

Winter school holiday activities in Byron Bay

It's always good to have a few school holiday activities planned, with the cooler winter weather - most water activities aren't suited to kids. 

Winter in Byron is also whale watching season - and a great time for beach or bush walks.

Here's a few ideas of the sort of activities suited to kids in and around Byron Bay this July school holidays.

Follow the magical Brunswick Heads Fairy Trail

There are a number of lovely little fairy houses tucked into interesting locations around Brunswick Heads. They are not placed in obvious places so that the surprise and joy in discovering them is maximised. 

The fairy houses are beautiful sculptures made of recycled and found objects and each fairy house is occupied by a fairy that carries a positive message about living simply, being kind, being loving, and protecting nature.

A clue sheet is available at the Brunswick Heads Visitors Centre or can be downloaded from their website.

Kids school holiday circus and activities

Circus Arts Byron Bay is the place to be during school holidays, offering a comprehensive timetable of activities during both the QLD and NSW school holidays including full and half day circus programs, flying trapeze, indoor climbing and a kids play space.

These school holidays Circus Arts brings you the regions only Ninja/Parkour classes for kids, available for 1/2 day and full day students.

Ages: 5 – 15
Skill Level: Beginner – Advanced
NSW and QLD School Holiday Dates: 28 June – 10 July 2021

Wildlife Guardians at the Macadamia Castle

The Macadamia Castle has been the Byron Bay regions’ most popular tourist destination since 1975. The Animal Park, Café, Bar Macca, Nut Bar, Fine Food section and Retail store provide a full days entertainment and education.

During the school holidays your kids can become Wildlife Guardians and spend the day with the keepers behind-the-scenes in the Animal Park. Learn about conservation and caring for our wildlife, design and build a reptile enclosure and create enrichment for the wombats and native birds.

Three types of Guardian activities available to suit ages 5 - 18.

TEDxByronBay returns after 5 years with amazing lineup

The final line up of TEDxByronBay has been released showcasing some of the most interesting and inspiring people in the region.

“We’ve got underwater explorers (yes, Franck actually slept underwater for four days!), the nation’s favourite garden gnome, our local Deathwalker, an expert on the songs in our streams, an artist exploring why rainbows make us happy, a challenging talk on decolonising our public spaces, and that’s only half of the speakers,” said Kate Walsh - Director and Co-curator of the event.

“The theme for this year is ‘The Spaces Between’. “The idea for the theme came from Indigenous astronomy which places as much emphasis on the blackness as well as the stars. It made me think of the sky in a whole new way. These kinds of transformative ideas are what we are searching for at TEDxByronBay.” she continued.

The full list of speakers includes Dr. Gregory Smith, Costa Georgiadis, Delta Kay, Zenith Virago, Brett Solomon, Kate Constantine, Hiromi Tango, Emilia Decker, Melia Naughton, Catherine Ingram, Elle Davidson, Paul van Reyk, and Franck Gazzola.

Kate will be joined by Nell Schofield to co-curate this year’s program. Nell is an actor, arts journalist, presenter and documentary maker and will bring a special magic to the event.

“We’re gathering some fantastic speakers covering everything from the politics of bush-tucker to the future of digital rights. Our speakers' voices range from hyper sensitive to highly outraged in a program designed to stimulate our audience's mind.”

Speaker Kate Constantine will be exploring her experience of being a fair skinned Aboriginal woman. “It’s a precarious place to be between both worlds and both cultures, you participate in both and you are a part of both, but you aren’t part enough of either, that’s my take on it,” Kate said.

Another speaker, Dr. Gregory Smith is best known for his book “Out of the Wood” where he shares his journey from of childhood trauma and homelessness to completing his Phd and becoming a lecturer in Sociology at Southern Cross University. From sociopath to sociology professor is a story not to be missed.

And Australia’s favourite gardener, Costa Georgiadis will be travelling from Sydney to share his special brand of magic with the audience looking at the role of awe and wonder in his life.

Cost: $150. Tickets include lunch, generous goody bag and tickets to the afterparty at Stone & Wood from 5:30pm. 

Date: Saturday, 26th June Where: Byron Theatre, 69 Johnson St, Byron Bay
Time: 10:30 - 4:30pm

Tickets from or the

Happy World Ocean Day - 8th of June

The 8th June is World Ocean Day – a day where everyone is asked to stop and think about our impacts, as humans, on our oceans.

With the Cape Byron Marine Park, home to more than 500 different species of fish, turtles, migrating humpback whales and the endangered grey nurse shark, it’s a timely reminder about the effects of litter on marine life.

To coincide with World Ocean Day Byron Council has released a new video which will play at different locations around the Byron Shire, highlighting the impacts of litter on local waterways.

Zoe White, Council’s Waste Education and Compliance Officer said that everyone, locals and visitors, have a role to play.

“Council picked up more than 10,000 pieces of litter over a four-year period for the Butt Free Byron project and Positive Change for Marine Life has collected more than 500,000 pieces on Main Beach at Byron Bay over the last nine years,” Ms White said.

“When you think that 90 percent of seabirds and up to two thirds of fish and turtle populations are ingesting plastic, we have a massive problem.

“Cigarette butts are a huge problem too and this was highlighted by the recent clean-up our staff did in Mullumbimby when we picked up more than 580 cigarette butts in 45 minutes.”

“Many of them would have been washed into the Brunswick River and then into the ocean in heavy rain, leaching toxic chemicals into our waterways,” she said.

“We know that more than half of all litter in the Byron Shire is smoking-related so we have a long way to go in a Shire that prides itself on its ‘green’ credentials.

“Council can’t do it alone – cleaning up our Shire is a team effort and we are offering to provide our new video,  free of charge,  to businesses and venues to help spread the message,” Ms White said.

For more information about Byron Council’s litter programs check out the waste initiatives on Council’s website.

SPLENDOUR XR - Virtual Festival 24 & 25 July 2021

SPLENDOUR XR - It’s Unreal - A World First Immersive Virtual Music Festival Experience - Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 July 2021 (AEST) - On Sale Now

Splendour in the Grass is thrilled to introduce Splendour XR, a bold and world first extended reality edition of your favourite Aussie festival. It’s online, priced to be affordable and It’s Unreal!

Splendour XR will hit your screen of choice from Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 July. Available on mobile, tablet, browser, desktop and VR.

Always the innovators, when Covid pulled the plug on live music around the world, team Splendour set to work and is now preparing to flick the switch on a world first online experience, unlike anything you’ve seen to date, that will take Splendour in the Grass to audiences around the globe.

Available on mobile, tablet, browser, desktop and VR, Splendour XR combines technology, art and over 50 of your favourite music artists, in a true virtual Splendour in the Grass festival experience rolled out over two days.

Indie rock royalty, critically acclaimed and genre defying singer-songwriters, viral pop sensations, hip-hop heroes and sought after collaborators, pioneering dance producers and artists who push way beyond boundaries into the unknown, will perform across Splendour XR’s stages alongside the hottest Australian acts of the moment.



Forget avatars, Splendour XR is bringing you the real deal, your favourite artists performing never-before-seen live sets that have been created especially for this global online event.

With single user tickets available from $19.99 for a single day/$34.99 for both days and with a $2.50 discount for Splendour in the Grass existing IRL ticket holders, punters can dive into Splendour XR from the comfort of their couch and watch with family and friends from across the globe or purchase an XR Party Pack and create their own Splendour XR house party.

Build your virtual self and move through an imaginatively embellished but faithful recreation of Splendour’s Byron Bay venue. And just like Splendour IRL, you’ll create your own schedule, travel from stage to stage to watch your favourite artists and all while virtually meeting up and partying with your mates along the way.

Kick off your Splendour XR day with yoga at Global Village and expand your mental bandwidth at Splendour Forum. Kids getting in your grill? Set those rug rats up with Little Splendour and buy yourself some chill time. Then dive in all over again!

Splendour XR has been created in collaboration with San Francisco based platform developers Sansar, the world market leaders in social virtual reality.
“Working with Splendour we have been challenged to go above and beyond anything we’ve done before. This is going to be the most impressive virtual live event that the consumer market has ever seen, and we can say that with absolute confidence” said Pouyan Afkary, Business Development, Sansar.

Alongside the music, art and festival feels, XR will also hone in on some more serious topics, like raising funds for live music industry workers, mental health and wellbeing, and sustainability.

Splendour XR will include an online medical centre to assist any patrons who are struggling with their mental health in this Covid world. And XR is committed to managing emissions and creating a clean and green platform with a minimal carbon footprint.

“Splendour has always offered patrons a deep programming experience with The Forum, Global Village, Little Splendour and more on offer alongside our favourite artists. We could not be more excited about Splendour XR and the opportunity to take the Splendour goodness online to our existing community and also to new audiences around the globe.” said Splendour in the Grass Co-producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco.

Tickets available from $19.99 per day / Existing Splendour in the Grass IRL ticket holders receive $2.50 off early bird purchase.

Splendour XR will operate globally on a single timezone, 12pm to 2am AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) (GMT +11) with programming from 2pm. All video content will be available as VOD for 7 days after the event. It will be available via the web and mobile versions. The virtual world will not be accessible.

PARTY PACKS available from $79.99 including weekend event passes, wristbands, Splendour tumblers, event posters and more to bring the festival vibes to your Splendour XR viewing party! Check the website for party pack options, inclusions, prices and delivery.

It’s Unreal
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July 2021

Byron Bay business events: Sample itinerary for wellness

Byron Bay may be renowned for its wellness culture, but the region isn’t jumping on the well-being bandwagon or following some Instagram-fuelled trend. For decades, Byron and its surroundings have been a mecca for individuals seeking an alternative lifestyle.

Inspired by the speculator natural environment and long history of unconventional living, Byron Bay is home to several unique and memorable wellness activities. Here are some of our top picks for business events.

Morning flying trapeze experience at Circus Arts Byron Bay

Forget stock-standard icebreakers and token team-building activities. Take your corporate getaway up a notch (or twenty) and challenge your employees to face their fears head-on with a 1.5-hour trapeze workshop with Circus Arts Byron Bay. Barriers will be broken and words of support and encouragement will be shared as you and your team soar sky-high on the flying trapeze.

If the flying trapeze is one step too far, Circus Arts Byron Bay also offers mobile circus workshops that teach hula hoop, devil sticks, juggling, acro-balancing, pyramid building, and more. This option is ideal for larger groups of up to 120.

Late afternoon cycling tour with Lifecycles Travel

Experience the best the region has to offer by bike with an all-inclusive, fully customisable guided tour. Lifecycles Travel specialises in corporate cycling events, equipping your team with premium road, electric, and gravel bikes and catering to all cycling abilities.

Fun and physical, Lifecycles Travel scenic tours promote health and wellness, get your team moving, and provide a unique opportunity to soak up the region’s breathtaking views.  

Sand sculpture building with Sandology

Founded by master sand sculptor Steve Machell in 1998, Sandology is one of Australia’s leading and longest-running professional sand sculpture companies. These aren’t the sandcastles of your childhood – Sandology teaches the techniques needed to create show-stopping, awe-inspiring sand art.

Workshops bring your team to Byron’s world-class beaches, where they will learn simple yet effective methodologies that they can use to wow family and friends for years to come.

Corporate events can be customised to suit your group size and objectives – run a sand sculpture competition, work together to shape your company’s logo, or split into teams and foster communication and camaraderie.

Jam with Stukulele

Even if your team has never touched a ukulele before, by the end of one of Stu’s workshops, you’ll be strumming away like a pro.

Stu from Uke Mullum has over a decade of experience teaching ukulele to people of all ages and running group and corporate workshops. He can tailor your event to suit the size of your group or to cover particular songs.

Challenging, hilarious, and joyful, there’s nothing like music to bring your peers and employees together.


Plan your business event

Browse our Byron Business Events Guide | Venues | Services | Activities | Transport | Accommodation

Find out why you should choose Byron for you next business event, browse all the facts & figures of the Byron region and be sure to download our Byron Business Events Tool Kit.

This 2021 Business Event Guide to Byron Bay has been curated by with the support of Tourism Australia's Business Event Boost program.

Byron Bay business events: Sample itinerary for foodies

Byron Bay might be renowned for its natural beauty and colourful character. But for the food-loving visitor, idyllic beaches and lush rainforests pale in comparison to the region’s thriving food scene.

If you’re planning a business event in the Byron Shire, give your employees and co-workers the foodie experience of a lifetime. Here’s a suggested itinerary that’ll satisfy even the fussiest of culinary connoisseurs.

Bespoke cooking class & lunch at Bhavana Organic Farm + Cooking School

Simple, delicious, and nourishing food enjoyed in a nurturing, uniquely Byron environment – that’s what Bhavana Organic Farm + Cooking School is all about. Your team can stroll through the ever-green countryside, soak up the panoramic mountain views, and enjoy back-to-basics, hands-on participation.

Bhavana Organic Farm + Cooking School can create custom events, classes, tastings, and workshops to meet your group’s specific needs and schedule. A bespoke cooking class and lunch is a fantastic choice, making for one of the best ways a team of foodies can spend the morning.

Afternoon tour and tasting at Cape Byron Distillery

Brookie’s award-winning gin contains 25 botanicals, 17 of which are native to the Northern Rivers. The Cape Byron Distillery, where Brookie’s Gin is hand-crafted, offers fun, sensory guided corporate tours and tastings that take you from the inner workings of the distillery to the subtropical rainforest.

Learn how the Brookie’s team marry native flavours, smell and touch the rainforest botanicals that give the Byron Dry Gin its complex flavour, and work your way through an in-depth tasting.

Explore Byron with Table Under a Tree

The Byron region is dotted with roadside stalls selling home-grown produce, farms growing fresh fruits and veggies, and world-class foodie hotspots. Table Under a Tree offers private, customisable tours for business groups that explore Byron Bay and its spectacular hinterland through a culinary lens.

Sample artisan products, learn about farming in the region, and connect with small, premium producers. Tours typically run from 9 am to 3 pm and include three to four locations, coffee and morning tea, and an indulgent lunch at a local café or restaurant.

Afternoon guided tour of Stone & Wood’s Byron Brewery

Stone & Wood may be adored across the country, but it was born and raised here in Byron Bay. Its tasting room and brewery in the heart of Byron’s Arts & Industry estate houses 31 brewing tanks, a canteen offering snacks and share plates, and a spacious, laid-back beer garden.

Tours kick-off with a welcome beer and insightful overview of the drink’s history, ingredients, and Stone & Wood’s socially conscious approach to business. Your group will then explore the brewing deck before a guided tasting of five beers, including one-offs and limited releases.

Plan your business event

Browse our Byron Business Events Guide | Venues | Services | Activities | Transport | Accommodation

Find out why you should choose Byron for you next business event, browse all the facts & figures of the Byron region and be sure to download our Byron Business Events Tool Kit.

This 2021 Business Event Guide to Byron Bay has been curated by with the support of Tourism Australia's Business Event Boost program.


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