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First Sun NYD Byron Bay

A dawn ceremony at Cape Byron Lighthouse

Start the first hours of 2019 with a guided meditation, relaxing music and yoga. This family-friendly event offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to welcome the New Year with conscious intentions at the most Easterly point of Australia’s mainland.

All activities offered are free. Please ensure you are comfortable in these early hours by bringing a yoga mat, warm clothing, torch, a blanket, sunglasses/hat and water.

Parking is advised at Clarkes Beach carpark from 4am. We recommend walking to the lighthouse from here. A guided walk will depart at 4:15am. As an alternative for those unable to walk, free shuttle buses will operate between 4:15am – 8am.

Byron’s Biggest Buzz this Summer!

Circus Arts PARK&FLY, Byron Bay foreshore 18 Nov 2016 - 12 Feb 2017

The biggest buzz to ever hit Byron Bay is coming this summer! Circus Arts Australia, Byron’s very own flying trapeze experts, are bringing their knee shaking, adrenalin pumping, super fun, 10m high flying trapeze to Denning Park and everyone is invited.

Circus Arts PARK&FLY is a flying trapeze and community arts event set to transform the Byron Bay foreshore for 60 days between November 18 and February 12, 2017. Circus Arts PARK & FLY will offer a mix of flying trapeze classes, flying trapeze shows, entertainment, fun and games all summer long.

Take in the iconic landscape of beautiful Byron Bay as you soar 10m high through the air on the flying trapeze. 1.5-hour classes are on offer for those who want to learn all the basics in one class and never before offered single swings are available for the once off thrill seekers in town. Weekends will see free flying trapeze shows at dusk, buskers and roving entertainment activating the space. Comfy seating, games and circus equipment will complete this family friendly park space.

“Byron has some fantastic spaces that are underutilised and Denning Park is one of them. We are really grateful for this Council initiative which has given us a platform to create an event for our community which is focused on health, wellbeing and the arts. We have partnered with some fantastic local businesses to create an experience that is great value for the community and truly reflective of Byron’s unique culture” says Kate Priddle, Circus Arts PARK&FLY Project Manager.

Circus Arts Park and Fly is an initiative of the Byron Shire Council’s Placemaking Seed Fund and a catalyst event for the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan. This is a space created by the Byron community for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

Sit, stay, watch, laugh, fly and enjoy Circus Arts PARK & FLY this summer only!

LIKE the Circus Arts Facebook page to stay up to date to PARK & FLY or visit www.circusarts.com.au/parkandfly for all the details.

11th Annual Byron Latin Fiesta

The 11th Annual Byron Latin Fiesta (4-6 November 2016) is set to ignite Byron Bay with the passion and energy of Latin music and dance once more this November! After a successful relocation to the Byron Community Centre and feeder venues to celebrate the 10th Anniversary in 2015, the event is happy to say it will continue to be held in its home, the heart of Byron Bay.

The 2016 event, to be held 4th – 6th November, is excited to announce International Kizomba Artist Anais Million (France) and Bachata Artist Edwin Ferreras (New York), both coming to the event for the first time, together with an impressive line-up of national and local dance instructors and performers. Live bands feature Chukale, Australia leading Afro-Cuban Salsa Ensemble and the fresh new sounds of Bombolaye, an industry favourite.

Run over 4 nights and 2 days the event includes more than 40 dance workshops plus parties with performances, live bands, and Latin DJs. There is something for everyone. Beginners and experienced dancers are all invited to learn from the vast array of talent on offer while party guests are encouraged to watch, listen and enjoy! You may even decide that you always wanted to learn to dance!

Don’t miss out on one of Australia’s longest running and most popular Latin dance events. Tickets are selling fast.

Tickets and further information at www.byronlatinfiesta.com.au.

Melbourne Cup 2016

Celebrate the Melbourne Cup 2016 here in Byron Bay and surrounds on Tuesday November 1st. Local restaurants & venues are putting on a range of special events this year.


Balcony Bar & Oyster Co.

Melbourne Cup is just around the corner and this year we have something for every pony. With multiple screens, sweepstakes and best dressed prizes you'd be silly not to get involved. $49 - $65 per person


Beach Byron Bay

Mingle on the deck and soak up the sunshine this Melbourne Cup at Beach.

Sip on a cocktail or champagne upon arrival and enjoy canapes on the exclusive beachfront deck, with entertainment from Haz and Matty Bone Trio. Race day sponsor Frank and Joy will be styling the space with their must-have designer pieces. Cheer on the race with prizes for best dressed and charity sweeps for 'Our Kids'. Tickets $95 per person.


The Byron Bay Bowling Club

Club Byron is putting a day-long celebration for the 2016 Melbourne Cup. Showcase your raceday fashion on the green, with prizes for the best-dressed, and the best fascinator. Rob Rhodes & Reloader will be performing live.


The Byron Bay Services Club

Enjoy the Melbourne Cup at the Pandanus Room Raceday Luncheon. Full tab facilities will run from 8am, with all the action up on the big screen. Book now, as tickets always sell out.


Elements of Byron

Elements will host a Melbourne Cup Luncheon, running from 12pm – 4pm. Tickets are $90, and include a 3-course meal, and bubbles on arrival. The races and sweepstakes will be shown on big screens throughout the venue. Drinks will be served all afternoon.


Harvest Newrybar

Sparkling wine upon arrival & 4 course lunch. Whisky by Dan Woolley, fashion parade & live music, give aways for best dressed, live music by Luke & Sebastian, fashion parade by Driftlab. Place your bets before you arrive & enjoy the race on our large projector screen. 12.30pm start, $85 per person.


Hotel Brunswick

Relax in the beer garden at Hotel Brunswick, with the races live on the beer garden big screens. Entertainment will start at 12pm, and will include trivia, and prizes for ‘fashion on the field’. The kitchen will be putting on food and beverage specials, too. Entry is free.

The Byron Bay Stingrays

Every morning, whatever the weather, a group of dedicated individuals make their way to the deck of the Byron Bay Surf Club and prepare for their morning ocean swim. They are known as the Stingrays.

At 8am sharp, the group take the 20-minute stroll down to the Pass. Some run, and others walk. Some come with snorkels and goggles, and others with nothing more than a swimming cap. Some are young, and others well over seventy. The diversity of the group is one thing that makes the swim so appealing.

Once at the pass, the swimmers dive into the ocean. They swim back to the Surf Club regardless of whether the water is warm and pristine, or cold and choppy. The Stingrays often spot sea turtles and tropical fish. And, whale sightings are common June through November.

While some have done the approximately 2.5km swim every morning for decades, newbies are always welcomed. The organised ocean swim is free, and provides a unique opportunity to experience another side of Byron Bay together with competent swimmers.

If you become tired mid-way through the swim, you can make your way to the beach and walk back to the Surf Club. The swim is not competitive. For the Stingrays, the experience is about connecting to the ocean, and soaking up that blissful sense of joy, freedom, and accomplishment.

For many locals, the ocean swim is a celebration of living in Byron Bay, one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Accolades for Byron design

Byron’s new Elements of Byron resort has just been named by Forbes Magazine as among the 25 Coolest Hotels in the World. They share this accolade with only one other Australian property, the Old Clare Hotel in Sydney.

It has been a good month for the beachfront resort, which was also shortlisted in the Hotel Design category of this year’s SBID (Society of British Interior Design) International Design Awards. Entries were received from 43 countries and the Elements of Byron interior design is the only Australasian finalist selected by the technical panel of judges in this category. The Awards are one of the most prestigious recognitions of excellence in the interior design industry.

Further, Elements of Byron received a Highly Commended Award in the Hotel Interior Design category at the 2016 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, held in Sydney on Friday 2nd September.

Elements of Byron owner Peggy Flannery worked closely with Interior Designer Rowena Cornwell and local artists to bring her vision for the resort to life. “Byron Bay is such an exciting place” said Rowena Cornwell. “There is a strong entrepreneurial youth culture. The intention was to create environments that were sexy, with a sophisticated edge but still very accessible”.

Mullumbimby Artist Noel Hart spent months studying species found on the property to produce four layered oil paint, pigment and charcoal on jute paintings to adorn the private dining room for sixteen. Celebrating the four unique ecologies on the site – eucalypt, wetland, rainforest and dunal – the paintings are reinterpreted in works throughout the 94 villas.

Moving from sandy whites to tonal ocean blues, the resort’s soft colour palette lets nature do the talking. Soft copper reflects the underside of a banksia leaf while deep bronzes reference Belongil Creek. Surprise pops of vibrancy – hot orange, fiery corals and rich reds pay homage to the native birds which visit or call the property home. The black cockatoo, a strong totem for Elements of Byron, is acknowledged through five blown glass works by Noel Hart in the lobby.

Byron hinterland Artist Suvira McDonald’s majestic in/outdoor hanging metal sculpture Khorus blends the lobby lounge with the dining spaces. His training in classical ballet is evident in the grace of this work which stands five metres tall and ten wide. McDonald also contributed a five metre ceramic landscape mural for the Banksia Pavilion Bar as well as hanging ceramic works for the Central Pavilion guest bathrooms.

Winners of the SBID International Design Awards will be announced at The Dorchester hotel London on 25 November. View the finalists at www.sbidawards.com.

10th Byron Bay International Film Festival

Spring is synonymous with festivity and with a 10th anniversary to celebrate as well as new dates the 2016 Byron Bay International Film Festival will see NSW's Northern Rivers abuzz with this world-class event from the 14th to the 23rd October.

BBFF is considered by many to be one of Australia’s most dynamic film festivals and is renowned for its diverse and entertaining program of compelling and thought-provoking films as well as its glamorous red carpet parties. The Festival's 10th Opening Night will be the most dazzling to date - a glittering night at the Byron Theatre where the stars won't just be in the sky.

As it's grown over the past decade the festival has become a valuable platform for local and international filmmakers - bringing together passionate and aware audiences with emerging and esteemed industry professionals, connecting the film-loving and filmmaking communities together through conversation and collaboration within a wide array of screening sessions, Q&A's, panels and gala events.

The program is packed with variety and satisfies all tastes - over 10 days BBFF screens everything from films for or made by kids to surf and action, animation, emotionally charged documentaries and outstanding dramatic features from around the world. Providing audiences with cutting-edge storytelling experiences has always been at the heart of the BBFF experience and this year the festival is giving audience members the opportunity to dive into new dimensions with a selection of the world's best Virtual Reality experiences.

The Festival's full program will be announced in September, for more details visit www.bbff.com.au.

Best of Byron: Food and Wine

Byron Bay is home to a food scene characterised by its wholesome ingredients, fresh produce and health-conscious philosophy. There’s so much good food to sample during a trip to Byron Bay that, often, time and money are the only limiting factors. Luckily for you, we’ve pitted Byron Bay’s restaurants against each other to reveal the top performers across several important categories. Now you can sample the best of the region by visiting some (or all) of the following restaurants...

Best Italian: Il Buco

Il Buco is a small, family-owned restaurant tucked away in Bay Lane, just behind Bay Street. Although fairly new to the area, this cosy little joint is said to be home to Byron Bay’s best Italian food. Above all, Il Buco is renowned for its authentic pizzas, whose fresh toppings and perfectly light bases have earned Il Buco a spot on Tripadvisor as Australia’s highest-rated pizzeria. We dare you to try it for yourself and disagree.

Best Mexican: Miss Margarita

If you’re looking for equal measures of food and fun, it’s hard to go past Mexican food –– especially the kind you’ll find at Miss Margarita. This colourful, cantina-style eatery blends traditional Mexican flavours in an exciting, delicious way. Choose from a selection of crowd favourites like pulled pork nachos with guacamole, salsa, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream, and consider accompanying your meal with something more adventurous, such as a chipotle-infused margarita.

Best Tapas & Wine: St Elmo Dining Room & Bar

Head to St Elmo Dining Room & Bar and you’ll find over 100 varieties of wine sourced from all over the globe and a selection of modern tapas dishes and share plates. With chalkboard menus on the wall, an intricate mosaic by the bar and exposed lightbulbs for ambience, St Elmo’s is the place to be for a lively yet intimate atmosphere. Check out their 18 month Spanish mountain ham with tomato bread or set menus for a dip into Spanish cuisine.

Best Burgers: Top Shop Byron Bay

Everyone needs a favourite burger joint, and we suggest that you make this yours. Once a popular corner shop and milk shop, Top Shop Byron Bay now serves up delicious cafe food and creative burgers. From the classic juicy patties and softer-than-soft buns to the vegetarian friendly gluten-free quinoa buns and chickpea patty, head to the outskirts of town, grab a burger and recline on the grass outside for the ideal Byron Bay experience.

Best Brunch: Dip Cafe & Bay Leaf Cafe

We don't know how to put this, but in Byron Bay, brunch is kind of a big deal. As such, the title of “best brunch” has resulted in a tie.The first winner is Dip Cafe, a cool little café serving up all the breakfast classics including bircher muesli, corn fritters, croque-madames and an unmissable Boston bean stack. Sit back and enjoy Dip Café’s hearty and healthy offerings at the communal dining table, surrounded by poster-covered walls and the smells and sounds coming from the open kitchen.

Meanwhile, Bayleaf Café offers something equally good just a few streets away. Bayleaf’s coffee uses locally roasted Marvell Street beans and is often hailed as the best in town. The buzzing yet casual atmosphere is one that combines friendly service with old school tunes, breezy outdoor seating, and a range of fresh, wholesome meals.

The Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival marked its 20th year with its strongest and best received program yet, breaking box office records and presenting a festival full of history making moments like Stan Grant’s Thea Astley Lecture that people will continue to talk about for years to come.


Blue skies broke for our 'True Believers' Leigh Sales, Kerry O'Brien and Sarah Ferguson on Festival Friday Pic: Evan Malcolm

After severe storm damage on the Wednesday night, it took a gargantuan effort to open the gates on Friday morning. I would like to thank the Festival team, the volunteers, our partners and everyone in the community who all went above and beyond to make it happen. Also to our wonderful patrons who remained good-humoured and enthusiastic despite the weather.

How heartbreaking it would have been if we hadn’t been able to listen to the beautiful Festival conversations that moved us so profoundly. Our storytellers are our most important teachers and I would like to thank all the writers and people who chaired each session for leading us on incredible journeys over the three days. It is my sincerest hope that all of us who witnessed those stories carry them out into our communities so that the conversations continue to live on.

Edwina Johnson, Director

The Byron Writers Festival hosts a number of out-of-season events and workshops throughout the year. Learn more at their website www.byronwritersfestival.com.

Here's some more images from the 2016 Byron Bay Writers Festival.


Stan Grant's moving Thea Astley lecture captivated us all Pic: Evan Malcolm


Mandy Nolan, Magda Szubanski, Rosie Waterland and Richard Glover (not pictured) had us all in stitches. Pic: Evan Malcolm


The 2016 Byron Writers Festival captured the minds and imaginations of every generation. Pic: Kate Holmes

The Byron Flea Market

The Byron Flea is a monthly market (Every second Saturday of the month 8am - 2pm) nestled in the parklands behind the Byron Bay Library right in the centre of town and 2mins walk from Byron Bay’s pristine coastline. A social enterprise aimed at giving young people opportunities and bringing the community together, the Byron Flea is a monthly event not to be missed. 

The market attracts an eclectic bunch of locals and travelers selling art, second-hand goods,  as well as creative enterprise and locally made food. The Byron Flea Market is described as having that unassuming ‘Old Byron’ feel and people return month after month for its quaint charm.

Stalls only cost $10 for people 20 years and under and $20 for everyone else. This includes Public Liability which makes it affordable for everyone to participate. 

There is parking on Gilmore Crescent or at the end of Tennyson Street.

To book a stall visit: www.bys.org.au/byronflea/ or email: byronflea @ bys.org.au for more information

 

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