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The Byron Writers Festival 2017 Re-Cap

This year, the Byron Writers Festival enjoyed perfect weather, an inspiring line-up, and a chilled-out atmosphere. With a myriad of thought-provoking talks and panels, festival goers were treated to 3 days of world-class political, historical, and artistic insight.

Unlike last year’s festival, the 2017 Byron Writers Festival was dry and sunny. In fact, through Friday and Saturday there was not a cloud in the sky.

Festival goers took full advantage of the warm weather, with many choosing to enjoy a picnic style lunch, a snooze in the sunshine, a quick cup of coffee, or a few minutes of quiet time with their brand new book.

Each day from 9am until 5pm, the tents came alive with discussions on all things writing. Pictured below is Tony Jones in conversation with Sarah Kanowski.

From journalism to poetry (including performance poetry by Arielle Cottingham, pictured below), historical fiction to memoir, there was something for every reader and writer.

Although much of the subject-matter discussed was quite serious, the tents and venues often erupted in laughter and applause.

Sunday – the last day of the Byron Writers Festival – was the Kids Big Day Out.

Kids met their favourite authors (include the very funny Peter Helliar), competed for book prizes, and watched hilarious performances by this year’s Sunday line-up. Even the adults were cracking up.  

Overall, the 2017 Byron Writers Festival was a unique and memorable experience. The lessons learnt, ideas debated, and viewpoints bought to light will play on our minds for weeks to come.

See you next year, Byron Writers Festival.

Markets in the Byron region this August

The Byron region is known for its community markets, and although it’s winter in Byron Bay, the sunny weather has been perfect for a stroll through the colourful stalls. Take a day trip this August to check out one of the many markets. Or, make a weekend of it and take advantage of Byron Bay’s Winter Specials.

Here’s an overview of the markets on this August.

August 5 – Brunswick Heads Markets PLUS New North Coast Village Market

Brunswick Heads is a small, picturesque town situated on the Brunswick River a short 17 minute drive from Byron Bay.

The Brunswick Heads Markets take place on the first Saturday of each month in Memorial Park. With the beautiful river as a backdrop, the many stalls offer clothing, homewares, beauty, jewellery, and more, plus delicious food and excellent coffee.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/markets/brunswick-heads-markets

August 5 marks the very first North Coast Village Market, which will also be held on the first Saturday of each month. Taking place in the art deco Memorial Hall (a short walk from Memorial Park), market-goers can expect a range of designer homewares, artisan jewellery, quality vintage, and a kids’ hang out.

Learn more at www.facebook.com/ncvmarket

August 6 – Byron Bay Markets

On the first Sunday of each month from 8am to 3pm, the Butler Street Reserve is transformed into a colourful display of Byron’s community spirit, with rainbows and glitter galore. With a uniquely Byron vibe, the Byron Markets offer a diverse range of handmade wares, artworks, local and imported clothing, jewellery, souvenirs, fresh produce, baked goods, and more.

Come early and stay for lunch – there’s plenty of delicious food and drink options available. Take a seat in the shade, enjoy the live entertainment, and watch the world go by.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/markets/byron-community-markets/

August 12 – The BYRON FLEA Market

Held on the second Saturday of the month at the Youth Activity Centre (also known as the YAC) in Byron Bay, the BYRON FLEA is unlike any market in the region. Market stalls are free for people under the age of 25, allowing young creatives to showcase their work to the public. You’ll find a variety of arts, crafts, and second-hand goods.

What’s more, all live music is performed by music students from Byron Bay High.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/blog/byron-flea-market/

August 13 – The New Mullum Twilight Market

Check out the Byron Shire’s newest afternoon market this August – the Mullum Twilight Market. Held at Poinciana cafe and bar in scenic Mullumbimby from 2pm to 8pm, this exciting new Eco Market will take place once every 2 weeks after August 13.

With a whole host of tasty food, boutique stalls, live entertainment (including DJs), and more, the Mullum Twilight Market is set to become a local favourite.

Join the Facebook Event at www.facebook.com/events/1398583826886273

August 13 – The Channon Market

 “Make it. Bake it. Grow it.” That’s the Channon Market’s motto. And it’s diverse collection of stalls deliver stunning handmade arts and crafts, delicious treats, fresh produce and more.

The markets take place in Coronation Park in The Channon, a hinterland village about a 45-minute drive from Byron Bay.

Learn more at thechannonmarket.org.au

August 19 – Mullumbimby Markets

On the third Saturday of the month, the Mullumbimby Markets take place in Summers Park, located on the corner of Stuart and Myocum Streets. A short 25-minute drive from Byron Bay, the Mullum Markets showcase some of the best artists, food vendors, and musicians from the Northern Rivers region.

The Mullumbimby Markets run from 9am until 2pm.

Learn more at www.mullummarkets.com.au

August 19 – Murwillumbah Makers & Finders Market

Taking place at Knox Park on Brisbane Street in lush Murwillumbah (approx. 50-minute drive from Byron Bay), this new makers and finders market showcases the very best art, craft, music, and vintage wares in the region. Discover beauty, jewellery, home wares, pottery, top quality second hand, exciting food stalls and local entertainment.

The Murwillumbah Makers & Finders Market runs from 10am to 3pm.

Learn more at www.facebook.com/makersandfindersmarkets

August 26 – Bangalow Markets

Set below the camphor laurel and fig trees, the beloved Bangalow markets are some of the best on the North Coast. On the fourth Sunday of the month, the Bangalow Showgrounds fill with over 300 stalls selling ceramics, clothing, jewellery, beauty products, fresh produce, baked goods, hot food, and great coffee.

Open from 9am until after lunch, the Bangalow Markets are a quick 20-minute drive from Byron By.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/markets/bangalow

Weekly Farmers Markets in the Byron Bay Region

In addition to the monthly community markets, many of the towns and villages in the region play host to their very own weekly farmers market. These provide the perfect opportunity to sample the Byron Shire’s outstanding fresh produce.

  • New Brighton Farmers Market at the New Brighton Oval, River St, New Brighton (25-minute drive from Byron Bay). Tuesdays from 8am – 11am.
  • Byron Farmers Market at Butler Street Reserve, Byron Bay. Thursdays from 8am –  11am.
  • Mullumbimby Farmers Market at the Mullumbimby Showground, 51 Main Arm Road, Mullumbimby (25-minute drive from Byron Bay). Fridays from 7am – 11am.
  • Bangalow Farmers Market at the Bangalow Hotel Carpark, 1 Byron St, Bangalow (20-minute drive from Byron Bay). Saturdays from 8am – 11am.

 

6 Places to Stay in Byron Bay with Fire Places

Byron Bay is a winter wonderland: clear water, bright blue skies, and mild temperatures. If you’re planning to visit during the colder months, get cosy Byron style at one of these 6 places to stay with fire places.  

1. Coco’s Cottage

Escape to your private home in the lush Byron Hinterland at Coco’s Cottage. The restored 1890’s self-contained holiday house feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of town, but is only a short drive from Byron’s world-class beaches, restaurants, and night life, and Bangalow’s unique collection of shops and eateries. At the end of the day, relax, unwind, and keep warm in front of the stunning fire place.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/cocos

3. Elements of Byron Resort & Spa

Take you winter getaway in style at Byron’s newest luxury resort, Elements of Byron. Nestled on 50 acres of absolute beachfront, enjoy all the creature comforts in the privacy of your own villa. Some rooms come with an outdoor gas fireplace, otherwise head to the main pavilion for Fire Pit Fridays.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/elements-byron

4. Planula Retreat

Planula Retreat is a tranquil oasis located just over 3km from the centre of Byron Bay. This bed and breakfast style retreat offers a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living area, private rooms, and access to stunning tropical gardens. In winter, guests warm up by the fire.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/planula

5. Azabu Nature Guesthouse

With a gourmet breakfast served fire-side, a heated spa pool, and spa treatments available, Azabu Nature Guesthouse is one of the best places to rest and relax this winter. This luxurious guesthouse is located a short 5-minute drive from Byron’s beautiful Main Beach.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/azabu-nature-guesthouse

6. Victoria's at Ewingsdale

Victoria’s is a multi-award-winning guesthouse set among incredible landscaped gardens just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Byron Bay. With ocean, mountain and rural views, and a log fire to keep you warm, this elegant getaway is ideal for the colder months.

Learn more at www.byron-bay.com/ewingsdale  

7 Free Things to Do in Byron Bay

Visiting Byron on a budget? There are plenty of free things to do in Byron Bay. Check out 7 of our favourites below.

1. Watch the sunrise from Cape Byron Lighthouse

Be one of the first in Australia to watch the sunrise – there really is no better way to start the day in Byron Bay. Walk from the Wategos car park up to the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Byron Bay. As the sun rises over the water, you might be lucky enough to spot dolphins playing in the day’s first light. Do the Cape Byron Lighthouse walking track.

2. Wander through the Byron Bay Markets

On the first Sunday of each month, the Butler Street Reserve plays host to the popular Byron Bay Markets. With a range of local and imported arts and crafts, fashion, beauty, kids’ stuff and food, the unique Byron Markets are must for any visitor to the region. Entry is free, but you’ll probably be tempted to pick up a souvenir or two (or at least a Byron Bay Organic Doughnut)!

If you're not in Byron for the first Sunday of the month, chances are there are other markets on in the Byron region. Check out our upcoming markets calendar.

3. Check out the Lone Goat Gallery

Byron Bay and surrounding regions are home to some of Australia’s most talented visual artists, so check out what’s on at the Lone Goat Gallery next time you’re in town. Located on the corner of Lawson and Middleton Street, this vibrant exhibition space is within walking distance from the centre of town.

4. Explore waterfalls near Byron Bay

Just a short drive from Byron Bay you’ll find two stunning waterfalls: Minyon Falls (about 45-minute drive) and Killen Falls (about 30-minute drive). Take the whole day to visit both. Stop for lunch at a hinterland eatery, or pack a picnic to enjoy in the scenic surrounds.

5. Sit on the beach

Byron has a lot to offer, but one of the very best ways to soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of Byron Bay is to sit on the beach and do nothing. With white sand, picturesque headlands, and crystal clear water, Byron is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches. Swim, surf, read, sleep, or people-watch, a visit to Byron Bay is not complete without a trip to at least one of the area’s beautiful beaches.

6. Catch some live music

Byron Bay has a thriving nightlife, including venues that offer free live music everyday of the year. The Railway Friendly Bar (known as The Rails) is one such place. Located on Johnson Street, The Rails is the perfect place to meet with friends and check out the local talent.

7. Take a walk

There’s no shortage of beautiful places to see around Byron Bay. I mean, we all know that. But did you know that exploring on foot gives you access some of the best places available? The greater Byron area has a wealth of natural treasures that are just waiting to be explored, from dramatic sun-drenched coastlines to subtropical remnant rainforests. To get you started, here are the 5 best walks around Byron Bay.

Awaken Meditation Retreats in Byron Bay

With breathtaking beaches, lush tropical rainforest, and idyllic hinterland scenery, Byron Bay is the perfect place to escape, unwind, and relax. Experience Byron’s natural beauty with a five-day yoga and meditation retreat, hosted by Awaken Meditation Retreats.

Run by life coach and author Karen Wilson, the retreats focus on self-development, with an emphasis on the practice of meditation and mindfulness. Learning to quiet the mind and bring your focus into the present moment can be life changing, and there’s no better place to start this journey than the beautiful Byron Shire.

Awaken yoga and meditation retreats include daily yoga, daily meditation and mindfulness practice, all meals (delicious vegetarian food), excursions and explorations of Byron Bay and surrounds, and twin share or private room accommodation.

Each retreat is held in a different location. Usually, they take place in a private holiday house in the Byron Shire situated either within walking distance to the beach or among the rolling hills and luscious greenery of the hinterland. Connecting to the natural environment is an important part of Awaken yoga and meditation retreats.

Group sizes are kept small to ensure each and every individual is given care and attention within a peaceful, personal, non-judgmental environment.

Byron Bay’s Awaken yoga and meditation retreats teach guests tools and techniques they can use to soften the mind, minimise stress, and experience greater peace in their day-to-day lives.

Secure your place in an upcoming retreat here.

To learn more, visit www.awakenmeditationretreats.com

Winter Moments at The Byron at Byron

There are so many reasons to visit Byron this winter, and the Byron at Byron has a package sure to entice. Immerse yourself in the various complimentary experiences on offer here at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa. The iconic and much loved Byron at Byron is a haven of indulgence and relaxation, check in and check out today.

Winter Warmer Package From $399 per room per night 

  • Overnight accommodation for two
  • Upgrade to a Superior Suite
  • Full buffet breakfast for two
  • Hot chocolate to enjoy by the fire bar 
  • One box of Duck Creek chocolate macadamia nuts  
  • Cheese plate matched with a bottle of Australian wine
  • 10% discount on spa treatments 
  • Complimentary WiFi access
  • Complimentary Daily Yoga

Conditions Apply
Valid for travel from 1 May 2017 - 31 August 2017, subject to availability, minimum 2 night stay on weekends, offer not valid for existing bookings, upgrade subject to availability. 

Visit the Byron at Byron website for further information and bookings.

2017 Bluesfest Re-Cap

After five days of incredible live music, the Byron Bay Blues Festival 2017 has come to an end. This year we enjoyed perfect weather, and a line-up packed with both music legends and up-and-coming talents.

The headliners this year included some huge names: Patti Smith, Santana, the Zac Brown Band, Madness, Buddy Guy (full of energy at 81!), and Neil Finn. Each put on a memorable show or two.


 
St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Vintage Trouble were two standout acts. Both front men treated their audiences to exciting and dynamic performances.


 
Up-and-coming artists brought down the smaller Delta and Juke Joint tents each night. Melody Angel, Nikki Hill, Eric Gales (mind-blowing up-side-down guitar playing), and the Record Company were some of our favourites.


 
The absolute best act, however, was Patti Smith and her band performing Horses on Thursday night. At 70 years old, her performance was alive with vigour and attitude, and nothing short of inspiring. In her Friday afternoon acoustic set, she read a few passages from her memoir Just Kids, showing another facet to her artistic genius.


 
The Boomerang Festival at Bluesfest added a cultural dimension, with the many workshops and performances that took place onsite.


 
Despite the rain leading up to the festival, there was nothing but sunshine over the Easter long weekend. And as always, there was plenty of delicious food to be enjoyed. See you again next year, Bluesfest!

2017 Nimbin Roots Festival

From September 15 – 17, over 50 talented artists will perform in Australia’s counter-culture capital for the annual Nimbin Roots Festival. After selling out in 2016, this year’s festival is set to be bigger and better than ever with two new stages and one extra day.

The Nimbin Roots Festival offers authentic, original, and raw roots art and music in various venues throughout the town. The venues – including the outdoor Rainbow Power Stage and the historic Nimbin Bush Theatre – are located short distances from each other, creating a community of walking festivalgoers.

This year’s lineup will see a diverse mix of local, national, and international musicians and artists perform Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Australiana, Old Blues, and world music. American group The War and Treaty will share their Gospel style tunes, while the brand new Aquarius Stage will showcase Nimbin’s finest.

The festival will kick off on Friday afternoon, with a special opening concert on Friday night featuring performances from local Bunjalung dancers. The festival will close on Sunday evening with the Australian Roots Music Awards.

As well as the musicians, the Nimbin Roots Festival has invited a number of visual artists to display their unique work in the festival gallery. Art installations, interactive artworks, and themed camping also feature throughout the festival venues and campsite.

The Abundance Village will host a number of exciting workshops, including yoga, philosophy, permaculture, live art, weaving, poetry, belly dancing, body art, and kids’ activities. And, a community market area will host up to 30 colourful market stalls where festivalgoers can pick up a piece of Nimbin to take home with them.

The Nimbin Roots Festival is proudly moving toward sustainable forms of energy to power the live performances and art spaces, with a number of venues using solar power.

Festival tickets include opening and closing performances, as well as entrance into all venues and participation in all workshops.

Buy tickets and learn more at www.nrfest.com.

Byron Bay Triathlon

Byron Bay Triathlon is like no other - 13 May 2017! One of the most popular triathlons in Australia it has a race for you! Kids through to Pros, Tempta, Sprint Olympic.

Byron Bay Triathlon has been a magical calendar event for 22 years now. It’s been The Triathlon to mark the end of each year’s triathlon season. That has made BBT a great Party Weekend in one of the world’s most idyllic locations.

Don’t want to go the race alone? Register in one of our team divisions and finish the Byron Bay Tri together! The race kicks off at midday so you can sleep all morning and hit the beach in the afternoon with your mates.

The Byron Bay Tri is sanctioned and run under Triathlon Australia guidelines.

For further information, visit www.byronbaytri.com.au.

Popped Urban Laneway Activation

This May, one of Byron Bay’s most notorious dead spaces will be invigorated by Popped Creative: a new, innovative collective that has an inspired vision for the future of arts and culture in our region.

In just one week, a team of Byron Bay’s most talented street artists will transform ‘Surf Alley’: the tired laneway in Johnson Street that has previously been used as nothing more than a pedestrian thoroughfare and hot spot for late-night anti-social behaviour.

Popped Creative is Byron Bay’s newest events and creative services firm. Popped is collaborating with a team headed by local artist Austin of Nitsua, on the transformational project, which will be celebrated on the weekend of Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May with a urban laneway activation event, encompassing live art, street food, bar, music, cool lighting, green walls, bespoke sustainable furniture, talks & ideas program, and much more.

The event creates a platform for emerging artists who would not otherwise have an opportunity to engage with the local community. The Fresh Air Gallery is a live street art gallery that will auction the finished artworks on Instagram at the end of the night, raising money for a charity of the gallery's choice, along with Popped's chosen beneficiary, the Byron Community Theatre, for its much needed upgrades.

“This is the first of its kind for Byron,” enthuses Creative Director Abbie Gibson, “We are bringing the gallery to the street, and making the arts more accessible for the wider community. It also gives our artists an opportunity to make money from their art, and garner exposure that will generate future opportunities. We are passionate about arts and culture, and want to see our local arts community thrive”.

Marketing & Media Manager Liesel Arden says “This is very much a local project with international ambitions. Our goal is to lead a new and exciting direction for regional arts; Byron Bay is the perfect place to set the precedent. As a community we can demonstrate to a global audience that there is a new generation of regional arts that are world-class, ethical, and viable all at the same time”.

The full program will be distributed throughout the region leading up to the event.

POPPED runs from 5pm – 11pm Friday 19 and 12pm - 11pm Saturday 20 May 2017.

Tickets go on sale Monday 27 March 2017 at 9am, $10 each, and can be purchased via Eventbrite or at the door. For an additional $5, ticket holders can purchase a return bus ride from outer suburbs Lennox Head, Bangalow, Brunswick Heads & Mullumbimby.

Learn more at www.poppedcreative.com.

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