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World’s Largest Crystals Move To Byron

This week Byron will become the permanent home of the two largest crystals in the world, a towering 5.5 metre smoky quartz geode and a 5.5 metre wide amethyst geode cave. The Crystal Castle in the Byron hinterland has purchased the natural giants in a monumental deal with a Uruguayan farmer and long term friend of the Castle. The acquisition marks the Crystal Castle’s 30 th Anniversary and they will join what is already the largest outdoor display of crystals in the world.


Naren King inside the enchanted crystal cave

“Thirty years ago we were seen as offbeat hippies out the back of Byron Bay” said Naren King, the Crystal Castle’s “Managing Dreamer”. From humble beginnings on their twelve acre property Naren and his family have guided the Crystal Castle, which encompasses the world renowned Shambhala Gardens, to their current status as a State Significant Tourist Attraction. In 2012 the Castle added the only Kalachakra Stupa for World Peace in the Southern Hemisphere, a project blessed by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Thousands of visitors of all ages and faiths make the pilgrimage along the scenic escarpment to visit annually. Princess Mary of Denmark, Chris Hemsworth and his family, Katy Perry and Natalie Imbruglia were all enchanted. Kerry O’Brien is a regular.


Naren King and daughter Manya King with the world's biggest crystal

Both crystals, estimated to be 120 million years old, will be on display for visitors to experience. The amethyst cave, becoming known as the “enchanted cave” will also be available for group and private meditations, where visitors can sit inside the crystal for intensive inspiration. “Amethyst has many qualities, perhaps the most powerful being higher inspiration” said Naren King. “So we are creating a range of guided meditations that people can listen to whilst inside the crystal, if they choose. It’s an extraordinary experience to sit inside this cave surrounded by millions of sparkling crystals”.

The science behind crystals has long been accepted with clear quartz used in high precision surgery, computer chips, watches and electric guitars. “Amethyst and smoky quartz are clear quartz with certain minerals present” explained King, “So whilst clear quartz is programmable these crystals come with their own program, or specific healing energies. It’s no coincidence that the Pope’s ring is amethyst and the Queen’s crown is set with crystals”.

Naren King hails from globally renowned esoteric stock. To survive three years in Changi as a prisoner of the Japanese during the Second World War his father, Sydney Piddington (King changed his surname) developed an ESP show for the other prisoners of war to help maintain morale. Following the war Sydney and his young wife Lesley were signed to present a series of live radio broadcasts for the BBC “The Piddingtons”, which garnered 20 million listeners.

The broadcasts, which demonstrated the Piddingtons’ telepathic abilities, was the first BBC broadcast from the stratosphere and saw Naren’s mother as the only woman to be locked up in the Tower of London and get out alive. To this day the Piddingtons are considered to be one of the greatest two-person telepathy acts of all time.

Watch The Piddingtons Keep Millions Guessing (1950) on youtube.

“People have travelled to Byron for inspiration and dreaming for thousands of years” said Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson. “So it is only fitting that these beacons of hope should make their way here. I can’t wait to see them”.

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

Stay in Town - in the centre of Byron Bay

Although a small town, Byron Bay's CBD is husle-bustle with cafes, boutique shopping, restaurants and pubs all just minutes from Main Beach. Staying in the centre of Byron can be a great way to easily enjoy all the town has to offer. There is a variety of accommodation options between Jonson and Middleton Streets from Main Beach back to Marvell Street.

Casablanca at Bogarts

Luxury two bedroom, three bathroom apartment designed over two levels, right in the centre of town. This well appointed two bedroom, three bathroom Byron Bay apartment has been beautifully designed and furnished. Built over two levels, the property offers guests plenty of room to relax and unwind with spacious accommodation and balconies off both sides of the apartment.

Apartments Inn Byron

4 1/2 star apartments are elegantly appointed within a complex surrounded by restaurants, cafes and retail outlets. Relax by our pool and enjoy access to free wi-fi or take a 3 minute walk to Byrons’ main beach. Byron Bay has a great village atmosphere with it's unique shops and cafe's.

Nomads Byron Bay

Flash backpackers in the heart of byron bay offers a variety of dorm accommodation both ensuited and non ensuited, as well as budget doubles and King Deluxe rooms. Nomads Byron Bay is spacious and fun with a huge sun drenched courtyard, 2 x ten seater spas, massive communal areas and an industrial sized kitchen. We also have a TV room with a massive 50 inch big screen.

Byron Bathers

Guests feel relaxed and "on holiday" from the moment they arrive. Byron Bathers is an impressive B&B purpose built (2006) in a classic Australian timber beach house style. Situated in a quiet, leafy lane way right in the heart of vibrant Byron Bay. Step outside our oasis to enjoy the many cafes, shops and restaurants less than a minute from our door and 400m easy stroll to Main Beach Surf Club.

Byron Quarter Apartments

Offers a range of well appointed fully self contained one and two Bedroom deluxe apartments with free security parking in the centre of Byron. All apartments have a spacious balcony or courtyard. There's a heated swimming pool situated next to the on-site cafe and there is a tiled common area with outdoor seating.

Byron Bay International Fashion Festival

BBIFF 2016 is on 30 April 10am - 11pm at The Elements of Byron Resort

Byron Bay has long been a fashionable holiday destination for the young and glamorous, now it is so much more! The Byron Bay International Fashion Festival is in its second year and earmarked to become an important date on the fashion calendar for emerging labels and international brands.  Last year's event showcased "15" local, national and international brands in a series of shows with the spectacular backdrop of Byron Bay's Main Beach.

This year the brand new five-star beach resort "Elements" will host the festival amidst its lush gardens, breath-taking pools and private beach. The day into night programme of indoor and outdoor runway shows will present everything from swimwear to lingerie, sport-lux, casual and evening wear modelled by a diverse group of beautiful models.

Patrons of the festival are encouraged to truly savour the location by staying at the resort and enjoying a "festival only" reduced rate in the beautiful villas and bungalows.

The festival will utilize all aspects of this beautiful location. The  state of the art pavilions equipped with the latest wi-fi technology will set the stage for the ticket only runway shows.  Enjoy international fashion films poolside on the "drive-in" style cinema screen, media and designer interviews in the main restaurant, group shows on the private beachfront and pool, and an exclusive wrap party that will bring to an end a day full of innovation, fashion and potential new collaborations between business and designers.

In the grounds surrounding the main festival buildings there will be an all day "shop the runway" fashion expo where the public and ticketholders can shop the many stalls of fashion, beauty and accessories and enjoy live music. Also open to the public are two sample shows, one on the beach and a swimwear showing poolside to showcase a selection of garments that will appear in the runway shows.

For further information and tickets, visit www.bbiff.com.au.

2016 Byron Bay Bluesfest Review

Fun music, enthusiastic fans, a variety of food and an all-round great festival vibe - another Byron Bay Blues Festival to remember. My headliner highlight was The National my blues highlight was Blind Boy Paxton, my rock-n-roll highlight was the Eagles of Death Metal, my weirdo highlight was The Residents and my food highlight was the Tempura Vege Bowl from (Federals) Doma Cafe.





Bluesfest hosted 82 bands, a total of 633 artists and their tour party members and recorded a tad over 100,000 attendances over the Easter long weekend. You can always tell the artists really enjoy playing Bluesfest, here's what some of them had to say:

“This is a much heralded festival and it’s our first day here and we understand why..” VINTAGE TROUBLE

“The overwhelming feeling I get at Bluesfest is that people love music..” GRAHAM NASH

“Probably one of my favourite shows we have played in a really long time” ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES

“Bluesfest is one of the best line-ups that I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of” ALLEN STONE

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be here” THE WAILERS

“I think Bluesfest manages to outdo itself every year" DUSTIN THOMAS

Please browse more of byronbay.com's 2016 Bluesfest images on our facebook page: Thursday images, Friday images, Saturday images, Sunday images and Monday images.

Donatella Parisini Photographer

Born and raised in Bologna, Italy, Donatella Parisini is a professional portrait and fashion photographer based in Byron Bay, Australia. Her career in fashion commenced in her early twenties – working as a model and a stylist in Europe’s major cities before relocating to Australia in the mid 90s. Here her unique creative style combined with her genuine passion for life and connection, led her to transition to her current role as one of Byron Bay’s most highly renowned professional photographers.

Known for her keen eye for beauty and composition and an undeniable ability to relax and elate those around her, Donatella’s technical expertise, infectious positivity and decades of industry experience has attracted clients nationwide. Her work includes cosmetic campaigns, independent designer collections, look books, accessory lines, modelling portfolios, musician promo, professional rebranding, portraiture and fine art photography. Her work has been featured in numerous publications both in and out of Australia.

A five minute drive from Byron Bay CBD Donatella’s fully equipped photography studio in Suffolk Park provides a relaxing and professional environment to see your visions realised. Only a minutes walk away Tallows Beach and Arakwal National Park provide a plethora of easily accessible locations in Australia’s stunning natural landscapes. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are available for use on site with contacts for Models/Hair/Makeup/Styling/Catering by request.

” My work is a blend of all the places I have been, the people i met and loved, the music I have danced, the books I have read and the art that i see and inspire me and keep the passion alive . It is a privilege to be standing on Bundjalung country, I am grateful with all my heart for being welcomed to such a beautiful corner of this planet, it is an honour to share this experience in this magical place. I respectfully acknowledge the past and present traditional owners of this land the Bundjalung people. Together we acknowledge the contributions of Aboriginal Australians and non-Aboriginal Australians to the education of us and all children and people in this country we all live in and share together “. Donatella Parisini

Enjoy a sample of Donatella's work and learn more by visiting www.donatella.com.au &/or following on social media: www.facebook.com/DonatellaPhotographer, www.instagram.com/dotheinstathinghy" or www.twitter.com/ontweettoo.





Lismore Lantern Parade

The Lismore Lantern Parade is an annual community arts festival held on or around the longest night of the year, being the Winter Solstice. It is recognised as the iconic event for the City of Lismore along with the North Coast National.

The Lismore Lantern Parade attracts in excess of 30,000 people each year and provides a safe and enjoyable experience for all those involved. The festival celebrates community, art and nature with arts, crafts, workshops, regional cuisine, a spectacular parade, lanterns, parade bands, street theatre, music, carnival dancers, illuminated puppets, fire art and pyrotechnics and much, much more.

Lanterns, fire and outdoor celebration are deeply embedded in many cultures from China, Japan, Burma and Vietnam to Europe and Africa. The lantern represents a positive metaphor for community optimism and hope throughout the world and it was from this tradition that the Lismore Lantern Parade was born. The universal and multicultural theme makes the Lantern Parade appealing to people from all walks of life and nationalities.

The 2016 Lismore Lantern Parade will be held on Saturday, June 25.

For further information visit www.lanternparade.com.

Images by www.natsky.com.au.

Pet Friendly Byron Bay

No need to leave your pets at home when visiting Byron Bay. Byron is home to some great dog-friendly accommodation options – here’s a sample.

Banksias at the Beach

Situated on Tallow Beach just south of the Cape Byron Lighthouse is the modern Banksias holiday house.

The house features spacious living and dining areas, a deck, wooden floors, and three bedrooms, including a private master bedroom separated from the main house by a short undercover walkway. From the deck, guests will enjoy views of both the beach and rainforest. The beach opposite the house is dog-friendly, and the house is fenced.

Lantana

This gorgeous fully renovated character home has been tastefully furnished in a warm, contemporary style. The house sleeps 4 ideally, there are two bedrooms (one with a Queen and another with 2 King Singles).

House trained dogs are most welcome [Quiet dogs only - Please no persistent barkers]. The yard is secure and fully fenced [fence height is 1.8 metres]. Your dog is welcome to sleep inside during the day and night.

Byron Holiday Park

Family owned and run, it gives a friendly, authentically Byron holiday experience for families and travellers. Bordered by Arakwal National Park, Byron Holiday Park is directly on Tallow Beach.

Fido is never lonely. Byron Holiday Park welcomes dogs on all camp sites and select cabins.

Frankies Beach House

Situated in the centre of town, Frankies Beach House is walking distance to the many shops and cafes in Byron, and is only 500m from Main Beach.

Frankies is perfect for large groups, as the beach house sleeps up to 10 guests with four bedrooms, plus a refurbished caravan in the garden. Recent renovations have given a modern twist to the classic beach cottage aesthetic. Pets are welcome to stay in the garden, but are not allowed in the house itself.

The Wave House

Nestled behind the sand dunes at Belongil Beach is The Wave House, a three bedroom beach house and separate studio surrounded by tranquil tropical gardens.

The pet friendly beach is one minute walk from your accommodation and a fifteen minute stroll along the beach will find you in the centre of town.

Byron Music Society

Byron Music Society provides not just concerts but wonderful and unique experiences of beautiful classical music (often combined with fantastic food), in intimate venues.

You don’t necessarily need to know your glockenspiel from your xylophone to dress up and enjoy an afternoon with Byron Music Society.

By staging these experiences we hope to promote the study, performance, listening and enjoyment of group, solo, vocal and instrumental fine music.

Byron Music Society concerts are usually held either in the Byron Community Centre auditorium, Byron at Byron Resort, or in St Martin’s Anglican Church in Mullumbimby. All venues are pleasing, intimate performance spaces. Every seat is a good seat and the audience has the unique opportunity to enjoy the concerts in close proximity to the artists.

Byron Music Society is not for profit and without significant funding. Our concerts are financed by memberships and admissions, which we strive to keep affordable. The concerts are staged by a voluntary committee.

Recent events include performances by: ACO2, Daniel de Borah, Simon Tedeschi, Natasha Vlassenko and Oleg Stepanov, Sally Whitwell, I Dolci Venti, Gerard Willems, Ensemble ARIOSA, Ambre Hammond and Marcello Maio, Bridget Crouch and Friends, Strelitzia Trio, Attilla Sautov and the Mueller Chamber Orchestra.

In 2016 we are fortunate to have as our President the highly esteemed and extremely talented Nicholas Routley.

For further information and upcoming events, visit www.byronmusicsociety.com.

Explore the Legendary Pacific Coast

Explore the stretch of stunning natural environments and quaint villages between Sydney and Brisbane. Here is a small sample of what you’ll find on the Legendary Pacific Coast.


The Hunter Valley

Located about a one and a half hour drive from Sydney is one of Australia’s most iconic wine destinations, the Hunter Valley. The scenic region is a wine-enthusiast’s delight, with over 150 winemakers producing some of the country’s best Semillon, Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Verdelho wines. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the variety of cellar door tastings set against panoramic vineyard scenery.

Compliment your cellar door tasting with a meal at one of the many gourmet cafes and restaurants in the area. From alfresco lunches enjoyed among the vines, to fine dining in historic homes, there’s a perfect meal for every foodie. And don’t miss the variety of bespoke olive oil, cheese, and chocolates, which make for a perfect picnic in the Hunter Valley Gardens.

In addition to the wine and food, the Hunter Valley is home to a range of local art galleries, championship golf courses, and boutique shopping. It truly is a must-do stop on the Legendary Pacific Coast.


Great Lakes

Situated three hours north of Sydney, the Myall, Wallis, and Smiths Lakes form a unique system unlike anything else in Australia. The Great Lakes area is home to 145 kilometres of stunning coast, lush National Parks, rolling hinterland, and pristine waterways, making it the ideal stop for those who love the great outdoors.

The Myall Lakes National Park is the perfect place to experience the varied landscape of the region. You can stay in the park at the campgrounds, or in heritage-listed accommodation. The Treachery Headland walking track is an easy walk through coastal rainforest to an open headland, which offers far-reaching views of the rugged headland and coast, including the historic Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. The natural wonders of the park can also be discovered by boat, kayak, and bike.

As well as the lakes, the area is recognised for its breathtaking beaches, some of which can only be accessed by boat. Forster Main Beach is protected, making it ideal for families. A dirt track at the Northern end of Seven Mile Beach leads to a great fishing spot. And Blueys Beach offers some of the best surf in the region.


Coffs Coast

About half way between Brisbane and Sydney is the Coffs Coast, a diverse region composed of charming villages, National Parks, mountains, marine reserves, islands, and beaches. Regardless of whether you’re a nature lover or cultural maven, the Coffs Coast has something unique to offer.

Explore the 84,000 ha of World Heritage listed Nation Parks and sub-tropical rainforests that run through the region. A standout is the short but fascinating walk to Crystal Shower Falls, accessed via the Wonga walk. You can walk behind the waterfall, which makes for a magical vantage point to soak up the sights and sounds of the ancient rainforest.

The Solitary Islands Marine Park is another natural wonder of the Coffs Coast. The park is the third largest in Australia, covering a total of 71,000 ha and 75 kilometres of coastline. Some areas of the park offer idyllic diving and snorkelling conditions, with tropical fish, coral, and algae. In addition, visitor’s can enjoy scenic walks around tidal estuaries and over headlands.

The Byron Spirit Festival

The Byron Spirit Festival brings together leading teachers of yoga, dance, nutrition, health, indigenous culture and conscious music from around Australia and abroad. Participants attend workshops of their choice in these modalities, and celebrate through music, dance, chanting, story-telling, and ceremony , to create greater harmony, awareness and healing for individuals and the community.

The festival format encompasses workshops for both children and adults. The festival has been designed to incorporate local; interstate and international professionals to capitalize on the branding of the region as Australia's premier destination for healthy lifestyle practices and holistic living.

The event is located throughout the entire town of Mullumbimby utilizing existing venues such as the Civic Hall, churches and schools. This enlivens the entire community and showcases the special charm of the town. The Festival incorporates a Free Community Village with concerts, talks, meditations, food and vendors. This allows the entire community to participate in the event without needing to purchase a ticket.

Attendees, artists and personnel are bought together by this unique event to experience abundance and support in community. The support of Festivals Australia would enable the project to expand to include more presenters and to develop different aspects of the festival further. A deepening of the focus on health and well being; indigeneous culture & sustainable lifestyles.

The 4th BYRON SPIRIT FESTIVAL returns to Mullum April 15 - 17, 2016

Learn more, visit www.spiritfestival.com.au.

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