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Five to Follow on Instagram

We spend a lot of time on social media, often sharing beautiful images from many of the regions great photographers with our fans and followers. Here's a range of local photographers, who primarily shoot Byron, that you should be following on Instagram.

davidyoungbyron

David is a professional advertising, editorial and fine art photographer living in Byron Bay. Follow at instagram.com/davidyoungbyron.

photography_byron_bay

Sera is a photographer, traveller & adventurer based in Byron Bay. Follow at instagram.com/photography_byron_bay.

seanosheaart

Sean O'Shea Art - Byron Bay - Dolphins - Surfing - Beach Life - Waves - Sunsets - Sunrises - Lighthouse - Wildlife - Art - Australia www.seanoshea.com.au. Follow at instagram.com/seanosheaart.

surfnturf.images.byronbay

Cruising Byron Bay & Beyond Sony A7R, A6000 & iPhone5. Follow at instagram.com/surfnturf.images.byronbay.

slap_byronbay

Surflife Australia Photography based in Byron Bay. Follow at instagram.com/slap_byronbay.

If you capture any Byron images you'd like to share on our Instagram feed at instagram.com/byron.bay.nsw, be sure to include #visitbyron.

Spring School Holidays in Byron Bay

The September school holidays (19 September to 7 October in VIC, NSW & QLD) are a great time to visit Byron with the family. Spring has settled in, and the warm weather is perfect for outdoor activities. Plus, we’re right in the middle of whale season, so you’re bound to spot a few humpbacks on your trip.

Our Byron Bay school holiday accommodation guide is a great way to find somewhere to stay.

Patrolled Beaches

With temperatures reaching 25 degrees most days, the water is warm and perfect for swimming. Keep in mind that the only beach in Byron Bay that is patrolled through the entire school holidays is Main Beach. The Pass, Clarks, Wategos, Tallows, and Broken Head are only patrolled during the summer school holidays beginning in December.

Byron Markets

No trip to Byron Bay is complete without heading to a market. Over the school holiday break, there are two markets: the Byron Beachside Market, and the Byron Community Market.

The Byron Beachside Market is held four times a year, including late September. This market is located on the Byron Bay foreshore, east of the surf club, where hundred of artisans gather to showcase their original products. September 26, 8am to 4pm.

The Byron Community Market, located on the Butler Street Reserve, is held on the first Sunday of each month (plus the third Sunday throughout December and January). The Byron Market boasts an exciting array of handmade products and locally grown produce. And don’t miss out on the delicious market food! October 4, 8am to 3pm

The Farm Byron Bay

Join The Farm for some school holiday fun, with workshops for kids held almost everyday over the two week break. Workshops provide kids with opportunities to feed the chickens, collect the eggs, learn to cook, ride a pony, make a worm farm, play with bees wax, and plant some veggies.

Workshops run for three hours, and are $50 per child, per day. Bookings are essential. Visit www.thefarmbyronbay.com.au to learn more.

Minyon Falls

A short 45 minute drive inland will take you to Minyon Falls, a huge waterfall surrounded by lush rainforest. A wooden lookout provides the perfect vantage point for kids to have a good look at the falls, and on clear days, you can see all the way to the coast!

There’s a picnic area with barbeques and tables. Just make sure you bring your own drinking water, as there is none available.

The child-friendly Minyon Falls loop walk takes you to the base of the waterfall, and begins and ends at the picnic area.

6 Must-Dos for Your Byron Bay Camping Trip

The coast of northern NSW is known for its pristine beaches, temperate climate, lush sub-tropical rainforests and chilled out vibe. There’s plenty to do here, from beach activities to walks, to checking out the local markets and restaurants. There’s also plenty of campgrounds and holiday parks in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Lennox Head, Ballina and Brunswick Heads, many of them located right on the beach or very close to it. Set up camp in this part of the world and you’ll become part of the laid back northern NSW beach lifestyle, with everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay.

Here are six essential stops to make on your Byron Bay area camping trip, with fantastic homes-away-from-home to match.

1. Walk to the Cape Byron Lighthouse

A walk through the Cape Byron Headland Reserve takes you along spectacular cliffs towards the historic Cape Byron Lighthouse, with stunning views of both the lush Byron Bay hinterland and the pristine waters of the Cape Byron Marine Park. You’ll need to put aside two hours for this walk, but it’s well worth it, with a guided tour of the lighthouse at the end of the walk for you to look forward to, complete with 360 degree views from the very top.

Nearest campground: North Coast Holiday Park Clarke’s Beach

2. Check Out the Byron Bay Area’s Markets

The Byron Bay Community Market is held on the first Sunday of the month and is well worth a visit. The market has over 300 stalls of local produce and homemade food, as well as crafts and other artisan products, and there’s also great live music by local artists. Nearby Bangalow hosts a laid-back monthly market under the laurel trees of the Bangalow showground, and don’t miss the vibrant Lennox Community Market at Lennox Head which is still going strong after more than 30 years.

Nearest campground to the Byron Bay Market: First Sun Holiday Park and Glen Villa Resort

Nearest campground to the Bangalow Market: Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park

3. Explore the Brunswick River by Boat

Brunswick River, part of Cape Byron Marine Park, is a great spot for a leisurely cruise or kayak trip. Set off from Brunswick Heads, a beautiful coastal village at the mouth of the river and either take a guided tour by kayak or sit back and cruise the river in the morning, afternoon or to watch the sunset.

Nearest campgrounds to the Brunswick River: North Coast Holiday Park Ferry Reserve and North Coast Holiday Park Massey Greene

4. Go whale Watching in Byron Bay

Cape Byron is a well-known whale watching spot. During whale season, sightings are particularly common from Captain Cook Lookout, the Byron Bay Lighthouse and the surrounding cliffs of Byron Bay. In Ballina, head to the Lighthouse Hill car park, the viewing platforms at Angel's Beach and Flat Rock. A whale-watching tour is a great way to see whales up close; boats depart from Byron Bay daily.

Nearest campgrounds to whale watching vantage points: Discovery Holiday Park and Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park

5. Explore Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens, Mullumbimby

The peaceful Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens is set in the Byron Hinterland, a private botanical garden filled with subtropical plants, lush vegetation and beautiful crystals. The park is spread over 5 hectares and includes walks, sculptures, daily guided tours and meditations.

Nearest campgrounds to Crystal Castle: Macca’s Camping Ground and Mullumbimby Showground Camping Ground

6. Hit the Beach

The gorgeous beaches of Byron and surrounds are really at the heart of what this place is all about. Stay beachside and get ready to surf, swim, walk the shores and laze on the beach whenever the mood takes you, from Broken Head all the way up through Suffolk Beach, to Cape Byron and on to Clarke’s Beach and Main Beach.

Best campgrounds near the beach: Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park and Broken Head Holiday Park

Where to Spot Whales in Byron Bay

If you happen to find yourself holidaying at Byron Bay between the months of May and November, you will likely spot some of the whales that make their way along the east coast of Australia during their annual migration. The stretch of coastline found between Byron Bay and Ballina is not only home to spectacular golden beaches and sparkling waters, but also many great places from which to spot whales, so be sure to pack your best binoculars!

Spend some time at the Cape Byron Lighthouse within the Cape Byron Conservation Area and see if you can spot a pod of whales frolicking out at sea. The expansive panoramic views offered from Australia’s most easterly point, on which the lighthouse sits, make the vantage point a safe bet for spotting the region’s unique aquatic visitors during their migration. 

In addition to the views from the lighthouse, the conservation area also plays host to a number of scenic vantage points that include the Captain Cook lookout, which also overlooks one of the region’s most popular beaches; the Cape Byron walking track, which winds its way along part of the Byron coastline; and several cliffs that offer sublime views.

Outside of Byron Bay, and between the towns of Ballina and Lennox Head, are a number of great whale viewing spots that provide uninterrupted views out to see. Stop by one or a few of the whale watching vantage points which include the viewing platforms at Angel’s Beach and Flat Rock as well as Skennars Head, Flat Rock, Rocky Point, Boulders Beach and the Pat Morton Lookout.

If you’re an early riser, or are looking for a unique whale watching experience to remember, head to one of the great viewing spots around Byron Bay, Ballina and Lennox Head and watch the sun rise while the migrating whales swim and play in the water ahead.

For people interested in getting out on the water for a closer look, there is a choice of whale watching tours in Byron Bay.

 

Start planning where you’ll try your luck at whale watching this year and make the most of the fantastic viewing spots in the Byron Bay region!

Byron Bay to Ballina Charity Walk

Get active and help out a great local cause with the Byron Bay to Ballina Charity Walk! Supporting the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, the walk is a fantastic way to see the Byron Bay coastline while raising funds for an essential and important service.

Winding its way along the beautiful Byron coastline from Denning Park in Byron Bay, the walk passes by awe-inspiring coastal scenery, providing the perfect motivation to continue on to the finish line. Consisting of three routes that make their way south towards Ballina, the walk covers a range of terrains including sand, bush tracks and sealed roads. Take on the 12 km route that ends at Broken Head Reserve, the 24km path that will lead you to Lennox Head Surf Life Saving Club or, if you’re feeling adventurous, the 35km walk that takes you all the way to Ballina Surf Life Saving Club.

Held on Sunday the 31st of May in 2015, the charity walk offers the opportunity to either enter individually or as a member of a team of anywhere between 4 and 20 members. The walk from Byron Bay to Ballina can be enjoyed at any speed, be it quickly or at a leisurely pace, and is open to participants as young as 12 years who are accompanied by a paying adult.

Importantly, all of the money raised by the Byron Bay to Ballina Charity Walk stays in the region, going directly to the Northern Regional Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter service to ensure that the area’s residents and visitors can receive the help that they need when they require it most.

Get a team together, set yourself a challenge, or make the most of the Byron region’s natural beauty while helping to ensure the continuation of an important local organisation!

Kirra Kite Festival

THE SKIES THE LIMIT FOR MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL

Kirra Kite Festival 14–17 November 2013

This years festival includes a showcase of nationally acclaimed eateries, musicians, street performers, film and kite flyers.

Soaring to even greater heights for 2013—Kirra Kite Festival 14-17 November.

25th Ocean Swim Classic

The 25th Beach Hotel Ocean Swim Classic & Westpac Mini Swim, presented by the Byron Bay Winter Whales on Sunday 6th May 2012.

The Byron Bay Winter Whales Ocean Swim Classic was first held in 1988 and has been running annually ever since. Starting out with a very small number of ocean swimmers, "swimming for charity", the Winter Whales Ocean Swim has now over 1700 regular participants and the numbers continue to rise every year.

A choice of two swims - The Beach Hotel Ocean Swim Classic and the shorter Westpac Mini Swim, both finishing at Main Bach Byron Bay. Both swims are along a buoyed course with ample water safety provided.

For further information, visit; www.byronbayoceanswimclassic.com.au

Sat Night Byron Bay Surf Festival

Saturday night 7-8.45pm: Byron Bay Community Centre
Andrew Kidman: Live music/film, Taylor Steele: Andy Irons short film

A night of live music and film from two of surfings most popular filmmakers, Andrew Kidman (Aust) and Taylor Steele (USA). First up at 7pm is Taylor Steele's raw short-film surf-doco on the surfing life of the late Andy Irons. Taylor, good friends with Andy, put together the footage earlier this year and has only shown the film once before in Andy's hometown on the Island of Kauai. Byron Bay Surf Festival is honoured to be showcasing this film in Australia. In the words of Taylor's wife Sybil, the film is set to the sound of one loud punk rock song! Taylor Steele's' first films along with his latest have all had this similar style…the best raw surfing in the world set against the sound of blaring punk rock.

Andrew Kidman is a surfer and artist who expresses his innate connection to the ocean, surfing and life through many mediums, including music, film and the written word. Works of note include surf films 'Litmus' (1996) and 'Glass Love' (2005), his book collaboration (photography) with artist Andy Davis 'Way of the Bird' (2002), his current film and book release 'Lost in the Ether' (2010) and his current album with his band 'The Windy Hills' 'friend from another star' (2011). Andrew Kidman has always written and performed his own soundtracks, and his music has come to the fore in recent times, earning his band The Windy Hills (formerly The Brown Birds of Windy Hill) gigs at Splendour In The Grass, Mullumbimby Music Festival and the Perth International Arts Festival; also writing and recording the score to the film Searching For Michael Peterson with legendary guitarist Tim Gaze; and editing and touring the short film sensation Last Hope. Last Hope is an entirely unique melding of film and live music that has astonished audiences from New York to Brisbane. It is in this form that The Windy Hills will be playing live, at the Byron Bay Surf Festival, to films by Patrick Trefz's, Mick Waters and Andrew Kidman.

Saturday night continues with a live Dick Hoole film commentary followed by The Grains (live music) both at Woody's Surf Shack.

Richard Branson Loves Byron Bay

When Richard visited Byron Bay he used us to organise his accommodation. He stayed at Watego's the first time and then we organised a bigger house for him and the family when he returned. We were pretty chuffed that he chose us and we know that he's being sincere when he says that he "loves Byron". We organised a beachfront villa at Belongil for his kids on another visit. It's pretty cool that someone like Richard Branson, who among other things owns his own Island, still manages to enjoy a surf trip to Byron.

Byron Bay Surf Festival

Byron Bay Surf Festival 'surf culture now' Oct 21-23 2011

The Byron Bay Surf Festival is about 'Surf Culture Now'. It's gonna be rad, it's gonna be diverse and fun, and like the blond kid with the dripping wet hair said, 'it's gonna be cool.' On the weekend of 21-23 of October 2011 history will be created when the town of Byron Bay hosts it's first ever, dedicated Surf Festival. The wholesome focus is on the creative culture within surfing, including live music, filmmaking, original art, photography, and the shaping and riding of handmade surfboards.

Opening the festival will be none other than international surfing icon, Byron Bay local Bob McTavish, presenting a live surfboard shaping demonstration whilst sharing an historic look at his first trip to Byron Bay. Events over the weekend include, Surf markets, Surf Swap Meet, 'freestyle&stoke' surf sessions, surf related clinics, Surf World Museum, live music by Dan Hannaford, Josh Hamilton, The Grains, and film collaboration/live music event by Andrew Kidman and The Windy Hills. Original art from James McMillan, Mark Sutherland (Sutho), Hanai Yusuke (Japan), Luke Taffe, Rusty Miller, Vanessa Janss (USA) and others, including photography from surf filmmaking legends George Greenough and Albe Falzon.

Just one of the inspiring events is 'stART me up', a new art exhibition and mentoring program for kids, developed by local artist James McMillan, in conjunction with Retrospect Galleries and the Byron Bay Surf Festival. The purpose of 'stART me up' is to give new and emerging young art kids (some very young!) a valuable and real opportunity to hang and expose their art, in a well known and established art gallery. There are prizes in each age category from 4-16 years with the winner of the 13-16yrs group receiving a 6-month artist mentorship program.

Another exciting event being held on the Sunday morning between 8am and 12 noon is the Surf Swap Meet, open to one and all, and the 'freestyle&stoke' surf sessions. The idea behind this Surf Swap Meet is quite basic, even old age, in that you can actually swap one thing for another and no money is exchanged. Although anyone is welcome to just browse or even buy. Shapers attending and showing boards on the day include, Tom Wegener, Sage and Paul Joske, Simon Jones, Gary Burden and Thomas Bexon, all well known and respected craftsmen who practice the art of hand-shaping surfboards. And the 'freestyle&stoke' surf sessions; an expression session format surf event from 10am-12noon with 4 categories of 10 registered surfers in each, for half hour per category; Log (incl old mal), Fish (incl stub, hull), Finless (incl alaia), and Vintage (pre1980). It's about fun as well as being a display of surfboard riding on these particularly chosen mix of surfcraft.

At a glance the purpose and intention of this event is about creating a sustainable surfbent event for the local community to build on, and at large it's for everyone that surfs. 'The simple motivation behind The Byron Bay Surf Festival is to have a killer weekend in Byron Bay immersed in Surf Culture as we know it right now.'

See website for all full program, locations and images. Enjoy most of the events for free, just like surfing is! www.byronbaysurffestival.com See you there.

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