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Byron Writers Festival 2018 re-cap

The Byron Writers Festival 2018 (August 3-5) is now over. And, with over 150 sessions featuring more than 140 writers from Australia and abroad, the three-day event was entertaining, inspirational, and thought-provoking.

Over 12,000 festival-goers were treated to perfect weather all weekend long. In the late winter sunlight, the site’s many sculptures and rainbow flags create a vibrant yet laid-back atmosphere. Plus, the on-site food and coffee were sensational, especially when enjoyed picnic-style by the water.   

The diverse range of sessions, performances, and panel discusses celebrated story-telling in all its forms, from the political to the poetic and everything in between.

We can’t wait to see what next year’s festival will offer.

Crowds on the move

Christine Milne in conversation with Margaret Throsoy

Anxiety: is it just me? with Mat Haig and Sarah Wilson

One of the many sculptures dotted throughout the festival site 

Lunch time at the Byron Writers Festival

Frontier Wars discussion with Tom Keneally

Oliver Phommavanh during the Kids Big Day Out

Enjoying the winter sun

Learning from the resident poet

Captivated audiences

#byronwf2018 - see you next year!

 

5 best burgers in Byron Bay

Hungry? Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good burger.

Here in Byron Bay, the burger-lover is spoilt for choice. We asked our Facebook fans where they grab the best burgers. Here are the top five results in alphabetical order. Get ready to get hungry.

Beloporto

Beloporto, lovingly referred to as ‘Belos’ by the locals, has long been a favourite cheap-eats option in Byron Bay. Their specialty is Portuguese chicken burgers – marinated to perfection and topped with lettuce, cheese, house-made aioli, and optional chilli.

If chicken isn’t your thing, Beloporto serves up beef and veggie burgers, salads, and delicious fries. It’s all tasty, fast, filling, locally-sourced, and affordable. A true Byron staple.

Main Street Burger Bar

Main Street Burger Bar brings together a mix of classic burgers, real shakes, and craft beers. Their extensive menu offers everything from traditional cheeseburgers and BBQ brisket burgers, to truffle chicken burgers and vegan-friendly pulled jackfruit.

All burgers are made with 100% grass-fed beef, free-range pork, and locally sourced eggs.  

The Northern Hotel Restaurant and Bar

The Northern Hotel is a Byron Bay icon serving up classic pub fare including their delectable range of burgers – the wagyu beef burger, the lemon and herb chicken burger, and the baked ricotta and sweetcorn burger.

What’s more, every single day of the week you can pick up a burger and chips for just $10 between 12pm and 3pm. It’s one of the best lunch deals in town.

The Rails Hotel

The Rails is one of the most-loved live music venues in Byron, offering local, national, and international talent every night of the week.

There’s no better way to soak up the laid-back atmosphere of The Rails than with a freshly made burger. Choose from beef, fish, chicken and bacon, pork belly and slaw, and grilled eggplant – all served with chips or a side salad. Perfection.

The Top Shop

The Top Shop is a go-to for many Byron Bay locals. Known for its single-origin coffee, great breakfasts, and exciting burgers, The Top Shop combines the best of hipster cafe culture and small-town hospitality.  

Their burger menu is pretty extensive and changes regularly. So, whether you’re looking for straightforward American beef burger or something a little more inventive, The Top Shop has it all.

Splendour in the Grass 2018 Re-Cap

Splendour in the Grass 2018 (20 – 22 July) is done and dusted, and what a fantastic festival it was. All 35,000 festival-goers were treated to perfect weather – clear, warm days and cool nights – and a jam-packed line-up of local, national, and international artists.

The site itself looked more colourful and dynamic than ever, complete with new flags, performers, art installations, and punters dressed-up and decked-out in true Splendour form. 

Alongside the music, we enjoyed the science tent, forum discussions, the comedy tent, the craft tent, and the family-friendly Little Splendour. There truly was something for everyone. Our favourites were Henry Rollins in discussion in the forum and Aunty Donna’s comedy set.

As always, there was plenty of food to indulge in-between sets.

Finally, our musical highlights. 

Photo: Stills in Time

Photo: Jess Gleeson

On Friday, we caught Murray from The Wiggles with DZ Deathrays, who played a few songs including an AC/DC cover. Lorde was the headliner, and she put on a great show.

Photo: Stills in Time

Saturday highlights include Franz Ferdinand, an old favourite, and Lil Xan.

Photo: Jess Gleeson

On Sunday, we watched Ball Park Music in the GW McLennan tent. We’d only seen them in the amphitheatre previously, and it was great to catch them up close on the smaller stage. And headliner Kendrick put on a killer performance – the crowd loved it.

Photo: Ian laidlaw

We can’t wait to see what next year has in stall. Thanks, Splendour in the Grass!

School Holiday Fun for Families in Byron Bay

The school holidays are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy family time in Byron Bay. As well as relaxing it’s a good idea to have some special activities planned to keep little hands and minds occupied. If you’re looking for some school holiday fun for families, read on. We’ve compiled a list of attractions and activities to satisfy all ages that will make these school holidays memorable for the whole family!

Circus Arts

Give the kids an experience they will never forget at Circus Arts Byron Bay. Whether your child is an absolute beginner or an experienced acrobat Circus Arts offers an amazing School Holiday Program to suit all ages and skill levels. Activities range from circus skills, flying trapeze, balloon twisting workshops, indoor climbing and kids play space. The school holiday program runs throughout the QLD and NSW school holidays. 

Farm Kids at The Farm

Let the kids get their hands dirty and learn from a real working farm. The Farm runs exciting programs aimed at teaching kids about topics such as where food comes from, paddock rotation, pollination, organic and ethical farming and much more. There’s also plenty of opportunity for the children to get up close and interact with the pigs and chickens. Workshops run all year round and they also have a School Holiday Program.

Cape Byron Walking Track

There’s something magical and mysterious about a lighthouse when you’re a child. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you head up The Cape Byron Walking Track to the Lighthouse. The track is not considered stroller friendly in some areas, as there are steep hills and lots of steps. However you can access the track at numerous points along the boardwalk that are flat. All the information you need can be found at the National Parks Cape Byron Walking Track page. There are also tours of the Cape that are suitable for children 5yrs and over.

Byron Markets

If you’re looking for an activity that’s fun for you and the kids the Byron Bay market hits all the right spots. Delicious food, unique local shopping, great entertainment and a relaxing environment. There are a number of different markets on throughout the year as well as the regular monthly market so make sure you check which markets are on before you head out. The Byron Market provides special entertainment such as puppet shows and jumping castles during the school holidays.

Whale Watching

What greater way to inspire awe in our children than with the wonder of seeing a whale in its natural environment. Between May and November each year the majestic Humpback whale migrates north from their southern feeding grounds towards the tropics to breed and give birth. Byron Bay is the east coasts most easterly point so the whales pass by very close to the shore making Byron Bay a premier whale watching location. All you have to do is sit back and watch or there are numerous whale-watching tours available.

Byron KidzKlub

KidzKlub aims to provide kids with so much fun and entertainment they won’t want to leave! KidzKlub runs their school holiday program at the Byron Bay Community Centre. Activities include art and craft, kits, toys and games. Children can play freely or join in the structured art sessions facilitated by fully trained staff.

Horse Riding

Kids love horses. There’s just no denying it. Byron Bay offers some amazing horse riding experiences including beach rides and trail rides. Most equestrian centres will cater for all ages and skill levels. So saddle up and make your kids dream come true these school holidays!

Main Beach Byron Bay

There is no better natural playground for a child than the beach and in Byron Bay you are spoilt for choice. Take your pick from any of the spectacular Byron Bay beaches and the kids will be entertained for hours.

Byron Bay Skateboard School

Did you know that your child could go to Skate Camp? How awesome. The Byron Bay Skateboard School offers Warehouse Day Camps and Skate park Tours during the school holidays as well as private and afterschool lessons during the school year. Founder and instructor Flavio Biehl is passionate about passing on the positive, creative and unique skateboarding lifestyle to his students.

Pighouse Flicks Cinema

Your kids might be a worried about the name but rest assured there are no pigs at this cool cinema. Pighouse Flicks is an independent family run cinema that boasts the latest technology and custom made lounge style seating. A really fun and different cinema experience for the kids during the holidays.

Take part in the annual Whale Census

Cape Byron Lighthouse Sunday, 24th June, 7am to 4pm 

The census is organised by ORRCA and relies on volunteers to get outdoors and record how many whales are spotted. This data is used to help understand more about whale populations and their migration along the NSW coast.

There will be ORRCA and National Parks volunteers at the Cape Byron State Conservation Area, the perfect spot to join in the annual Whale Census. Spot whales from the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse or take in the sights along the Cape Byron walking track.

Learn more at www.wildaboutwhales.com.au
 

Experience luxury Byron style

Our curated collection of luxury properties offers a level of comfort and service above and beyond. Each is situated in the heart of town or a stone’s throw from one of Byron’s spectacular beaches.

28 Degrees Byron Bay

Located in the heart of Byron Bay, 28 Degrees Byron Bay offers boutique accommodation for travellers looking for a luxurious haven within walking distance to all the town’s delights and a 3 minute stroll to the beach.

28 Degrees Byron Bay provides total privacy and heavenly comfort for its guests.

Beach Suites

Offering a range of stylish boutique studios and large airy apartments. Beach Suites combines discreet personal service, beachfront access and a central location, creating Byron Bay’s most refined accommodation.

Penthouse apartments have sweeping ocean views, modern kitchens, vast living areas, spacious bedrooms with bath spa en-suites… and private, rooftop swimming pools.

The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa

Set within a stunning 18-hectare rainforest, the Byron at Byron strikes the perfect balance between relaxed luxury and unforgettable service in one of Australia’s most iconic beachside locations. 

Featuring 91 suites, a multi-award winning day spa, and a restaurant overlooking the rainforest.

Elements of Byron is a Resort & Spa

Nestled on 50 acres of absolute beachfront, Elements Of Byron Resort & Spa features private beach villas. Each villa boasts modern beach architecture and interiors inspired by the natural beauty Byron Bay has to offer.

There are four different accommodation types, each with unique and defining features and décor.

Watermark at Wategos

The Watermark at Wategos is a unique beachfront property offering specialty lodging in four separate luxury suites / apartments. 

Settle in to your self-contained luxury suite, with absolute beach frontage onto one of Australia's most beautiful beaches, Wategos Beach at Byron Bay.

Byron Bay's best coffee in town

Byron Bay takes its coffee seriously.

When in town, we like to drop into a whole range of coffee shops for our caffeine fix. So, we asked our Facebook fans which cafe they believe serves up the best coffee in Byron Bay.

We tallied the votes, and here are the top five picks (in alphabetical order).

Bayleaf

Bayleaf has been a favourite spot for coffee in Byron for years. With a bustling atmosphere and hip interior, it’s the perfect spot to escape the heat in summer or cosy up with friends in winter.

Passionate about serving locally-sourced, seasonal produce, the team at Bayleaf offer an inventive, ever-changing lunch and breakfast menu alongside their top-notch coffee.

Combi

Dedicated to delivering the very finest brew, Combi was another favourite among our Facebook fans.

The baristas use a fair-trade blend of beans with a medium to strong flavour complimented by a pinch of sweetness. Plus, all coffees are made double shot, so if it’s a morning kick you’re after, Combi is a great option.

Dip

A popular spot for breakfast and lunch, Dip serves up some of the best coffees in town. Using local, organic coffee beans, the skilled baristas at Dip help locals and visitors alike take on the day – even if that means lying on the beach!

The outdoor seats are the ideal place to people-watch as you enjoy your cuppa – you’ll want to sit there for hours.

Safya Byron Bay

Speciality coffee, Egyptian-inspired food, and one of the homeliest café settings in Byron Bay serviced by a friendly, tight-knit team of locals: that’s Safya

Bringing in a new single-origin brew every week, Safya is a coffee-lovers paradise.

Sparrow Coffee Co.

Need coffee fast? Drop into Sparrow for coffee on the fly. At Sparrow’s Byron location (you’ll find Sparrow Coffee Co. in several spots throughout NSW and QLD), expect quality, hand-crafted Allpress coffee without the wait.

If you’re feeling peckish, indulge in organic sourdough bread and pastries from The Bread Social.

Mother’s Day Byron Bay 2018

Celebrate Mother’s Day (Sunday, 13 May 2018) Byron style. Many of the region’s eateries host specialty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, with a treat for mum thrown in for good measure.

Here are a few Mother’s Day 2018 events in Byron Bay.

Three Blue Ducks

For relaxed vibes, farm-fresh produce, and a seriously impressive menu, pop into the Three Blue Ducks in Byron Bay. Drop in on the day, or phone 02 9389 0010 to book a table for dinner. Visit www.threeblueducks.com to learn more.

The Byron at Byron

This year, the Byron at Byron restaurant is hosting an indulgent three-course menu handcrafted by renowned Executive Chef Matthew Kemp, accompanied by live music and drinks on arrival. Treat your mum to rainforest luxury this Mother’s Day for $85 per person. Phone 02 6639 2111 to book your table.

Go the extra mile and send your mum to the stunning Spa at the Byron at Byron. Enjoy 20% off all Gift Voucher purchases before 13 May. Drop in, call 02 6639 2110, or visit www.thebyronatbyron.com.au to purchase.

The Balcony Bar & Oyster Co.

Take your mum for a meal at the iconic Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. on Mother’s Day, and she’ll receive a glass of bubbles on arrival, one of Chef Sean Connolly’s chocolate tortes, and a gift to take home. This extra special offer is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Spoil mum – book your table at balcony.com.au.

The Byron Bay Golf Club

Enjoy the views from the deck of the Byron Bay Golf Club this Mother’s Day. Greg Lyon and the Hip Operation will be performing from 2pm, so drop in for a late lunch. Book now at byronbaygolfclub.com.au to secure a table.

Beach Byron Bay

Join Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs at Beach Byron Bay as they launch their brand-new book Women Like Us. With prizes for the best-dressed and a delightful three-course menu, treat your mum to picture-perfect views, incredible food, and a good laugh. Book now at beachbyronbay.com.au

Get Set for the 2018 Byron Bay Triathlon

The 23rd edition of the Byron Bay Triathlon is returning to town on Saturday,12 May. An expected field exceeding 1000 athletes competing in Tempta, Sprint and Olympic distances will be joined by 100 juniors, many of whom are competing in their very first triathlon.

The course, which includes a revised cycle leg and a run under the famous Byron Lighthouse, provides a unique setting for athletes of all abilities to compete.

Organisers are expecting a competitive field comprised of athletes from around the region and nationally. The Men's podium is shaping up to be a battle of the Northern Rivers, with 2017 Mens Open runner up Matt Slee from Suffolk Park back with the gold in his sights, as well as local favourites Harry Jones and Jack Orr. Holly Grice is also back to defend her 2017 title, facing strong competition from Courtney Gilfillan.

"We are pleased to once again organise the Byron Bay Tri," says Race Director Mike Crawley.

"The triathlon in Byron Bay is a celebration of the local area, athletes are able to relax in the morning, have a midday kick off, and celebrate into the night along the beautiful Byron beachside. It is the perfect end to the triathlon season."

"We are also excited to see so much enthusiasm from local businesses, offering promotions and incentives to athletes to welcome them to the community and increase economic benefits throughout town."

Local Byron accommodation houses are already seeing bookings increase, and event organisers are predicting an increase in registration with athletes still feeling the buzz of the Commonwealth Games.

Water safety is once again being managed by the Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, with funds also being raised for the local Byron Bay Scouts and Byron Bay Cycle Club.

The event organisers thank local residents and businesses for working with the event despite any inconvenience caused by road closures from 11.00am to 3.30pm towards Suffolk Park; and until 4.30pm in the CBD.

More information can be found at www.byronbaytri.com.au.

The Byron Bay International Fashion Festival 2018

On 29 April, 2018, the five-star Elements of Byron Resort will play host to the 4th annual Byron Bay International Fashion Festival, an event that celebrates the thriving Byron fashion scene. Attendees will be treated to an afternoon and evening of forward-thinking fashion, music, and performance.  

The Byron Bay International Fashion Festival will bring together talented designers from around the world. Showcasing both local talent, emerging brands, and global successes, the festival’s runway shows will cover swimwear, activewear, resort and casual wear, eveningwear, and lingerie.

In 2018, more than 20 designers will present collections at this boutique event, including Lahana Swim, Vale, Love Revolution, Helan Grant, Jenny Jazz, Niki Teljega, Styelle Bikinis, SASHED, Wild Barra, Miau Swimwear, and more.

Clothing will be brought to life by some of the country’s leading runway models. With a backdrop of edgy techno tracks and choreographed lighting, the catwalk shows become an artistic fashion spectacle.

Between runway shows, attendees can catch over 30 of latest award-winning fashion short films created by acclaimed directors and producers. The extensive film program adds depth to the festival, giving guests an insight into the fashion world.

A series of cutting-edge dance performances will complement the runway features and film program. Combining body art, fashion, design, and dance, these unique performances were commissioned by the Fashion Festival, giving designers the opportunity to collaborate with traditional dance companies.

Finally, an exciting all-female lineup of model DJs will set the scene and kick-start the party. Enjoy a fresh mix of contemporary tunes in the courtyard area and Festival bar from the early afternoon until the “Rock the Runway cocktail party finishes at midnight. 

The Byron Bay International Fashion Festival is an opportunity for industry leaders, emerging designers, established brands, influencers, bloggers, buyers, and fashion enthusiasts to network, discover new trends, and make their mark on the booming Byron fashion scene.

Learn more and buy tickets at bbiff.com.au

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