After the success of Start Stuff: Festival of the Cosmos, festival organiser Dylan O’Donnell has confirmed that space-themed event will return - under moonless skies - to Byron Bay on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th of July, 2018.
Star Stuff II will feature three internationally renowned speakers: Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today; Amy Shira Teitel, space historian and host of the Vintage Space YouTube channel; and Geoff Notkin, star expert as seen on the popular TV show, Meterorite Men.
Held at the Elements of Byron Resort, Start Stuff II will boast a range of space and science related talks and activities. Weather permitting, festival-goers can engage in solar and night-time astronomy.
In addition, they will be treated to several back-to-back keynote talks from industry experts. Speakers include Dr Alan Duffy (Swinburne/ABC), Dr David Malin (AAO), Dr Cathal O’Connell (Cosmos Magazine), comet discover Terry Lovejoy, John Sarkissian (CSIRO), Greg Quicke aka “Space Gandalf,” and Gilmour Space Technologies and local astronomer Dylan O’Donnell.
What’s more, high-tech astronomy equipment will be exhibited by suppliers. While this exhibition is open to the general public, ticket-holders will get the VIP treatment: giveaways, a movie screening, a luxurious dinner, the Fraser Cain speech, and entry to win a Celestron Evolution 6 complete telescope package.
Designed to encourage interest in astronomy, space, and STEM industries, Star Stuff is a privately funded festival. Last year, proceeds funded a small observatory for Wiley Park Girls School in western Sydney.
Not to be confused with astrology, Star Stuff II: Festival of Space, Science & Astronomy is set to be an inspiring, educational, and out-of-this-world event.
This year, celebrate Valentine's Day Byron style. Treat yourself and your loved one to a specialty Valentine's meal at one of Byron Bay's best restaurants, and experience the fine food and stellar hospitality the region is known for.
Here are our top picks for Valentine's Day 2018 in beautiful Byron Bay.
Valentine's Day Lunch at Beach Byron Bay
Make this year's Valentine's day one to remember at the Beach Byron Bay restaurant. With panoramic views overlooking Julian Rocks, Clarkes Beach, and The Pass, a meal at Beach Byron Bay is the perfect way to soak up Byron's natural beauty.
Offering a fine-dining menu, this year's specialty Valentine's day lunch is sure to impress. Enjoy grilled king prawns, spanner crab caserecce pasta, peach with white chocolate crostata, and Prosecco with fresh peach puree cocktails. Delicious.
Indulge in an elegant evening meal at the secluded Byron at Byron Resort and Spa. The newly re-designed restaurant, surrounded by luscious rainforest, is renowned for its fine food and fresh, local produce.
The three-course 2018 Valentine's Day menu has been expertly curated by the restaurant's Head Chef. Taste the ocean with a seafood entree, and indulge in a fillet of Cape Byron beef for main. Or, keep things vegetarian with a fresh salad of grilled peaches and heirloom tomatoes, and a caramelised radicchio and eggplant risotto.
From December 31, 2017 until January 2, 2018, North Byron Parklands was transformed into a colourful, glitter-filled celebration of all things music. Despite a few showers, the 5th Falls Music and Arts Festival was a huge success.
Image by Paul Smith
This year, Falls welcomed a capacity crowd of 25,000 festival-goers, 20,000 of which camped on-site.
With a killer mix of local, national, and international artists, punters were spoilt for choice. This year’s highlights included Flume (who bought in the New Year), Dune Rats (who, as always, put on a hilarious show), Darryl Braithwaite, Run the Jewels, Liam Gallagher, Glass Animals, and more.
Image by Joseph Mayers
After the hot weather on Sunday (with a brief afternoon shower) and Monday, the serious downpour on Tuesday didn't dampen spirits. Festival goers embraced the wet weather; some covered their carefully curated outfits with ponchos, while others happily dived into the mud.
Thankfully, the weather was warm and sunny on Wednesday, January 3, as campers packed up and left the festival site. All campers were able to successfully depart before 12pm.
In addition to the incredible line-up, Falls offered comedy, silent discos, DJs, art installations, swimming pools, beach volley ball, makeovers, unique market stands, delicious food, and much more.
Drop into the local independent brewery... Stone & Wood Brewery Byron Bay
Born and raised in Byron Bay, Stone & Wood is proudly independent, brewing and bottling handcrafted beer in the Northern Rivers of NSW, one of the greatest places on Earth.
The three founders Brad, Ross and Jamie chose to set up the brewery on Australia’s most easterly tip in 2008, inspired by the idea of a creating a village brewery and with the vision of building a conscious business that reflects the best of what the industry is all about.
The Byron Bay brewery is the birthplace and the heartbeat of Stone & Wood. It is in hippy terms, their spiritual home. A place to come for a tour, try their beers in the tasting room and where some of their limited releases and untried, experimental Pilot Batch brews are produced.
Nothing makes them more stoked to have people rock up for some beer, a carton or a tour and tell their unique story about how they first tried a Stone & Wood Beer... and for them to be able to show punters around the brewery and tell their story. If you’re around town, drop in for a tasting paddle or book a tour in advance!
Stone & Wood Brewery Byron is open seven days.
Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm
Weekends 12 – 6pm
Tours run every day except Tuesdays.
To book a tour or enquire about the Tasting Room, visit their website www.stoneandwood.com.au or give them a call on 02 6685 9220.
The annual Byron Bay Surf Festival is back. From Thursday, February 22 to Sunday, February 25, 2018, experience the best surf culture has to offer. From art, music, and film, to board shaping, fashion, and of course, surfing, get ready to celebrate the many facets of the surf lifestyle.
2018’s festival is set to be bigger and better than ever, with a whole host of brand-new events and Surf Fest favourites.
First up, the Surf Festival has been extended by one whole day. That means more opportunities to immerse yourself in surf culture, and get involved in the many free and paid-for events the festival has to offer.
Secondly, Friday will now host its own surf event. More details to come, so stay tuned.
Finally, the crowd-favourite ‘Surf Lit Lounge’ is getting an exciting makeover. Now titled the ‘Surf Legend Lounge,’ this event will kick off the festival in style. Taking place in the Byron Community Centre, the Surf Legend Lounge will give you the opportunity to mingle with some of the surfing world’s greatest icons, and soak up their inspirational insights on adventure, surfboards, arts, culture, and sustainability.
Early-birds will enjoy food and drink, plus live music. This event is a fantastic way to catch up with old friends, meet new friends, and feel inspired about the days to come.
Plus, all FEELGOOD and FREE events from the last Surf Festival will be back in action in 2018. That includes the iconic Sunset Cinema, the Art Show, the popular Surf Art Markets, Live Music, and much more.
Don’t forget to head to the beautiful Wategos beach, and get involved in the Freestyle & Stoke sessions.
In early September, we shared an incredible time-lapse of the full moon rising behind Byron’s iconic lighthouse to the Byron Bay Facebook page. It was one of our most popular posts ever, with over 75,000 minutes of video watched by more than 350,000 people.
The time-lapse shows a huge, yellow-orange moon rise from the horizon, up past the lighthouse, and into the darkening sky. The footage is spectacular – you can watch it below.
The time-lapse was created by local photographer and teacher-in-training Rod Evans. Evans lives in the lush Byron Hinterland, and captures the natural beauty of the region’s beaches, landscapes, sunsets, markets, moon rises, and more in his stunning photography and time-lapses.
Recently, Evans has explored the possibilities of light painting.
Light painting is a photographic technique where images are made by moving a light source while taking a long exposure photo. The results are otherworldly, as streams of colour ribbon through the night sky seemingly independent.
Evans’s light painting images have had great success: they’ve been featured in The Weekend Australian Magazine, placed at the Lismore Show, and even reached the number one spot on the front page of Reddit.
Alongside fellow Byron Bay photographer Caroline Fisher, Evans has assisted with light painting workshops. These give photography enthusiasts the chance to learn light painting techniques – including the correct camera settings – and experiment with light-producing materials.
The 2017 Byron Bay International Film Festival, which ran between October 6 – 15, has come to an end. The festival saw a spectacular program of Australian and international short and feature length film screenings at a number of venues across the region.
The Closing Gala included a short but sweet awards ceremony, where the coveted ‘Best Film’ accolade was awarded to festival favourite ‘One Less God.’ This moving feature held audiences spellbound during the two festival screenings, as it revealed the intense experiences of Taj Mahal Palace guests and staff as they faced two terrorist attackers in 2008.
Co-producer Maren Smith had this to say about the film’s Byron debut: “The packed houses and the audience buzz at Byron really bodes well for our upcoming theatrical release, so we can’t wait to share it with a wide audience.”
‘One Less God’ will be screened in Mumbai this year.
Other notable winners included ‘Jungle’ directed by Greg McLean, which took out Best Dramatic Feature, and ‘Church of the Open Sky’ directed by Nathan Oldfield, which won Best Byron Film.
The Best Short award was given to ‘Uncanny Valley’ directed by Federico Heller, which offered a harrowing look at the impact VR technology and advanced video gaming could have on our society.
The full list of winners, which you can check out below, is a true representation of the diversity and incredibly high calibre of filmmaking the Byron Bay International Film Festival offers.
We look forward to seeing what BBFF brings to the region in 2018.
The 11th Annual Byron Bay International Film Festival Winners
Winter is officially over – it’s time to celebrate.
Beat the summer rush and take a spring break in beautiful Byron Bay. Visit the region from September through November and experience warm and sunny weather, relatively quiet beaches, and the tail end of the whale season.
Spring Getaway in Byron Bay: 5 Places to Stay
Not sure where to stay? Here’s some springtime inspiration.
1. Byron by the Beach
Relax and unwind in the sunshine with the sweet sound of crashing waves at this stunning, open-plan holiday house. Situated a short walk from the centre of town, this 5-bedroom, 2-bathroom home features large French doors, air-conditioning, a BBQ, laundry facilities, an outdoor shower, and an idyllic verandah.
5 bedrooms: 3 queen rooms, one bunk room, one twin room
Experience the best Byron has to offer this spring – enjoy A Byron Experience. This self-contained holiday apartment is tucked away in the centre of Byron’s bustling town. Private and tasteful, this two-storey home-away-from-home is encompassed by a luscious tropical garden, and features 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
2 bedrooms: 1 king room, 1 twin room (can be pushed together to form a king)
Soak up the springtime sunshine at A Seventh Heaven, a boutique, two-storey holiday apartment ideally situated in the centre of Byron Bay. This newly-furnished 3-bedroom home features a light, open-plan design, and a north-facing, sun-filled terrace overlooking lush gardens. Experience Byron’s gourmet eateries, or head to the beach – the choice is yours.
3 bedrooms: 2 queen rooms with ensuites, 1 double room
Escape to Beach Haven 7 this spring, and experience penthouse living at its finest. Situated on the top floor of a small complex, this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom holiday apartment is directly across the road from Clarkes Beach. Flooded with light, this comfortable holiday home features high-ceilings, an airy, open-plan living area, and a north-facing balcony.
Celebrate spring Byron style at Three by the Sea. This recently renovated, island-luxe holiday apartment offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen. The generous master bedroom features an ensuite bathroom and large, private deck. Enjoy a home-cooked meal al fresco, or head into town for a unique culinary experience. Take a dip in the complex’s heated pool, or take the short walk to picturesque Belongil Beach.
2 bedrooms: 1 queen room with ensuite, 1 twin room
It was a perfect spring day for the annual Sample Food Festival. Flocks of hungry foodies headed to the scenic Bangalow Showground between 8am and 4pm on Saturday, September 2nd to sample the very best dishes from the Byron region.
Attendees were spoilt for choice, with top restaurants offering $5 and $10 tasting plates, plus over 150 producers and lifestyle exhibitors.
Among the celebrity chefs was Matt Golinski, pictured here adding crunch to his dish with roughly chopped macadamina nuts on stage with Samantha Gowing.
The Sample Food Festival handed out their Golden Fork Awards to the best small and large tasting plate at the festival. The $5 plate winner was Katrina Kanetani of TOWN Restaurant and Cafe with her Pina Colada Pannacotta. And, the $10 plat winner was Sarah Swann of DUK by 100 Mile Table for Char Siu with her Steam Asian Greens & Rice. Delicious!
Instagrammer Lauran Bath lead the Australian Macadamina Instameet. Donzens of photographers creatively captured (…and ate) macadamia nuts and a range of macadamia nut products.
2017 was another successful year for the always popular Sample Food Festival. See you next year.