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5 Places for a Byron Christmas Holiday

Byron Bay, with its laid back beach vibe, shines in summer - making it popular for people wanting an Aussie Beach Christmas. Here's a range of places to stay in Byron this holiday season.


Byron Luxury Beach Houses

Time for a Luxurious and ultra modern Summer break? Experience style and space by the beach in these fully equipped holiday houses featuring designer furnishings, state of the art fixtures and a shared pool. Sleep 8 with 4 bathrooms.


Discovery Holiday Parks

With its relaxed holiday atmosphere, modern facilities and stunning natural scenery, Discovery Holiday Parks – Byron Bay is an idyllic escape. Set amongst picturesque tropical gardens and lakes, and just 2km from the Byron Bay town centre. Come and enjoy the BRAND new Byron’s Barrel waterpark.


Fishermans Cottage

A perfect getaway for a relaxed Xmas break for a family or group of friends. Situated in the most sort after residential area of Byron in a quiet community. The large playing fields opposite give loads of space for children to safely play. Short easy flat walk to beach and town and all cafes ( Top shop around the corner), no need for a car. With a beachy modern interior there is everything you need for a home away from home. With 2 large outside decks there is plenty of space for lazing, reading, dining or having a G&T and watching the sun go down. An outside shower complements the 2 bathrooms , and allows after beach showers with no sand to clean up!


Pipi's on the Beach

Large,bright and stylish two bedroom apartments have views of the bay, in a fabulous location one minute walk to the beach. Happy summer holidays here you come! Sleep 5


Wategoes Beach Retreats

Wonderful for a romantic Summer holiday. Choose from a studio, or a one bedroom apartment with superb views across the bay, at fabulous Wategos Beach.

Accolades for Byron design

Byron’s new Elements of Byron resort has just been named by Forbes Magazine as among the 25 Coolest Hotels in the World. They share this accolade with only one other Australian property, the Old Clare Hotel in Sydney.

It has been a good month for the beachfront resort, which was also shortlisted in the Hotel Design category of this year’s SBID (Society of British Interior Design) International Design Awards. Entries were received from 43 countries and the Elements of Byron interior design is the only Australasian finalist selected by the technical panel of judges in this category. The Awards are one of the most prestigious recognitions of excellence in the interior design industry.

Further, Elements of Byron received a Highly Commended Award in the Hotel Interior Design category at the 2016 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, held in Sydney on Friday 2nd September.

Elements of Byron owner Peggy Flannery worked closely with Interior Designer Rowena Cornwell and local artists to bring her vision for the resort to life. “Byron Bay is such an exciting place” said Rowena Cornwell. “There is a strong entrepreneurial youth culture. The intention was to create environments that were sexy, with a sophisticated edge but still very accessible”.

Mullumbimby Artist Noel Hart spent months studying species found on the property to produce four layered oil paint, pigment and charcoal on jute paintings to adorn the private dining room for sixteen. Celebrating the four unique ecologies on the site – eucalypt, wetland, rainforest and dunal – the paintings are reinterpreted in works throughout the 94 villas.

Moving from sandy whites to tonal ocean blues, the resort’s soft colour palette lets nature do the talking. Soft copper reflects the underside of a banksia leaf while deep bronzes reference Belongil Creek. Surprise pops of vibrancy – hot orange, fiery corals and rich reds pay homage to the native birds which visit or call the property home. The black cockatoo, a strong totem for Elements of Byron, is acknowledged through five blown glass works by Noel Hart in the lobby.

Byron hinterland Artist Suvira McDonald’s majestic in/outdoor hanging metal sculpture Khorus blends the lobby lounge with the dining spaces. His training in classical ballet is evident in the grace of this work which stands five metres tall and ten wide. McDonald also contributed a five metre ceramic landscape mural for the Banksia Pavilion Bar as well as hanging ceramic works for the Central Pavilion guest bathrooms.

Winners of the SBID International Design Awards will be announced at The Dorchester hotel London on 25 November. View the finalists at www.sbidawards.com.

See the Sea Like No One Else

Pangea Maps release 3D wooden contour map of Byron Bay and partner with local nonprofit Clean Coast Collective.

Not your typical maps... Pangea creates an experience with the water by showcasing the ocean floor in stunning detail. 10% from sales of the unique artworks will fund local Byron Shire clean­ups and initiatives for a cleaner coast.

Pangea Maps have released a new map to add to their collection of iconic Australian coastlines. Byron Bay was the obvious choice for designer and creator Tom Percy, who has already crafted and sold maps of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for the past 2 years. The new map will feature the most easterly point of Australia, Cape Byron, as the centerpiece, with the surrounding ocean floor revealed. Partnering with local nonprofit, Clean Coast Collective, 10% of all sales will go towards preserving the beauty of this region by supporting initiatives such as local clean­ups and a campaign for Plastic Free Byron.

The maps are handmade from laser cut plywood. They depict accurate bathymetric data (“topography for the water”). Made from 13 layers of 1.5mm plywood, each layer represents 4­5m of water depth. The maps come framed and ready to hang. To celebrate the Byron Bay Launch, a number of limited edition maps will be made using a higher grade wood with a darker finish, and these will be available in a larger size.

Tom Percy is an Industrial Designer who began Pangea Maps as a side project in 2014 and is now working full time mapping the whole Australian coast. He enjoys anything related to the water and wanted to create a 3D representation of the world that lies below the surface. Tom sees the maps as a way of combining modern surveying techniques and CAD technology with the art of cartography.

Pangea Maps accept requests for custom maps from all around the world.

For further information and sales, visit the Pangea Maps website www.pangeamaps.com.

10th Byron Bay International Film Festival

Spring is synonymous with festivity and with a 10th anniversary to celebrate as well as new dates the 2016 Byron Bay International Film Festival will see NSW's Northern Rivers abuzz with this world-class event from the 14th to the 23rd October.

BBFF is considered by many to be one of Australia’s most dynamic film festivals and is renowned for its diverse and entertaining program of compelling and thought-provoking films as well as its glamorous red carpet parties. The Festival's 10th Opening Night will be the most dazzling to date - a glittering night at the Byron Theatre where the stars won't just be in the sky.

As it's grown over the past decade the festival has become a valuable platform for local and international filmmakers - bringing together passionate and aware audiences with emerging and esteemed industry professionals, connecting the film-loving and filmmaking communities together through conversation and collaboration within a wide array of screening sessions, Q&A's, panels and gala events.

The program is packed with variety and satisfies all tastes - over 10 days BBFF screens everything from films for or made by kids to surf and action, animation, emotionally charged documentaries and outstanding dramatic features from around the world. Providing audiences with cutting-edge storytelling experiences has always been at the heart of the BBFF experience and this year the festival is giving audience members the opportunity to dive into new dimensions with a selection of the world's best Virtual Reality experiences.

The Festival's full program will be announced in September, for more details visit www.bbff.com.au.

The Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival marked its 20th year with its strongest and best received program yet, breaking box office records and presenting a festival full of history making moments like Stan Grant’s Thea Astley Lecture that people will continue to talk about for years to come.


Blue skies broke for our 'True Believers' Leigh Sales, Kerry O'Brien and Sarah Ferguson on Festival Friday Pic: Evan Malcolm

After severe storm damage on the Wednesday night, it took a gargantuan effort to open the gates on Friday morning. I would like to thank the Festival team, the volunteers, our partners and everyone in the community who all went above and beyond to make it happen. Also to our wonderful patrons who remained good-humoured and enthusiastic despite the weather.

How heartbreaking it would have been if we hadn’t been able to listen to the beautiful Festival conversations that moved us so profoundly. Our storytellers are our most important teachers and I would like to thank all the writers and people who chaired each session for leading us on incredible journeys over the three days. It is my sincerest hope that all of us who witnessed those stories carry them out into our communities so that the conversations continue to live on.

Edwina Johnson, Director

The Byron Writers Festival hosts a number of out-of-season events and workshops throughout the year. Learn more at their website www.byronwritersfestival.com.

Here's some more images from the 2016 Byron Bay Writers Festival.


Stan Grant's moving Thea Astley lecture captivated us all Pic: Evan Malcolm


Mandy Nolan, Magda Szubanski, Rosie Waterland and Richard Glover (not pictured) had us all in stitches. Pic: Evan Malcolm


The 2016 Byron Writers Festival captured the minds and imaginations of every generation. Pic: Kate Holmes

The Byron Flea Market

The Byron Flea is a monthly market (Every second Saturday of the month 8am - 2pm) nestled in the parklands behind the Byron Bay Library right in the centre of town and 2mins walk from Byron Bay’s pristine coastline. A social enterprise aimed at giving young people opportunities and bringing the community together, the Byron Flea is a monthly event not to be missed. 

The market attracts an eclectic bunch of locals and travelers selling art, second-hand goods,  as well as creative enterprise and locally made food. The Byron Flea Market is described as having that unassuming ‘Old Byron’ feel and people return month after month for its quaint charm.

Stalls only cost $10 for people 20 years and under and $20 for everyone else. This includes Public Liability which makes it affordable for everyone to participate. 

There is parking on Gilmore Crescent or at the end of Tennyson Street.

To book a stall visit: www.bys.org.au/byronflea/ or email: byronflea @ bys.org.au for more information

 

Splendour in the Grass 2016

Sunny and warm winter days reaching 27 degrees made for a very comfortable three days in which to enjoy the music, art and food. The North Byron Parklands festival site has so many different vantage points to explore - we ended up walking over 45kms!

My eldest daughter and I enjoyed seeing the headline acts each night, the energetic emerging artists each day, the Wil Anderson & friends Comedy Club, The Global Village and the excellent variety of food. For me, I'm still humming 'Cattle and Cane', making Robert Forster in the GW McLennan Tent my personal highlight of Splendour 2016.


My personal highlight, Robert Forster in the GW McLennan Tent

Here's a selection of images from the Splendour in the Grass 2016 - looking forward to seeing you all again next year!


Another highlight, Courtney Barnett


High energy and crowd pleasing show by Tired Lion


Fat White Family just before loosing his pants



Great atmosphere


Splendour in the Craft


King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard


The Cure


The Global Village


Splendour in the Grass


Wil Anderson & Friends Comedy Club - funny stuff!


Flume closing Splendour 2016 to a very full house

The Mullum Uke Club

Held upstairs at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club, the Mullum Uke Club sees enthusiasts from around the region get together and celebrate the ukulele.

Mullumbimby resident Stu, known as Stukulele, formed the club back in 2011. Along with his passion for all things music, Stu has extensive experience teaching children and adults ukulele. He wanted a place for his students to play together, and the Mullum Uke Club was born. The monthly meet-ups proved to be incredibly popular, with a regular attendance of between 70 and 200 people.

Meetings take place on the last Thursday of each month. Ukulele players of all levels and ages come together to sing and play songs from a themed monthly songbook, which can be downloaded from the Mullum Uke Club’s newsletter. The songbook contains 20 well-known songs suitable for beginners and seasoned players alike. Players are welcomed to suggest songs, too.

Those who intend to play will need to bring their own ukulele, and if possible, a tuner. If you don’t have one, you’re welcome to come along, watch, and sing. Kids of all ages and adults just starting out are encouraged to play – the number one objective of the Mullum Uke Club is to have fun.

This month, the Mullum Uke Club is turning 5! Players will celebrate with the Songs of the Silver Screen songbook. Plus, singer-songwriter Leigh Carriage will be attending the birthday meet-up on July 28 at 6:30pm. Entry is $12.50 for adults, and $2.50 for children under 10.

For further information, visit their www.ukemullum.com website or follow Uke Mullum on Facebook.

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.

Byron Yoga Day Festival

NEW DATE - Saturday 25th June Join the world wide celebrations for the United Nations International Day of Yoga at the first Byron Yoga Day Festival, a FREE community event featuring inspiring teachers, artists, food, stalls and musical performers. A day of fun and festivity for all the family.

Saturday 25th June at 11 AM - 3 PM at Denning Park, Main Beach, Byron Bay

  • Yoga Asanas! Flow through a fun, creative sequence culminating in a free form yoga dance and rock your asana with two live bands.
  • Meditation! Learn to breathe deeply and completely, filling your lungs with fresh, ocean air then find your inner peace with wonderful meditation that is simply relaxing.
  • Relaxation! Lie back under the trees, listen to the waves rolling in and find an oasis of deep relaxation and calm.
  • Music! The ancient chants of India to the melodies, beats and rhythms of the modern world. Get your mantra on with The Aloha's sweet captivating medlodies, Yadudes with their heart felt soulful songs and then dance the afternoon away with DJM's Mantra Trance Experince!!! to move like you've never before.
  • Stalls by the locals packed with heaps of healthy, delicious food.
  • Inspirational and thought provoking talks on topics such as ‘How to Lead a Balanced Life’, Benefits of Mantra Meditation and the question of 'Who am I?’

A day of fun and festivity for everyone! Join the festival via their Facebook Event Page or visit www.yogadayfestival.com.au NOW & share the LOVE by inviting all your friends too.

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