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The 2018 Byron Bay Film Festival

Byron Bay Film Festival runs from October 12-21 at the Byron Community Centre and venues in Brunswick Heads and Murwillumbah. The BBFF2018 program and tickets – including 6, 10 or 20-ticket flexi-passes – can be booked online at BBFF.com.au.

The full program for the Byron Bay Film Festival is now available online, introducing a stellar showcase of over 155 films, including 21 documentaries, 15 dramatic features, 20 music videos and 68 shorts as well as an extensive selection of Virtual Reality experiences.

Chosen from nearly 1000 submitted works, the selection reflects the progressive, relaxed, yet engaged ethos of the idyllic coastal town, where surfing, the environment, music, art, health and social activism are key concerns of everyday life.
 
This year the span reaches from the surf off Sierra Leone to the limpid waters of Hawaii’s Kauai Island, from the smoggy bustle of downtown Manila to the infinitely clear and silent skies that dominate the night in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
 
Absorbing documentaries explore the hidden world of the internet’s “content moderators”, the ever expanding role of Artificial Intelligence in our lives, two very different ground-breaking Japanese artists, young Buddhist monks, and how dogs can help us to lead saner lives. The late Rob Stewart’s courageous inquiry into the horrific shark finning industry has particular relevance for the North Coast.
 
Local and talented young Australian documentary filmmakers are prominent alongside their international peers, with stimulating studies of men’s mental health, obsessive pop fandom, the importance of Aboriginal culture, and the crisis in the Kimberley – and the Latrobe Valley.
 
A standout film is Dying to Live from Frackman director Richard Todd, which looks searchingly at Australians’ seeming reluctance to donate their organs for transplant.
 
There are also Australian-made dramas showing that will launch their directors, writers and actors onto the world stage, although some, such as the creator of Jirga, Benjamin Gilmour, are there already, following the film’s sensational reception at the recent Toronto International Film Festival. The Byron screening is a sneak preview before Jirga has its theatrical release, and will be presented in person by Gilmour – now a Byron Shire resident.
 
Other dramas range from dark and almost surreal comedies from Latvia and Iran, romances blossoming within war zones (and an abattoir), and adventures from the Arctic to the south of France. A supernatural thriller, The School, is another product of a Byron Shire team. 


 
The festival also has what is perhaps Australia’s most comprehensive offering of virtual and augmented reality experiences on offer, plus workshops, panels, parties, and even a breath work meditation with visual accompaniment.
 
It’s a 10-day extravaganza of entertainment, learning and fun –Byron Bay’s most colourful and glamorous cultural event – and everyone is invited. Visit the website www.bbff.com.au and their Facebook Page for further details and tickets.

The Mullum Music Festival

From humble beginnings, the picturesque village of Mullumbimby has hosted the Mullum Music Festival (MMF) since its inception in 2008.

Nestled amongst the surrounding mountains in the Byron Bay hinterland, this diverse community of just over 3000 people has embraced this very different type of music event. The last decade has seen more than 600 world-class artists and thousands of people make their way to the festival, not bad for a little festival that started on the night of the electrical storm of the decade.

"The street parade kicks off the final day of a festival which shares a Shire with some of the country's biggest. Bluesfest, Splendour In The Grass and Falls all run around here, but it's Mullum Fest which is truly the jewel in this area's crown."- Rolling Stone

Over the past decade Mullum Music Festival has evolved into one of the most successful boutique festivals in the country, proving small isn't just beautiful, it's also economically & environmental sustainable.

No gates. No big headlines. No VIP areas. Basically a ‘No hassle’ festival. A festival where artists and performers mingle, where shows are held in halls, clubs and pubs rather than tents, and instead of driving hours to park in a field and trudge on site, patrons become enmeshed in the spirit of a vibrant village.

“It’s a great feeling returning to the usually sleepy township of Mullumbimby … It’s a beautiful, restful place any time you drop by, but you know that for one weekend a year it’s transformed into a vibrant mecca of music and community, and during that window there’s no better place to be.” - The Music

The town’s array of boutique performance spaces, cafés, parks, buses and streets are filled with some of the world’s finest international musicians alongside the regions incredibly diverse and talented artists.

"It’s not just about one act, but rather all the performers. Mullum Festival is about the experience. Everyone knows that. It’s all about the people. All of the people. Everyday People!” says Festival Director Glenn Wright

The 2018 event takes place November 15-18, for full details and tickets visit www.mullummusicfestival.com.

5 best breakfast spots in Byron Bay

It’s the most important meal of the day.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely Sunday brunch spot or a quick bite to eat before heading to the beach, Byron Bay is home to some excellent cafes, all of which serve up exceptional breakfasts.

We asked our Facebook fans to vote for the best breakfast spots in Byron Bay, and here are the results (in alphabetical order).

Bayleaf

Also voted one of the best coffee spots in town, Bayleaf was the clear winner. Popular with both locals and visitors, Bayleaf is a true Byron staple, serving up an inventive menu of fresh and healthy breakfasts.

The Bayleaf breakfast menu is inventive and ever-changing: think dukkah poached eggs, quinoa coconut porridge, and breakfast burritos.

Dip

Another top pick for coffee in Byron, Dip is the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy a long and laidback breakfast. The outdoor seating is a great place to people watch, and breakfast is served until 3 pm, so there’s no rush.

Dip offers all the classics, plus plenty for those with a sweet tooth – cinnamon and vanilla French toast, buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries, and wild rice porridge.

Espressohead

Espressohead has long been a favourite Byron cafe, and with breakfast this good, it’s no wonder hungry travellers come back again and again.

Espressohead has something for everyone, including a range of vegan and gluten-free options. You can build your own big breakfast from scratch, or opt for one of the cafe’s classics, like the grilled chorizo and house-made baked beans pictured above.

Three Blue Ducks at The Farm

Breakfast doesn't get much fresher than at Three Blue Ducks Byron Bay. Situated at The Farm – a picturesque, fully operation farm just outside of Byron’s township – Three Blue Ducks serves delightful breakfasts every day until 11.30 am.

The innovative menu boasts modern takes on old classics and entirely new concoctions, as well as an enticing list of breakfast drinks.

100 Mile Table

Located in the Arts and Industry Estate, 100 Mile Table Cafe is a dynamic eatery that serves up local, seasonal, and sustainable food and spectacular Marvel Street Coffee.

The curated breakfast menu changes with the seasons. From paired-back basics (think eggs and tomato jam or fruit and granola) to unique breakfast masterpieces, 100 Mile Table Cafe is a fantastic place to start the day.  

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!

The Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival

Fri-Sat 17-18th August 2018, Bangalow A&I Hall and Showgrounds - Buy Tickets

Great local food and quality musicianship in a fun family day out raising funds for local Arts & Culture

Friday 17th - Old Time Variety Show - 6pm till 10pm at the A&I Hall - delicious barbecue and great bluegrass

On Friday night, the day before the Festival, once again we’re holding an oldtime music and comedy variety show at the A&I Hall. (MA15+) This show was an absolute a hoot last year with rave reviews. It’s not to be missed with over 70 artists entertaining you all evening long and great barbecue available for purchase. All artists are volunteers and all proceeds go back into our Original Music Artists Bursaries. With limited seating, it’s sure to sell out fast, so get your tickets soon. For most punters, this was the highlight of the Festival last year. A very special night out.

Saturday 18th - BBQ & Bluegrass Festival - 10am till 5pm at the Bangalow Showgrounds - family friendly event, barbecue competition, bluegrass on the main stage, Kids Games $2, Tasting Plates $10.

Chicken 10am – Ribs 11am – Pork 12pm – Beef 1pm – Whole Hog 1:30pm

Barbecue! Slow-cooked, smokey goodness with a cold one from the craft beer bar! Join us in Bangalow for the Firebrand BBQ Cook-off on Friday and Saturday 17-18th August. Great music and games for the kids, it's an epic family day out! Over 50 teams competing for the Grand Champion $1500 prize, and you get to taste the meat in support of our charities!

Visit the festival website for more information and tickets www.bbqbluegrass.com.au and follow them on on Facebook www.facebook.com/bbqblue.

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.

Enjoy a superior level of convenience from the moment you set foot off the plane - fly into the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, just 30 minutes from Byron Bay. 

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.

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