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Looking back at the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival

Despite some less-than-perfect weather, the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival (February 22 – 25, 2018) was a huge success. Over the four days, Byron Bay played host to a number of inspiring surf, art, film, and music events, each celebrating the inclusive spirit of surf culture.

Image by Elliot Kirkwood

The Byron Bay Surf Festival is unique among other surf events across the country. “BBSF has a non-competitive approach to surf events,” said the festival’s Creative Director, James McMillan. “We have a focus on culture, art and environment.”

Without the pressure of competition, surfers are free to express themselves in the water. This year, the beloved Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions and the new FreeRadical Surf Experiments invited surfers of all levels to have a bit of fun.

Image by Kane Skennar

“I was high as a kite after the Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions on Sunday,” said McMillan. “It was a really amazing day with so many stoked and smiling people, both surfers, non-surfers, families, kids and the oldest surfer in Byron Dr Bob even dropped by. The surf sessions on Sunday are about fun [which] creates a totally different and inclusive vibe to all who participate.”

Image by Alex T Roberts

The celebration of surf culture continued out of the water. The always-popular Surf Art Market drew a crowd on Saturday, despite the rainy weather. A curated collection of ethical and environmental vendors put their unique wares on display, drawing attention to the importance of sustainability in surfing. “Giving these companies an opportunity to show and sell their products educates and brings focused awareness to the public,” said McMillan.

In addition, festival-goers were treated to an incredible surf art exhibition at the Lone Goat Gallery, live music at the iconic Beach Hotel, and the crowd-favourite Sunset Cinema, which began with a traditional Welcome to Country by the local Arakwal People.

Image by Raffaella Creative

“Many surfers are creative, surfing is a very creative expression,” said McMillan, commenting on the many imaginative manifestations of surf culture on display at the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival.

“Every time a wave comes in you never know exactly how it is going to play out. You paddle, jump to your feet and start co-creating with Mother Nature as you weave your way along the swell... It all feels amazing. The feelings and emotions from surfing stir a certain thing inside many surfers and this sparks creativity in many different ways.”

With its beautiful beaches, creative spirit, and laid-back attitude, Byron Bay was – once again – the perfect backdrop to one of the most progressive surf events in the country. “[The area] is open and accepting of alternate thinking, arts, and activities,” commented McMillan. “The Byron Bay Surf Festival easily fits in and sends people home smiling.”

We look forward to seeing what the Byron Bay Surf Festival serves up next year.

Learn more at

The Byron and Beyond 2018 Accommodation Byron and Beyond

Discover the best of beautiful Byron Bay and surrounding towns and villages with the 2018 Byron and Beyond guides. Both the annual What’s On and Accommodation Guides are packed full of inspiring editorial content and informative business and event details, all alongside striking visuals.

What’s On – the Visitor Guide is Byron Bay’s official printed guide. Discover uniquely Byron activities, tours, and attractions in Byron Bay’s township and surrounding areas. Learn more about Byron’s beaches, check out the ever-growing list of Byron’s gourmet eateries, and find out more about watching whales during migration season.

Plus, this year’s magazine offers seven maps, which you can use to navigate the Byron Shire and beyond.

The What’s On Visitor Guide is distributed to over 400 outlets in the Northern Rivers, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Or, read online.

Alongside the What’s On Visitor Guide, Byron and Beyond publish an Accommodation Guide, which includes information about Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores, Ballina, Lennox Head, Lismore, Nimbin and beyond.

In addition to the curated editorial content, you’ll find a range of practical information about transport, food, and an accommodation directory that covers the Byron Shire and surrounding regions.

The Accommodation Guide is distributed to more than 800 outlets across Australia. And like the What’s On Guide, it’s available to read online.

For anyone visiting the Byron Bay region, a flick through these popular guides is a must.

Learn more and read these guides at

Star Stuff II: Festival of Space, Science & Astronomy

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.

Learn more at

Exciting updates for the Gold Coast Airport, just 45 mins from Byron Bay

The Gold Coast Airport is the airport of choice for many visitors to the Byron Bay area. Located just 45 minutes north of Byron, and with hundreds of flights arriving and departing every day, the Gold Coast Airport truly is the gateway to the region.

Over the last couple of years, the Gold Coast Airport has been expanding its services and facilities, both to cater for the growing number of visitors to Northern NSW and South-East QLD, and the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games.

These expansions have seen a record-breaking number of travellers hit the tarmac. In fact, January 7 set the record for the highest number of passengers, with an incredible 24,585 individuals arriving and departing.

January also set the record for the busiest month in the Gold Coast Airport’s history; more than 650,000 travellers passed through the terminals. That’s an increase of 4.2 per cent on January 2017.

As passenger numbers increase, so to have the plans to reimagine and renovate the airport itself. Plans for a brand-new onsite hotel have now been drafted, offering a convenient slice of luxury to the Gold Coast Airport precinct.

The $50-million Rydges branded hotel will feature up to 200 rooms, a roof-top bar, a resort-style swimming pool, a restaurant, and meeting and conference facilities. Construction is set to begin before the end of 2018.

Between April 4 and 15, the Gold Coast will play host to the highly-anticipated 2018 Commonwealth Games. As the official airport of the Games, the Gold Coast Airport has been working hard to give athletes and their teams a unique experience as they arrive and depart.

Recently, the airport has unveiled plans to create a purpose-built lounge for athletes and associated officials. An amalgamation of laid-back beach vibes and a lush rainforest theme, the GC2018 lounge will give visitors a taste of what the stunning Gold Coast and surrounding regions have to offer.

Learn more about the Gold Coast Airport at 

World Naked Bike Ride Byron Bay 2018

Join a group of like-minded individuals for a scenic bike ride around beautiful Byron Bay on Sunday March 11, 2018 at 3pm. The catch? The ride is clothing-optional.

Every year in March, thousands of ‘biketivists’ from over 70 countries around the globe take part in the World Naked Bike Ride.

The event promotes a number of worthy causes. First, it advocates for bike-friendly towns and cities that protect the safety of riders, walkers, and drivers. The nude cyclists draw attention to the unique dangers riders face on the roads and footpaths on a day-to-day basis.

Second, the World Naked Bike Ride protests against the use of harmful, unsustainable fossil fuels that damage the wellbeing of our people and our environment.

And third, the spectacle ignites discussions on body image and body acceptance. The clothing-optional dress code calls for both riders and on-lookers to celebrate imperfections, practice body positivity, and embrace our natural state of being.

Have a bit of fun and promote a number of great causes this year at the 2018 World Naked Bike Ride in Byron Bay on Sunday, March 11. Meet at 2.30pm at the Railway Station in Byron Bay, before setting off on a liberating ride around stunning Byron Bay at 3pm. Be prepared for onlookers – this one-of-a-kind event draws quite a crowd.

The easy ride will take about 30-minutes, and is suitable for all fitness levels. If you’re not keen on revealing all, you can still join in the fun. The dress code encourages you to come along ‘as bare as you dare.’

Learn more about the fantastic World Naked Bike Ride on their Wiki

Valentine's Day 2018 in Byron Bay

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. 

Learn more and book now at

Valentine's Day Dinner at The Byron at Byron

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.  

Read the full menu and book now at

Valentine's Day Special Offer at the Balcony Bar & Oyster Co

Perched in the heart of Byron's CBD, the iconic Balcony Bar & Oyster Co is one of Byron Bay's most beloved eateries. 

This Valentine's Day, share a fresh Raw Plate and Seafood Platter with your loved one, and enjoy a free glass of Piper-Heidsieck Australia champagne each. 

Learn more and book now at

The Byron Bay Spirit Festival 2018

Now based in Byron Bay, 2018’s Spirit Festival (April 20 – 22) is set to uplift, motivate, and engage visitors. With a focus on health, lifestyle, and spirituality, the 3-day event is one-of-a-kind, and truly transformative.

The Spirit Festival brings together like-minded individuals looking to expand their world-view, connect deeply to their intuition, express themselves creatively, and, of course, have fun.

With more than 70 workshops and cultural ceremonies to attend – ranging from yoga and free dance, to sound healing and live music – festival-goers are encouraged to choose their own spiritual adventure.

This year, the Spirit Festival is moving from counter-culture hub Mullumbimby to the sleek Cavanbah Centre and Elements of Byron Resort. 

The festival may have a new home, but the line-up is as inspirational as ever. Highlights include Sacred Earth, Amaru Pumak Kuntur, and Temple Step Project’s Benjamin Last. Check out the line-up.

For explorers seeking to celebrate life in a healthy, natural, and judgement-free environment, the Spirit Festival offers a space for reflection, peace, and experimentation.

Learn more about the festival, and buy tickets at

Byron Bay's Most Popular Social Posts of 2017

Social media gives us more ways to highlight the region to all the people who love Byron.

Here are's most popular Facebook posts from each month in 2017 - a great snap shot / re-cap of the year. Please enjoy.


January, Circus Arts Byron Bay posted a video of their flying trapeze near the Beach in Byron Bay.


February, The Australian newspaper posted a nice little clip of dolphins surfing the local beaches.


March, our Byron Insider blog post on the World Naked Bike Ride in Byron Bay was hugely popular.


April, visiting photographer Remi Bedora captured this perfect shot of The Pass.


May, traveler with the Instagram name my_endless_summer posted this classic sunset over Belongil clip.


June, there are always plenty of buskers in Byron. Tom Banks took this short video.


July, whale season with Migaloo the white whale story featured in the regional newspaper The Norther Star.


August, a clear winters day at the beach captured by local riephiniji.


September, time-lapse moon-rise over the lighthouse by local photographer Rod Evens. This was our most popular post of 2017!


October, local shop Barefoot Blvd was quick to capture some heavy rain on Lawson Street.


November, Buzfeed Mates highlighted the popular Crystal Castle in this fun video clip.


December, drone footage of some summer fun in the surf by visiting interior designer derlot.


We are very active across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - be sure to join us.


As the sun rises on Main Beach on Wednesday 14th February, local women, children and men will gather again, rising up and dancing for a global revolution to end the epidemic of male violence against women and children. 

Wednesday 14 Feb, 6.30am for a 7.30am dance, Main Beach Byron Bay.

One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. 

Byron Bay has its own high incidence of sexual assault and V Day is a great opportunity for us to find our voices in protest, by being a part of this pivotal moment, instead of thinking the problem is elsewhere. 

One Billion Rising provides an important opportunity for women and men to step up, speak up and be part of the solution, taking a stand against any male violence against women. Previous years saw hundreds of women and children dance together in Byron, reminding everyone of the importance of equal rights, and freedom. 

Come along, and be a part of this global movement saying ‘END all violence against women and children’. The world is stirring and enough is enough.

Here's  great video of the 2013 event on Main Beach Byron Bay

learn more at

Falls Festival 2017/18 Wrap Up

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.

Image by Paul Smith

We’ll see you again next year, Falls!


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