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Byron Insider Blog

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The Byron Insider Blog

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Welcome to the The Byron Insider Blog - your inside track to Byron’s best and coolest! Here you will find stories, reviews, things to do and suggested itineraries that feature many of Byron's businesses. You will find links to more information about the businesses and places discussed as well as an archive of previous Byron Insider stories.

Byron Insider Features

NAIDOC Week 2017 in Byron Bay

Taking place in the first week of July, NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate the history, culture,... read more
Musical goodness on offer in Byron

Music Festivals: Bluesfest, Splendour, Falls Festival

Soak up all the music goodness Byron Bay has to offer and take advantage of the great local and... read more
byron day spas

Get Pampered in Byron Bay

Whether you're after an indulgent, daylong spa experience, or a quick, rejuvenating treatment,... read more

Splendour in the Grass 2016

Sunny and warm winter days reaching 27 degrees made for a very comfortable three days in which to... read more

Byron Open Mic Nights

Check out some local talent or show off your skills at one of the many open mic nights Tuesdays,... read more

Crab Carnival hits Byron Bay

HEY, HO, LET’S GO! Crab Carnival hits Byron Bay for the first year ever! The ultimate celebration... read more
Byron Bay International Film Festival

Byron Bay Film Festival

The 2015 Byron Bay International Film Festival 6-15 March The largest film festival in Australia,... read more

Byron Music Society

Byron Music Society provides not just concerts but wonderful and unique experiences of beautiful... read more

11th Annual Byron Latin Fiesta

The 11th Annual Byron Latin Fiesta (4-6 November 2016) is set to ignite Byron Bay with the passion... read more

Pet Friendly Byron Bay

No need to leave your pets at home when visiting Byron Bay. Byron is home to some great dog-... read more

New Gallery Celebrates Byron’s Natural Beauty

Internationally acclaimed photographer, Craig Parry, opens Byron Bay gallery Byron Bay’s dynamic... read more
The Byron Spirit Festival

The Byron Spirit Festival

The Byron Spirit Festival brings together leading teachers of yoga, dance, nutrition, health,... read more

Go Plastic Free this July

Join over one million people from 130 countries world-wide this July, and choose to refuse single-... read more

Sean O’Shea’s Byron Bay: A book of extraordinary photos

Sean O’Shea takes photographs and videos every day on the beaches and in the hinterland of Byron... read more

2017 Mullum Music Festival

Mullum Music Festival (MMF) is a boutique festival in Mullumbimby, a quaint but vibrant little town... read more

The Byron Insider Archive

An archive of all of The Byron Insider Stories ever published. Covering a range of topics from Festivals and Events, Environment, Spirituality to News, Surfing and Byron Bay Culture.

Regional Chic and the Power of Place

When I first moved to Byron Bay, some city contemporaries thought I was copping out, dropping out or having a very premature midlife crisis.

In those days, it had not yet become hip to downscale, de-escalate and go back-to-nature, and Byron Bay had not yet reached its current apogee of fashionability for urban escapees.

At that time, happiness for masses of metropolites was, as Wallace Stevens wrote, "an acquisition."

Whereas by the fin de sicle, many of the middle-class (and mostly middle-aged) trendoids, feeling burnt out by working, working working in various Bladerunnerlands, were, as David Brooks wrote, "frantically shopping for the acoutrements of calm." They were fantasising about buying or "building a home where [they] can finally sit still and relax," a place where they could retreat without their... Read More

Bangalow Music Festival 2008 : 29-31 August

An inspired paradise brimming with blissful music Described by legendary Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe as “the most exciting festival, outside a capital city…” the Bangalow Music Festival combines world-class musicians with captivating programming, delicious food and a festive atmosphere all surrounded by the sub-tropical beauty of the heritage township of Bangalow, NSW.

Opening on Friday 29 August and running through until Sunday 31 August, the program for the Festival comprises a colourful and dramatic range of musical styles, from renaissance song, through the delights of Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin and Schubert, to the drama and electricity of Hartmann and contemporary Australian music by Brett Dean, James Ledger (Southern Cross Soloists’ Composer in Focus for 2008) and Gerard Brophy. The Festival... Read More

The Byron Underwater Festival 2008 – sun, fun & record crowds

The 2nd Byron Underwater Festival was a massive success. Sell out events and activities, glorious weather and calm seas made this an event to remember for everyone.

Almost 60 people from all over Australia came to participate in the annual underwater photo and video shootout competition, making it the biggest event of this kind in the whole Australasia region. Over 20,000 dollars worth of prizes including cameras, underwater housings, dive gear and a dive trip for two to Papua New Guinea were handed over to winning participants in 7 categories. Biggest winner was Ballina resident Mark Gray who scored both first prize in the SLR camera category as well as the Underwater Portfolio. Two local school groups went out with sponsor cameras to take underwater photos for the first time and the winning students walked away with an... Read More

2008 Byron Bay Festival & Event Season

May through August each year sees Byron Bay host a wide variety of events & festivals – something for everybody.

30 April – 4 May : Byron Underwater Festival, visit www.underwaterfestival.com.au.

4 May : Winter Whales Ocean Classic, 2.2km Ocean Swim.

10 May : Byron Bay Triathlon, Olympic Distance Triathlon.

May 24 – June 1 : FEHVA, The festival for art lovers and artists.

25-27 July : Byron Bay Writers Festival, visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.au.

2 & 3 August : Splendour in the Grass, tickets on sale in May, visit www.splendourinthegrass.com.

So if you’re interested in the ocean, fitness, art &/or music – and... Read More

2008 Winter Whales Ocean Classic – Byron Bay

This year is the 20th year for the Winter Whales Ocean Classic and the event will include the 2.2km Wategoes to Main Beach swim as well as ‘the dash for cash’ (500 m sprint) and the new ‘Mini Classic’ (800 m).

Date: First Sunday in May – 4 May 2008

Time: 10:00 am start

Location: Byron Bay Surf Club, Main Beach race starts from Wategoes

Contact: Chris Lowry [email protected]

Birds, bugs and butterflies at third Brunswick Valley Nature Festival

The 2008 Brunswick Valley Nature Festival will be all about conserving biodiversity in our unique natural environment. The theme “Birds, bugs and butterflies” will highlight the threat of climate change to the region’s biodiversity as increasing numbers of species face extinction, and just what that means for our future.

The Festival will be at the Shearwater Steiner School at Mullumbimby on Sunday 1st June, 2008. You can read more about the Festival at www.brunswickvalleylandcare.org.au The day will include workshops and presentations, bird walks, and lots of hands-on and fun activities for everyone.

Put the date in your calendar now. Volunteers are needed to assist with the organisation and to help out on the day – please offer your services if there is... Read More

Byron Bay New Year’s Eve 2007 – Safe Community Event

The Byron Bay Safety Committee has again been formulating the program for a safe community event for this years new years eve in Byron Bay.

With the success of recent years low key, community based, alcohol free, new year event, the same formula is planned for this year to ensure a safe night. said Chair of the committee, Mayor Jan Barham. Council has again resolved to provide a safe environment by the use of alcohol prohibition on the streets and parks in both Byron Bay and Brunswick. The format for NYE in Byron Bay will proceed as it was last year, focusing the event on the beachfront reserves and minimise the impact on local businesses. The committee is also calling for stall holders to make an expression of interest to have food and craft stalls on the night and an opportunity for community groups to have free stalls to... Read More

Living In The Byron Bubble

It is possible to fall as passionately in love with a place as with a person.

Both types of love affairs follow the same psychological lines of unfoldment. You set eyes on the intended. Sparks fly. Before you can say "Jack (or Jill) Robinson" or "Belongil Beach", you're smitten by the love object, who appears, initially to fulfill all your wildest dreams.

You flirt, you put your toe, so to speak, in the water, you grow superficially acquainted; then, more often than not, you plunge rapidly into what our culture mistakenly identifies as intimacy. That is to say, you are in bed together - literally or metaphorically, or, if you're lucky, both. You don't want to be anywhere else. He/she/this place is your heartland. It all becomes very intense. It begins to feel like - let me surface for a deep breath here - This is... Read More

Migaloo the albino humpback whale in Byron Bay

Two of our guests were extremely lucky yesterday on their whale watching trip. Although it is very common to see loads of whales with their calves at this time of the year, spotting Migaloo the albino humpback whale right here in the bay is something very special. And this is their photo! Thanks Maria and Daniel for letting us put this up in our news blog.

Tim & Wandy Hochgrebe PLANULA Bed & Breakfast Retreat Lot 1 Melaleuca Drive PO Box 1753 Byron Bay NSW 2481 Tel: +61-2-66809134 Mob: 0403 357 969 e-mail: [email protected] WWW: http://www.planula.com.au

5 Tips for Booking Your Byron Bay Blues Festival Accommodation

If you’re planning to come to the Byron Bay Blues Festival for the first time – or even if you’ve been before, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you’re looking for your ideal place to stay. Before we get to the ‘tips’, the thing to remember is that Byron Bay is a small town – the larger annual festivals do attract more people than the town can accommodate… particularly when you take into account that the festival’s artists and crew are also staying here. Plus many people who come every year – re-book the same place each year. Here are my 5 tips to booking accommodation for the Blues Festival;

1. People : You need to know how many people are staying with you. Accommodation in Byron is very strict on maximum numbers… sneaking a few extra friends in to sleep on the... Read More

The 4th Annual Fatherhood Festival

will take place Aug 31 – Sept 2nd, and Sept 8th, in Bangalow, NSW. Please check the web site for the huge program of nonstop concerts, panels, workshops, exhibits, activities, resources and more! Attached you’ll find the press release about the first event – the Fatherhood Concert on August 31st featuring LIOR & KEV CARMODY.

Keep your eye out for info on the special panel on September 8th featuring 2006 Father of the Year TERRY HICKS.

On Tallow Beach

Going down to my local beach always reminds me of being born. I’ve been cocooned, writing for ages on the “inside”, when suddenly I hear the roar of the breaking waters, the contractions begin and the big push to get out into the wider world is on. The birth canal is the path cut through the big entrance dune, which I enter through a shady tunnel of tuckeroo trees. I emerge on the “outside”, wide-eyed, wet, salty or licked alive by the wind, reborn into any one of myriad scenarios, for this beach, like all beaches, has its moods, its changing casts and hues.

These alter, subtly or dramatically, from hour to hour, from moment to moment. If I come down morning, noon and dusk on the same day, I can be gobsmacked by the awesome manifoldness of creation. I may find myself invigorated by an early splash in a choppy, overcast... Read More

To The Lake Once More

Near where I live is a ti-tree lake, known in local Aboriginal lore as the women's lake. It's believed that before white settlement the lake was frequented by the Indigenous women, the Arakwal clan of the Bundjalung nation. In particular, it's said that the pregnant women bathed in it because of the therapeutic properties of the ti-tree oil.

An unspoiled place, surrounded by bush, steeped in tranquility, and one white-winged morning in mid-winter I set off, via the beach, to spend some time there. En route I hoped to spot whales, for the Humpbacks were on their annual migratory path from the Antarctic to the tropical waters off the Queensland coast to breed. I was in luck. A mother and calf coasted just beyond the breakers, blowing spume and tail fluking. Seeing this play gladdened me, although it was neither my first nor my... Read More

Green Ink

EXACTLY when I became an addict, I can't say, for the compulsion to green your own ground, like the spur of necessity to write, can creep up on you. But somewhere, somehow, several seasons back I became a compulsive planter.

This planting proclivity, this imperative dalliance with the dirt, which the dictionary describes variously as: to set (seeds, crops, et cetera) into (ground) to grow; to place firmly in position; to establish, found, to implant in the mind, can lead you into some shady and secluded avenues of cross-fertilisation, as I discovered recently when I found myself writing a book about nature, a process which taught me, among many things, to surrender to life's fluctuating rhythms of engagement.

One day I'm out walking in the wilds or working in the garden, exposed to the sun, the wind, the scent of... Read More

Life's a Stretch and Then You Fly

Back in the 80s when I was still a city slicker, when work was my raison d'etre, and stilettos, silk stockings and shoulder pads my daily dress code, I had more money in the bank, but I also had hunched shoulders, tight hamstrings and very shallow breathing.

Physically, I barely inhabited my body, and my body, directly reflecting my stressed yet sedentary lifestyle (driving in peak traffic, telephoning and keyboarding 12 hours a day), was tightly compacted, crunched up and brittle as cellophane. In particular, RSI (repetitive strain injury) was my regular companion during those years of compulsive over-achieving.

On a holiday escape to Byron way back then, I yearned, as do many visitors to this region, for some new adventure or experience, some fresh perception of life, some altered modus operandi to open up to me... Read More

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