Introduction to Byron Bay
Australia's fave boho enclave Byron Bay has long been a magnet for people drawn to its unique laidback lifestyle, seaside ambience and stunning natural environment. From humble beginnings as a coastal country town relying on primary industry, tourism is now the area's mainstay. Surfers arrived in the 1960s looking for breaks and were joined by hippies who stayed on after the Aquarius Festival in Nimbin in 1973, cementing Byron's reputation as an escape from everyday life and an alternative lifestyle option.
At any given time during the year, you can hear a variety of foreign languages uttered by travellers from around the world on the streets of Byron Bay. Such is the appeal of this laidback and cruisy coastal town with both a budget and upmarket feel. From bronzed backpackers to cashed-up sea-changers, schoolies letting loose to eco entrepreneurs and dreadlocked trustafarians to yogi grey nomads, Byron and its famous lighthouse are a beacon for those seeking enlightenment through alternate therapies or lifestyle. And while there are concerns that the town is being loved to death with council capping numbers visiting for New Year’s Eve celebrations and grumbles about sewerage, music festivals and traffic, the visitors keep coming.
Located just 90 minutes' drive from Brisbane and 30 minutes from Ballina/Byron Airport, Byron Bay is an accessible slice of paradise. Greater Byron Shire is always lush and green, even when the rest of the country isn't, with abundant natural rainforest in the hinterland and beautiful beaches along the coast.
Arts and culture are also a drawcard with numerous festivals, musicians, artists and writers calling the area home. Spend just a little time in Byron Bay and you too will start to wonder how you can throw in your day job and relocate to this sophisticated hippie haven.