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Byron Bay Scenery

about the area

Byron Bay is a beachside town in the north of the state of New South Wales in Australia. It is located 759 kilometres north of Sydney and 140 kilometres south of BrisbaneCape Byron, a headland adjacent to the town, is the easternmost point of mainland Australia. The town has a population of about 5,600 people and is the nucleus of Byron Shire, which has in excess of 30,000 (ABS estimate 2003). Captain James Cook named Cape Byron after circumnavigator of the world John Byron.
 
For thousands of years Aboriginal people came to the Bay to swap stories, find marriage partners and trade goods. They called it Cavvanbah.
European history began in 1770, when Captain James Cook found a safe anchorage and named Cape Byron after John Byron, who had circumnavigated the world and who was later the grandfather of English poet Lord Byron. In the 1880s, when Europeans settled more permanently, streets were named for other English writers and philosophers.
 
The first industry in Byron was cedar-getting, the "red gold" from the Australian red cedar, “Toona australis”. The timber industry is the origin of the word "shoot" in many local names – Possum Shoot, Coopers Shoot and Skinners Shoot – where the timber-cutters would "shoot" the logs down the hills to be dragged to waiting ships.
Byron Bay has a history of primary industrial production (dairy factory, abattoirs, whaling until 1963, fishing) and was a significant, but hazardous, sea port.
 
The first jetty was built in 1886, and the railway was connected in 1894, and Cavvanbah became Byron Bay in 1894. Dairy farmers cleared more land and settled the area. In 1895, the Norco Co-operative was formed to provide cold storage and manage the dairy industry. The introduction of paspalum improved production, and Byron Bay exported butter to the world. The Norco factory was the biggest in the southern hemisphere, expanding from dairy to bacon and other processed meat.
 
The lighthouse was built in 1901 at the most easterly point on the Australian mainland. In 1930, the first meatworks opened.
Despite this success, Byron Bay struggled to become a viable community, and was always a poor working town. The smell from the meat and dairy works was, by all accounts, appalling, and the annual slaughter of whales in the 1950s and 1960s made matters worse. Sand mining between the World Wars damaged the environment further, and one by one all these industries declined.
 
After all the factories and industries closed, surfers discovered the wonderful natural breaks at The Pass, Wategos and Cosy Corner and the longboarders arrived in the 1960s. This was the beginning of Byron Bay as a tourist destination, and by 1973, when the Aquarius Festival was held in Nimbin, its reputation as a hippy, happy, alternative town was established.
Throughout the Byron Shire, you will find the markets in towns like Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay. These local markets come alive with singers, dancers and musicians while the local falafel vendor competes for customers against the hotdog seller next door. And hand in hand with this cultural mix come the music and the music festivals.

The accommodation is as diverse as the locals. Staying at Byron gives you the best of both worlds with the Gold Coast only 40 minutes up the road.
 
Byron Bay is small and compact, so finding one's way around is easy. The railway station and bus stop are adjacent to the Byron Visitor Centre. Byron Bay is a town replete with accommodation, but it is not necessarily cheap, since demand keeps up well with, and sometimes even outstrips, supply. Even backpackers accommodation tends to be rather more expensive than one might expect. This small town caters very much to the backpacker market, so there are pubs, and a multitude of different and mostly moderately priced food establishments.
 
Enjoy this beautiful town!