Info Byron Bay
Byron Bay is a beachside town located in the far-northeastern corner of the state of New South Wales,Australia. It is located 772 kilometres (480 mi) north of Sydney and 165 kilometres (103 mi) south of Brisbane.Cape Byron, a headland adjacent to the town, is the easternmost point of mainland Australia. At the 2011 census, the town had a permanent population of 4,959. The town is in turn the nucleus of Byron Shire, which had 29,209 residents.
The local Arakwal Aboriginal people's name for the area is Cavvanbah, meaning "meeting place". Lieutenant James Cook named Cape Byron after Naval officer John Byron, circumnavigator of the world and grandfather of the poet Lord Byron.
Byron Bay is famed worldwide for its surfing beaches, scuba diving, whale watching, rural beauty and a laid back lifestyle. It is a major tourist centre.
Byron Bay and its surrounding area have a population of about 30,000. The area has experienced a dramatic increase in tourism now standing at 1.7 million+ visitors per year. During summer time the western road in and out of town to the North can get crowded and slow. Entry via Ross Lane off the highway to the south might offer travellers a quicker solution in holiday periods.
The town has several beaches which are popular for surfing. It is a resort popular with both domestic and international tourists, including backpackers, who travel along the Australian coast; the scenery also attracts skydivers. The area is also noted for its wildlife, with the whale watching industry a significant contributor to the local economy.
An oceanway runs from the centre of town to the Cape Byron lighthouse. This allows visitors to walk and cycle to the lighthouse.
Temperate and tropical waters merge at Byron Bay, making it a popular area for scuba diving and snorkelling. Most diving is done at Julian Rocks which is part of the recently established Cape Byron Marine Park and only a few minutes boat ride from Main Beach.
Byron Bay also lies close to subtropical rainforests, and areas such as the Nightcap National Parkwith the Minyon Falls are all within easy reach of the town.
Byron Bay is now also a popular destination for Schoolies week during late November and early December.
The history of Europeans in Byron Bay began in 1770, when Lieutenant James Cook found a safe anchorage and named Cape Byron after a fellow sailor John Byron.
The first industry in Byron was cedar logging from the Australian red cedar (Toona ciliata). 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.
Gold mining of the beaches was the next industry to occur. Up to 20 mining leases set up on Tallow Beach to extract gold from the black sands around the 1870s.
Byron Bay has a history of primary industrial production (dairy factory, abattoirs, fishing, and whaling until 1963) and was a significant, but hazardous, sea port. The poet Brunton Stephens spoke of cattle grazing on the "mossy plains" of Cape Byron in a poem he penned in 1876.
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. The smell from the meat and dairy works was, by all accounts, appalling, and the annual slaughter of migrating 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.
Longboard surfers arrived in the 1960s and used natural breaks at The Pass, Wategos, and Cosy Corner. 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.
Shipwrecks litter the bay and surrounding areas.
Byron Bay has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. Winters are not cold with daily maximums usually reaching a pleasant 19.4 °C and a minimum of 11 °C. Summer can be hot, with a daily average of 27 °C. Summer evenings can be wet, cooling the day down making for a comfortable overnight temperature.
Climate data for Byron Bay
|Record high °C (°F)||34.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||27.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||21.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||16.5|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
Byron Bay is part of the erosion caldera of an ancient shield volcano, the Tweed Volcano, which had erupted 23 million years ago. The volcano formed as a result of the Indo-Australian Plate moving over the East Australia hotspot.