A little bit of History of Byron Bay
“Well, the sand was a bedroom in Byron Bay” – Robert James – “An amazing coastline, stunning beaches, a beautiful hinterland, nice people, great food and lifestyle, a tranquil vibe, … a real paradise!” – Unknown
Welcome to Byron Bay
Byron Bay is known all over the world as a place where you can have fun, surf, relax, and live an alternative lifestyle. It is the place to be if you want to experience an alternative lifestyle, alternative therapies, workshops/retreats in the field of self growth, healing and spiritual quests, organic food, …and where you can generally unwind.
Byron Bay is a seaside resort located in the north eastern corner of the state of New South Wales in Australia. Cape Byron was named by Captain Cook after Admiral Byron, grandfather of the poet Lord Byron. A walk up to the famous Byron Bay lighthouse will lead you to the most easterly point which provides some spectacular views of the beaches in the area.
Byron Bay has a population of approximately 9,000 people and is the nucleus of Byron Shire, which has in excess of 28,000 residents. Byron Bay is located 775 kilometres north of Sydney and 165 kilometres south of Brisbane, Queensland.
In pre-colonial times the Arakwal people called Byron Bay Cavanbah,which means meeting place. It was a place to swap stories, trade and to meet partners. It was a place where people came to heal when they were ill and to give birth. What is less well known is that less than 40 years ago, Byron Bay survived primarily as a hard working whaling and dairy town. Older Byron Bay locals tell of the old pier ringing out a loud bell whenever a whale was being brought into harbour and how the whole township would run down to see it being hauled onto land.
The popular Byron Bay Arts Factory entertainment and backpacker complex was known as The Piggery because it was a slaughterhouse for decades. The concept of a marine park,of whale conservation and of the active environmental consciousness for which the shire has become so renowned were far removed from the realities of that time. The sandy beaches were mined extensively in the 1950’s and 60’s. Much of the original forests, which were known as the ‘Big Scrub’, had long been logged for cedar in the 1800’s.
Banana and pineapple farmers tilled the hinterland. The Beach Hotel was known as the top pub when Byron Bay was a booming agro/industrial centre.
The first Byron Bay tourists were largely intrepid surfers searching for the great breaks off points like The Pass and Broken Head.
Byron Bay, with a great selection of world class breaks, has now become a surfing mecca.
A little more history of Byron Bay.
We invite you to watch this great short video called The Battle for Byron that was released in 1996. The video was produced by Frontline Films, Producer David Bradbury, Directors and writers David Bradbury and Richard Mordaunt. (Credits sourced from AFC Production Database). Click on the photo below or the link here The Battle for Byron Bay